You want to have a good looking and effective website for your business. That’s great! But there’s just one problem: you don’t have the technical skills and knowledge needed to build a custom website.
Don’t worry! There are plenty of do-it-yourself (DIY) website builders out there! A DIY website builder is a software tool that enables you to create your own website without needing to read or write code or have the skills of a graphic designer.
Virtually all DIY websites use a visual builder interface. This allows you to see what your finished website would look like while you build, develop, and edit in real-time.
So, there are lots of DIY website builders out there, but which one is right for you? Here are some things you should consider when choosing the best website builder for your business:
1. Easy to use
According to a study by Clutch, 25% of people said that they are beginners and non-technical when it comes to website design. Only 22% consider themselves “advanced website builders”, meaning they know HTML, CSS, e-commerce optimization, and other technical skills.
Are you a beginner or non-technical person? Then a do-it-yourself website builder is likely the best option. Most website builders are simple, easy to pick up and use and have a user-friendly interface and user experience (also known as UI and UX). If you know how to click, drag-and-drop, and upload images, then you already have the skills needed to design your website!
A good website builder should also be intuitive. It should come with guides, tutorials, and support documents to help you as you build your website.
2. A variety of themes
You don’t want your website to look like someone else’s website, do you? Of course not! You should look for a website builder that offers a variety of eye-catching, feature-filled templates, or themes.
With a lot of themes to choose from, there is a small likelihood of your website looking exactly like someone else’s. Some tweaking of colors, layouts, and features will give your website a look and feel that is unique to your business.
In addition, there are specific themes that are ideal for specific businesses or industries. For instance, if you run a photography business, you might want a template that features a photo slideshow on the homepage, helping you showcase your best work.
That said, don’t automatically disregard a website builder if it only has a few themes. That’s because each of these themes may have a lot of customizable features and functionality, making them look and feel different even though they are technically the same core theme.
Folio Websites, for example, has “deep themes”. However, the degree of customization offered by these builders is outstanding. By combining various styles of galleries, blogging features, powerful SEO tools, customizable forms, and the ability to add/embed your own custom code, you can create a website that is truly unique to you.
3. Mobile responsive
According to a research done by Statista, in 2018, 52.2 percent of the world’s website traffic came from mobile phones. Statcounter further confirmed this, showing that worldwide mobile phone usage has increased to 51.11% in July 2019, exceeding desktop (45.18%) and tablet (3.71%) usage.
As a result, Google has made mobile responsiveness as a major ranking factor in search results since 2015
People today are using different devices of all shapes and sizes (phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops). Because of this, it really is a must to have your website be mobile responsive. It should be able to automatically adjust to any screen used by your visitors, regardless of the device being used.
By being mobile responsive, your website will also be ready for the future. According to Hosing Facts Stats List, 45% of all e-commerce transactions will be made on mobile devices by 2020.
Need help making your website mobile responsive? Here’s a great article on how to make your website mobile-friendly.
4. Compatible with different browsers
A browser is a software application used to access websites on the Internet. Examples of popular internet browsers include Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, just to name a few.
That said, visitors to your website will use many different browsers to view your site. This may be an issue because some website technologies are not compatible with all browsers. For example, your website may look great on Google Chrome, but it may render differently on a Safari browser.
Therefore, when building your website, make sure your website builder is compatible with all browsers. This can be done easily by asking the website builders support team or checking online reviews or resources to make sure the website builder is compatible with all browser types.
5. Customizable lead capture forms
It is a given that you want to have traffic coming to your website. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. What you really want is for your viewers to have a way to interact with you through your website, allowing you to gather information about your visitors. This can be done through lead capture forms.
Make sure your website builder has the ability to create and customize lead forms easily. Top-quality website builders enable you to create your own unique forms by customizing each field that your users fill out.
Customizable forms give you the ability to create your own contact forms, sign up forms, subscription forms, product customization forms, and more!
6. SEO tools
A recent report revealed that 83% of customers use search engines when finding a business online. According to SEO Moz, you’ll enjoy a 42.25% increase in traffic if your website shows up on the first page of a search result.
So, it’s a no brainer that you want your website to show up on the first page of search results. But how do you make this happen? If your website builder has powerful SEO tools, you can use these to improve your website’s ranking. These tools include title tags, keyword tools, meta descriptions, and sitemap generators.
Before making your decisions, find out what SEO tools are offered by each website builder and how you can use these tools and features to improve your SEO. Finally, make sure your website builder has the ability to connect to Google Analytics (more to come in tip #8).
Here are some quick tips on how you can improve your SEO.
7. Can be Integrated with Social Media
Social media is important if you want to increase exposure and traffic to your website. That’s why your website builder should be able to integrate social media features. Specifically, you should check if your website builder allows you to put social media sharing buttons on your website and blog.
By adding social media sharing buttons to your website, you can easily lead visitors to your social media channels and allow them to share your content with their network.
8. Google Analytics Integration
Your website analytics are important in making, developing, and improving your business strategy. Google Analytics is the top of the line when it comes to tracking and analyzing your website data.
With Google Analytics, you can track your daily visitors, analyze their interaction with your website, review their viewing or buying patterns, and more. Google Analytics also allows you to see which of your web pages are gaining the most traffic and which ones need further optimization.
Do yourself a favor and only use a website builder that offers Google Analytics integration. You won’t regret it.
9. Start with a Free Trial
When choosing a website builder, first check if there’s a free trial. This allows you to experience using the builder before investing your hard-earned money. You can usually get a good start on your website while using a free trial. Some free trials range from a couple of days to a month plus.
What better way to determine if a website builder platform is for you than to actually use it. If you want to explore the functions of the platform, then you should definitely take advantage of the free trial. The free trial also lets you determine for yourself if the builder is easy or difficult to use based on your skills and abilities.
10. 24-hour Customer Support
A DIY website builder is designed so that you can create great websites without the need for designer/developer skills. However, there may be situations where you may need additional assistance. Perhaps you need help locating a certain feature. Or, the website doesn’t look right even though the preview is perfect. Or an app that you embedded may not be working properly.
In any case, you may need the help of a professional. That’s where customer support comes in! Any website builder you choose should provide access to 24-hour customer support. Whether through email, phone call, or chat, customer support should be readily available and easy to work with to get your problem resolved as quickly as possible.
You may also find it helpful to read customer reviews about website builders. These reviews help you determine how the builder fares against other competitors, giving you a better idea of which website builder you should choose.
Ready to build your own website? By doing your research and picking out the right DIY website builder, you’ll have your new website up and running in no time!