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hen it comes to trying to grow your small business, building a website — specifically a professional-looking one — needs to be on your radar. Having an online presence has become a practical necessity, even if you have a brick-and-mortar storefront. For this, you might need to find free or low-cost website design tools.
Think of a website as your online business card or brand-building tool. In other words, it's probably a customer's first impression of your business. In fact, according to Stanford's web credibility research, 75% of consumers admit to judging how credible a business might be based on their website.
Hiring a web designer can set you back thousands of dollars — if you're a small business owner, this may be out of your price range. There's no need to feel overwhelmed if you intend on building your own website. In fact, there are tools designed to get your business website up and running on a budget. Take a look at our list of the 15 best website design tools even if you don't have the technical know-how or a lot of marketing funds.
Strikingly offers a free plan, with the paid ones offering more features such as 24/7 customer support, a free domain for the first year, and up to 1GB of storage, all starting at $8 per month. It's best for small businesses that are just starting out and want a simple one-page website. You can choose from a wide range of designs, with some customization options available.
Wix is one of the best drag and drop builders, making it easy even for those who are intimidated using technology to customize. While there's a free tier available, we recommend going the paid route so that you can also set up an online shop with no transaction fees.
This inexpensive website builder starts at $12 per month for their small business tier, though there is a free tier (you'll have to display their ads). You can customize your website using their wide range of templates and their block-based editor (no code needed). For higher tiers, you can also access their eCommerce and marketing tools, both of which are simple to integrate.
Squarespace offers some of the most beautiful and professional-looking website designs out there. After choosing one of their templates, you can customize it using their drag and drop editor. There are pre-built pages for most purposes, such as a product page, checkout page, or an about page to highlight your company's expertise.
Starting at $1.95 per month, you can get your website hosted and design it yourself using Web.com's drag and drop builder. The company also handles website design services, but you may have to go through a consultation first to see how much it'll cost. Otherwise, you can look through their templates, including ones made for an online storefront.
For the price you pay, you'll get more customization options, an intuitive drag and drop builder, unlimited storage, customize your mobile website, and more. It doesn't have as many robust tools on the eCommerce end (like Wix for instance), but it's still a good option for small businesses with simple design needs.
GoDaddy is one of the most popular web hosting solutions out there. Small businesses will find plenty of options, including ones for eCommerce or for those who want simple designs. You'll also get to choose from simple templates, an email address, a mobile website, and more.
Not to be confused with Wordpress.org, Wordpress.com offers intuitive blogging tools, analytics, third-party integrations, and more. You can easily create a website using their templates, but for more customization, you may need to learn some code.
While you can get a free version, upgrading to a paid tier means you'll be able to get a custom domain name and other advanced features. You'll be able to customize your website using their drag and drop feature (including a mobile site), host your website on faster servers, and access WebStart's built-in stock image library.
As suggested in the company's name, SimpleSite is best for small businesses who want to create a simple website. It's great for those who want a bit of hand-holding, as it walks you step by step on how to set up and design your website. You can create an eCommerce site, but the customization options may be lacking compared to the other options on our list.
Primarily a web hosting company, you can use their website builder called Gator. There's a free version available, but the paid tiers include a free domain name for one year, 24/7 support, unlimited storage, and more. Once you sign up, HostGator will ask you a series of questions then create a website based on them.
Moonfruit offers a free 14-day trial so you can test out their services before you commit. Each tier offers readymade templates you can mix and match, email hosting, stock photos, apps, and technical support. The company claims that your website will be optimized for any device.
Setting up a website through Square is best for those who want to create an online store that has an integrated payment solution (in this case, Square). The free version offers everything you need to get a website up and running, but you won't get a custom domain name and pay higher transaction fees. The paid tiers offer other features such as customized abandoned cart emails and shipping rate calculators.
14. IM Creator
IM Creator is similar to Squarespace in that it offers beautifully designed templates. However, it doesn't have a drag and drop interface, nor options to edit photos or integrate apps. It does have a lower price point, though, starting at $8 per month — there is a free tier you can try out.
This web hosting company allows you to create websites that focus on beautiful aesthetics and graphic design. You'll be able to find a wide range of features, though if you want a more complex website, you're better off going with other alternatives.
As you can see from the list above, creating a website even if you're short on time and money can be done. All of these options also help you with making your first digital impression as professional as possible. In time, this website can help you attract more customers and grow your business.
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