5 Things You Should Consider Before Choosing a Website Builder in 2024

Website builders can make launching a new site a lot easier, but it’s important to choose the best website builder for the job. If you don’t, you could get deep into the design process only to find that your platform is too complex or doesn’t include the key features you need.

We’ve tested dozens of website builders and know where some platforms shine and others fall short. Based on our experience, we’ll highlight the five most important things you should consider before choosing a website builder.

Short On Time? Here Are the 5 Things To Consider When Choosing a Website Builder

  • Ease of use: Look for builders with gentle learning curves and drag-and-drop editing tools.
  • Customization options: Consider what customization options a builder offers so you can make your site unique.
  • Tools and integrations: AI-powered tools and integrations can speed up the design process and increase your site’s functionality.
  • Value: The best site builders add value by giving you hosting, a domain, ecommerce features, and more.
  • Customer service: Top website builders come with 24/7 support, in-depth tutorials, and community forums, so you can get help when you need it.

5 Things You Should Consider Before Choosing a Website Builder

1. Ease of Use

The point of using a website builder is to make it easier to create a website. But in our experience, not every site builder is actually easy to use. Some have steep learning curves, while others fight you at every step of the design process.

There are a few things we look at when evaluating how easy a site builder is to use.

Templates

Templates speed up the design process by giving you a ready-made site to customize. All you have to do is add your logo, text, and images, and your site is ready to publish.

Not only do we look at the number of templates a builder offers, but also the quality. Builders like Squarespace and Wix are known for offering meticulously designed templates, while cheaper builders often have templates that feel more cookie-cutter.

Page Editor

The page editor will play a central role in customizing your site. It should be easy to navigate and offer a well-organized library of content elements, such as text boxes, images, and buttons.

In general, we prefer drag-and-drop page editors. We’ve found them to be a lot more user-friendly than editing tools that require you to click in preset spots on the page to add content. If you want to move a text box or an image, all you have to do is drag it to where you want it.

The good news is that most modern site builders have adopted drag-and-drop editors.

AI Site Generators

Website builders like Webador and IONOS leverage AI to make it even easier to create a new website. These platforms’ AI site generators enable you to describe your site, and within a few minutes, the AI will build a custom site that includes the pages you’ll likely need, and placeholders for your text and images.

Responsive Designs

There’s a good chance people will visit your website from their smartphone. So, your site needs to be mobile-responsive—that is, it needs to resize your content automatically to fit on a smartphone screen.

We like site builders that are responsive by design. You only need to design your site once, and it will look good across every device.

Some older site builders don’t offer responsive designs, which means you have to design one version of your site for desktop users and another version for mobile users—that’s a lot of extra work.

2. Customization Options

You might be surprised at how widely website builders vary when it comes to site customization. Some builders are highly restrictive, while others give you an overwhelming number of options.

We recommend builders that fall somewhere in the middle. You need enough customization options to make your site look the way you want and help it stand out. But you don’t want so many options that you spend hours adjusting settings that few visitors will ever notice.

Key aspects of your site that you should be able to customize include:

  • What content elements are displayed on each page
  • Where each content element is located
  • Fonts and colors across your site
  • Your site’s navigation menu

If you’re launching an ecommerce store, you also need to be able to customize your products. Options to look for include:

  • Adding multiple product images and videos
  • Creating variants of each product
  • Setting custom shipping rates for different regions

While you might not want to do any coding now, it’s worth looking for site builders that support custom code, as you may want to make customizations down the line, beyond what your builder enables. For example, embedding a custom sign-up form or adding marketing features like pop-up windows.

A developer can help you do this if you have a way to add code to your site, but your options are limited if you can’t add custom code.

3. Tools and Integrations

Many of the best website builders for small businesses offer tools and integrations that can help you grow your traffic, connect with your customers, and more.

Some useful tools to look for include:

  • AI logo generator: If you don’t already have a logo for your business, an AI generator can help you craft one. It’s a free alternative to hiring a graphic designer.
  • SEO checklist: Some of the best website builders for SEO automatically check your site for details like alt text on images and meta descriptions for your pages. This helps you avoid forgetting important SEO touches and ensures your site is more visible in search results.
  • Appointment booking: Website builders like GoDaddy include appointment booking tools, which are great for businesses that need a way to schedule customers.
  • Email marketing: Many of the best ecommerce website builders include email marketing tools so you can stay in touch with your site’s visitors and encourage them to become repeat customers.

Integrations enable you to grow your website into a hub for your business and can make it easier to process online sales. Integrations to look for include:

  • Cloud storage integrations: Connections to Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, and other cloud storage platforms make it easier to upload new content—like product images and videos—onto your website.
  • Email marketing: If you use a third-party email marketing platform like HubSpot or Mailchimp, you can integrate it with your website to follow up with customers automatically, remind visitors about abandoned shopping carts, and more.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) tools: You can integrate a CRM like Salesforce or Monday to track visitors across your website, learn customers’ preferences, and create landing pages to capture new leads.
  • Ecommerce tools: Ecommerce integrations enable you to calculate shipping costs, process payments, monitor inventory, and much more to keep your business running smoothly.

4. Value

While there are some excellent free website builders, you’ll still need to budget some money for your website to get it up and running. Most subscription-based website builders include both the builder itself and hosting for your site.

The quality of this hosting is important. Look for builders that offer unlimited bandwidth—meaning your site won’t slow down as your traffic increases—and high storage limits for your content.

Some cheap website builders stand out because they offer extras like a free domain name, SSL certificate, and email at your domain. You’ll need these features to get up and running, so having them included in your builder can save you money.

If you’re running an ecommerce store, watch out for commission-based pricing. This can be a good option when you’re just starting out and sales are slow. But as your business grows, a 3% commission on your sales can end up being much more expensive than a fixed monthly subscription.

We also recommend checking out a builder’s app store if it has one. The apps available can be a good indication of what features aren’t provided with your plan. You can also look at app prices to estimate how much your website might cost in the future if you need advanced ecommerce features.

5. Customer Service

One of the most common mistakes we see first-time website owners make is ignoring customer service when choosing a site builder. Your website is the public face of your business and, for online store owners, a major source of revenue. If there’s a problem, you need to be able to get help immediately.

For this reason, nearly all major website builders offer 24/7 customer service. We recommend looking for platforms that offer live chat or phone support, which enables you to get help faster than email support.

The best builders also have detailed knowledge bases with design tutorials and troubleshooting tips. Platforms like Squarespace and Wix offer community forums, which can help you find answers to questions faster since there’s a good chance someone has had the same problem before you.

Don’t Waste Time & Money – Know What to Look For Before Choosing a Website Builder

Before you choose a website builder, it’s important to consider each platform’s ease of use, customization options, tools and integrations, value for money, and customer support.

These factors play a huge role in how long it will take to get your site running, what features you’ll have once it’s up, and how much help you’ll have when you need it.

Now that you know what to look for, you can jumpstart your search for the perfect platform with our guide to the best website builders for 2024.

FAQs

What should I consider when choosing a website builder?

Is using a website builder better than building my own site?

Can I test out a website builder before signing up?

Related Reading

Michael Graw
Technology Expert
Michael Graw
Technology Expert

Michael Graw is an experienced writer in the business and B2B tech fields. His articles can be found on Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Tom’s Guide, and TechRadar, and cover everything from corporate finance to crypto and international tech regulation. A prolific copywriter and entrepreneur, Michael has worked with a wide range of SaaS and tech companies and has his finger firmly on the pulse of B2B tech and finance.