How to choose a web builder

In the past, to build a website you had to know how to write code or hire someone who did. Enter web builders: service providers that allow anyone to build a website using simple tools. They handle the coding and offer beautiful templates that you can easily customise with your own text, designs, images and more. Today, millions of people with zero design or coding experience can use web builders to establish their web presence.

Is a web builder right for you?

Using a web builder can be a wonderful option for ventures large and small. To determine whether a web builder is right for you, think about the following questions:

Who will design and maintain the website? Web builders are ideal options for those with little or no technical experience. You can make changes directly to the site without hiring a professional. They’re also a good option for people who want to hire a web designer to do the initial site build, but have anyone be able to make updates to the site later on.

What’s your budget? Web builders can be a very cost-effective option for creating a site. Many offer their most basic package as a free plan, while others offer free trials. After that, they typically charge a monthly fee that scales up with your site size and allows for add-on services such as web hosting.

What will your site be used for? Web builders offer design theme or templates that span a wide range of industries and website types, including those designed for blogs or portfolios, retail and e-commerce, events and professional services. Once you’ve determined what type of site you want, it will help you determine which web builder is right for you.

What will your site look like? Keep in mind that while web builders offer many ways to customise your site, you’ll still be working within some restrictions. If you’re looking for a layout or template that’s never been used before or that’s totally customisable from top to bottom, you might want to create a custom site, which will likely involve hiring a web developer.

Are there any special capabilities that your site needs to have? Today’s web builders can handle a variety of rich web needs, from newsletter publishing to e-commerce. Most web builders will also automatically optimise your site for mobile devices, which is a must-have these days.

Your web builder checklist

Once you’ve decided that you’re interested in using a web builder, it’s time to compile a list of what you’re looking for. Here are some considerations to think about. Order these in the priority that makes sense for you, and keep them in mind as your consider your options:

  • Ease of use
  • Popularity
  • Pricing
  • Free plan
  • Design flexibility
  • Themes/templates
  • Mobile site optimisation
  • Support
  • Blogging
  • E-commerce
  • Newsletter creator
  • Membership creator
  • Mobile app
  • Web hosting

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