How To Choose A Website Builder – Criteria Analysis


Worried about how much you need to invest in hiring a web developer? In 2020, you don’t need to. Not even if you have no technical skills in website building. A simpler solution is available in the form of drag-and-drop website builders. 

You’ll find lots of user-friendly DIY website builders. Some of them are free, also. The fun is, that is where the problem lies. How do you decide which one will be best for you? What are the criteria that you can use to decide which will best fit your particular needs?

We have used our experience and expertise and enriched it further with rigorous research to identify the six main criteria that you need to consider.  If you keep these in focus, you’re unlikely to make the wrong choice. 

  1. User-Friendly Editing 

Every drag-and-drop website builder offers a WYSIWYG editor. What You See Is What You Get: that’s what it means. Not all of them are the same, however. Some of the platforms have visual editors that are particularly convenient for beginners. 

The other tools in such platforms are also easy enough to use. A complete beginner can get a grip on them by experimenting with them for a while.  That will increase your options for exploring different design options. 

Some website builders are not so easy to use. You may need to have some degree of technical knowledge to make your way around them. So, choose a platform based on your technical skills. 

  1. Readymade Templates

All of these drag-and-drop website builders offer design templates that you can use. These will save you the trouble of designing it yourself. However, customization options are also available, though they vary across platforms. 

Some website builders offer templates for free, while others charge a price. To access most of the Shopify templates, for example, you need to have a paid plan. Wix, on the other hand, offers its templates free of cost.   

Whether paid or free, the templates are designed by professionals. Free templates don’t imply any compromise in quality. However, the number and types of templates vary across platforms. So do customization options.

  1. Technical Support

Basic support is always available by default. If you need to escalate a complaint or need immediate support, you’ll need to opt for a paid plan. If you’re a beginner, you might be in need of immediate and ongoing support.

Some website builders offer prioritized support if you have a premium account with them. If you think your business will suffer unless you can quickly address any website issue, paying that extra cash could be beneficial.

The mode of support varies across platforms. The usual routes are: 

  • Online chat
  • Email support
  • Feedback form
  • Telephone calls

Some website builders offer online chat and telephone call options only to paid users. Some of the more popular platforms also offer strong community support. Some platforms also offer excellent tutorials. You may not even need any support after that. 

One thing to bear in mind is that not all platforms offer multilingual options. Most of them are in English. If you need website builders with instructions and other functions in a language other than English. 

If you need it in Russian, for example, you’ll have to be careful in your choice. Otherwise, you’ll have to depend on online translation, unless you can solve the problem yourself.

  1. Costs

You’ll find these website building platforms offer several tariff plans. Most of them have a free plan as well. The basic functions you get with the free plan may not be sufficient, however. To get more functions, you need to pay.  

The higher the price, the more are the functions you can access. 

Let’s explain with an example. Suppose you want to use a free platform to build your company’s website. The platform offers up to 500 MB of storage space, up to 1 GB bandwidth, and access to plenty of templates free of cost. 

This may well be sufficient for you to begin with. However, remember that you cannot get your own domain name. Your website will be hosted on the builder’s domain. So, your website will bear the builder’s name. 

Also, every page will have the website builder’s ad. If you want a domain name of your choice free of the platform’s name, you’ll have to buy domain space. Some platforms charge higher to remove their ads. When you need more storage space and bandwidth, the tariff is likely to be even higher.

Different website building platforms offer different tariff plans. However, what you need to consider is not just the price, but what all the plan includes. A cheaper plan may end up being more costly as you may need to pay separately for additional functions or storage, etc. 

An “all-inclusive” plan at a higher price may be a more profitable option in the long run.

  1. Possibilities For Business

If you want to run an online store, you need to be particularly careful. An attractive website with SEO tools inserted may be enough for a freelancer or a sole proprietor to sell their service/s more effectively. A self-introduction and a feedback form may be all that they need.   

If you want to run an online store, that is not going to be enough for you. You’ll need to integrate payment options. Sales analytics, reports, and similar other things are also essential for a business to function efficiently.

To run an online store, you must choose your platform carefully. Make sure that the website builder you choose offer all of the above facilities. Else, you’ll face problems later as your business grows and you need to add more functions to your website.

  1. Integration Possibilities

To successfully run an online business through your website, you need to integrate different services. Payment and delivery options, social network linkage, a CRM system, etc. are some of the typical needs.

Most website builders supporting business sites offer these facilities. However, they hardly ever come free of cost.  Be ready to pay extra for integrating these services with your website. 

So, when you choose a website builder, check for the integration options. For instance, some foreign platforms are not responsive to CIS clients. These platforms may not allow integration with local delivery services.

How To Make A Decision After All?

Each of the criteria described here is important. But the final call is: Prioritize your needs over the price and keep business growth in focus.  

It is critical to match your needs with the options a platform offers. 

If it is an online store that you have in mind, however, the type of your business should drive your choice. For some kinds of businesses, just the basic functions of an inexpensive website might be sufficient.

A different business may find just the basic functions inadequate. The nature of the business may demand more capacity and functions. 

The stage of your business is also a key factor. It may make good business sense for a startup with a limited budget to go for a simple website that does not cost much. For an established company with a stable market position, however, a more expensive website may be crucial. 

Also, don’t fall into the trap of comparing contemporary website builders with those that existed 10 years back. These modern platforms offer a range of powerful functions to suit varying needs. 

Go by your needs. You are the best judge of which platform offers you the best solution.

A Jargon-Free Cybersecurity Glossary for Small Businesses

Cybersecurity threats are an ever-present risk of doing business online, and they’re getting more frequent during COVID-19.

In March 2020, scams increased over 400 percent from the previous month and Google blocked over 18 million daily malware and phishing emails in April. But to protect your business, you need to know what each of these cybersecurity terms mean.

Our cybersecurity dictionary tells you what you need to know and how it applies to your business. Unlike a traditional dictionary, we listed the terms in the easiest order to understand, instead of alphabetically, to help you build your cybersecurity knowledge as you read.

Small business cybersecurity terms

Network

Your business most likely uses a network, which is a group of computers virtually connected together, to share files, data, and applications. Cybersecurity centers around protecting your company network and data.

Breach

Each time a person or application accesses your network without permission, it’s referred to as a breach. If they also steal data while on your system, cybersecurity experts call it a data breach.

Hacks

When someone hacks your network or a device, they are essentially breaking into your system. They take action that allows them into something they don’t have permission to access. Hackers usually have malicious intent, like stealing data, manipulating data, or releasing malware.

Endpoint

Every device connected to your networks — like laptops, printers, mobile devices, and point-of-sale hardware — is an endpoint that allows access to your network. Because cybercriminals and viruses use endpoints to gain unauthorized access, protecting each endpoint with unique passwords and anti-virus software is an important part of securing your business.

Vulnerabilities

This refers to the weaknesses of your connected devices, network, and security systems, and the software that runs on them. These holes in your defense allow intruders to access your network, applications, or systems. As a business owner, you want to proactively identify any vulnerabilities and take action to protect your server.

Common mistakes include:

  • Devices (such as laptops) without antivirus software
  • Software not updated with the latest version
  • Missed firewall security updates

Fraud

When talking about online purchases, fraud usually refers to someone trying to get goods or services without paying, or trying to get money from you that you don’t owe. A fraudster can use a stolen credit card or try to get a refund for a product they didn’t purchase from you. – Read more

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5 Ways to Move Your Company to Paperless Operations

Did you know that 50% of all business waste is paper? And that the vast majority of this waste then ends up in landfills, polluting our soil and the air we breathe? Or that it takes 10 liters of water to make one A4 piece of paper?

By taking your company paperless, you can significantly contribute to the health and longevity of our planet, as well as reduce your own expenses. Not to mention, you will reduce the amount of unnecessary clutter around your offices, and step into the digital future.

Let’s take a look at five ways you can take your company paperless.

Do Paperless Meetings

Company meetings involve a lot of paper – presentations, minutes, everyone’s individual notes amount to an excessive amount of waste.

Instead of printing out your presentation’s key points and circling them around to let everyone write their own notes, go for a virtual presentation, which you can later share with all the participants. You can also select a team member to take notes on a laptop during the meeting and share the file with everyone else.

Educate your staff on the importance of going paperless, and why they shouldn’t use notepads at meetings either. Some might have a more difficult time adjusting to this new mode of operation, but with a bit of education and guidance, they’ll be able to overcome the initial pushback.

Stop Sending Physical Mail

A lot of companies are already cutting down on the amount of mail they send, choosing to do most of their communication via email. However, there are still things you can do to cut down on your paper trail even further:

  • Opt for virtual holiday and other celebratory cards instead of sending them through the mail.
  • Create digital brochures and catalogs instead of printed ones.
  • Do paperless billing and invoicing. Ask all the companies sending their bills and invoices to you to do it digitally, and do the same for your own customers.
  • Always use electronic calendars instead of physical ones. There are countless apps available that can be synced across all your devices, making sure you stay on schedule.

Scan All of Your Existing Paperwork

You likely already have an extensive paper archive in the office – which you don’t quite want to throw out.

Before you recycle all of your company’s documents, turn them digital either with a scanner (which will take more time, but the quality will be much better) or via a phone app that can turn images into PDFs. Make sure you shred any sensitive documentation before recycling it, as you don’t want to jeopardize your company’s security.

The same goes for all of your internal manuals and processes. You don’t have to keep them in paper format – you can scan all of them and store them on the cloud, ensuring the right people have the right access.

When going digital, make sure you invest a fair amount of time, effort, and resources in security. Depending on whether you store your data locally or remotely, you’ll need to rely on secure servers, firewalls, and other security measures.

Use E-signatures for All of Your Documents

Signing contracts and agreements no longer has to involve printing out a whole host of documents for you to sign. Instead, you can move to electronic signatures, both for your contracts and for your credit card transactions through different POS systems.

E-signatures are completely legally binding. Plus, the fact that you can sign your documents on practically any device and don’t have to visit a physical store or office in order to do that makes them incredibly practical.

You can ask your clients to do the same, saving even more paper in the process. – Read more

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