Small businesses benefit dramatically from a solid web presence and the rise of Etsyin recent years is just one indicator of how the Internet can boost their sales. But for many small business owners, creating a customized website seems daunting. The process can be costly and lengthy and many business owners don’t know where to begin.
DIY Website Builders Mean Any Small Business Can Have a Website
The recent boom of many do-it-yourself website buildershas helped to empower small businesses by reducing the barriers to entry into the digital market. To build a professional, well-designed website today requires tens of dollars rather than thousands, or sometimes nothing at all.
Building a website doesn’t have to be complicated. Most small businesses don’t need websites with an encyclopedia of bells and whistles; they need nothing more than a simple “business card” website which includes important details such as services, contact information and social media links. But even for those small businesses with extensive product lists and dozens of options, many popular website builders can provide them with just what they need. In fact,today’s website builders offer such a range of functionalities and design options that for most small businesses they are a better choice than hiring a dedicated developer.
Choosing the Best Website Builder for Your Business
There are many options on the market today. From the website builder by Wix, a platform now boasting more than 70 million users, to Weebly, Squarespace, Jimdo and dozens more who are all vying for market share.Each one has its pros and cons, but at the end of the day most charge a nominal fee for a website (from being absolutely free to $300 a month) and allow users to drag-and-drop page elements where they want them without needing to know code. Building a website is as easy as playing a game on your smart phone, so small business owners can go from no website to a live version in just a few hours.
Add Endless Functionalities to Your New Website
Whether a small business needs impressive eCommerce features which can track the inventory of a brick-and-mortar store, email newsletters, secure check out, or the ability to advertise specials in social media, website builders have really begun to push the envelope in terms of offering great tools which used to prohibitively expensive.
Here’s a breakdown of some of thesmall business tools website builders are providing… sometimes for free, thus saving businesses thousands of dollars in development costs.
- Shopping Carts:It might seem strange to hear, but shopping carts are technically difficult to code and have many different variables where things can go wrong. But website builders provide easy-to-use shopping carts for their clients, often at no additional cost, or for just a small percentage of sales.
- Secure Payment Gateways: Having a shopping cart is one thing, but accepting various forms of payment quite another. It used to be true that unless they were willing to shellout big bucks, small businesses with websites were limited to payment options like Paypal. But today businesses can choose from many payment options and website builders handle all the security issues for the small businesses.
- Great Design: No one wants a template-looking websiteand several of the top website builders allow such a depth and ease of customizationthat almost no two websites will look similar. No matter how unskilled a user is, the final site can look terrific.
- Business Emails:Setting up an business email account can be a costly headache even with the help of a developer, but website builders have taken the hassle out of the equation, and most offer an affordable business email solutionfor clients.
- Reaching Clients: How can a business owner make sure that customers will see their new website? Today, many website builders offer great tools and information to help their users learn best practices in everything from PPC to SEO, banner advertisingand social media campaigns. Proud of your new website? The right website builder will help you promote it and bring in traffic!
Small businesses are often short on resources and also often face steep competition. It can be challenging for them to compete on the web for potential clients. Luckily, the do-it-yourself website builder platforms have helped to level the playing field, putting many of the same tools, tips, and tricks that larger companies use in the hands of start-ups, individuals and small businesses.