How to Choose the Best Website Builder for Your Online Small Business

(Last Updated On: 01/04/2023)

two people using a website builder to grow their businessI’ll highlight the ways to find the best website builder that will fit all your small business needs in 2024. You’ll learn how to take advantage of the perks of using this technology and create the stunning website you need. 

It’s not hard to find the best website builder for small businesses, but you need to know what you’re looking for, which is the reason I wrote this guide. Long gone are the days when creating a website from ground zero was a painstaking (and sometimes very expensive) task.

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Written by Martin Nikolaev: Point of Sale Expert 

In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know before deciding which website builder will best help bring money to your online small business. 

What is a Website Builder and How Does It Work?

Website builders offer online or offline (downloadable) platforms featuring an interface that allows for creating a website without the use of any programming code. Using preset templates and drag-and-drop functionality, these awesome tools can generate impressive results. Plus, some of them offer complete solutions, including analytics, for example.

The best website builder for your small business will allow you to use your own domain and hosting services (you can opt for hosting provided by the website builder company, too), and it will assist you with storing visual content. Best of all, the leading website builders offer free plans that feature plenty of perks, meaning that you can not only generate your brand-new website fast, but it could also cost you nothing. 

Most website builders use a similar structure. Their drag-and-drop interface uses templates and themes and combines them with the imagery and videos you prefer. The software behind the builder does all the coding for you, but you can sometimes opt for additional tweaks if you have basic HTML knowledge. 

Benefits of Using a Website Builder

There are plenty of reasons to choose a website builder over any other option, as long as what it offers is enough for your business needs. I consider the fact that some builders are free to use as the primary reason you should choose such an option. When starting an online small business with no money, for example, you’ll have little to no budget to spend, but you’d still need a fully functional website. 

I’ve listed below some of the most important benefits of website builders:

  • No coding or web design skills required
  • Little to no costs related to creating a brand-new website
  • SEO tools and analytics (sometimes optional)
  • Dozens (usually hundreds) of available templates
  • Fast build time (you can complete a whole website in hours)
  • Unlimited number of product positions for online stores (sometimes optional)
  • Taxation tools
  • Built-in options, such as discount code generation
  • Domain name transferring

Of course, not all website builders for small businesses feature all these perks. However, the best-in-class boast most of them, alongside specific advantages that make them stand out. If there’s one thing I learned from doing my research on this topic, it’s that there’s no such thing as a perfect, all-in-one website builder. Still, the ones I’ll review later in this guide come pretty close to being a perfect choice.

On the downside, you’ll most probably need to upgrade to a higher (paid) plan if you want to enjoy some important features and functionalities, such as:

  • A custom URL
  • eCommerce tools
  • SSL certificate compliance
  • Enough server space to store all your content

7 Things to Consider in Choosing the Best Website Builder for Your Small Business

Instead of trying to gather random advice on how to find the best website builder for small businesses, I’ll simply highlight the methodology I used to distinguish the best website builders. My strategy is simple: I pinpoint the key features and functionalities such a platform must have, and then I see if the website builder I’m currently on boasts them all.

Here’s what to have in mind when looking for a website builder:

1. Ease of Use

The platform you choose must be intuitive, with a user-friendly interface and a simple menu. Over-complicated toolsets can be overwhelming and you could easily get confused or miss out on key functions that would help you create the website you had in mind.

a laptop displaying a business website built with a website builder tool2. Proper Tools

To create a stunning website with all the bells and whistles your business needs, you need to pick a website builder that has a proper set of tools. Ideally, all the tools you need would be free, and you’d have everything at your fingertips, including modern templates and themes, the ability to alter their structure and layout to a great extent, and similar functionalities. I’ve listed some tools to look for (you’ll probably need to use some or most of them):

  • Simple, flexible, and detailed drag-and-drop user interface
  • Hosting services (possibly domain, too)
  • Additional paid functionalities (in case you need them)
  • Third-party software integrations
  • Compatibility with different audio and visual content
  • Analytics tools
  • Domain-based email address

3. Lots of Options to Choose From

A website builder is not just about designing the site’s layout and menu. There are other options to consider, such as previews: they will allow you to see the quality of your future website. The hosting option is another important aspect to note. In general, the number of options a website builder features depends on whether it’s aimed at people who have never used one before, or for more experienced users who need a final product with a broader range of options. Sometimes, a basic package of options would be all you need.

4. Customization Options

Don’t underestimate the power of customizations, especially with the brand-new website of your small business. You need to make sure that the website builder you choose will allow you to include perks like a contact harvesting panel (subscription for special offers or a newsletter, for example). Sometimes, the custom options you’d like to add are available as third-party plug-ins, but the website builder should allow you to use such solutions. Here’s what you might need (and what the perfect website builder for you should offer):

  • Specific interaction tools, forms, and communication means
  • More space for video content
  • Combinations of various third-party integrations
  • Additional paid functionalities

5. Reliable Customer Support

Here’s a perk that most users underestimate. If using a website builder for the first time proves to be confusing or too hard because of technical difficulties or other reasons, you need to rely on responsive and friendly customer support, preferably through live chat or phone. Most respectable website builders have extended troubleshooting and FAQ sections, but it’s always a good idea to have a dependable customer support option.

6. Compatibility with Third-Party Software

Your new website may be up and running just a day or two after you started building it, but your work would not be done still. Chances are, you’ll need additional help in the form of plug-ins – accounting, SEO, marketing, and so forth. This means that the website builder you choose must be compatible with third-party software.

7. Monetizing Functionalities

This is one of the most important aspects to consider. If you’re planning on building a website that’s not just going to promote products or services but build an online store, then you’ll need to choose a certain type of website builder (Shopify would be the obvious choice here). Whether you’re trying to bring more traffic to your website or you’re aiming at as many sales as possible, confirm that the website builder you pick has the specific perks that will allow you to properly monetize your new site.

Additional Tips on How to Choose the Best Website Builder for Your Business Needs

Find as many product ratings and user reviews as you can. They will give you a good idea of what to expect, but you won’t know for certain until you give several website builders a try, just like I did. Since most of them are free to use, you’d have nothing to lose when testing them out. This is the only way to truly compare your options. In addition, you might want to look at the market share of the leading website builders. This, although not primary, is another indication of whether the one you picked is a good option or not.

As I already mentioned, there is neither a perfect website builder nor a universal one. Trying to look for the perfect fit for your needs should be preceded by determining all your preferences and the things you might be willing to compromise on for the sake of other essential options.

Considering all the above, the right choice for you would vary a lot depending on your goals:

  • If you want to post content and create a blog-type site, you might be good to go with a website builder with a more basic set of features, such as GoDaddy
  • If you want to create the ultimate eCommerce store, you should probably go with Shopify

If you want the closest thing to an all-in-one solution, then you’d want to stick to Wix, which is my personal number one pick in this guide: 5 Best Website Builders for Online Small Business