11 Best Site Builders for Small Businesses
The Time-Poor Startup
If you’re short on time, you want a website builder that can cut through the detail without compromising on quality, and you’re probably already thinking about the one-page website strategy.
One page websites are now commonplace. They rely on large photos, headers and lists to get the point across in clear, simple sections. One page websites just need the essential content – so build times are shorter, and overall it’s often a more efficient setup.
Strikingly is the best website builder for creating one page websites. While other website builders technically let you build one page websites, Strikingly actually specializes in one page websites, so the interface is considerably better than competitor offerings.
Never Built a Site Before?
Plenty of people find updating their Facebook profile a battle, nevermind building a website! If that sounds familiar, then you’re looking for Weebly. Weebly is perfect for anyone looking for something easy to use; but, it also isn’t dumbed down, so you still get a professional product and service. Features are simple and clear – ideal for starting out!
Those Who Really Need Precision
Most website builders offer drag-and-drop— but with subtle limitations.
Occasionally I will get an email from a reader who wants to be able to control every aspect of their website. They want true drag-and-drop— like you would find in Powerpoint. I point them towards Wix or Webstarts. Both are true drag and drop editors.
For the Tech-Savvy
Find website builders a bit too limiting? You may be ready to graduate to a design tool such as Webflow, Froont or Webydo.
Design tools have a steeper learning curve but provide a lot more flexibility and power. They don’t require you to learn how to code, but the environments are code-like (similar in complexity to Photoshop). This means you can design a theme from scratch, as well as build completely bespoke functionality if needed.
Address Your Artistic Side
Steve Jobs would tell a story about how his father— a carpenter— cared as much about the back of a cabinet as the front. Jobs said this is where he learned the importance of craftsmanship and attention to detail. This story seems to echo the thinking behind Squarespace, where everything is polished, and nothing ever feels half-baked.
If you have an artistic sensibility towards beauty and integrity, go with Squarespace. They build beautiful software that in turn, builds beautiful websites. Plus, their themes are stunning and are great at showcasing impressive visuals.
Format is the best website builder for photographers, and that’s no idle boast – of 823 real-life photographers surveyed recently, Format won out with the highest customer satisfaction rate.
An enormous 95% of photographers said they would recommend it, likely due to the impressive combination of beautiful themes, ease of use and reasonable price.
There’s a bit of a hidden secret here – although many website builders advertise that they support podcasting, they actually don’t. Instead they just have embeddable “audio players”, which are only half the story. The vital thing podcasters need is a specific RSS feed to share with podcast stores like iTunes and Overcast, which require Podcast-specific fields to be completed to accept submissions.
Squarespace is the only website builder that actually supports podcast RSS feeds!
Multilingual Websites Talk the Talk
Voog is the best option for people who need a multi-lingual website. For example: Canadian websites often need French and English versions, while pan-European may need several languages to perform effectively.
Voog was developed in digitally-savvy Estonia, so the developers have a good understanding of what multi-lingual websites need and they’ve been built excellent tools to support it.
Blog for Victory
Squarespace and WordPress.com are both an excellent choice for blogging. Both supply all the important features (comments, customizable permalinks, scheduled posts, drafts, RSS feeds etc.) and both have beautiful post editors, as well as a vast range of exciting blog-friendly themes.
Are you a serious Photoshop user? Then you’ll probably be at home in Adobe Muse. Muse is Adobe’s website builder— and the interface is very similar to Photoshop.
Users comfortable in Photoshop will find a quick home in Muse.
The Retailer: Stunning Stores
Overwhelmingly, Shopify is the most beloved store builder by its users. In a recent survey of 917 store-requiring businesses, 98% of them recommended Shopify.
It’s a great store builder because it’s easy to use— but also because it’s easy to customize. Using their app store you can add an enormous amount of features.
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