Building a website for your small business that truly represents your brand while keeping it simple and affordable is not an easy task. With countless options to choose from finding the right small business website builder can seem like an endless maze. So we've created a guide through the maze so that you can finally choose the website builder that is right for your small business.
You've probably come across several website builders that claim to be the easiest, fastest, no-code website solutions only to find out that the reality is anything but. Navigating through drag-and-drop builders may seem simple at first, but without design expertise, things can get tricky and start to look bad fast. Suddenly, you've sunk hours into 'tweaking things' only to be left with a website that looks anything but professional, leaving you feeling stuck and frustrated.
The worst part are the hidden costs that creep, making the already frustrating process expensive.
How do we know? Over the past two decades of building website creation tools, templates, themes and developing websites for small businesses, we've run into the same problems too and learned a thing or two about what really matters and how to choose the best options. Here's exactly what you need to consider when trying to find the easiest and most affordable website creation tool for your small business.
Balancing Design Simplicity with Control
In the beginning, especially if this is your first small business website or a new business venture, you don't need to have control over every single design aspect. You just want to be able to choose a design that aligns with your brand, looks great outside of the box and allows you to test your business model or idea, get feedback and find your product market fit in the shortest amount of time possible. Spending too much time trying to 'design' your website at the start can take you away from what's most important, your business. So rather than look for a website builder that gives you control over every aspect of design you need one that will get you up and running quickly and give you control over the things that matter most:
Your small business logo
Most website builders don't know how to crop your small business logo properly and you end up having to figure out how to resize it to its strange dimensions or get someone to resize it for you to fit correctly in our simple website builder, for example, we've implemented the technology to be able to detect the exact size of the logo that you upload and crop it and resize it and position it perfectly in the space provided so that you don't have to worry about this at all.
Choosing the right colors for your small business website
A lot of people overthink the branding and colors of their business at the start. While it's important you need to just start with something that looks good and balanced rather than obsession over your brand colors. Our page builder uses a color model that always has the perfect balance across your entire color palette and all you have to do is change the primary color to match your brand.
Writing your small business content and copy
Writing content and copy is the most important part of getting people to find your website. There are a lot of AI website builders out there right now that claim to be able to write all of your content and copy for you but without the proper context for your business, the text ends up sounding generic even worse it doesn't align to the actual design that you're trying to put it into so you end up trying to squeeze text in and losing visual hierarchy because of this mismatch.
To combat this, you need to seek out a website builder that offers built-in tools and resources to help you create content that is tailored to your audience and your business. Our Siimple platform enables you to write copy using our Siimple assistant that is actually based on the questions that we ask you about your business and lines up perfectly with the design you choose so that it's completely tailored and personalized and never cookie-cutter or generic.
Selecting the right imagery and graphics
Selecting the right imagery and graphics for your small business website is crucial for your brand and your message and to help your audience identify with you. Using stock photos like this can really hurt the audience's perception of your business your product or your service.
Professional designers spend a lot of time choosing or creating the perfect images for websites, but this is difficult to do on your own with other site builders because you still need that eye for design and that taste for photography or illustration.
We've taken the complexity out of choosing great images by leveraging AI that can understand the context of your website, your business and your audience and provide you with some examples that were vetted by actual designers that you can choose to you. We've cut out the ugly stock imagery to help you find the good stuff so that your side always looks professionally designed.
Revealing hidden costs
You've seen it before – the sticker price seems reasonable, but as you dive deeper, hidden costs begin to surface. Often times you realize that only 2 of the 25 features listed are actually included in your pricing plan!
Separate charges for domain registration, hosting, and additional features can quickly add up, turning your budget-friendly website into an unwelcome financial commitment.
Here are some things that can really add up and things to look out for when you're doing your research:
Is that feature actually included?
When searching for website builders, marketers usually list every feature under the sun to get people interested and trying out their service and hopefully get them invested long enough to resign to paying the exorbitant fees required to maintain access to those features. Make sure to check the pricing plan comparison table before committing to a website builder to see if the features you need are actually included.
Is that a need-to-have or a nice-to-have?
Many website builders will list a lot of nice to have and make it seem like it's a need to have but for a small business or a venture that you're just testing out you may not be at the stage or size that you actually need most of those nice-to-have premium features.
In the beginning, all you really need is a good, basic website that loads fast, with a wonderful design that you can easily edit the copy of and that has uncomplicated, affordable hosting so that you're not getting stuck with an expensive bill per month after month for a business that isn't fully off the ground yet.
Make sure to take a minute and write down all of your need-to-haves and make sure that you're not paying extra for the nice-to-haves that you simply don't need right now.
Can you use those stock images and photography for free?
You might have found some great images online or the perfect infographic that you want to use on your small business website but can you actually use it?
If you don't pay the correct amounts and use the images correctly, you can end up with a copyright strike against you, your site taken down or at worst an actual lawsuit on your hands!
So make sure that you understand the usage rights and intellectual property rights of the images that you are using. At Siimple we help you avoid this by using a combination of AI matching, real designer vetting and open sources and royalty-free images that ensure that any Siimple image you use from our website builder is safe and keeps you out of trouble and extra fees.
Do you have to buy that theme or template again?
Another thing to note about teams and templates as they often have limited licensing. Most website builders only allow you to buy a theme and use it once on a single domain or website, which means that you don't really own it, you're just sory of renting it for that one site-- even though you've paid upwards of $60-$100 for it! When searching for a template or theme make sure to look into the licensing and whether it is single us or multi-use and whether you can transfer it to another site it you need to?
Siimple has eliminated the need for repeat theme purchases by allowing you to own the themes that you buy and use them across as many sites as you want! That's right, unlimited website licensing for our themes! And best of all, our themes do not cost $100, $60 or even $40 they are usually between $5 to $20 for unlimited uses and site transfers.
Trying to design and build your small business website yourself
The struggle to customize themes and templates yourself is real. Prebuilt themes and templates can be a great solution but remember you still need to do a lot of customization and while a lot of them say no code what they really mean is low-code because there is a lot of coding terminology and features that you need to understand in order to customize it and tailor it enough to your business.
This is usually when most people give up and try to find a developer or a designer to help them make adjustments. Just because a template or theme looks great with the demo content does not mean that it's going to look great with your content.
This is why having a website builder that actually starts with your content first and then builds the design around it is a much more reliable and tailored solution. This is exactly how Siimple websites work, we don't just give you a demo theme to start with we give you YOUR website to start with with YOUR content.
Does no-code really mean NO code?
As we mentioned before, no code often just means that you don't have to write code yourself and there is usually some sort of a visual drag-and-drop page builder that you can use to create layouts and webpages, however if you don't know design fundamentals and you don't understand some of the coding terminology it becomes very difficult to do some accomplish basic things that you are trying to do with your website. Feature bloat and too many option require hours of clicking around and trial and error to get something to look just right.
This is because many of the no code builders right now are actually aimed at web agencies and small businesses that are designing websites and templates for other businesses, so there are lots and lots of feature of options that can confuse beginners and those who just need to do something quickly and simply without a huge learning curve.
Siimple websites for example only give you a set of options that you need for your particular business. Our user interface completely morphs itself into tailored inputs based on the questions that you've answered about your business and your audience, so you'll never see a bunch of generic fields and things that don't make sense in the context of what you're doing. So if you're a doctor, you'll see a field that says medical services and if you are a restaurant you'll see fields that say menu items, everything is as if it's custom built for you not mass produced for every web designer agency to upsell to you.
Finding a solution that is actually easy, affordable and professional
Ultimately for your small business website what you need is something that gives you just enough to control to create something that looks professional and can get your business out there with the right content fast and afforadbly so when you're on the lookout for the right solution you now know exactly what to look for and what to avoid.
- Be wary of the fancy marketing speak that gets you sold on premium features that aren't included in the most affordable pricing plan.
- Make sure you're not paying for features that are nice-to-haves that you won't use right now. Choose a website builder that focus on doing the basics really well and that charges accordingly.
- Don't get stuck with expensive hosting that you can't afford month over month.
- Don't settle for a website that looks unprofessional or subpar just because you can't figure out how to tweak it yourself or don't want to pay a professional designer or coder to help you.
Consider using something like Siimple, that was created and backed by designers and coders who have been in this industry for decades that have really thought through the problems that face small businesses to ensure that you have an amazing experience that is truly affordable and...simple!