Which Website Platform Is Best For My Business?


Most small businesses don’t have the budget to hire expert developers and designers to create a customized website and host it on a personal domain. Those that do, can find the task an added hassle considering the plethora of responsibilities they already have.


Then there are those who have never put their business on the digital map to begin with.


If you fall into any of these categories and would like to learn how to effectively set up a website – optimized for your business with ease of use, and minimal cost – then this guide is for you.


We have reviewed five of the most popular website platforms used by businesses to help you find the perfect one for your website.


Why Does My Business Need A Website?

It is imperative for companies to have a website because there are 1.8 billion consumers on the internet, and 70-80% of them search businesses online before making a purchase.

A web presence also aids brand development, and keeps you in the know of your competition.


Benefits Of An Optimized Website To Small Businesses

Optimizing your website for search engines, using SEO tactics, is your company’s ticket to land a coveted spot on the first page of SERPs.

Done right, this can increase your business’s visibility and increase the number of incoming leads, and eventually result in a higher ROI.


What Is The Best Website Builder For Small Business?

While there isn’t a definite answer to this, most website building platforms offer services and features that can help brands build optimized websites.

Some website builders offer superior design flexibility, others provide more add-on apps that help with business expansion.

So a platform that is great for e-commerce might not be the perfect fit for a content marketing agency.


How Can I Create A Small Business Website For Free?

Whether you don’t have a website or want to update an old one, paying for coding, development, domain, and hosting separately can take a toll on your finances.

To remedy this, many free, freemium and affordable website builders have emerged in the market, offering users to design and run websites – whether you’re a technical expert or not.


Before you can set up a website for your business it is important for you to determine what you want. Ask yourself:

  • What is the main purpose of the website?

  • What would you like your website to be named?

  • Do you want more control over customization and design?

These platforms provide a host of features to business owners and include everything from unique templates to online stores, and blogs for SEO.


If you want to design your website for free – or at low cost – you can hop on to any of the following platforms that provide the best options for your business.


1. Wix

How To Create A Website in Wix?

Step 1: Sign Up For A Plan

Step 2: Choose A Template

Step 3: Update Content And Graphics

Step 4: Select A Personalized Background

Step 5: Integrate Apps

Step 6: Set Up A Blog Or Store

Step 7: Publish


Wix is the ideal platform to establish a blog. Not only does it provide its users two different methods of blog building, but it also allows you to build a blog via its mobile app, Wix Blog.


Who Can Benefit From This Platform?

Wix offers a large number of services to its users with its drag and drop website building feature, and free design templates.

The platform is perfect for all types of businesses as it can help you reach the right audiences in every industry.


Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Pros: Undoubtedly one of the best site-builders out there; it is easy to use and requires minimum technical proficiency and offers free and inexpensive paid plans for businesses to choose from.

  • Cons: However, the platform does come with its downsides. With lesser design flexibility, it does not allow builders to switch between themes once the website is published – so be careful what you choose because you might be stuck with the design for a while.


Is Wix Good For SEO?

Wix is great for SEO as it uses a ‘Wiz’ to guide users through the optimization process.

It also offers additional features to perfect your website’s SEO, such as:

  • Optimizing URLs

  • Tailoring meta descriptions

  • Updating image alt tags


Domain Usage

As the ultimate solution to website building, you don’t have to worry about buying domains or hosting.

However, if you are updating an old site and moving it to Wix, it enables users to transfer their personal domain name to the platform.


Online Store Availability

Wix is a great choice for e-commerce businesses and offers a host of free add-ons that aid business owners in managing orders, bookings, and finances.


Price

A freemium service, with one free plan and seven paid plans that offer additional features such as customized domain names and added bandwidth.

However, it is one of the cheaper solutions on the market with its premium plans ranging between $5 and $35 per month.


Difficulty To Use

Wix is one of the easiest platforms to use. Not only does it have an easy drag-and-drop design, but it also has an automated software (Wix ADI) to build your site for you.


2. Shopify

How To Create A Website in Shopify?

Step 1: Sign Up

Step 2: Add a Product

Step 3: Customize The Design

Step 4: Setup Up A Domain


Shopify is a great platform for small businesses and start-ups and even caters to individuals who just want to sell without an established company.

It also comes with a built-in blogging engine to help you generate inbound leads.


Who Can Benefit From This Platform?

E-commerce businesses of all sizes can use Shopify to build efficient websites designed for online shopping portals.


Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Pros: The platform provides a one-stop solution for web development and hosting, as it automatically manages software, keeps backups, and installs updates.

  • Cons: However, it is one of the more expensive options on the list and also makes it difficult to move your website off the platform.

Is Shopify Good For SEO?

Shopify provides businesses to optimize their web stores for promotion and a decent spot on the SERPs.


Domain Usage

Since Shopify hosts your store itself, there is no reason for you to buy an additional domain. However, if you want to have a more professional custom domain, it can be integrated with the platform.


Online Store Availability

Since Shopify primarily caters to e-commerce businesses, it provides a number of applications that allow users to not only sell online, but also facilitate global shipping payments.


Price

Shopify is neither free, nor cheap compared to other site builders, but this is primarily because it has a lot more to offer.

The commonly used premium plans at Shopify can cost between $29 per month and $299 per month, however, they also offer a Lite plan for $9 monthly.


Difficulty To Use

Shopify has a simple user interface, which means the only thing difficult about the platform is to lose your bearings.

They have a wizard that can help you through all the steps of website building and guides you till the very end.


3. WordPress

How To Create A Website in Wordpress?

Step 1: Purchase A Domain Name And Hosting

Step 2: Select A Theme

Step 3: Add Content

Step 4: Customize


If you’re a small business looking for the best website platform for blogging, you need not look further than WordPress, with its unique templates and quick publishing.


Who Can Benefit From This Platform?

Small e-commerce businesses, bloggers, and content oriented businesses can all benefit from the design, features and ease WordPress provides.


Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Pros: If you want to have complete control over all aspects of your website, WordPress allows you to customize to the T. Additionally, it offers access to a large number of third party plug-ins for a far more versatile service.

  • Cons: However, because it is a self-hosted platform, users need to have a strong grip on coding before setting up their website.


Is Wordpress Good For SEO?

WordPress is content oriented and content is the cornerstone of every good SEO strategy. It offers a plug-in, Yoast, which provides a comprehensive solution to all your SEO needs.


Domain Usage

While WordPress is free, this self-hosted platform requires you to purchase a domain name and hosting.


Online Store Availability

WordPress facilitates online selling with its widely downloaded plug-in WooCommerce – an easy to install and extremely customizable add-on.


Price

Like we said, WordPress as a software is absolutely free, but since you have to pay the platform for other things – SSL certificates, plug-ins, themes, and web hosting – calculating the costs can be difficult.

Unlike most web-builders, WordPress doesn’t offer a clearly laid out premium plans for its users.


Difficulty To Use

If you aren’t tech-savvy, you might have a difficult time getting used to WordPress. Not only do you need to learn how to host, customization on the platform requires coding knowledge.


4. Squarespace

How To Create A Website in Squarespace?

Step 1: Sign Up And Choose A Plan

Step 2: Select A Theme

Step 3: Add A Domain

Step 4: Add Or Edit Pages To Include e-commerce Features And Images


While Squarespace includes a blogging engine, with great features - free domain, SSL certificates, and unlimited bandwidth – they come at a steep price that can be expensive for new bloggers to afford.


Who Can Benefit From This Platform?

Squarespace is a great site-builder for those who value design above all else.

Businesses that cater to the youth and want to give a contemporary vibe can benefit from the huge range of features being offered.


Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Pros: Squarespace is one of the most feature-rich solutions in the market right now, offering beautiful templates to creative entrepreneurs.

  • Cons: However, not only is the platform expensive with only a limited choice of premium plans, it can also be difficult to use for those new to web development.

Is Squarespace Good For SEO?

Squarespace provides SEO services like:

  • URL optimization

  • Customized meta tags and image alt tags

However, there is no specific app that caters to SEO and prompts users to adhere to best practices.


Domain Usage

The website has two policies for domain usage:

Those who purchase an annual plan get one free domain

Anyone who has a Squarespace site can purchase domains for a year for $20 to $70.


Online Store Availability

There are no specific apps or plug-ins that cater to e-commerce sites and users can only benefit from the in-built online selling features offered by the platform.


Price

Squarespace offers four premium plans that cost between $12 per month to $40 per month, making it one of the more expensive website platforms.

However, it does offer new users a trial run of 14 days at no cost.


Difficulty To Use

Squarespace can be tricky to use, especially when you compare it to other drag-and-drop platforms on the market.

Nevertheless, for those who don’t mind learning for the sake of design, Squarespace can be fairly easy to use after a few tries.


5. Weebly

How To Create A Website in Weebly?

Step 1: Sign Up

Step 2: Select A Theme

Step 3: Choose A Domain

Step 4: Design

Step 5: Add Apps

Step 6: Add A Store


After WordPress, Weebly is the next best bet for those who like to blog. It has an intuitive builder that offers powerful functionality and enables users to create content oriented websites.


Who Can Benefit From This Platform?

Weebly caters to everyone – from internet savvy business owners who want to build large websites to those who just want a space to share their work online.

The platform is great for small stores, startups, and even entrepreneurs.


Advantages And Disadvantages

  • Pros: Just like Wix, Weebly also has a drag-and-drop design feature that allows you to build sites with the weebly.com subdomain. It also provides powerful e-commerce tools for newer businesses.

  • Cons: Despite its free plan, Weebly can get a little annoying to use owing to all the ads it runs, which might require you to upgrade to a premium plan.

Is Weebly Good For SEO?

While the platform does come with SEO features, some of them can be difficult to locate and implement, and designers may have to resort to third party apps.


Domain Usage

Weebly already provides you a sub-domain to host your site, however, for those who want a customized personal domain to appear more authentic, it is possible to buy domains.


Online Store Availability

You have access to three types of online stores at Weebly, which allow you to sell different number of products at varying price packages.

Online store prices:

  • Pro: Sell up to 25 products for $12

  • Business: Sell unlimited products and manage the tax and shipping options for $25

  • Business Plus: All Business features + advanced e-commerce features $38

Price

Weebly is a freemium service that offers one free plan and three premium plans costing $8, $12 and $25 per month.


Difficulty To Use

Setting up your site using Weebly is easy, and only requires a few steps. In fact, for someone who has done this before, website building should take only 60 seconds on the platform.


Final Word

Building your website may seem like a difficult task; especially with a tedious process of dealing with designers and developers. However, with inexpensive options now available, small businesses can now set up a site within minutes.


The best website building tool for your business depends on your specific requirements and your technological prowess.


If you want to breeze through an easy drag-and-drop design, you can benefit from platforms like Wix and Weebly. But for those who like to have ultimate control over customization, Shopify, Squarespace and WordPress may be the ones for you.


Do you want to boost your organic traffic? Interested in SEO & content services for your website? We are here to help!

720-541-5880

SEO Consultant in Denver, Colorado

SERP WOLF is an SEO and content consultancy for startups and small businesses. SEPP Wolf is committed to helping your business succeed. We understand that every business deserves special attention and focus on adopting a personalized approach when it comes to analyzing and optimizing your website to reach more customers.