With the power of the internet, reaching new customers, building brand awareness, and advertising your business are more accessible than ever before.

But for many individuals just starting to develop their online presence, creating an effective website for your business isn’t so simple.

You’ve got a business to run, priorities to tackle, and not enough time in the day. But should you use a DIY website builder or pay for a professional website?

While there are plenty of small business website builders to choose from, not all of them offer the flexibility you need to grow your business online and set you up for success.

Below, we’ve created a short list to help you weigh the pros and cons.

1. WordPress

WordPress is one of the largest web builders and website hosts in the world. They service a tremendous portion of the internet and are continuing to make an impact around the world.

WordPress themes for business are available for all industry types, including everything from bloggers to mechanics.

This content management system platform enables you to explore your web design skills and provides advanced web developers the ability to customize themes to function the way you need it to.

Because of the widespread use of WordPress, they offer many options such as:

  • Using code or drag-and-drop modules
  • Open developer support
  • Plugins that offer additional functionalities

The new Gutenberg update makes WordPress accessible to more people than ever, giving them the ability to create robust websites easily.

WordPress Pros:

  • Can code or drag-and-drop blocks onto pages
  • Gutenberg expands the customizability and easy access
  • Inexpensive for hosting and domain, WordPress has hosting providers that sell both
  • Can make websites that use multiple languages

WordPress Cons:

  • Can be complicated to learn the system
  • You have to manage your own website
  • The plugin system means you have to update your plugins and manage their interactions (these interactions can sometimes break your site)

2. Wix

Wix is a popular choice for small businesses owners who want a DIY website builder.

It uses a combination of templates and a drag-and-drop interface to make designing a website simple. However, most DIY website builders offer minimal functionalities, lack robust security, and are unable to scale as your business grows.

Wix Pros:

  • Very easy system to learn and use
  • All sites are mobile optimized
  • Free trials for websites
  • Free and paid apps to customize sites
  • Hundreds of templates for websites

Wix Cons:

  • Free websites will display Wix ads; must upgrade to a premium subscription to remove them
  • Less room for advanced customization
  • Smaller user base; fewer plugins
  • Theme base can make Wix sites look similar to each other
  • Moving websites out of the Wix system is difficult
  • Need to buy a domain system separate from Wix

3. Bold Grid

Bold Grid is a website builder for WordPress that simplifies the web design process.

Some things to know about Bold Grid:

  • WordPress plugin and standalone
  • Gallery of starting themes with WordPress support
  • Drag-and-drop + module editor
  • Makes staging websites easy
  • Basic plugin is free but need hosting account and domain to run

While most of its features seem easy enough to use, it’s not the perfect all-in-one solution for designing a website. Bold Grid doesn’t offer a free trial, so business owners can’t try before they buy.

And if you’re looking for an ecommerce platform, Bold Grid doesn’t include it. Instead you have to use plugins and trying to integrate it into the website can get messy.

Bold Grid Pros:

  • Staging site
  • Real-view page editor
  • Professionally designed themes
  • WordPress integration and support
  • All plugins, menus, themes, etc. are fully customizable

Bold Grid Cons:

  • Need a WordPress hosting account and domain name
  • No free trials available
  • Does not include eCommerce tools

4. Shopify

If you’re a small business owner who wants to sell products online, then Shopify may be one of the many platforms you consider.

Shopify features built-in templates, so it can be easy to choose a website design. However, for advanced customization, it’s harder to manage because the platform is written in its own developed PHP language.

Shopify Pros:

  • Excellent for online stores
  • Shopify Payments option
  • Fully hosted – no managing software, updates, or backups
  • Inventory management
  • Marketing assistance
  • Statistics tracker
  • Drag and drop web builder
  • In store Point of Sales system
  • WordPress integration

Shopify Cons:

  • System is expensive, you pay for what you’re getting
  • Transferring your website away from Shopify is difficult
  • Add-ons are expensive

5. Genesis Platform

One of the best website solutions for small businesses is the Genesis Platform. This platform is created by Kansas City based marketers and developers who know what it takes to scale your brand’s presence online.

It integrates with WordPress, providing you with flexibility solutions to grow when you need it to. Your website theme will always be up to date with Google’s mobile and speed best practices and it features galleries, blogs, events, and more – at no additional cost.

When you buy a website through the Genesis Platform, you work directly with their team of marketers and developers to build the website the way you want it to work. During the process, you learn about best practices and insights on how to improve your visibility online.

And if any issues arise, you get to speak directly to the people who helped build it. Which means no long phone calls talking with support overseas or trying to figure it out on your own.

Genesis Website Pros:

  • Client oriented programming team to ensure that your website is exactly what you want, how you want it
  • Writing and graphic design experts crafting your website
  • Marketing specialists helping to grow your business
  • WordPress base allows for access to millions of plugins to enhance your website along with knowledge of plugins – which work best, which to avoid, etc.
  • Experience with all kinds of website needs, able to provide a solution to every need
  • You don’t have to take the time to figure out how to build a website or which plugins are the most user friendly
  • Working with a team who can create your website while you run your business
  • Not having to keep up with updates to plugins or figuring out why your website doesn’t work after a plugin has been updated

Genesis Website Cons:

  • Your website might be too good
  • Business associates will become jealous of your amazing website and increased business
  • But seriously…
    • Trusting a team of people to capture, present, and articulate your vision
    • While plugins may be free, the work to implement them will not be
    • There will be deadlines for approving content and making payments

The Choice is Yours

No matter what web builder you decide to use, the most important takeaway from this list is the need for a website.

The modern world focuses ever more on the internet, especially on mobile devices, and having no effective internet presence is asking for failure. The ease of new web builder solutions ensures that no matter who you are, a few hours of work will allow you to create a beautiful website.

The world is waiting to hear your message, to see the great work you do. What will you show them?

If you find yourself stuck, simply have a question, or want a partner to bring your message to the world, contact us today. Strategy can help!

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