Website builder programs can be worthwhile if you’re looking for a simple way to create a website for your online business without going through the hassle or learning HTML, PHP, CSS, or similar kind of coding languages.
This article discusses the most important considerations to find the right web site builder for any internet website.
WYSIWYG is a popular acronym many webmasters might know. It stands for What You See Is What You Get. I guess you can make out the benefits from the name itself. WYSIWYG website builders have a definite advantage. Even if you are a total newbie and do not know what, even the basic HTML codes mean, this is the right software for you.
Simply put, you can customize the look and feel of the design without writing a single line of code. Any changes you make to the design, is automatically updated at the back end with the help of dynamic code generators.
Online or Offline Website Builder?
Some people want to go for programs that they can easily install on their computers. In other words, they want to be able to work with it even while they’re not connected to the internet. These offline software applications make more sense for those who have slower dial up connectivity (Wonder if that still exists).
There are several website builders which will install on your local machine and help you develop the website without much hassle. Dreamweaver is one such software I regularly use. However, it comes at a price. There are lots of free options available which you can download and install on your computer.
On the other hand, some people prefer the freedom of accessing their website, so they can work on it from any computer with internet connectivity. For these people, a better option would be to use a versatile, yet simple to use online website builder that you could access from any internet connected computers.
The benefits include accessing the website and building it even from your mobile phone. It does not matter whether you have the latest high-end PC or a 10 year old computer. All you need is an internet connection.
If you sign up for Hostgator hosting, you’ll see that they provide a free online website editing software. While it’s not the best one around, it’s definitely a good piece of software.
There are numerous website building software options which are available for free. Some advanced solutions come for a decent license cost. But be sure to keep the budget under consideration while you shop for these solutions. The more user-friendly you want the system to be, the more it will cost. The reason is because people put lot of work behind the scenes to make the software extremely user friendly and so they charge for it.
Another point to note is that paid software’s have an added advantage of premium support which you might not otherwise get. Even the silliest of doubts are clarified in a professional manner by these paid website development software companies.
Designs & Templates
If you’re looking for something that comes with super-easy built-in templates, you could have that too! But make sure that you’ve thoroughly scrutinized the previews of the templates before you actually buy or install the templates. Some people have a web site designer working with them. In that case, feel free to find a web site builder that’ll allow the designer to craft a template that’ll work hand in hand with the web site builder.
Premium web site builder software’s have huge number of templates inbuilt. I have seen the templates which come with free WYSIWYG software’s and I must say they are pathetic. Some paid software’s also include poor templates along with it.
If you want minimum work, I suggest you buy some templates off the net and use them with your free web site builder software. Some templates are even optimized for SEO.
Do you have a web site hosted already? Then, you’ll have to ensure that the web site builder is fully compatible with the host (In case you go for an online version). Nearly all web site hosts are offering a wide selection of web site builders that you can easily compare with.
No matter what, ensure that it’s compatible with the computer you’re using (If you opt for an offline version). It needs to generate websites compatible with your browser as well.
This is very important from SEO as well as crawlability point of view. The better your semantic coding, the easier it will be for browsers to render your website. It will also help search engines bots to crawl your website easily so that they can index your site. Most of the time, when people come to me for usability and SEO audit, I find poorly written code which is the main problem their website doesn’t get properly indexed.
Some WYSIWYG website building software’s generate inefficient code. It increases the overall complexity of the page unnecessarily. Code bloats are a major issue while search engine bots crawl your website. Efficient coding means faster loading on web browsers. This also means that your website won’t break on different browsers when viewed at different resolutions.
Having a clean code also helps when you hire a designer in the future to rev up your website. Looking at the code, a developer can understand what it is all about. Inefficient coding at the beginning increases the work for the later coder and so he will charge you more since he has to work extra hours just to clean up the code.
Plan the features you want in your website. Then see whether the web site builder offers those features. Some common features are informational pages, newsletters, image/photo galleries, blogs, calendars, contact forms, shopping carts or any other things you need.
Some website builders for small business have the ability to upload files directly to your web hosting account via FTP. This avoids the need for another FTP program. If you have server-side technologies, make sure that your web site builder can handle those as well.
Do you want support? Will you be requiring additional help while you design your website? In that case, you will always have to go with a paid website builder as they will have a dedicated support team. If you are a beginner, make sure that the company provides you a well-documented guide on how to use the website builder.
You will also need to check with them how often they will be releasing updates for the software. Try to find out if they have a long-term support strategy. You wouldn’t want to spend your money on products that vanish soon after they are released. Never believe the hype. Always use due diligence while buying any software product from the internet.
Try to get a working demo of the product. Install it, use it and test it. Do you find it’s good? If so go ahead and buy it. If you do not feel that the software offers the features as promised then drop it and go ahead with another product. There are lots of web site builders for small business available in the market.