Website builders are a dime a dozen, and it can be difficult to differentiate them from a distance. However, they can have some major differences that could make them a good or bad choice for your business. Some might be better if you are trying to run an eCommerce shop, for instance. The same tool might be too complex for someone simply trying to build a portfolio. Then there’s your experience and understanding how coding works. Some tools might just be too restrictive or too complex depending on where you are. Therefore, you must know what you are looking for before you even start shopping around. Here are some of the things you should be looking for in a website builder.
Self-Hosted or Managed?
This is very important. The first thing you want to know is how much control you want to have over your website. Some platforms will require that you keep your website on their servers, while others might be self-hosted CMS that you will be able to install on your own server. You might automatically think that self-hosting is the best option but hear us out.
There can be a lot of disadvantages to hosting your own website. For one, how good is the host exactly? Top services also offer top-level hosting, and your site is not as likely to get throttled by others on the server. Another issue is security. Providers like Shopify take security very seriously. Having the same level of security on your own server demands a lot of expertise. By letting the 3rd party handle everything, you also delegate some of the liability. So, this is something you should be thinking about if your goal is to open an online retail business that handles sensitive information.
On the other hand, you have those who want to be able to have more control over their site. You might want to be able to build your site according to your vision and have a simple system to manage it. In this case, a stand-alone CMS like WordPress or Drupal might be a better choice for you. These can be installed directly on your server. Many hosting providers will have a one-button installation option that will allow you to install it easily and fast.
Know, however, that with more freedom comes more responsibility, so do not expect to get the same level of support. You can expect support to come from other members of the community when it comes to WordPress as the community is very large and welcoming. You should have no issues finding solutions for simple issues, but it will not be as invested as with a well-managed solution.
If you’re a novice or know nothing about web design, then you want to choose a platform that is as user friendly as possible. You want a program that will allow you to build and have information on your website in an intuitive way that does not require muck knowledge about coding.
You have tools like Zyro that have a very simple drag and drop editor that allow you to add and remove elements easily. If you want to learn more about this tool, you can check out this Zyro website builder review from Website Review Ninja. It outlines all the benefits of the tool for those who are just beginning and delves deeper into some of its features. They also offer their verdict on whether this would be a good deal for the money and whom this tool caters to specifically.
This is another very important point if you’re getting started. You want a team that will be able to answer your questions 24/7 and be willing to help you. This is again very important if you’re running an eCommerce site. You don’t want your site to go down in the middle of an important and expensive advertising campaign and not have anyone to talk to. Good services will allow you to contact them via phone, email, and chat and always be happy to give you a hand.
Another thing you should be looking for is the variety of templates. Some will offer a wide variety of templates straight out of the gate, while others will have you pay. Some services like WordPress, for instance, will have a decent default library, but you should expect to pay if you want something premium. This is why you should know exactly how many templates you’ll have access to and what you can expect them to look like before jumping in.
These are some of the most important factors to consider when investing in a web design platform. Make sure that you take a look at all your options and pick the one that fits your needs and skills the most.