Building a website used to be hard. You had to learn how to code (time-consuming) or hire someone who knew how to code (expensive) and if you didn’t know anything about web design, you were stuck with a website that looked like it was put together by the family pet. But one day, the angels sang, and website builders gracefully descended from the heavens.
The problem is most people don’t know how to choose the best website builder, so they end up just blindly clicking on the first one they see in their search results.
The good news is that it’s not that hard to know how to choose the best website builder. In fact, we’ve come up with six quick things you can look for when you’re choosing the right website builder for you.
How to choose the best website builder
When you’re choosing a website builder, look for these six essentials:
- Great pricing
- Ease of customization
- SEO features
- Compatibility with SSL certificates
- Mobile optimization
- Great customer service
1. Great pricing
Before you even look at any of the other features, you need to know your budget and how that aligns with the price of your sitebuilder.
Watch out for companies that offer “free” plans but have hidden catches. Sometimes “free” plans will leave out email accounts or other basic features your website needs to function. Some “free” plans even display ads on your website, which means you might accidentally advertise one of your competitor’s products – awkward.
This doesn’t mean you have to pay through the nose to get a good sitebuilder.
Yourwebsite has sitebuilders that start at $3/month!
2. Ease of customization
The whole point of a sitebuilder is that it should be easy to use. If you choose a sitebuilder that makes you spend hours figuring out their peculiar process, then you might as well have spent that time learning to code.
We believe so strongly that sitebuilders should be simple that we designed ours with a drag-and-drop function. That means that you literally just drag the things you want to add to your website and drop them in. It’s so easy that you can create a basic website in minutes.
You also want to make sure the sitebuilder you choose has enough templates for you to make exactly the kind of website you want. Using a sitebuilder starts with choosing a good theme and customizing it to fit your brand or your vision for your website. You don’t want to choose a sitebuilder that has so few themes that any website you make will look almost identical to twenty others. And you also don’t want to choose a sitebuilder that has lots of themes – that are all hideous. Choose a sitebuilder that has at least 100 beautiful templates for you to choose from. (Ahem, not to brag, but we have more than 200.)
3. SEO features
If you’ve been looking at website building for a while now, you probably already know how vital it is to think about SEO. In case you don’t know what it is, here’s a quick rundown: “SEO” stands for “Search Engine Optimization”, and it’s the strategy website owners use to get more web traffic.
When search engines are deciding how to list the websites that come up in search results, they use lots of different factors, such as relevance. This means if your customer just typed “blue socks” into their search bar, but those words don’t appear anywhere on your website, your site will be ranked so low that they’ll probably never see it.
Search Engine Optimization means understanding exactly what search engines look for when they’re deciding where to rank your website, and then exploiting that by making sure your web page shows up on their radar.
Of course, this is a lot of information to keep track of, and most people who run websites don’t have time to try to figure out the inner workings of search engines. But you can’t afford not to think about search engines either, because they’re ultimately what determine the success of your website.
That’s why it’s essential to choose a search engine with an SEO tool.
Yourwebsite.com’s SEO checker shows you how your website stacks up against your competitors and generates reports and actionable steps you can take to fix your website’s SEO problems, so visitors flock to your website.
4. Compatibility with SSL certificates
This is the part where people’s eyes usually glaze over, but stick with us. Your website needs an SSL certificate.
We say this because some sitebuilders offer “free” plans that aren’t compatible with SSL certificates, and choosing one of these sitebuilders would be a disaster.
SSL certificates encrypt data passed between your website and your visitors’ browsers, so their information stays safe. If your website is compromised, people will be scared to visit it long after you’ve already fixed the problem, and you might not even recover from the damage to your reputation.
And the worst part is that your visitors know when your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate, because their browsers will warn them.
If visitors see that their data is unsafe when they visit your site, but safe when they visit your competitor’s, guess which site they’ll choose.
If you’re operating an eCommerce website, SSL certificates aren’t even an option; they’re a requirement.
So, when you’re choosing a sitebuilder, make sure you choose one that’s compatible with SSL certificates.
5. The best website builder is mobile-friendly
Sometimes, your visitors will be browsing your website on their cell phones. Your site needs to look gorgeous on their screens. You can’t afford to have any of your text getting scrambled or somehow being thrown to completely different parts of the page because you chose the wrong sitebuilder.
Choose a sitebuilder that helps you create mobile-friendly websites, and you avoid the embarrassment of having your website looking crazy on mobiles.
6. Great customer service
This isn’t something to skimp on. Even if the sitebuilder is easy to use, when you’re new to it, you’ll inevitably run into something you’re not quite sure about.
Choosing a company with 24/7 customer support means you can get help whenever you need it.
BONUS: Four more great features to look out for
The six features in our main checklist are essential to choosing a good sitebuilder, but you’ll know a company really knocked it out of the park if they also offer any of these:
- Website monitoring tool
- Web hosting
- Cloud-based backup
- Email marketing tool
There are so many website builders that sorting through them can feel overwhelming. But you don’t have to get bogged down in endless lists of features that really aren’t that important, when you really get down to it. Use your quick checklist to cut through the noise and choose the website builder that really is perfect for you.
Yourwebsite.com offers a complete sitebuilder, with webhosting included. For a rundown of our features browse or plans or read this article.