Most small businesses are not on their way to a round of start-up financing, and whether yours is experiencing success or struggle, you no doubt need affordable tools that keep your business humming and help it succeed. Arguably, the most important of these would be your website. Sure, you could get by having just a business page on Facebook, and you should be doing social media promotion, but that doesn’t give you the same level of control over the look and feel and the user experience that you get from having a dedicated site. If you’ve browsed for design and web hosting reviews, you know that developers are in hot competition to offer small businesses great websites, but a few have risen to the top.
Need a pretty site real fast? Wix is the easiest for those who want a functional site and don’t have the inclination to nitpick over the design, as it now has an automated function that will practically make a fully designed website appear before your eyes. Surprisingly, its artificial design intelligence does produce beautiful sites in very little time, by looking through the web to create a scheme appropriate to your business category. It’s an impressive bit of technology, and if you’re really cost-conscious, it does have a free option, though the paid service starts at less than $5 per month. This is a comprehensive solution for busy owner-managers.
Squarespace was the first to offer really great design in its templates. It isn’t the most intuitive or easy-to-use product, and it doesn’t have a lot of choice in designs but it does have a lot of options and tools for customising your site. It also offers analytics, great e-commerce functionality, and true responsive design for mobile. Another advantage for Squarespace is that should you decide to move on to managed WordPress hosting, you can pull the server folders and transfer them so you don’t have to start from scratch.
Weebly is similar to both of the above options in design quality, but it’s easier to use than Squarespace. Also, even in its free version, you can see your site activity statistics, which you have to pay for in Wix. Weebly offers total portability to a standard web hosting service – you can download a ZIP archive with all of your code. The only things you can’t grab are comments and the storefront. It automatically generates your mobile site as you create your primary site.
All three of these products are very highly rated by PC Magazine for their primary features and functionality, so you’ll likely choose according to your particular wants and needs, such as options for a newsletter or blog, third-party add-ons, or analytics. None of them will steer you wrong, though, and your business will thank you for the small effort and a simple yet smart cloud solution.