Not too long ago, a business or individual that wanted to develop a website typically sought out a digital marketing company or website designer guru and paid a hefty sum for website development and hosting. This normally wasn't a big deal for large companies and corporations with a large marketing budget, but smaller businesses and those wanting to create a personal website weren't always able to afford the large price tag that came with a brand new, customized website.
However, as online marketing and website design became ever more prevalent over the last decade, prices for such services dropped so that those particular types of businesses could remain competitive. This helped level the playing field for many businesses that could now afford a beautiful and functional site, enabling them to better compete with larger competitors.
The Rising Popularity of Website Builders
In more recent years there has been a steady increase in companies offering businesses and individuals the use of website templates—creative, functional website designs that could be used to create a website simply by inserting your own content and images. Templates are usually inexpensive, and many include coding that delivers important features and functions found on regularly developed websites.
Taking the idea of the template one step further and introducing even more functionality and creative development at a low price, are website builders. These advanced online website building tools make it easy for anyone to create a unique, user-friendly and functional website within mere moments, at a very low cost. Website builders are embraced and utilized by everyone from individuals looking to create a personal website to small businesses and major corporations who want increased flexibility and control over their website content.
Major Advantages of Website Builder Software
Today's website builders come with all the bells and whistles you might want, and websites are typically constructed via an easy to learn user interface and tools once a template design has been chosen. Many templates and website builders offered by hosting companies or web design companies are free to use, though you may pay a small fee for hosting and domain names. Additional services can also be purchased to further enhance your website, such as search engine optimization, site submission, and Wordpress integration, among others.
You only pay for what you need
Website builders offer those looking to create a website exactly what they want, letting them customize and choose the specific level of service they need or desire. This means extremely reduced costs compared to what it used to cost to design and build a website.
The code is written for you
You don't really need to know anything about HTML code in order to create your website using a web builder. The application does the work for you, and creating your website can be as simple as selecting images, buttons, and other objects from a menu, and inserting your own text into boxes placed wherever you like.
A good website builder will also create sitemaps for you, which is useful for getting major search engines to find your website, as well as enable other useful HTML code functions, such as Google Ads, buttons for sharing content on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and more.
Beautiful, Professional Designs
Many templates have been professionally designed for website builders by graphic designers and website designers, providing you with a multitude of attractive website templates to choose from. You can easily choose the template that best suits your needs and company branding, and then further customize it by changing colors, images, fonts and more to truly make it your own and reflect your personal branding.
Easy to use Drag and Drop Interface
Most website builders utilize the drag and drop method of building your website, meaning you drag text boxes, images and other content around the page until it’s exactly where you like. Templates usually have many objects already in place, saving you additional time in deciding where to put text or graphics. This method of website building writes the code for you behind the scenes, and enables you to create a website very quickly. You can have a simple website up in a day or even a few hours if that's what you want.
Even though you are building the website yourself, many website builders offered by various companies provide you with the option to get help via their support staff. This is especially useful if you'd like to create a more advanced website or have questions that you cannot find answers to in any of the instructions or help documents.
When you are ready to build your website, the next step is to choose the website builder you'd like to use. Compare web builders using the criteria discussed above to see which ones offer you the most. Although you may not need everything offered by some website builders at the start, you never know if you might utilize some of the features and functions at a later date when your business grows and your website needs to expand.
Because many website builders are also free to use, you might also consider trying out a couple of the ones that stand out to you the most. Selecting a template and building a few sample pages should give you an idea of how well you can use the interface and if the website builder is ideal for your purposes.
Keep in mind that you will need to purchase a domain name and pay for web hosting. If you can find a company that offers both domain name purchases, website hosting and the use of a website builder, that might be an optimal choice. Many hosting plans also provide you with several options to choose from, further letting you customize the level of service you want, with options for easy expansion later on.
Lastly, remember that social media integration and mobile website design are also important these days, so look for a website builder that also has features and functions for both of those factors.