Small business owners have a great many things to consider for their business with one of the paramount decisions being their website. While a website may seem like a fairly insignificant decision, it can have a large impact on customer acquisition, operational overhead, and credibility of the business itself. For businesses that choose to take the plunge to build and maintain their own website, there are three major factors to consider: price, templates, and flexibility.
The price of many website builders can have a wide range. Some are free (with stipulations – may require a link back to the provider in the footer) while others can cost upwards of $100 a month. It is important to understand what services are being provided for the range of costs. It is equally important to not be overpaying for unnecessary services. For example, if a business does not support e-commerce, why pay for it?
Templates are a critical decision point when choosing a website builder for small business. These are the starting point of building a website. They can save huge amounts of time and money by pre-defining the layout and page elements. It is important to determine if the template works with the existing brand of the business (color scheme). It should also be mobile-friendly and it should look professional. Another item to consider is what happens if a business is seasonal? Does the website builder offer the option to easily change the template while retaining all the content?
With many website builders, a template is often the starting point. Typically this template is bundled with images and filler text. It is then the business owner's responsibility to make it a unique and compelling website experience. When deciding which website builder is best, consider the following: How easy is the builder to use to achieve the desired goal? Does it make changing content easy or is it confusing? Does it require you to drag and drop design elements or does it do all the work for you? The main reason to consider the builder's flexibility is that if a builder is chosen but difficult to use or does not work the way it should, it can often lead to wasted time, money, and lost customers.
Above all else though, every business should consider building a website to promote their business in the ever expanding web of the Internet. Even a very simplistic website with basic contact information can still be incredibly valuable to customers.