Developing a website from scratch is not an easy task and you have to estimate a thousand dollar budget for an expert. Apart from the investment, a developer requires a minimum of 1-2 months to complete this task. But the process has become old now. Today’s website builders have made the term easier and quicker. They are the best solution both for small business owners and individuals to create a lucrative website or a blog without hiring an expert developer.
But the question is which one is the best website builder and hosting for small businesses?
Today’s DIY website builders allow the users to build a professional website shortly and manage it successfully without extensive knowledge in programming. Often the website builders offer domain registration, search engine optimization plugins, mobile responsive, analytics, and e-commerce features. Additionally, most of them provide smart marketing solutions including video embedding, social media tools, content management, web design, etc. tools to your website.
At the same time, hundreds of hosting platforms are in the marketplace that offers cheap web hosting solutions and great services such as maximum uptime, endless support and faster response time.
Knowing which the perfect solution for your business is tricky. None of us can measure the quality of a website builder unless we use them personally. Does that mean you should purchase all of the services? Of course not.
In this article, I have discussed the 5 leading website builders and 2 hosting provider company in 2018. By the end of this article, you can definitely make the wisest decision.
How Should We Choose the Best Website Builder and Hosting For Small Business?
Selecting the perfect website builder is a vital step to building a business website or a personal blog. Each of the tools has its unique qualities, features, and strength which makes them classic for various kinds of websites. Before going deeper, you should know which important factors you should consider before selecting an ideal website builder:
One of the most important things for a small business is affordability. Whether you have a small business or an organization, you should seek an affordable website builder. Each website builder has their unique pricing plans based on the size of a business and features.
So, if you are about to start a small business online, select a website builder that matches your budget and has the features that suit your business. Make sure they have the option to switch to the upper plans with your business evolvement. Most of the website builder offers Free plans for beginners. Before selecting the pack, check again, whether they are asking for hidden charges.
Ease of Use
Purchase the website builder that is easy to use and the options are easily customizable. Best website builders offer a wide range of templates, features, and plugins for all businesses. There are several things you can use in hundreds of different ways. Perfect website builders are incredibly functional with plenty of customization options, drag and drop elements, unique font styles, animation effects, color palettes, and lot more.
Page loading speed and response time are the other important factors. A great website builder allows designing a lightweight website. A website that loads with super-fast speed becomes the visitor’s favorite which is ultimately your benefit.
Device Responsive and Search Engine-friendly
A great website builder must have mobile responsive features. Besides, you should look for a website builder that is search engine friendly so your website appears in the search results for specific keywords as well as drive potential customers to your website.
After launching a website, you may face technical difficulties. You will be thankful if you get instant customer service’s assistance at that stage. For better interaction, a good website builder offers 24/7 Phone Calls, Live Chat, and Emails. Keeping these things in mind, pick the best website builder.
Top 5 Website Builders At A Glance:
- WordPress: Best Balance of price, simplicity and professional features.
- Shopify: Provides a one-stop solution for an online store.
- Weebly: Most customizable and inexpensive options.
- Wix: Creative Website with the most functionality.
- Squarespace: Restaurants, boutiques and other businesses that require a gorgeous look.
Let’s dive into the deep.
If you ask which one is the most popular website builder out there? The answer is simple, WordPress. Over 28% of all websites online are powered by WordPress. If you want to attract visitors with powerful designs and features, WordPress will be on top. It has made the browsing system more flexible with innovative features. The platform offers you full control over every feature of your website. Whether you need an eCommerce website, social network, membership website or a community forum, every kind of website is possible to create with WordPress.
By signing up for WordPress, you will get access to thousands of pre-made themes that can be used for your website. More than 50,000 plugins are available which are completely Free. Especially, the Yoast SEO plugin will help you make the web pages complete SEO-friendly. With amazing drag and drop elements like Elementor and Beaver Builder, you can simply create webpage layouts. Additionally, the website builder can be used to build multilingual websites.
Though WordPress website builder is Free, you can purchase the paid packages to get access to the advanced features. Also, you will need to register for a domain and purchase web hosting (only if you want to). Domain registration will cost $14.99 while the hosting service costs only $7.99 per month. Their hosting service offers 99.97% uptime, 24/7/365 customer support, and incredible site performance.
As you have full control of your website, you need to maintain it. That means you should be familiar with the system to manage it properly. Although the process is easy, sometimes it’s a bit complex for beginners. In the beginning, you have to set up WordPress hosting separately, which is a tedious task.
Also, you are required to keep up with all the updates including theme updates, plugin updates and always keep backups.
Shopify is specialized to build eCommerce websites and online stores. It offers both POS systems for in-store shopping and eCommerce builder for online sales. With over 600,000 businesses and 1 million active users, the platform boasts of thousands of themes, plenty of e-commerce features and powerful marketing tools.
All Shopify plans come with 10 free templates, 1500 premium and free tools. Most of the users consider the platform a fully hosted solution as it manages the software, install updates and keep backups for them. As an online store builder, Shopify offers full inventory management, unlimited product listing, easy marketing solutions, powerful stats, and all under the same roof.
Shopify made the design task easy with intuitive drag and drop elements. You will get access to hundreds of designs for your business properly use them to your website yet you are not familiar with the codes. The platform ensures full safety of your customer’s information so the shopping process only remains between the customer and client. Their server response time is 99.99%, which is really great. If you want to create a hassle-free online store, then Shopify will be the right choice for you.
If you have a small business, you can go with the Basic plan which will cost $29/month. You can upgrade the current plan with your business growth to uncover advanced options. The pack Shopify will cost $79/month and Advanced $299/month. The coolest thing is, you can use Shopify’s Buy button on any website, regardless of the website builder which will cost only $9/month.
If you are thinking of starting a small business online, the prices may seem higher to you. Also, Shopify doesn’t cover all the businesses. If you have a business that doesn’t focus on online shopping, you will be deprived of getting awesome facilities.
Weebly is easy to customize website builder with plenty of great designs. Weebly offers the users create a website with learning any programming skills. The platform is beautifully crafted with drag and drop interfaces, templates and plugins. By clicking on the screen, you can start editing text and replace photos.
With the platform, you don’t need to do anything your own. Weebly will take care of everything including installing and managing software and hosting your website. Like Shopify, Weebly comes with built-in eCommerce features which means you can easily set up your online store and start selling. With the live page editor, you can do any editing of the stunning designs.
All kinds of websites like blogging, web forms and eCommerce stores can be easily set up with the website builder and there is no complication with the installation process. Their maximum uptime is 99.97%.
The pricing of Weebly starts with a Basic plan which is completely Free. The minimum price is only $8 which is a Starter Pack. The Pro plan will cost $12 while the maximum pack comes with $25 which is a Business plan.
Your features of Weebly are locked which means you don’t have the option to add additional features by hiring an expert developer. If you use their eCommerce store, they will charge an a3 transaction fee when a transaction is made. You may have to upgrade to the higher plans if you want to avoid the fee.
Based on the website builder, Wix is another great cloud. Wix offers a powerful set of features with ease of use facilities so anyone can build a gorgeous looking website. It offers a wide range of free and paid tools to install on your website and make it stunning.
There are no restrictions on the placement of your elements. You can place the elements anywhere you want. All Wix plans come with 500 free templates and 200 free and premium apps. Thankfully, you don’t have to pay for Wix hosting as it is already a fully hosted builder. They always maintain maximum uptime of 99.95%.
Although Wix offers a free plan, it is for a limited time. The minimum pack Connect Domain starts at $9.16 per month. The Combo plan comes at $14.95 per month where you will get a free domain. Their eCommerce pack costs $26.25/month.
If you purchase the Connect domain pack, Wix will show their ads on your website which is never acceptable. You may need to buy the upper plans to remove the annoying ads. You will be charged for additional fees for domain registration if you are with a Connect Domain pack. Moreover, migrating Wix website isn’t an easy process
Squarespace stands next to Wix and mostly known for its ease of use and lucrative designs. The platform lets you concentrate on growing your business without focusing on hosting. It comes with tons of designs that are compatible with all kinds of content.
The good thing is, Squarespace allows the customers to use multiple themes for the same website or blog. Comparing with the other website builders, Squarespace performs OK and keeps 99.96% uptime. The platform has 24/7 customer support, including Email and lives chat options.
If you are willing to work with the Squarespace website builder, you have to spend $12/month or $18/month. Their eCommerce store comes at $26/month and $40 per month. If you want to build a website quickly, Squarespace should be the first choice.
The platform provides limited integrations. Their eCommerce packs only offer Stripe, PayPal and Apple Pay payment processing. There is no option to add an additional payment process. Squarespace doesn’t provide customer support on the weekends. You will only get their help on the weekdays, 4 am – 8 pm EST and sadly you can’t connect with them over the phone.
Best Web Hosting For Small Business
Let’s talk on the best web hosting plans for small business in 2018. We have listed 2 hosting providers below.
Hosting providers at a glance:
- Bluehost: Popular, Very popular.
- SiteGround: The fastest-growing independent brand.
Let’s talk about the details.
Hosting over 2 million websites, Bluehost is friendly, secure and inexpensive. Which factors should you consider while purchasing a hosting service? Obviously, you should look over security, maximum uptime, server response time, and customer support. Luckily, Bluehost will satisfy you with all. The first advantage is Bluehost is secure. As long as you are with Bluehost, you don’t need to be worried about your website’s safety. Bluehost prevents viruses, cyber-attacks, and malware with the help of Spam Experts, Spam Hammer, and Spam Assassin.
Bluehost pricing varies on the hosting plans. With Shared hosting, you will have to pay $2.95/month for the Basic plan. The price goes up with the number of advanced interfaces. Both Plus and Prime pack comes at $5.95/month.
The Starter pack of Cloud hosting starts at $6.95/month. Performance plan comes at $8.95/month and the Business Pro costs $15.95/month.
The standard plan of VPS hosting costs $19.99/month, the Enhanced pack is $29.99/month and the Ultimate package comes at $59.99/month.
The minimum price of Dedicated hosting is $79.99/month, which is a standard pack. The Enhanced and Premium pack costs $99.99/month and $119.99/month respectively.
Compared to the other hosting providers, Bluehost is considered a turtle. The average load time is about 1.4 seconds. Bluehost has Linux-specific features. You may find difficulties running it on Windows. Also, customer service is poor. You have to wait for long for their response and sometimes you won’t get positive feedback on your queries.
SiteGround has an excellent uptime of 99.99%. With SiteGround, your website will never go down. Your website will load with a 4x faster speed. The hosting provider has an amazing server response time. Thankfully, SiteGround offers 24/7/365 customer support and the team is very responsive and accurate.
SiteGround offers 4 types of hosting services including Web Hosting, WordPress Hosting, WooCommerce Hosting, and Cloud Hosting. Web hosting, WordPress, and WooCommerce include 3 plans at the same price. The services come with StatrtUp, GrowBig and GoGeek packs which cost $3.95/month, $5.95/month and 11.95/month respectively.
Regarding the Cloud hosting service, there are 4 different packs. The Entry plan costs $80/month, the Business pack costs $120/month, Business Plus comes at$160/month and you have to spend $240/month to purchase the Super Powerpack.
With fantastic features, SiteGround has some disadvantages too. It has limited resources and charges higher for the second term. That means you have to pay higher than the actual price to renew your contract.
I believe you have already understood which website builder and hosting provider will suit your business. No matter which website builder or hosting provider you choose, make sure they will fulfill your business requirements and provide endless support.