Welcome to my website builder top picks for small businesses just like yours.
Whether you’re a local business such as a landscaper, hairdresser, daycare, or plumber, or you’re looking to sell products or services online, I’m confident that you’ll find a good fit right here on this page.
I should point out there isn’t such a thing as a “one size fits all solution” in the world of do-it-yourself website builders.
Choosing one can be just like buying a new car, you may need to test drive two or three before you find the right one.
It’s better to be comfortable with the builder before investing too much of your valuable time.
There’s nothing worse than spending days or even weeks creating your site, only to find it doesn’t have a particular business feature that you just can’t do without.
And on that note…
6 Things To Look For in a Small Business Website Builder
Each time I review a website builder, I do so against my very own, unique 30-point checklist covering everything from how customizable the templates are, to the level of help and support you can expect to receive and just about everything in between!
Below, you’ll find some of the essential features that it takes for a website builder to be worthy of your business.
I’m pleased to report that all of the selections which we’ll get to in just a second have all passed the test.
#1 Should be easy to use
As you’re in the trenches running your business or in the process of getting it off the ground, the last thing you want to be doing is spending weeks learning how to use your chosen website builder.
I was able to create a good looking site in around in an hour with all of the selections on this page. Obviously, it may take you a longer if you don’t have experience.
#2 Needs to be customizable to reflect your brand
If your business is established, you’ll probably have already chosen the colors of your brand and also have a logo.
It goes without saying that these things (at the very least) should be carried over to your website to help with brand recognition.
#3 Ability to add a blog
Is it just me, or does everyone seem to be blogging these days to help get the word out about their business?
Heck, you may even be doing it yourself to keep customers up to date with special offers and important information, and even help educate them with how-to videos etc.
Even if you don’t plan on starting a blog right away, it’s nice to know it’s there in case you decide to add one later on.
#4 Your site must be mobile-friendly
When I’m at home, I always use my laptop to browse the internet and do you know what?
I’m part of a dying breed as more and more people are turning to their mobile devices like their tablets or smartphones.
Especially when it comes to searching for a local business such as a carpet cleaner or hair salon.
Bottom line; Whether your business is online or offline, it’s essential that your site looks good and functions properly on these mobile devices or you WILL get left behind!
#5 Allowing people to contact you or book an appointment online
Only the other day, my partner was sat next to me on her tablet booking a hair appointment online. She visited her
She visited her regular hairdresser website, hit the “book now” button, and browsed the calender to find a suitable time and bingo, it was booked.
If you offer a service based business, this is something that many people will expect to be able to do these days.
At the very least, you should offer a contact form.
#6 eCommerce capabilities
If you sell physical or digital products then you’ll obviously need the ability to add a store to your site.
From there, you’ll want to add product images, descriptions, product variations and obviously be able to accept payments online.
Fear not, all of the options below, allow you to add a store to your site, because even if you don’t sell products right now, you may decide to in the future.
** Note: I should point out that the platforms below are a good option if you’re selling a few hundred products.If you starting out with the intention of rivaling the likes of eBay or Amazon, you may be better off with a specialized eCommerce platform such as Shopify which is specifically designed for this purpose.
Top 5 best website builders – Let’s take a closer look
#1 Wix for Business – Best All Rounder
#1 Wix offers users complete freedom. You can simply pick up text and images, and drop them wherever you wish on the page. Just about every aspect of your site can be customized so you won’t be bound like some of the other builders out there.
#2 Choose from over 500, great looking, modern, industry specific templates. Whether you’re a consultant, carpenter, in the automotive industry or you work with animals, I’m confident you’ll find a good match for your business.
#3 A wide range of add-on features available to add functionality to your website.
#4 A separate mobile editor allows you to work on the mobile version of your site separately in order to give your visitors a more streamlined experience.
#1 Personalized email address will set you back an extra $5 per month and will need to be registered through a third party.
#2 Once you choose a template, you’ll be unable to change to another unless you’re willing to start over.
In a nutshell:
I don’t mind admitting that I love Wix, It offers just about everything you need including a great training and support to help you get your site off the ground.
As I said previously, there’s no “one size fits all solution” so regardless of the fact Wix has achieved one of the highest scores on our site, it won’t be perfect for everyone so take advantage of the free account before committing.
#2 uKit – Specifically For Business Websites
#1 Only website builder on the list to focus solely on businesses.
#2 Around 300 beautiful templates covering a wide range of industries.
#3 All of the templates are designed to work great on mobile devices and automatically show the most important information at the top of the page such as your contact details etc.
#4 The in-house eCommerce platform (to add a store) is one of the simplest I’ve come across so far.
#5 Templates are customizable but not too much. On the contrary to what I said earlier, too much freedom can make for an ugly site if you don’t know what you’re doing.
#1 uKit allow you to create an online booking system but I feel the process could be a little simpler although there are detailed tutorials to walk you through the process.
#2 Again, a personalized email address to match your domain name (website name) will cost you a few dollars extra each month.
In a nutshell
I have to admit, I only reviewed uKit as they stated it was specifically for business sites and boy, I’m glad I did!
The beautiful, industry specific templates with pre-designed layouts are one of my favorite features along with how they work on mobile.
If you need your website to really go to work for you, you can certainly do a lot worse than uKit.
#3 Squarespace – Great For Visual Businesses, Online Businesses and Bloggers
#1 The design templates are striking and would lend themselves best to very visual businesses and people with great quality images.
#2 Squarespace boast one of the best blogging platforms of any do-it-yourself platform and in my opinion, a worthy rival to the almighty WordPress.
#3 Speaking of the WordPress platform, if you create your site with Squarespace and decide down the road that you’d like to move your website to a more powerful, self-hosted solution, Squarespace is one of the few platforms that allow you to do just that.
#4 Fast responses from the support team and a good training platform to help you get your site up and running.
#5 Robust eCommerce features available to all users (some features will be restricted depending on the plan).
#1 I feel Squarespace comes with a higher learning curve than some of the other options, but once I mastered it, I quite enjoyed building my test site.
#2 Personalized email address will cost you extra.
#3 From my experience, the members support forum was a little quiet at times.
In a nutshell
Prior to testing Squarespace, I’d heard great things about them and after getting stuck in, they definitely didn’t disappoint.
If you can spare a little extra time to get your head around the website editor, I think you’ll be glad you did.
#4 Jimdo – German Engineering at it’s Best
#1 Simple yet powerful eCommerce platform to help you sell products through your site.
#2 Create a brand new website or manage your existing one from a mobile device such as tablet or smartphone.
#3 Informative, well laid out training platform to walk you through each step of the website set-up process.
#4 Free personalized email address available with premium plans.
#1 Limited choice of templates in comparison to other platforms on this page.
#2 Only basic customization available such as text, images, colors, and fonts.
In a nutshell
Aside from its disadvantages, Jimdo is a very popular website builder with clients spanning the globe. If you’re after a simple website then Jimdo can handle it, if you’re considering selling physical or digital products the Jimdo is a serious contender.
#5 Weebly – Back To Basics!
#1 Arguably the easiest website builder on the market today.
#2 Good quality templates with pre-designed layouts to give you a helping hand.
#3 Manage bookings and accept payments online.
#4 Video training library to walk you through designing your site step-by-step.
#5 Free website option has very discreet ads.
#1 I’d prefer to see a wider range of templates.
#2 Annoyingly, many areas of your website that you’d assume can be customized, actually can’t.
#3 Email address will cost you extra.
In a nutshell
Weebly is often referred to as the simplest website builder out there and very possibly is. For me, its simplicity is overshadowed by how basic it is and I felt very limited as to what I could do with it.
If you require a simplistic website to advertise your business without all of the bells and whistles then Weebly can offer you this. Good eCommerce features although not the cheapest.
Over To You
Well, I’ve done my bit and give you an overview of our top rated website builders and if you’re still here, then it’s up to you to pick one or two, sign up for a free account and get stuck in.
Make sure you’re comfortable with your chosen one and that they offer everything you need both now and down the line as changing platforms can be difficult if not impossible in many cases.
If you have any questions about any of the website builders mentioned on this page, or maybe you’ve tried them in the past, I’d love to hear your questions or experiences in the comments section below.
I wish you all the best in your business!