The website builder market is a crowded one, with all species of gimmicks, deals and outright brilliant packages on offer at any one time. But piloting your way through the jungle can be a real challenge – so how do you go about weighing up which product is the right one for your business?
Just too easy?
The first aspect to keep a wary eye on is ease of use. If you’re not super-technical and don’t need an enormously complex, transactional site then be realistic upfront and choose one of the many super-simple template website builders out there, like Weebly for example. Don’t think that this is dumbing down either, Weebly is particularly good at delivering a quality product and none of the elements ever feel incomplete or half-baked.
Ensure flexibility – but keep control
As with ease of use, it’s important to be clear in your scoping process about the level of design and spec control you need at launch, and also how likely your business is to need regular specification upgrades and overhauls. Of course, every business needs to stay current, but if your growth roadmap dictates major technical changes then make sure you’ve not locked yourself in with a product that can’t handle them. Equally, you’ll be paying extra for that flexibility and potential capacity increase, so simplify where you can.
Set your technical level
This is vital as there’s nothing worse than feeling you’ve got the ‘dumbed down’ version and been shortchanged; however, the flipside is being handed a pile of code and a compiler. If you’re not sure what that means, panic not, just choose the less technical option. Bear in mind too that the more technical you make your site, the more support and updating you will be storing up for yourself.
That might be your bag, but it’s important to be realistic about your time – do you want to be tech support, or developing your core business? WordPress is a great example here – it can be very simple to get a great-looking site, but dealing with updates and technical issues can soak up a lot of time, turning you into IT support, rather than the CEO, MD, Sales and Marketing Directors that you also need to be.
Customer support sensation
Customer support is a vital element of a great customer experience, but it does increase costs. The temptation to drive costs down by cutting support levels is strong, and it even seems like a great decision, until you run into difficulties and really need the reassurance!
In short, you’ll probably appreciate good support more than you think, so opting for a more ‘friendly’ but costly package will often pay dividends. The website builders that consistently get the best reviews all tend to have excellent customer support, such as Squarespace (live chat, email, and user forum) and Wix (phone, email, and user forum). There’s clearly a correlation there!
The best end result
Interestingly, this is often the first, rather than last thing businesses engage with. They see a nice end product, and that’s what they fix on, then begin reverse engineering the points above to fit. That’s not to say that functionality, navigation and genuine optimisation with your major traffic channels isn’t important, of course, but when choosing a website builder it shouldn’t be your first consideration. All the top rated builders on https://www.sitebuilderreport.com/ offer beautiful templates, a broad range of navigational options and channel optimisation, so conducting a beauty contest based on end result alone can leave you no closer to a decision.
Whatever your business needs, there is a website builder out there to take the pain away (or at least shoulder some of the burden) – happy building!