You want to set up a website and you're at your wit's end not knowing where to get started. There's the coding, designing and hosting to be done. Now, if you are not a professional, you are likely to have a tough time wading through all the technicalities. Thankfully, there are dozens of site builders out there to give you hand. They make it as easy as select, customize, preview and load.
But not all site builders measure the same. There are some that earn their brownie points for the right blend of features they offer. That's what makes website building a real cakewalk. If you are currently scouring the web for a site builder, here's a list of features to look for.
Ease of Use –
It is by far the most important. When talking about the ease of use, it includes creating the website as well as maintaining it. It should involve a minimum learning curve. The site builder should be designed for both beginners and advanced users alike. Opt for an interactive user interface with step-by-step instructions. If you need to, test the site before you pay for it.
Site builder software are as adept at building professional-looking websites as by trained website designers. However, it is possible only if you have the ability to customize. Else, there will be a dozen sites running the same template, and that may cause a few branding issues.
There should be an extensive gallery of prebuilt templates and quality images enabling you to create elegant and visually appealing websites. Look for a site builder that allows you to change color scheme and font styles, customize background settings, add, remove or reposition elements (images, logos and graphical features), spacing and margins. The bottom line is that you should be able to personalize the template and the layout to meet your needs, functionally and aesthetically.
The number of features you have access may depend on the plan you have opted for.
You can enroll for a few extra features at an added cost. Some of them include:
· E-stores with fully integrated inventory and sales management systems.
· Adding eCommerce payment options
· Free plan for blogs
· Adding RSS feeds and message boards
· Contact forms
· Website tracking services
· Syncing with autoresponders
This is for when your business grows. Not all website builders allow you to export the code or migrate to another platform or let a developer takeover. If yours does, there is nothing like it.
The website needs to be hosted after it is created. Hosting can be free or paid. You generally have to pay for a custom domain name. Free domain names are never good if the website is a business website. When choosing hosting consider the amount of space allotted to you (affects load speed) and bandwidth.
In an age of smartphones, it is necessary that your website be optimized for mobile screens and not just computer layouts. Sites that are not take very long to load, and it is a major put off.
One of the main reasons people choose a site builder over a professional website designer is cost. There are free and paid platforms. The free variants are limited in their when it comes to feature and level of customization. You will require an upgrade to a premium plan. There are a lot of low cost site builders that offer you good features at a cost that is affordable to you. Compare price with features.
To conclude, the best site builder is not necessarily the priciest one with high-end features. It just needs to have the necessary features to do the job it is designed for.