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Find the right accountancy solution for your requirements

For any new business, setting up a website is both essential and, in many cases, a little bit daunting. After all, research has shown that it only takes users about 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about your website—getting it wrong could lead to a negative first impression.

 

Luckily, there are a bunch of online website builders that make it easier than ever to put together a smart digital presence for your startup.

In this guide, we’ll take you through some of the most popular website builders for businesses. We’ll look at the pros and cons of each and then we’ll also give you some of the best options for various categories.

 

Our top five recommended website builders

As with most things in the digital world, there is a dizzying array of website builders out there. But, we’ve narrowed it down to five of the big players. Below we’ve got a bit about each one and their main pros and cons.

 

Shopify

Offering an all-in-one hosting solution, Shopify is a great choice for anyone looking to build a site that has everything you need straight out of the box. Thanks to its decent inventory management capabilities, and integrated payment solution, Shopify is particularly good if you’re setting up an ecommerce website.

Pros

– An all-in-one offering

– Perfect if you plan to sell things on your site

Cons

– Not the cheapest around

– It’s not easy to move away from Shopify if you outgrow it

 

Squarespace 

Squarespace is known for its user-friendly interface and high design standards. There are tons of templates to choose from, and it’s easy to customise and build your website. It is slightly more pricey than some competitors, though.

Pros

– It’s easy to create beautiful websites

– Adding new parts to a site is really simple

Cons

– It can quite pricey

– Integration with third-party tools is limited

 

Webflow 

If you fancy getting your hands dirty with some proper web design, then Webflow might be the way to go. It gives you the ability to build a completely unique website, with tons of customisation options. Don’t expect to be up and running quickly if you’re not totally digital-savvy, though.

Pros

– Amazing design possibilities

– Everything you need in one package

Cons

– More complex than the competition

– There are cheaper options out there

 

Wix

The wildly popular Wix service has become the benchmark for quality, easy to use website builders. And with good reason—Wix’s offering is well priced, wonderfully user-friendly, and it gives you tons of customisation options.

Pros

– Really easy to use

– Good value for money

Cons

– Once you go live with a template you’re stuck with it

– Storage capacity isn’t the best around

 

WordPress

WordPress powers over 35% of all the websites in the world, so there’s no denying it’s a safe bet. As you’d expect, there are a crazy amount of customisations and tools you can use with this platform, making it a great choice if you want to make your site bigger in the future. As a side note, we’re talking about WordPress.org here—it’s often mistaken for WordPress.com, which has the same founder but not as much functionality.

Pros

– You can easily control every aspect of your site

– Thousands of themes to choose from

Cons

– You’ll have to do some research to get the best out of it

– Some themes can make for a slow website

 

That’s the general pros and cons covered. Next up, we’ve picked our favourites from above in some specific areas:

If you’re looking for the best all-rounder and the best themes, our money would go on Squarespace. It’s super easy to use, and you can get a great looking website for not much money.

For the best ecommerce option, it has to be Shopify. It’s trusted by thousands of online businesses, it’s fully scalable, and it’s user-friendly.

The best ease of use website builder is Wix. You can be up and running with a professional website in no time, and the interface won’t scare you like some others might.

Webflow is the best custom design, thanks to the tons of options it provides when building your site. Without getting stuck into coding, design doesn’t get much more personal.

Finally, WordPress is the best if you have technical skills. If you’re a beginner, it might be better to look elsewhere, but if you’re confident with all things digital, get stuck in.

 

Some things to think about before you start building 

It can be tempting to jump right in and start designing your site as soon as you’ve signed up to a service. But, without proper planning, you could end up with a site that isn’t fit for purpose.

Instead, do some research on your customers, competitors, and content needs before the building work begins. It could be as simple as sketching out a few user personas; spending an afternoon clicking around your competitors’ sites; and mapping out what you want on your own website.

That little bit of planning will stand you in good stead when it comes to building a site to suit your needs over the short and long term.

 

What to do if you need to build a complex website

There are, of course, some scenarios where an online website builder just won’t cut it. Perhaps you need an ecommerce store with thousands of items, or a service site with chat functionality and translations for different territories—in these cases you might need to draft in a professional.

If you want a site that’s custom-built, but you haven’t got the budget to bring in a design agency, you might be able to find help on freelance sites such as fiverr or PeoplePerHour. Just be sure to check the reviews and choose a specialist for your needs.

We hope you enjoyed our guide to choosing an online website builder. If you’re looking for more startup advice and guidance, be sure to check out our list of resources, here.

 

Other guides you may find interesting:

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