The website builder that powers your site is very vital to how efficiently it would run. Today, there are tons of site builders to choose from, therefore, selecting the best option is a delicate step that has to be made with the right information at hand. Addressing the question; what is the best free website builder for small businesses, Wix remains top for small businesses looking to own a site without any form of hassle. However, keep in mind that as your business grows, you would surely have to migrate to a paid version to enjoy the full benefits of the website builder.
The relevance of websites for businesses today
In today’s economy, no business can thrive without any form of digital presence, and as a business, the largest digital footprint you can create is to own your website. Although social media accounts would help you reach out to customers easier, in the end, it’s someone else’s space and not yours.
Therefore, one rule violation and your page with millions of followers could be deactivated permanently. This is why social media pages for businesses should only exist to drive traffic to your website, which is yours and completely under your control.
What are the standout features of a website builder?
A website builder is an all-in-one stop for businesses looking to avoid the hassle of dealing with hosting, or purchasing a domain name, as it covers all. With a website builder, you can do away with the stress of hiring a team of developers and website designers for a small price of learning how the builder works. Basically, the best standout feature of a website builder is flexibility. This means that it should be flexible and customizable enough to do whatever it is you want. You can learn how to design your website for free here.
This feature is based on the premise that different businesses have varying website requirements. For example, an eCommerce business favors a website layout that allows easy display of images and less text, while technology companies would favor more content to describe their products in detail. However, this does not mean that they do away with the other multimedia on their site.
Other standout features to take note of include:
Low learning curve
A low learning curve simply means that it is very easy to master. Therefore, you would be spending little time on understanding the platform and how to use it. Examples of website builders with such include Wix, Weebly, WordPress.com, and more, as they take a few hours or minutes to complete from start to finish. However, you can even opt for a much easier platform like Site123 that goes straight to the point, ensuring there’s little or no learning curve at all.
This feature is nonnegotiable for businesses that sell some form of product or another. Basically, eCommerce compatibility means that it hosts the full functionality of eCommerce as its free plan, allowing you to make money at minimal marketing and developer cost. From live chat to contact forms, email marketing tools, creating promotional videos, sales and manage campaigns, and more, eCommerce functionality is a very important feature to keep an eye out for.
As a business website, you would like to avoid aggravating ads as much as possible. Most times, it could be distracting, causing potential customers to click out of your site instead of staying on. Platforms like WordPress.com and Site123 places ads on their free version although minimal, while others like Weebly do not across all the packages. In the end, it all depends on what you are okay seeing on your site and how much you’re willing to pay to get the best.
Low upgrade cost
Surely, everyone wants the best deal, and if possible, for free. However, although all the website builders listed here offer free versions, their functionality is limited. One of the major drawbacks is the fact that their domain would be attached to yours. For example www.iconicdigital.wordpress.com. This means that as your business grows, would need to upgrade. This is why you should look ahead and go for the best and most affordable around your budget.
What is the best free website builder for small business? Top 7 List in 2021
At the moment, the top website builders for small businesses include the following:
Wix remains one of the most popular website builders around the world, with many considering it second to none. This is rightfully so, as it affords you optimal flexibility, as well as enough customization to get going right away. Basically, not only does the website builder offer hundreds of templates, but it also allows the easy-to-use drag and drop customization that allows you to build your site from scratch to exactly what you desire.
Therefore, you can create an amazing website for your specific type of business without knowing a single line of code. Also, Wix offers another convenience feature in the artificial design intelligence (ADI) software. The software works by asking you series of questions based on the type of website you want to have, and after that, it designs the site according to your answers. That is simply amazing.
You also have access to the Wix App market, allowing you to download and utilize hundreds of integrations to further customize your site. This option is available on the free package, which is something most other website designers do not offer. Asides from customizations, Wix offers several marketing tools and SEO for free, helping your site rank faster on google and building your organic web traffic. However, note that with the free plan, you can’t customize your URL.
The Weebly website builder is as easy to use as it gets, due to its drag and drops design approach. Basically, this helps keep your website modern and mobile-friendly for free. Weebly is ideal for small businesses, as it allows you to set up your eCommerce website with series of attractive layouts available to make it as unique and enticing as possible.
In addition to that, Weebly is a Square Brand company, therefore, making it easy to integrate your site with a physical store payment and accounting. If you choose, you can even opt for the in-store pickup options for your visitors. Inventory management while using Weebly is also free and beneficial to eCommerce businesses since it helps them keep track of their products. Certainly, Weebly ranks high among the answers to the question, what is the best free website builder for small business.
With the built-in SEO architecture, you can be sure to receive faster google ranking results on your site. If you wish, you can also create designated landing pages or take advantage of contact forms as a means to capture leads. Weebly also has a community where you can ask questions and seek help if you encounter difficulties, or better still, you can send them an email for support requests at no charge. Certainly, with all these, Weebly boasts of the resources you need to take your small business to the next level.
Certainly the most popular website builder in the whole world, WordPress remains one of the very best at providing a platform for businesses. However, note that this is the website builder WordPress.com, not the open end WordPress.org (a content management system) that requires a hosting and domain name. With WordPress.com, all of that is handled by the company, while they leave you to focus on designing the website of your choice.
Designed for blogging, wordpress.com has all the features you require to run a successful blog or content-focused business website. Basically, its design is simplified and very easy to use as it requires no form of coding. WordPress.com offers 3GB of storage, which is very generous compared to other website builders without subscribing to the paid plan. Also, note that the platform is designed especially for bloggers, therefore, you might struggle using it outside that niche.
With around 30 million users around the world, Webnode is one of the most popular website builders for small businesses. Basically, the platform is designed for those who do not have much time to spend designing from scratch. Therefore, as a result, it in a way limits your creative potential compared to other builders on this list.
After getting past the signup process, Webnode publishes your template on the internet immediately. You can access the site through your email and proceed to fully customize it thereafter. It is literally quick to set up as you can be done in as fast as 5 minutes. All you need to do is find your way around with the existing templates and customize them to your taste.
Site123 is one of the website builders loved by beginners. It is recommended by many top professionals as one of the best for businesses who are just starting out, as it allows you to establish your site in three steps. All you need to do is select your website type, add your business name and upload your images and content. After that, the platform takes care of the rest from its rich database of templates for different businesses, blogs, and even event pages. With Site123, you would be done and published in about an hour.
However, the downside with Site123 is that you do not have total creative control as it is designed for those just in need of a functional website. However, your website would be mobile-friendly and search engine optimized by default and does not require you to do anything on your end. As a plus, you also receive access to hundreds of images from Site123’s image bank and no limit on your use. Keep in mind that you have about 250MB of storage at your disposal on the free version.
Site123 only offers eCommerce functionality on its paid plan. However, for those looking for something simple like a homepage or business site for customer reference, the platform is perfect.
The team and brains behind Jimdo have just one goal, which is to help you build a free website as quickly as possible. Therefore, the platform’s architecture is designed in such a way that it stays simple enough to allow you to jump right in. Jimdo is the best choice when you need a quick and easy design website to act as a reference to your online store across social platforms like Facebook.
The website builder values simplicity above all, as it displays question mark tools tips distributed across editors to help you out. With this, you can easily find tasks like uploading images, replacing backgrounds, changing texts, and more. Also, you do not require any foreknowledge of coding to get the work done although you can opt to access the editor if you are more advanced in building websites.
SimpleSite literally prides itself in its name, SimpleSite. Basically, it is simple enough to allow you to edit your website from your mobile device. This is a really great feature for individuals looking to edit on the go or have a very small business and on a strict budget.
Although it seems like the appropriate answer to what is the best free website builder for small business, it has a serious downside. The downside is that it is literally too simple, and therefore, more suitable for hobby websites and single pages rather than a full-blown serious business website.
SimpleSite builder walks you through setting up different parts of your site by a step-by-step approach. Its animated Beaver is iconic and guides you through each page’s details before leading to the main editor. You then need to choose your layout and sadly, there are only two available, which is very poor compared to other top website builders on this list.
In the end, the best website builder for your business solely depends on your needs. For blogs or content-based businesses, wordpress.com is perfect, while for overall business website growth and eCommerce functionality, Wix and Weebly remain the undisputed choice.
However, for a more professional touch on your business site, we have an awesome team at Iconic digital world bursting with creativity and ready to give you the best. Simply contact us to get a free website evaluation and the best design tailored to your type of business.