When you’re considering building a brand new website or updating your current one, the most important decision is choosing a time-saving and cost-effective route. I have always preferred building websites from scratch using HTML/CSS/Wordpress, as it gave me the results which met everyone’s expectations. But it wasn’t the most efficient way to build a website as it was time-consuming consequently increasing the price tag.
Over the last few years, website builders have become immensely popular, where you do not require any technical knowledge to build a website on your own.
Moreover, website builders are easy to use and come with a plethora of customization options, which allows you to create a website that you want.
Considering there are various factors to consider upon which you may decide to choose one platform over the other, I have compiled a list of parameters which can help you in making your decision easy.
- Theme Selection
- Ease of Use
- Responsive Design
- Website Speed
- SEO Options
- Third-Party Plugins
Themes are important for any non-technical person to get started with the website. Choosing a theme is often the first and the most critical step when you start. Many of the platforms today have a range of themes to choose from; themes are offered industry wise and business types, allowing you to choose the best theme catering to your needs. Furthermore, you should also keep in mind that certain platforms allows you to further customize and edit the themes further according to your need.
Ease of Use
There are many platforms which offer robust options or tools within the platform but aren’t the most user-friendly, which just makes the task of building a website tedious and time-consuming. Personally, I prefer a builder which is easy to use and does not have a steep learning curve. It should be easy to navigate and flexible enough that I can quickly make changes to the layout, images, content or any other aspect of the website. If you are building a website for the first time, I would suggest focusing on playing around with the images, content or videos to get a feel of the builder.
In the beginning of the internet, websites were usually accessed via personal computers or laptops, however, over the last decade that has drastically changed with advancements in mobile phones. It has become critical for websites to be created with responsive designs, i.e., websites which regardless of the device it is accessed from, gives users a uniform experience.
If it is a website which has a slow speed, it will just make the experience for users clunky.
In the realm of digital marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become a critical part for any business. Every website wants organic traffic driven to its website via Google or any other search engines. Many of the web builder also give SEO related tools, some with more advanced options than others, hence, it should be a major factor when choosing the right platform for your website.
In order to enhance your website further, you might want to add various plugins. These plugins are add-ons such as Google Analytics, Google Adwords, Share Plugin, Reviews etc. Depending on your business need, it is very easy to add or remove any plugin with the website builder.
Pay as you go or subscription model of web builder have made it very affordable for anyone to create a website. Initially, websites weren’t cheap, especially when you build a custom website. You had to buy a hosting space, pay for the website design and development and depending on the requirements, the website cost would be anywhere between $500 to $2000.
Now compare that pricing with a website builder’s subscription model, which usually averages around $12 a month. In that much amount, you are getting a website which is already hosted, mailbox space, domain name and in some cases various online marketing tools at your disposal. In addition, there are multiple subscription plans available with different price points, allowing you to choose the most affordable and suitable option for your website.
Emails have become a primary mode of communication in business today, having a custom email using your domain name gives a professional impression of your business.
According to your business need, you can have multiple emails created with your domain name and choose the amount space you would need for the same.
Comprehensive support is very important since you will be creating a website on your own, you may have questions or even hit a hurdle during the process. Hence, choosing a website builder which provides technical or non-technical support via Live Chat, Email or Toll-Free Number makes a huge difference in your experience.
These in my opinion are some of the most important parameters one must consider when choosing a website builder. How you select the right web builder is crucial, as you will be spending a lot of your valuable time in the future.
Use this checklist to start with and you can further change the same according to your business need. I suggest you to prepare your own checklist from this and use it to choose your platform.
When deciding which website builder to use, each one of them offer a trial option where you can see for yourself first-hand what they have to offer.