One of the first things you learn when you start looking for a new website builder is that you have a lot of options. That’s generally a good thing—it means you get to be picky, right? But it makes finding the right one for you more complicated.
Learning about lots of different features, add-ons, and extras included in different website builders can become a distraction from figuring out what you actually need. And of the many businesses offering website builders, most also offer multiple different website builder packages that all come with a different set of features and benefits. Navigating it all is pretty confusing, especially if you’re just starting to learn how to build a website.
Your life may be easier if you avoid the more complicated options and focus on finding the best simple website builder that does what you need it to.
5 Reasons a Simple Website Builder Is a Smart Buy
A website builder with lots of bells and whistles may sound appealing at first glance, but extras that sound cool aren’t actually worth much if you don’t need them (especially if you end up paying more for them). For many people, a website builder that sticks with the basics will be a better choice for a few main reasons.
1. It’s easier to learn.
If you’re building a basic website, then you don’t need to be able to learn how to do a lot of complicated design work, you just need the ability to make your website look good and say what you need it to in a user-friendly interface. That doesn’t have to be hard.
You can certainly create a simple website with a website builder that packs in a ton of functionality and complicated features, but you’ll be more likely to spend a lot of time trying to understand all the different features you’re paying for—whether or not they’re useful to you. That’s not the best way to spend your time or energy when creating a new website.
A simple website builder will be easier to figure out, so you can start designing your site from day one of subscribing, and with fewer distractions.
2. You can make a website fast.
No matter what your website goals are, the sooner your site is up, the sooner you’ll be able to achieve them. If you’re building a professional website for an online store, that means making money faster. If you’re creating a personal website to share your art or ideas with the world, getting it finished soon means you’ll start to reach people faster.
With a simple web designer and builder, you can feasibly build your small business website fast—in a matter of hours or less. If your needs are pretty basic, it could even take you less than an hour. But that’s only true if your website builder is easy to use and provides you with the tools to work quickly, such as good web design templates to start with and drag and drop functionality.
3. You’ll only be paying for what you use.
For many people, this will be the biggest benefit of a simple website builder. More complicated features often come at a higher cost. There’s no reason to pay more every month for a website builder plan that includes a lot of features you’ll never use.
Basic website builders that provide just the most essential features and functionality you need cost less. And since website builders bill on a subscription model, you won’t just be saving money upfront, you’ll be saving for years to come.
If you want to stick with an affordable website builder, look for a simple website builder that just provides the most important features you need.
4. You can still create a beautiful website.
This is one of the rare areas in life where paying less doesn’t necessarily mean settling for lower quality. As long as the website builder you choose provides well designed website templates and an intuitive website editor that allows you to easily change out colors and add original images, you can easily create a website that looks beautiful as well as being functional.
A good builder will supply website templates that were designed by a skilled professional web designer. You get the benefit of their good eye and knowledge of website design best practices, without having to pay as much as you would to hire them directly.
And simplicity can be one of the keys to beauty in a website. You want to avoid clutter or trying to do too much on each page. A simple website builder can help you work from a pre-designed, simple structure that will look good to your visitors.
5. Simple websites are intuitive.
The more complicated websites get, the harder it is to design them in a way that’s intuitive. By keeping your website simple—something easier to do with a basic website builder—you’re ensuring that people will have an easy time finding what they need to.
With just a few clear pages, people can quickly get to the page with the right information on it. And with a simple uncluttered web design, you more effectively draw their attention to the places on the page you most want them to notice, like your CTAs (calls to action).
If you were out to build a website as complex as Amazon, a simple website builder wouldn’t do the trick. But you’re not. As long as you need a basic website that’s clear, attractive, and says all you need it to, you’ll be set with a simple website builder. Trying to make it more complicated—either the website itself or the process of building it—would make your life harder for no good reason.
Who Should Stick with a Simple Website Builder
For some businesses, those extra features that come with higher-cost website builder plans may actually come in handy. So there’s a chance you’re in a category of people who can benefit from a more complicated website builder.
But there are three main types of people who will be better off sticking with a simple website builder:
1. People building personal websites
If the goal of your website is to share your art, your thoughts, or your ideas with the world, then you don’t need a complicated website. You need a basic structure you can fill in with your own words or images. Making a personal website your own is easy once you get started, and there’s no reason to let the starting process get bogged down with unnecessary features and costs.
Whether you’re starting a blog to give people you love updates on your day-to-day life, to offer advice to your readers, or to share your views on something you’re passionate about, a simple to-the-point website should be all you need. You won’t even need to make many changes to your template, and shouldn’t need to bother with creating a lot of different pages. A blog should be easy to build—sitting down to write regularly will be enough work.
3. Small business owners
A small business can no longer get by without developing an online presence through a business website. The internet is the main way people find new businesses they want to work with and the first place they look to confirm a business is legitimate. Your small business website will be the main face you’ll have for much of the world.
A simple website builder can help small business owners get that website they need up fast. And by using a website builder that provides responsive design templates made for small businesses, you can ensure your website will adhere to web design best practices and work well on mobile (something essential for all business websites today).
If you’re running an enterprise business that will have a lot of pages and traffic, or ecommerce websites with a wide variety of products, then you may need to go for a premium website builder plan that’s more flexible and allows more room to grow. But for anyone in these three categories, a simple website builder should provide all you need and make building your website easier.
How to Find the Best Simple Website Builder
If you’ve decided a simple website builder is the best choice for you, you still need to find the right one. And there are a good number of basic and popular website builders on the market for you to consider. Here are a few good tips for finding the best simple website builder for your needs.
1. Figure out what you need.
Think carefully about what your website will be and what you need to make that happen. Consider factors like:
- What the main goal of your website is
- How many pages you’ll have
- What the main goal of each page will be
- What your basic website structure will be—if your website will have a lot of pages, this should include thinking about the best categories and subcategories you should use to organize them all
- What kind of images you intend to include
- What types of media you hope to include—will you include any video, audio, or animation?
- What actions you want your visitors to take—will you be including contact information, comment functionality, social media sharing buttons, contact forms, an email list signup form, or the ability to accept payment methods from visitors?
Having a general idea of what you want your website to look like and accomplish will put you in a better position to know what features you need to look for in a website builder.
2. Prioritize ease of use.
Anyone that’s looking for a simple website builder will need something that’s easy to use and learn.
Look for a website builder that offers an intuitive website editor that has drag and drop functionality and allows you to add elements and change colors on a page with a simple click of the mouse.
3. Focus on basic website builder plans (for now at least).
The main website builder providers all offer different plans that provide different features and benefits.
If you just need a simple website builder, then there’s a good chance you don’t need to spend a lot of time reviewing what’s available in the higher-cost premium plans at this point. You should pay the most attention to what’s offered with the basic plan for each provider you consider.
That said, if you think there’s a chance your website will grow and evolve to need more advanced features over time, such as ecommerce functionality or unlimited bandwidth, then you may want to review the premium options now in order to understand what the website builder you choose offers at the higher levels and the cost you can expect from a future upgrade.
4. Look at the website builder’s educational resources.
Ideally, you should be able to use your website builder without spending any time on training to learn how it works, but you’ll still be better off choosing a website builder that provides helpful resources on how the builder works so you can learn all the features available to you and gain some easy instructions if you want them.
5. Check reviews.
One of the best ways to learn what to expect from a website builder before you buy is looking at what other people have to say about their experience with it. The internet makes it easy to find reviews from current and past customers who outline the things they love about a product, and the things they wish worked better.
When you’ve narrowed down your website builder options to a main couple of plans, take a few minutes to read up on what users have to say about each. Customer reviews are a useful and reliable tie breaker that will help you better gauge factors like ease of use and the quality of a company’s customer service.
Choose Your Simple Website Builder
Finding the right website builder is a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Make sure you understand what you need and want in a website builder and stick with a simple option that suits your priorities without making things too complicated.
To start your search, check out HostGator’s simple website builder. Our basic, affordable plan provides all the essentials and is extremely easy to learn and get started with. And as an added bonus, it comes with free website hosting provided by one of the most respected companies in the industry. To learn more, our customer support team is available 24/7 to answer any questions you have regarding our web hosting and web builder plans.
Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to small business owners on the HostGator blog. You can find her on Twitter at @atxcopywriter.