People looking for a simple way to build a website find there are so many site builder services about today, that choosing the right one can be anything but straightforward. To help, this post will look at the key things you should look for in a site builder and the services that come with it.
Hosting – your website’s engine
While a site builder makes it easy to create and update websites, what’s more important in the long term, is how the site performs once it goes live on the internet. Any website should remain online all the time and perform at speed, regardless of how busy it is. While the website builder is what creates the site, what keeps it performing well is the quality of the web hosting.
When looking for a website building service, there are two different sets of providers, those whose product is just the website builder and who leave the hosting to a third party, and those who are web hosts in their own right and offer a website builder as part of their services.
The difference between them is that with a web host, you have greater assurance that your website will be hosted on higher quality, better performing hardware; you’ll get an uptime guarantee of 99.9% and above; your server will be protected from cyberattacks and malware; you’ll have 24/7 technical support in case of issues; and you’ll have access to a wider range of services and tools. What’s more, if your website and business grow, a web host will have bigger and better hosting solutions that they can help you move to, such as VPS, dedicated servers and cloud hosting.
Easy site building
Website builders are designed to make it easy for anyone to build their own website. The three main things you should look for in a great site builder are predesigned building blocks, ready-made features and a drag-and-drop editor.
The predesigned building blocks let you create pages where the content goes exactly where you want it to; the ready-made features can be inserted into those building blocks; and the drag-and-drop editor makes it child’s play to select the blocks and features you want and move them to where you want them to go.
On top of this, you also want a choice of themes/templates. Choosing the right template lets you achieve the look and design you want for your site, including its colour scheme and fonts. The more themes you get a choice of, the better, and if these are customisable, your options are more or less endless. Importantly, you must make sure that the templates/themes your website builder comes with are responsive, this is essential if you want your website to work properly on mobile phones, which is where most people access the internet today.
Important plan features
Besides the ease of building the website, there are a number of important things you should look for. One of the most helpful is the ability to autosave and back up your website. Autosave is useful as it means you won’t lose the work you have done on your website. Having a backup is even more crucial as it means that if your website was hacked, infected or lost due to human error, you would have a copy of it to get you back online quickly. Backups have helped saved a lot of businesses from going under and are considered an essential part of a company’s online security.
As many people use website builders to create online stores, it’s also important to understand if the service has all the features that they need to run an online store effectively. For example, does the software let you create product categories and customisable product pages? Does it enable you to build easy-to-use checkouts, and offer a wide range of payment options? Will it let you track and manage your inventory and orders, and offer worldwide shipping? Can you create promotions, discounts and codes to boost sales? All of these are common elements of today’s successful eCommerce websites and if you are going to build an online shop that can meet the needs of users and compete with other stores, you need a website-building service that provides these things.
Website builders make it easy for people with little or no technical skills to build professional websites. However, when choosing a site builder service, it is important to look beyond the actual process of building a website and to consider how well that site will perform online and whether it will offer all the features you need to run a successful online business. If you are looking for a website builder service with all the features mentioned above and more, visit our Site Builder page.