In 1994, a former WallStreet hedge fund executive, started selling books online. It was met withintense scepticism with experts and analysts belittling and mocking the smallonline business. However, the person who had just taken his business online vowedto prove all doubting Cassandras wrong. And boy, he ultimately did prove all critics wrong! Today the same person makes $149,353 per minute, three times more than what the median US worker makes in a year.
Likewise, you too harbour great ambitions and believe in the power of your dreams. We see you acing that small business game.
You have a product with great potential, an excellent business plan, and a small but very competent and dedicated team eager to see the business succeed. The last missing piece in the grand scheme of things is (you guessed it right) a web presence.
But there’s a minor glitch here. You have no idea how to build a website and take your business online. You are not an IT professional, and probably not aware of how to builda website from scratch.
Hey, we get it!
These things can be a bit complicated. But before you start panicking about the tricky bits, allow us to let you in on a little secret to soothe your frayed nerves.
Building a professional website and having it up and running in a short time is no rocket science.
Using a quality host and a free website builder is exactly what you need to build your own professional website. Before you again start wondering what a website builder is, and how it works, let us get directly to the point.
In this exhaustive guide, we talk in some detail about website builders and what important factors you need to consider when deciding on your website building platform. You’ll want to stick around for this.
Let’s start with the basics.
A website builder is software that allows you to quickly and easily create a professional-looking website without any coding knowledge. These platforms are an excellent tool for small business owners and entrepreneurs. This helps especially those looking to establish a strong online presence without having to spend a fortune hiring professional website designers and developers.
Website builders come equipped with plenty of professionally designed templates to help you build a customized website. You can customize your website content and offerings as per your own specific business requirements.
You can either opt for hosted solutions or your own ‘self-hosted’ software. In case you opt for the former, you have to pay a certain fee to the service provider who will host and manage your software for you.
If you prefer to use website builders that are self-hosted, you will have to download the software on your desktop or laptop, and purchase a hosting plan from a third-party web hosting company.
In a nutshell, this is how you can use a website builder:
1. From your website builder’s library, choose from numerous professionally designed templates that best fits your needs.
2. All templates are fully customizable. What it means is that you can edit the template with a click and add your own content (like gallery, video, contact page) to personalize your site.
3. You are now ready to take your website online!
A piece of cake. Right?
You are a small business owner and not a computer whiz kid with advanced coding skills. The sole reason you are using a website builder is because of its ease of use. Look for a website builder with a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) style editor, and one with a simple, user-friendly interface that allows you to put up a professional looking site quickly and easily. There are several website builders available that make adding and editing content as simple and easy as working in a Word file.
Over 55% of online users say they will refrain from recommending an online business with a poorly designed website. Your website carries your business’s reputation in the virtual world, which in turn makes it imperative for it to leave a strong first impression on your customers. A website builder comes with plenty of templates, but then they may not be the ideal fit for your website. As such, you need a software that helps you customize your templates by allowing you to edit the design and layout for a clean and attractive website. You may also want responsive templates that adjust to the size of the screen of your user for best viewing experience.
Let us not forget that content is still the key differentiator when it comes to success (or failure)of your website. You need to tailor your content in a way your audience is most likely to respond. You need regularly updated top-notch content, to get the attention of search engines as well as your intended audience. It is therefore important that you choose a website builder that makes it incredibly easy for you to change, edit, and upload content on your site.
Almost 4 billion videos are watched every day on YouTube and around 60 hours of video get uploaded on the world’s largest video sharing service. We live in a multimedia world where we want relevant content in the form of text, videos, images, and audio files. Look for a software that lets you add, edit, or replace images, videos, and other multimedia content quickly and effortlessly.
Social media is much more than posting vacation selfies. More often than not, they serve as an authentic search guide for consumers wishing to find more about a particular brand. It is therefore important that your website builder platform allows you to link and display social media icons so that your offerings are shared and commented on social media platforms.
A Google study has revealed that internet users at most are willing to wait up to 2-3 seconds fora website to load before moving on to another website. Speeding up websites is important. Bombarded with options and paucity of time, consumers have no patience to sit around waiting for a slow website to load. Also, the faster the load time, the higher the ranking in search engine results as search engines love fast-loading sites. Choose a software that lets your website load fast.
Having your own domain name and a branded email address is important to establish your business’s online credibility. Domain name is basically your website’s name. It is what comes after "www." in a web address, and after "@" in an email address. Examples of domain names are: www.google.com. Pick a site builder that provides options for domains and email registration.
You would want your visitors to easily communicate with you—whether for queries, questions, or occasional complaints. Make sure your website builder comes equipped with requisite tools to let you create easily navigable forms.
The number of smartphones users surpassed 2 billion way back in 2016. And 60% of online searches now come from mobile devices. Recognizing this important fact, Google moved to a mobile first index in 2017. You need to make sure your website is ready for this new world of mobile and voice-based search, and accordingly choose a website builder that allows you to do this well.
A website builder is a software, and like any other software, it can occasionally face some glitches. Check out the software and/or hosting company’s technical support quality and options. It will provide you with peace of mind knowing that someone has got your back covered in case you need them.
As a business owner, you have to take care of a lot of things. With so little time and so many things demanding your attention, learning programming to build your own website is unlikely to factor anywhere in your ‘to-do’ list.
In fact, you do not have to learn a single line of coding to build a snazzy website with attractive high-quality images, videos, layouts, and interesting content. Quality website builders with numerous professionally designed templates, optimized layouts, beautiful and user-friendly design elements, and options for customizations, allow you to concentrate more on running your day-to-day business than learning how to code. They are your ideal solution to creating a professional looking website.