In today’s competitive market, having a website isn’t just a nicety, it’s a necessity. Creating a digital storefront and online presence is essential for being seen and becoming successful and can also help your business run more efficiently.
However, creating a website from scratch can be time-consuming and challenging, especially for those who have minimal coding or designing experience. Thanks to website building services, even those who’ve never built a website before can create a stunning showcase of their brand.
Many of these website building services have cropped up in recent years to meet the rising demand. This is good for those looking to break into the digital world who need such tools. But not all such platforms are created equally, and it can be overwhelming to decide which provider is best for your needs. Below, we’ve outlined the top considerations you should make when choosing what builder you use for your next project and take a deep dive into one of the most popular options, Webflow.
Choosing the Best Website Builder for You
If you’ve started looking into creating your website, you’ve probably already heard of several options you can choose from. There are many different services, all claiming to be the best. But how do you know what will work for you? To decide, you must take into account the specific requirements of your project and be honest about your priorities and desires. In particular, there are several vital factors you should take into account:
Website builders are considerably cheaper than hiring a professional designer or a web design company in the Bay Area to create your website. But that doesn’t mean they don’t come at a cost. Most website builders have a free option or trial to get you started, but it will only be enough to create the most basic website and is unlikely to have all the functionalities and capabilities.
Website builder plans range from $5 to $40 a month. But, you may also have to pay additional fees for things like domain names, plugins, premium themes, or other features you’re looking for. If you’re really on a budget, you can find some of these for free or for minimal cost, but you’ll be much more limited in your options.
Generally speaking, the more you pay for a website builder and the higher the plan you select, the more customization you can achieve. This can help you set your website apart from the competition and be more creative in your approach. But for those looking for a straightforward, simple, and practical website.
Set your expectations accordingly as you begin researching website builders. But, even before that, you should sit down and set a budget for what you’re able and willing to pay for these services.
Consider the Features
Is there a particular way you want your website to function or look? You’ll need to find a website builder that offers those capabilities. For example, if you need to take payments through your site, you’ll need to choose a website builder suitable for e-commerce websites.
However, this consideration goes hand-in-hand with cost. You may have big ideas for your website, but you’ll have to address whether those goals are achievable given the budget you have. The greater the number of features and the more advanced, the more likely the price will increase.
Ease of Use
The whole point of using a website builder is that it makes websites easy to create for the average person. But some website builders have a steeper learning curve than others.
You’ll need to assess the level of your abilities to find the right fit. Have you ever built a website before, or are you new to the process? If you have some experience in the field, you can try out some builders with more advanced features. But if you’re new to the game, you’ll want to find something that’s intuitive, and that will walk you through the steps with helpful tooltips or even tutorials and walkthroughs.
Remember to also look into a website builder’s customer service and tech support aspects. Having a team on your side who will support you if things get confusing or something goes wrong is always a good thing, especially if you’re new to the processor platform.
Is WebFlow for you?
Now that you’ve considered your priorities and what you’re looking for in a website builder, let’s look at one of the top options. Webflow has quickly become a fan favorite in the world of website design. But let’s see how it holds up to these particular criteria to see if it might be suitable for you and your project:
Although you can create a website for free on Webflow, you’ll need a paid plan to have an effective launch. Webflow has several main pricing plans, each suitable for different types of projects. In general, these plans are billed annually, and their cost depends on the amount of traffic your site receives.
The Basic Plan costs between $12-36 a month and is best for content-driven sites such as blogs or simple sites like portfolios. If you have an e-commerce site and need to take payments, you’ll need at least a Standard Plan, which is $29 a month. If you sell bulk items, you’ll need to bump this up to the Plus or Advanced Plan, which can cost as much as $212 a month. The platform also offers quotes for larger enterprises, including a more tailored and customized approach.
In comparison to other website builders, these plan prices are pretty high. But that’s because they come with quite a few templates and features, which some may find worthwhile.
Webflow has over 100 templates to choose from in a variety of categories. With so many options and an intuitive filtering feature, it’s easy to find the exact template you’re looking for and customize it to your liking.
Many of these templates are free, but some come at a cost, anywhere between $19 and $149. This may seem like a high cost for something that can also be found for free, but these premium templates will set your website apart from the competition and are more likely to outlive trends and last longer.
Although Webflow has tons of templates to choose from, it falls short on features compared to its competitors. If you’re looking for help with SEO, want smooth interactions, and are looking for peace of mind with good security and backups, Webflow might be the right choice for you. Similarly, suppose you’re looking to create an e-commerce site. In that case, Webflow can be helpful when it comes to having multiple payment options, calculating tax, and integrating social media like Facebook and Instagram. But it can be not very pleasant when it comes to other aspects, including even some simple tasks, such as embedding links.
Easy to Use
One of the most significant benefits of Webflow is that it takes only minutes to get started and begin building a website. The builder will feel familiar to those used to working with Photoshop, with its toolbar and customization options. It may take a few tries to get oriented with the platform for those who aren’t.
In Webflow, you can create a fully customized system by simply dragging and dropping boxes into your desired layout, which you then turn into particular elements. This visual approach makes building your website much more accessible than dealing with code.
Great Customer Service
Webflow has a great help center, called Webflow University, which is full of guides to assist those who get stuck or are new to website building. This eases out some of the kinks that come with the way Webflow presents the design process, which could be complicated to those who aren’t familiar.
Webflow also has a great forum where questions can be answered, and advice is freely given. In many cases, any problems that users run into can be solved independently with a quick dive into these forums or Webflow University.
However, the reason these forums are so popular is likely because they’re the best way to get answers. Webflow has no track of being contacted directly or immediately by users. Issues must be emailed to support, and a response will be sent back within 24-48 hours.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking to start a website for your business, Webflow is a solid choice, especially if you already have some experience designing websites. Webflow may come at a premium in terms of website builders, but it allows for more customization than other options, which can help you set your site apart from your competitors.