How do I create my own website?
With the majority of the population working from home for almost a year, it has paved the way for so many more small businesses starting up. At Telecoms World, we have noticed a vast increase in the number of new and expanding businesses with telephony requirements, along with requests for a website to promote their ventures. Although we can help with creating a website, there are many great website building applications available which are quick and easy to use and are not as expensive as you might think.
Not all website builders are the same and there can be some important differences when it comes to functionality, ease of use, and price. So, we have explored some of the top providers available to help you choose which one would suit your needs better and get a website up and running in no time.
The lockdowns and government advice to stay home has allowed people to reflect on what they would like to do with the extra time they now have. Maybe being on furlough, reduced hours or just the lack of commute has given a lot of people more time at home to look at ways of earning either extra cash or to start a new business.
There are many marketplace shops and social media sites with local community pages and groups to promote a variety of products and services, but can they really reach a wider audience other than the local demographic? Having a website surely reaches a wider UK market, possibly even worldwide?
Whether you are a small business, larger company or just someone who enjoys blogging, creating a website through a website builder makes it easy for anyone using pre-made templates and simple drag-and-drop editing.
Social media is an ever-growing, powerful form of advertising, but don’t be put off of creating a website and worry that it will become outdated. It is best to use both and let them work hand-in-hand to support search engine results and maximise your audience reach.
A website is still an extremely relevant and important tool for any business. There are a lot of factors to consider when you create your own website, but it will give you a lot more control over what your audience sees compared to the layouts of social media.
However, the process can be daunting and there are many questions to ask yourself.
- What are the different options and features available?
- How much do they cost to set-up and what are the ongoing costs?
- Do they host the website for you or are you required / should you pay for your own high-quality web hosting?
- Will the functionality be suitable or will I need to pay more for extra features?
Here we look at our chosen top 4 website builders to help you make a more informed decision.
If you want a website built with a lot of creativity for minimal work, then Wix is a great choice. It is famous for having a great interface for a website builder with a lot of features built-in as standard that other website builders do not have.
Things you can do with Wix:
- Create a free account, choose from a range of templates, and play around with customising it before paying anything.
- A very intuitive design and easy-to-use website builder, even for a novice.
- Drag-and-drop website builder with the option of entering in some basic information about you or your business in pre-configured fields; making the process of getting a functioning website easier.
- Wix has a wide variety of modern templates. The options are suitable for almost every type of site from small businesses, artists, photographers, bloggers, and more.
- Wix has the option to add video backgrounds and other modern features which are a great benefit.
- Speedy and friendly customer service and great support pages.
Things to consider with Wix:
- Email accounts are about £3 per month, which can add up if you need multiple email accounts.
- If you want an online store you will need a more expensive an e-commerce package.
Over 74 million websites have been built using WordPress.org. It is definitely the most popular website builder on the market, with a large range of page templates to choose from. WordPress has a really user-friendly interface designed to help people who have never seen a line of code; making it a great choice for newbies. WordPress gives you full control over your website, lots of plugins and some great options in terms of making money.
Things you can do with WordPress:
- Easy-to-use design and customisation features with full access to different plugins. Meaning you can add a range of features to your website whenever you want.
- The flexibility of WordPress lets you turn your content, images, video and more into an efficient website.
- Let your creativity run free and design any website you can think of – such as membership / subscription services, forums, ecommerce, business websites and much more.
- WordPress is great if you have a content-heavy website like a blog. The website builder has an excellent content management system for adding and editing text.
Things to consider with WordPress:
- You may need some coding and technical knowledge to manage and troubleshoot issues with WordPress.
- WordPress may require a longer time to learn than other website builders on the market.
Shopify is a complete eCommerce website builder that allows you to create your own online store and sell products across multiple channels. Creating a Shopify store is very easy; register an account and start modifying an existing, free template. Shopify has thousands of “Apps” that can be added to add some extra functionality you may require, such as a Chat feature, Shipping calculator, etc.
Things you can do with Shopify:
- Create an account and browse through a range of templates. You can add and play around with a few designs to see what works best, then just apply that theme to your store.
- A very intuitive design and easy-to-use website builder. Shopify has good integration with third-party applications.
- Shopify has included a built-in mobile e-commerce shopping cart to allow prospective customers to shop and pay from your store on their mobile devices.
- You can easily make use of other potential sales channels to increase sales. There are some big names that are supported with fairly easy integration of products:
- Facebook – Sell your Shopify products through a Facebook page.
- Sell on Ebay – Sell your products through pins directly.
- Sell on Mobile Apps – Sell your products through Shopify on apps you develop.
- There are options to sell on Amazon, Etsy, Pinterest and more, with 3rd party Apps.
- Sell in person from your shop/s – Shopify can unify all your products and inventories with its built-in POS (point of sale) system.
- Shopify has a “Buy Button” so that you can easily add to your existing website or blog with just a single click. It works similarly to “Buy Now” from PayPal and will link back to your Shopify checkout for visitors to complete their purchase.
- Very easy and user-friendly mobile App to keep track of your store whilst you are on the move. It even plays an exciting “cha ching” notification sound when you have received an order!
Things to consider with Shopify:
- All themes are pretty straight forward for even the novices out there. But they use a coding language called Liquid, which can make bespoke theme customisation a bit harder unless you know how to code or are willing to hire a developer who knows how to code Shopify themes.
- Although there are thousands of many useful adds-on from the Shopify app market, many of them are not free.
- Shopify has a built-in payment provider, but you can also integrate Paypal as well as others. They will all charge a small transaction fee per order to factor into your pricing.
Squarespace is a website builder that offers over 60 templates which easily adapt to mobile devices. There are built-in tools to support bloggers, small business owners, and creatives. It also offers G Suite (Google services), PayPal integrations, SEO tools, ecommerce functions and easy social media integration to really maximise your audience reach. You shouldn’t need any particular coding skills to use Squarespace, but a little technical knowledge could help a lot.
Things you can do with Squarespace:
- A variety of beautiful templates that are already optimised for desktops, tablets and mobile devices.
- The mobile app allows you to review and edit web pages, blog posts, and view ecommerce functions on-the-go.
- Squarespace is great option for photographers, artists, craft makers and anyone looking for a website to look as good as the products being showcased.
- The platform provides a modern interface to work with which is clean and easy to navigate. This helps with fast editing and creativity once you get to grips with it.
- Squarespace is a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor and very straightforward. You can add text and images very easily, and the page you are editing is just how it will look once it is published.
Things to consider with Squarespace:
- Squarespace can be a bit tricky to get the hang of at first, it is not the fastest builder on the market to create a website with.
- The editor requires more manual input; for example, you are prompted to save edits after each change rather that autosave on its own.
- It may take some more time to learn your way around Squarespace. However, the website builder really shines when it comes to design and the features provided within templates.
Deciding What to Do
It can be confusing and all-consuming to try to find out which one of the website builders will benefit you and your business venture the most. Hopefully our overview has helped give an understanding of a few sites out there with some pros and cons of each option available.
From our own experience of these website builders, we believe Shopify to be the best option if you already have stock to sell and would like a fully functioning ecommerce website. The dashboard, the themes, the content management system are all easy to use and the platform offers a robust community forum, extensive help pages and friendly customer support to make the overall experience of using Shopify a good one.
If your website is more content focussed, such as a blog, or you’re promoting services and don’t necessarily need a checkout process, such as photographers, then Squarespace is a great choice. Again, there is a range of templates and themes on offer, great customer service, support and tutorials to help you build a great looking website from scratch.
Overall, website builders are a very cost efficient and easy way to build a website. Instead of paying a lot of money to hire a web developer for smaller projects, you can easily build your own credible and professional looking website for a low monthly fee. There are many more out there on the market, but hopefully we’ve help narrow down the top 4 for you to consider.
Telecoms World also provide thousands of phone numbers to UK businesses from 0800, 01/02 and 0333 numbers, to 0300, 0845 and 0870 numbers. Our range of business phone numbers can help to give you an efficient communication platform; providing your customers with the latest in support and call handling technology. In addition, we also offer hosted call management solutions that allow you to handle inbound calls in a much more efficient and professional manner. Put callers on hold, help them to route their call to the right department or route calls to a mobile when you are away from your desk.
If you're looking to make outbound calls, our Business Phone Lines are maintained and supported by Openreach meaning you experience the highest quality of service, with minimal service interruptions. Not only do we offer you the perfect business phone numbers to support your Business Phone Lines, we also offer the perfect way to control and manage your calls with our online portal.
Contact us now to discuss and reserve your business phone number today! Call us on 0800 774 7772.