The internet has made it possible for anyone to start their own business and sell products anywhere in the world. For any online store, it becomes essential to have a strong online presence to reach a broader audience.
But if you're looking to take a step up from your Etsy, eBay, or Amazon stores, then an eCommerce website builder might be just what you need!
There are several factors to consider while you’re planning to launch an online store. With the right website builder, you successfully launch a store without having to code even a single page of your website.
Website builders simplify the process owing to their easy drag and drop functionality.
But out of the sea of options available online, which website builder should you choose for your online store?
This post will make that task easier for you!
We’ve compiled a list of things you need to consider before choosing a website builder.
Let’s get started!
Things to Keep in Mind While Choosing a Website Builder for Your Online Store
Your search for a website builder should start with features including ease of use, design functionality, customization, and security features.
Let's discuss some of the essential factors that you should consider while looking for a website builder for your online store.
Ease of Use
A website builder should have an intuitive interface and easy to use drag and drop builder. Typically, a website builder should be the fastest and easy way to create an online store.
Great website builders do not require you to add even a single line of code and include all the vital features needed to accept payments, manage orders, shipping, and more. Additionally, it should be very flexible, allowing for a high-level personalization of each template or page.
Don’t forget to check how many templates are available with a particular site builder.
Designs and Features
A great website builder would offer tons of templates to choose from with flexible editing options. Your online store will need a design that emphasizes getting visitors to take action and purchase.
You don’t want to invest in a website builder to discover later that there are too few customization options or the themes and templates are not of much use.
Typically, it is possible to browse the templates available with a website builder before making a purchase.
A great website builder should make it easy for you to follow SEO best practices and implement them in your store. For example, it should be able to update meta descriptions and image alt tags, provide your sitemap to search engines, help improve site speed and provide store analytics.
Here are some of the elements to look for:
- Title tags and meta descriptions
- SSL certificate (HTTPS)
- Mobile responsive design
- Image optimization (alt-text & filenames)
- Fast loading time
- Schema markup data
- Connect to Google Analytics
- Ability to change URL
Site builders that can guarantee a fast load time on mobile are preferable owing to the ever-increasing number of mobile users. It is predicted that by 2021, mobile sales are going to dominate eCommerce by driving $659 billion.
When you are starting an online store, there is a learning curve. But even if you are already an expert, numerous bugs can occur over time, ranging from minor issues to significant problems such as the store going off-line. Customer support to straighten things out is vital and if it is available 24/7, even better.
Good website builders have an integrated customer support functionality, streamlining your customer relationship management. Ensure the website builder also has tutorials, video tutorials, and communities as additional resources to resolve any problem.
There are many website builders, and it is a very competitive space, find the one that offers the most value for a given price. It is also crucial to compare what all is included in the price.
Do they provide a free SSL certificate? A free domain? A free business email? What are other features available?
These questions help you filter out your search and choose a website builder that comes with the most relevant features at the right price.
Be aware that some website builders could offer lower prices, but they may charge you a lot of money for addons you may need later. Therefore, be extra careful while doing your research.
Most website builders cost between $5 and $10 per month, but some plans can cost up to $29 when they include add ons and features.
It is always essential to check for reviews and testimonials from other customers to see if they are happy with the service and if the company has overall a good reputation.
See what other business owners say about customer service and how the company uses the feedback to fix bugs.
This aspect is not stressed enough, but one has to make sure that in signing up for a website builder, the data is stored and owned in your internal database and doesn't belong to the website builder.
Check the terms of services carefully and ensure you will own your store and data in it and that you can move it to another place if required. Mainly, when using a free website builder, you do not own the domain name, and sometimes, it might result in losing your data. Or, in some other cases, you can't switch to another website builder if you want to.
Though all free website builders are not like that, being extra careful while doing the comparison is a must.
Even for paid plans, you should take extra care to read the terms of service to ensure there aren't limitations.
The Most Popular Website Builders for Launching an Online Store
Efficient website builders make it easy for an online store owner to create a site for their business in a short time and without coding knowledge.
But, the website development industry is evolving fast, which means you can find a tailor-made solution for your business needs. Some of the most popular names like Shopify or Wix are well known amongst online store owners, but here are some Shopify alternatives that you can compare and consider:
Most of those platforms offer budget-friendly options because anyone can create a stunning website without hiring a web designer. Typically, anyone coming to a site built with a great website builder could think you are a professional designer.
Not all those platforms are perfect for you. Some have a particular feature or quality that differentiates them from others. For example, Wix is considered the most user-friendly, Squarespace is considered to have the best template designs, and GoDaddy provides a faster way to build a website.
What is essential is to find the website builder that suits your needs.
Choosing a website builder to launch an online store is not always easy. There are too many options and features available. Website builders often create new add-ons and features to make things better and faster.
While it is great to have many options and features available, it creates an inevitable confusion, especially for new website owners. Noting down what features you need and then checking the availability of those features can make your process easy.
This post will help you make your decision fast!