We’ve said before that all small businesses need to have a website, even the tiniest, one-person shops or roadside stands. The benefits of a good website to your marketing, local SEO, customer relationship management, and new-customer acquisition can almost not be overstated.
Many small business owners don’t know where to start in getting a website up and running. As we explain in our article What’s the easiest way to build your small business website? there are basically 3 approaches you can take:
- Use an online website builder
- Hire a professional web designer and/or web developer
- Create a free website (with Google My Business or a free option from the popular website builder platforms)
Each choice has its pros and cons, but for this article we’re going to go over the advantages and features of the online website builder option, and discuss what you might expect to pay to use them.
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What do online website builders cost?
There are a several popular website builders out there, and it can confusing to choose between them. Be sure to check out the features and prices of several options and find a builder that fits your skill level and business needs the best.
Lets go over some of the most popular website building options, some of their features, and their prices.
(Please note: we have made an effort to provide accurate information as of the time of the publication of this article, but of course prices and features may change without notice.)
WordPress is one of the most common platforms people use to build their business websites. It has a lot of advanced features that make it easier for people who have a little better understanding of coding languages and the plugins that WordPress uses.
However even if you don’t know a lick of code you can still get by with creating your own site via WordPress. You just may not be able to use the platform to its full capabilities—which is totally fine for most people.
If you choose to go the WordPress route, we recommend finding someone to help that is familiar with the platform if you want to utilize the plugins and customizations WordPress offers.
How much does WordPress cost?
WordPress has a several pricing options. You can choose to pay through their platform and get web hosting for $7.99/month and a domain for $14/year. Or you can pay through BlueHost (a website and domain hosting platform) and get your domain for free and pay only $3.95 a month.
There may be additional fees for premium templates and plugin options, so be sure to ask about those if you want them.
Squarespace is a robust all-in-one website builder that gives you lots of customizable templates to help you you build a unique, clean-looking website. Once you choose your template, you can easily drag and drop the features and items you want on your website, and start customizing the colors, fonts, images, layout, and navigation for your website.
Go deeper: click to read our step-by-step walkthrough for using Squarespace to build your business website.
- Free domain
- SSL certificate
- Unlimited storage
- Features to help with SEO
- 24/7 customer support
- Tracking metrics
- Business plans come with free professional email box on G-suite
How much does Squarespace cost?
Squarespace currently has four different subscription plans to choose from:
- Personal: Starts at $12/month annually or $16/month if you pay monthly
- Business: Starts at $18/month on an annual payment plan or $26/month when you pay monthly. This plan includes ecommerce functionality with a 3% transaction fee
- Basic Commerce: Starts at $26/month paid annually or $30/month with monthly payments. At this level, you get and allows ecommerce functionality with no transaction fees paid to Squarespace
- Advanced Commerce: Starts at $40/month on the annual plan or $46 monthly, and includes the ecommerce capabilities of Basic Commerce. In addition, you get the capability to sell gift cards and subscriptions, offer advanced discounts, advanced shipping calculations, and more
Wix is another oft-recommended site builder for “noobs” and is easy to use. You start with one of Wix’s pre-built templates and then you drag, drop, and customize each content blog or image according to your whim.
How much does Wix cost?
Wix does have a free plan, but it doesn’t allow you to have a custom domain. In addition, the free version will include Wix’s choice of ads on your site. For a professional-looking small-business website, we recommend going with one of their paid plans.
Wix offers 8 premium plans currently (4 without ecommerce and 4 with), and according to sitebuilderreport.com’s breakdown of Wix pricing, the standard plans (none of which include ecommerce functionality) include:
- Combo: Starts at $13/month billed annually ($17 monthly) and includes free web hosting, 30 video minutes (if you’re hosting videos on your site), and a domain for one year. It’s also ad-free, but you’re limited to 2GB of bandwidth each month
- Unlimited: Starts at $17/month paid annually ($22 monthly). You have no limits on bandwidth, get 10GB storage, and one video hour. This is better for larger, busier small business websites with a fair amount of traffic, and is Wix’s best-selling option. You also get a couple of Wix’s helpful apps included
- Pro: Starts at $23/month ($28 paid monthly), and includes the above, but you get 2 video hours and a bunch more apps
- VIP: Starts at $39/month and includes the above but you get first priority customer support
The four business/ecommerce plans are all unlimited bandwidth, but each tier includes additional features, storage, and better customer support options. The bottom tier here is Wix’s Business Basic, which starts at $23/month. The next business tiers are $27, $49, and $500 for “enterprise” which few small businesses will want or need.
Shopify is a popular option for small businesses who definitely want to start selling online via their website/online shopping cart. If you don’t want or need this functionality, Shopify is probably not for you.
The site builder engine for Shopify has similar features and functionality to those above, and they offer tutorials and videos to help you get the features you want added to your webpages.
How much does Shopify cost?
According to this source, the pricing for the Shopify tiers that are most likely applicable to small, local businesses are:
- Shopify Basic: $27/month paid yearly ($29 paid monthly) includes unlimited product listings and a shopping cart, and checkout functionality at 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction IF you use Shopify Payments
- The middle tier is the “Shopify” plan at $71/month paid annually ($79 paid monthly) and lowers your transaction fees to 2.6% + 30¢ per transaction IF you use Shopify Payments
The third tier is Advanced Shopify at $299/mo and will not be relevant to 99% of small businesses.
All include 24/7 customer support via email, open chat, or phone.
Please note that your domain and email accounts are not included at the above pricing. You can buy a domain via Shopify for an additional $14/year, or you can redirect a domain you already own. Also if you use an external gateway processor, you’ll have to add an additional processing fee of 2% at the “basic” level or 1% at the “Shopify” level.
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Getting your small business website up and running is a key part of building your online presence. When you create a strong online reputation for your business, everything about you performs better, including how your website and online listings show up in local search results.
With Womply Reputation Management, you can read and respond to all your online reviews in one place with one login, and get new reviews from your happiest customers.
Womply also offers business intelligence, customer relationship management, email marketing, payments, and a dynamic customer directory that updates automatically with each transaction.
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