Choosing a Website Builder that is Just Right for Your Business
Written by Marianna Martirosyan
03 April 2018
If you operate a small business, freelance service, charity, or other organization, a website is one of your most important tools to achieve success. Websites help you reach the public, market your individual services, and disseminate important info about how to contact you or a member of your team. Unfortunately, websites are incredibly complex creatures, and learning the HTML coding and graphic design skills needed to craft an attractive website for both desktop and mobile browsers requires intense education and experience.
Your next logical step should be to shop for website creators, or outlets that specialize in crafting individualized websites for organizations such as your own. But are whose services right for your specific needs? Podcasts, online advertisements, and TV shows are rife with resources for you to consider. But which website builders should you enlist to craft one of your most important marketing and sales tools? This is your guide to finding the best talent out there, and, most importantly, identifying the team that’s most appropriate for building your organization’s website.
Your Website’s Goals
Before you shop for a website maker, you need to have a specific set of goals to accomplish. In other words, you need to know exactly what you want out of your website. For one, you should understand your organization’s personality and develop a plan to market this unique character to the public.
Before you develop a plan, you should know the staples of any website, or the pages that the general browsing public will hope to come across. First, they will want to see an attractive design that stands out from the rest of the material on the Internet. Google, for instance, has one of the most recognizable interfaces on the web, as simple as it may be.
Additionally, your website should be easy to navigate. If you’ve ever opened a website and wondered, “What do I do next?” or have found yourself overwhelmed by dynamic images that overtake the screen, then you know how repulsive a non-user-friendly website experience can be. Other web page must-haves include an “About Us” section explaining your organization’s history and introducing key members. Contact information and verifying details like licenses or experience are also vital, as is your organization’s calling card.
So then, what do you want out of your website? What is your organization’s mission and how is it unique from your competitors? What do you hope to achieve with your website? Success without strategy is elusive. It’s important to have a distinct plan and a list of must-haves or non-negotiables before you start shopping for a website builder.
Now to plunge into the wild world of website builders, each of whom is vying for a deal with your organization. Your first resource may be a drag-and-drop service, which gives you a sandbox-style experience on which you can create your own personal web design, no coding or graphics experience required.
You should know, before you purchase these services, that many drag-and-drop services are most appropriate for single page websites, a limitation that’s appropriate for the freelancer or social page, but not appropriate for most large businesses and organizations.
If the idea of building your own website is attractive, and for the price it may very well be, then hunt for a website creator that gives you a variety of attractive, customizable templates to work with, the freedom to emphasize visual elements, and the flexibility to adjust the template in the future. The latter is especially important because websites should ideally be variable, not rigid. Your company or group has the potential to grow, improve, and stay in touch with a demanding audience, as should your website.
Customization is key to optimization, so if you work with a full-service website builder, look for important qualities like an open ear to your requests, experience building sites for a variety of clientele, and the option to edit the results.
Some website builders offer competitive, supplementary features that may appeal to you, like free website hosting, which saves you money on what could potentially be an additional service cost. Other services offer a collection of stock images and icons, easy migration from the building platform, the ability to fine tune the website’s code via an admin interface, and even access to hundreds of unique design themes, and more. Also keep an eye out for support, because even as an amateur you may find yourself stumped while crafting your page.
3rd Party Integration
Another widely important feature when building your website are 3rd party integration: they offer the ultimate visitor experience, and can even make your business more successful. Integrations involve building the features of other websites or services into your unique web page.
For instance, you can give visitors the option to share a specific product or blog post on social media, including Twitter and Instagram. Invite user comments with Disqus integration or share music via an incorporated Soundcloud tool. You can even incorporate YouTube videos right into your website. Give interactive directions to potential clients and customers with Google maps integration. Better yet, connect your website with Google Analytics for up-to-date information about web traffic, details on user activity, and future strategies for improving traffic flow to your website.
A Tailored Experience
Overall, your organization’s unique needs and challenges should guide your decision. For instance, consider your budget. Some platforms offer a limited and basic service plan for a low annual fee. However, paying for more affords you a more professional website that articulates luxury and personality. You should also consider how much time you can afford to spend on web design and implementation. Finally, consider how unique and attractive you want your website to be. Basic website tools, as inexpensive as they are, sacrifice originality. So make sure to choose an outstanding builder with customizable design and do your best to make the ready-made template unique.
Now you know what to keep in mind when choosing a website builder. Want to give it a go with Ucraft?