Nowadays, a professional website is crucial for business growth. In fact, every day you go without a successful website, you lose sales. However, creating a website in the online world can often seem like a minefield.
But, here’s the good news; although web design appears complicated, you don’t really have to understand coding or design to create a great one – you can use a website builder instead!
If you have no idea what a website builder is, don’t panic. This article will talk you through everything, including what website builders are best suited to and how to choose the best platform for your business.
Website builders are software platforms that enable you to create a website without any coding experience. Instead, a website builder does the hard work for you, converting your drag-and-drop commands into the appropriate code.
Website builders typically supply templates, features, and popular themes that are inspired by successful web designs, giving you unrivalled insight into how to create an effective, user-friendly webpage.
And, with 59% of all website traffic generated from mobile devices, it’s crucial to optimize your website for mobile users.
Once a template is selected, you can then customize many of the features and may even be able to add contact forms and upload videos, creating an entirely unique, aesthetically pleasing, and functional website.
However, there are so many website platforms out there, that it can often be overwhelming to choose the right one. The true answer depends on the type of business and your specific needs.
Whether you are a small business owner or run a large corporation, the most important thing to consider when choosing a website building platform is what you plan to accomplish with your website.
Are you focused on creating a secure website? Do you want to incorporate a blog into your page? Or are you most concerned with generating leads?
Whatever the answer, there is an ideal website building platform out there for your specific needs. This article provides you with all the pros and cons you need to know about before deciding on the best website platform for you.
There’s no better place to kick off our comparison than with the world’s most popular website building platform, WordPress.
The self-hosted WordPress content management system (CMS) tops our list not only because of its popularity, but because it’s easy to use, scalable, and boasts valuable, interesting features.
WordPress is a free and open-source website builder, meaning you have full ownership of your website without any third-party control. It can be used for any kind of website, whether an ecommerce store, community forum, landing page, or even a social network.
This factor also gives you maximum privacy when compared to other platforms, which is often the deciding factor for many businesses. In fact, the US Government, CNN, and Microsoft even use WordPress for this very reason.
However, this independence means you are solely responsible for the upkeep of your website, so you ideally need to have some technical experience to make the most of the platform’s flexibility.
WordPress provides you with thousands of high quality, pre-made themes you can use as a base for your design, but it also gives you access to more than 59,000 free plugins. Plugins, like apps but tailored to WordPress, allow you to add features to your website, like a shopping basket, live chat, or photo gallery.
Additionally, it comes with robust search engine optimization (SEO) tools to help your website achieve high rankings in search engines like Google – and we all know how important SEO is in driving traffic to your page.
It can also be fully translated into over 75 languages, meaning you can easily create a multilingual website. So, combined with all of the above benefits, it is no surprise that WordPress is the most popular option across the globe!
In May 2018, software giant, Adobe, famous for its Photoshop image editing software, acquired open source ecommerce website builder, Magento Open Source (Magento).
Magento was launched in 2008 by two friends who couldn’t find an ecommerce platform that did exactly what they were looking for – so they set up their own!
It was designed as an out-of-the-box solution, with the option of being enhanced by developers who are experienced in coding. It has unlimited capabilities in terms of customization, with the ability to incorporate thousands of plugins and apps, whether pre-designed or created by you.
It also has a fully integrated checkout, payment, and shipping solution, as well as a site search function and an easy upload catalogue management system.
Magento optimizes your site for mobile browsers too, automatically resizing images and text to suit mobile users, which is an essential feature in today’s technology-obsessed society.
These features make Magento an ideal platform for small business owners who want a simple site to manage their online store.
While Magento is an open-source platform, Adobe Commerce is an enterprise-level website builder with additional features and support available for users.
In other words, Adobe Commerce is the bigger, fuller, and more feature-packed brother of Magento, providing your business with unlimited growth potential.
However, adding Magento to its platform means Adobe’s new and existing ecommerce customers can manage their store, analytics, and marketing in a single platform.
Although both Magento and Adobe Commerce offer customization, Adobe Commerce is more flexible, as it allows you to tailor the customer experience with minimal coding, making it easy to create a unique and engaging user experience.
Whereas Magento users must rely on community support and online forums, Adobe Commerce comes with full support for customers, including 24/7 technical support, bug fixes, and automatic security updates.
By using industry-leading artificial intelligence (AI), Adobe Commerce provides highly personalized customer experiences and in-depth shopper analysis.
Overall, Adobe Commerce is definitely a practical choice for large ecommerce sites looking to establish a central business hub.
If you’re looking to start an online store, regardless of size, then WooCommerce is an ideal option.
The platform is the most popular ecommerce website builder, which is a form of open-source software built on top of WordPress. It’s free to build a website with them – you just need a domain name and web hosting to get started!
It’s a particularly popular solution for ecommerce sites because it gives you complete control over your website and comes with every feature you could imagine to run a successful online store.
It allows you to accept payments using its internal system, or, unlike Shopify, lets you integrate with over 83 other payment solutions like PayPal, Klarna, and Apple Pay for no extra cost.
Designed specifically for online stores, Shopify is another popular ecommerce website builder used by millions of businesses in 175 countries worldwide.
Shopify is a fully-hosted provider – it maintains your software, installs updates, and looks after other technical elements of your website so that you don’t have to!
It comes with hundreds of design options, as well as full inventory management, unlimited products, and easy marketing processes all in one place.
However, unlike other platforms, you must use its integrated payment system, Shopify Payments, unless you pay an added 2% transaction fee for each alternative payment received.
With corporations like TikTok in its portfolio, it’s no surprise that Shopify’s platform is incredibly popular across the globe. Could you be their next customer?
Aimed at small to medium businesses, BigCommerce is an ecommerce website builder that allows you to easily create an online store with a focus on scale.
It comes with all the necessary features your business needs to keep your overhead costs low, and profit margins high.
As a fully-hosted solution, BigCommerce handles the server and technical side of the site, so you don’t have to worry about speed, security, or updates. It is also fully optimized for use on mobile devices, which simplifies category and product pages to enhance both SEO and user experience.
Unlike other options in this list, BigCommerce boasts a native integration with WordPress, allowing you to benefit from WordPress’ flexibility alongside BigCommerce’s ecommerce expertise – it’s the best of both platforms!
Kooomo, meaning omnichannel, is one of Europe’s leading ecommerce website builders that promises to deliver increased sales and enhanced efficiency with one reliable, affordable, and adaptable solution.
You probably haven’t heard of Kooomo before, not just because of its unusual name, but, having launched in 2015, it’s a relatively new kid on the website building block.
However, its newness does not come with a lack of experience. In actual fact, the team behind Kooomo have worked under a different name since 2000, gaining experience and large corporate customers along the way.
As well as its core features built directly into the platform, Kooomo boasts full-scale customization and flexibility, as it allows retailers to seamlessly integrate with third-party applications with little extra development work.
In other words, Kooomo is basically an end-to-end solution that facilitates online business management, allowing you to manage each step of the ecommerce journey through a single unified platform.
Overall, each of the website builders discussed has its own unique strengths and weaknesses depending on what sort of website you are looking to build.
So, the most important thing you can do before choosing a platform is to consider what you are aiming to achieve. Perhaps make a list of ‘must haves’ and ‘desirables’ and use these to whittle down the best choice for your individual needs.
However, building a website can be time-consuming and requires a degree of technical support and expertise to achieve optimal results.
If you’re still confused about website building, whether it’s uncertainty over what your website needs or which platform to choose, we can help guide you through this exciting step in your business journey.
Or, equally, we can help your business seamlessly transition from one website platform to another.
With almost 20 years of experience in website building, we possess the relevant knowledge in-house to create a tailored website that delivers results on any of the mentioned platforms.
So, what are you waiting for? Get in contact with us today!
Written by Annabelle Crook.