As a small business owner, I know how hard it can be to build, design and manage your own website. There was a time that I was not as tech savvy as I am now. Therefore I would find myself paying people to build me the simplest sales landing page. Luckily times have changed.
Today it has become much easier to build a website yourself. More importantly, even the most non-tech savvy entrepreneur can build a beautiful company website for free. Here are three free website builders every business owner can easily use:
Wix, already a household name, offers stunning and 100% functional websites so you can easily place your business content within pages without having to brainstorm a ‘creative’ layout. The only real downside of Wix templates is that once you pick a template, you can’t change it. So, if you plan to use Wix to create your first company website, be sure you select a template design that can satisfy your business needs when it grows.
The Wix website builder is pure a drag and drop interface. You can include just about any website component (also referred to as elements) you like into your business website. Wix offers some advanced controls within element options for enhanced styling capabilities. But remember, even if you can’t change the original template you do have more control over how each element is styled and placed inside your website.
IM Creator was the first HTML5 website builder released to market over 3 years ago. It is still one of the best website builders most business owners haven’t heard of yet. Their main selling point is unique templates that are professionally designed and on-trend. One look at their website templates and you are bound to see the difference when compared to other website builders.
Much like other platforms, IM Creator offers an easy to use drag and drop interface that allows a user (without design or coding skills) to create a beautiful company website.
The downside is a lack of template variety. While Wix offers around 200 templates, IM Creator offers approximately 100. However, a 100 templates is still enough to cover a multitude of website design options.
Weebly templates are more than enough for business needs. While Weebly is currently releasing more and more site designs, their templates are not as good looking as the Wix versions.
However, you do have the flexibility with Weebly’s platform to change your template whenever you want without starting over. Another upside to using Weebly is this: it allows you to create your website through a code editor, using a simple HTML/CSS Editor. This is an extremely important feature of Weebly’s platform, since using code enables the user to customize their website in practically any way they want it.
Weebly is similar to Wix and IM Creator given it provides users the ability to insert drag and drop elements, but currently you may only place them in certain areas of the template. While this seems limiting, Weebly likely does this to create consistency among their website template offerings. With Weebly, you may end up with a plain looking website, but the benefit to having a simpler design is that your website will load faster and reduce bounce rates.
Keep in mind, if you use a website builder you will miss out on certain things. The downside for using DIY website builder platforms is a lack of plugins. For instance, GetResponse is great for your email sign-ups, while Yoast can improve on-site SEO. These downsides can negatively impact your online marketing efforts in the long run.
To summarize, Wix, IMcreator, and Weebly are all great choices if you are interested in doing things on your own and without paying a premium price for website design services, but keep in mind that while DIY solutions are cheap, they are also limiting.
Avishai Sam Bitton is the Founder of Go Social Israel and a Marketing Manager at imonomy. He loves Internet startups, PC gaming, Star Wars, blogging, photography, LinkedIn and Linda. Connect with @startupbloggers on Twitter.
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