Small businesses commonly use website builder tools in order to create a professional website quickly and cheaply, without having to become expert Web designers, or learn about Web hosting.
A good website builder can provide built-in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) features that help grow a business quickly by driving plenty of organic search traffic from Google.
Website builders (the good ones) also continuously develop their platform to take advantage of new technologies and keep up to speed with new developments – like the current massive uptake in mobile technologies.
[UPDATE]: Check out Comparing two of the most popular website builders – Wix vs. Weebly for an up-to-date comparison of these two leading website builders.
This article looks at the top 3 free website builder trials that you can explore, in order to find the perfect one for your business.
Top 3 website builders for small business
All of the website builders discussed here have already proven themselves as leading Web development tools in previous tests – like the ones carried out in the article Which small business Web platform has the best SEO?.
Shopify is an eCommerce website builder that, in recent times, has grown explosively. Small businesses everywhere are adopting Shopify as their platform of choice because of their ease of use and great features.
You can see a live, updated Google Trends graph that shows just how quickly Shopify is growing in comparison to all the other leading eCommerce platforms at How popular is Shopify shopping cart software?
Shopify offers a 14 day free trial that allows you to create a powerful, mobile enabled, SEO enhanced online store in no time at all.
Weebly is the most popular website builder for small business. In fact, “Weebly was named one of TIME Magazine’s 50 Best Websites of the year“.
Unlike Shopify, Weebly doesn’t focus on eCommerce. Instead it provides a drag and drop interface for putting together a professional business website that can be customized from a selection of hundreds of themes, has plenty of great multimedia features, and provides a nice, easy-to-use platform for blogging.
Weebly doesn’t just offer a free trial, it is actually free to use. You can upgrade to a PRO account (to take advantage of some useful features above and beyond the free version) with a 30 day money-back guarantee.
GoDaddy.com is probably best known as a domain registrar – in fact, it’s the biggest in the world.
Incidentally, domain registrations are generally handled for you by the top website builders (both Shopify and Weebly will register your domains, if you choose to go with them).
Not only does GoDaddy handle domain registrations, but it also offers good, dedicated hosting packages for small businesses – perfect if you decide to develop your website without the use of a website builder.
But, along with its domain registrations and Web hosting businesses, GoDaddy has also created a fairly nifty website builder – and even offer a free domain with every 12 month website builder purchased.
What makes GoDaddy’s website builder such an attractive proposition is that GoDaddy is able to leverage its considerable infrastructure in order to provide plenty of great features (like free email, free domain, free stock images, free SSL certificate, and plenty more) for only a couple of dollars per month.
GoDaddy’s offering is perfect for home based businesses, or small businesses on a tight budget. So, this is probably the option to check out if you’re looking to stretch your Web dollars to the max.
GoDaddy doesn’t actually offer a free trial, so I’ve kind of cheated by including it. However, you are able to purchase their Website builder for one month, and prices range from just $1 per month, so it’s not a considerable investment (and $1 is practically a free trial, right?).
So, those are my top 3 website builder trials for small businesses. Have you used any of these website builders before? What are your thoughts on their quality and ease-of-use? Alternatively, have you built your small business website with another website builder?
Share your Web development tips and advice in the comments, or check out our Websites, domains & hosting resource for a complete look at all the leading Web development and Web hosting tools and services in the world.
If you’re still stuck, and undecided on the best Web platform for your business, you can also get completely free Web development advice for small businesses, from SEO Entrepreneur.