The growth in technology has led to the digitalization of many businesses worldwide. Business owners are now creating websites for their businesses so that they can also reach their online customers.
South Africa has not been left out. Businesses in South Africa have also started creating an online presence by creating a website.
As a business owner in South Africa you will need a professional website but figuring out the best website builder can be a challenge since there are so many website builders in South Africa.
Web design may be complicated and challenging, especially trying to figure out everything you need to learn to build a new website.
However, you can now build a good business website using a website builder who doesn’t require you to understand coding or learn complex web design principles.
A good website builder can be used by both a beginner and a professional since it is easy to figure out and start with. Website builders provide templates and features based on web design best practices, making it even easier and faster to create a website within a few minutes.
For some businesses using a website builder will be a better choice than hiring a website designer, especially if it’s a small business. This is because hiring a website designer is a bit expensive.
With the growth in the eCommerce business, each day your business goes without a website, you are losing sales. Creating a website might have taken you so long because you don’t know where to start.
In this article, we will help you understand how to choose the best website builder for your business in South Africa.
Table of Contents
#1. How Easy it is to Use.
Website builders make it much easier for you to build a website without coding and programming. However, that doesn’t mean all website builders will be equally easy to figure out.
All website builders appeal to be user-friendly and easy to use, but they are not all similar. Some websites are easily workable and perfect for beginners without experience in web development and design.
Some of these websites require users with some design skills to personalize your template.
Some of the features that make a website builder easy to use include, drag-and-drop functionality, and an intuitive editor that makes each change easy to complete.
#2. Customer Support
A website builder with a good reputation for customer service would be the best to learn and get the best out of it. If something is not working for you, you should be able to get in touch with the support team and get the help you need instantly.
Take an example where your website has an issue, if you won’t get the help you need you might end up losing so many potential customers just in a few minutes. Your overall experience with a website builder will be much better if you are able to get the help you need at the time you need it.
Some website builders offer an adequate level of customer support while others only offer help through email which may take some time to get a response. Other website builders offer customer support only during work hours, which may not be reliable due to time difference.
For instance, if your website builder is based in the US and they are offering support only during their working hours, you might have challenges reaching them due to the time difference between the US and South Africa.
Therefore a website builder with a 24-hour phone or chat support is excellent especially when you need assistance with specific features or interfaces. You need to be careful which website builder you choose and how helpful they are to your needs.
#3. Precise Features
Different website builders have different features to offer. Some have quality templates but with limited features with only the necessary social media buttons.
Choosing a comprehensive site builder with a full plugin shop that allows you to add subscription forms, maps, pop-ups, and more. This kind of website builder makes it easier to add your own code.
When it comes to templates you need to use clean, modern, mobile-friendly, and customizable designs, so make sure your site builder offers such.
Since your website is for business use, make sure the website builder you choose offers eCommerce solutions and tools. Some website builders offer a simple built-in online store while others only offer an integrated third-party application.
Your website builder should also allow you to create contact forms easily and seamlessly. You should be able to customize the form fields to create forms that perfectly suit your business needs.
#4. Site Capacity and Scalability
It is important to check a website builder’s capability to handle huge traffic before making your decision. A website builder that allows you to start with a small package and advance as your business grows would be the best option for a small business owner in South Africa.
Your business might be small today but tomorrow your business can grow into a big business. You will not want to start building your website again from scratch once it grows. Go for a website builder that can grow and develop your business.
#5. Local web hosting
After building your website, you will have to host it on a server. A server is like a house where your website lives, it holds all the files that make up your website.
Once your website is published, you will want to access it 24/7; therefore, selecting web hosting from South Africa and operating there will help you achieve consistency in terms of the service your customers deserve.
Customers will always come back to visit your site if they are satisfied with the services, which means more sales and growth for your business.
#6. Search engine friendly
Once you are done building your website, you will want to know that your customers and prospects can find it easily. You want your website to appear on the first page in Google search results.
A good website builder should provide SEO features that simplify optimization. The website builder should provide title tags and meta descriptions for every page. In short, the website builder should make it easy for you to update all the SEO meta elements on each page and provide your sitemap to the search engines.
Although on-site optimization is just one part of SEO, it’s very important and the right website builder should give you a head start in getting it done. The web page builder design can also impact the SEO effectiveness, so make sure the website builder you use creates search engine-friendly designs.
#7. Payments Terms and Refund Policy
Before choosing a website builder, it is important to consider which payment terms are acknowledged on the site builder. It is also important to consider the site’s refund policy before you decide on anything.
It is important also to note that a money-back guarantee is different from a refund policy since you will only get a refund after a specific time period has lapsed.
#8. Responsive design
For your business, you will need a responsive design that uses just one layout for a web page and quickly adjust to fit the customer’s screen better, whether it’s a desktop, laptop, or mobile phone.
The best site builder software should use media queries to target breakpoints that scale images, wrap text, and adjust the layout for the site to fit any screen size.
#9. High-grade website security
Your website builder must provide security for your data and your customers’ information especially when offering online sales.
Go for a website builder that offers security for your website with an SSL certificate.
#10. Your Budget
Different website builders have different prices and therefore you should consider how much money you are willing and able to spend on your website. Site builders work with subscription; if you don’t keep up the payments over time, your site will be deleted.
This might seem like something you don’t need to worry about at first due to the tempting low-price offers given to first-time users. Most of the big providers plaster their homepages with these offers.
You need to do your homework well because these introductory offers will eventually jump up in price at the start of the second term. In addition to that these packages often have limited storage and bandwidth.
You might also be required to pay more in order to get a professional domain name and to have the website builder’s adverts removed from your home page. This means in the second term the charges will add up.
This is just like booking a cheap vacation package only to find out that things like meals, fun activities, and a tour guide aren’t included in the package. This makes you end up paying more than the package you avoided due to its price.
#11. Your Needs and Priorities
Before you decide on the website builder for your business, you need to consider your business’s needs and what you want your website to do. This will help set your priorities right so you know what to look for in a site builder.
You should consider the following when looking for the best website builder for your business.
Your level of experience in design
Most website builders are made for people without experience with design or website coding, and some will be easier to figure out than others. As mentioned in point #1, as a beginner you should look for a builder that offers website theme templates and drag-and-drop design options.
How particular you are about getting things just right
For a lot of options and flexibility in designing your website, you will need a website builder that includes a lot of templates for you to choose from or more flexible editing options that allow you to make extensive changes to the design.
Do you need an online store?
An eCommerce website must include a shopping cart and checkout functionality. It will also require a design that emphasizes getting people to take the next step of making a purchase.
Therefore, you should ensure a website builder offers the right templates and features to enable an online store.
What types of media do you want to include?
You need to know whether your eCommerce website will include videos, a photo gallery, a blog, or a map that shows your shop location. So make sure the site builder you choose supports the types of content formats you plan to include.
#12. Customer Reviews
Website builder companies make big claims and use a lot of marketing strategies but the truth of the quality of services they offer is known by those who have used their services. Therefore checking out customer reviews before choosing a site builder helps you understand better what you are getting yourself into.
You can find these reviews on the website builder’s own site if you are not satisfied with the information there, go to a third-party review site or ask for people’s opinions on social media. People are always willing to share their experiences with honesty.
6 Best website builders in South Africa you might consider
It is one of the most popular business website builders in South Africa
- Built-in payment gateway
- Social media integrations
- Pre-made templates to help get started
- Best for larger stores
- Multi-platform selling
- Stand-out design functionality and flexibility.
- Over 3,000 apps are available.
- Extensive payment options
- Not as easy to use as other platforms
- Overly reliant on apps
- High transaction fees
- Expensive than it seems
It is one of the top business website builders in South Africa with a strong focus on customizing and improving the customer experience with its unique integration of tools.
- Mobile friendly themes
- Customizable layouts
- Logo $ Favicon Upload
- Product Display Options
- Category Pages
- Search Functionality
- Homepage Slideshow
- HTML/CSS editor access
- In-House design services
- Multiple built-in support features
- Fraud resistant
- Enhanced security
- Customer support
- Free trial
- Lacks a dedicated app store
- Not the best themes and designs as compared to other site builders.
3). Wix eCommerce
- Product differentiators
- Drag-and-drop build
- Abandon cart
- Social selling
- Built-in SEO
- Coupon builder
- Intuitive and useful interface.
- Does not lock you into long-term plans
- Performance is not affected by site maintenance.
- The start plan has ads
- No unlimited plans
- Not good with SEO
4). WooCommerce- WordPress Plugin
- Has over 400+ ready-to-use extensions, themes, and templates
- Data security
- Email marketing
- Inventory management
- Order management
- Free and open source
- 100% customizable
- Regular updates for cyber security
- Some extension installations require timely payment
- Ecommerce upgrade
- Various apps and integrations
- Drag and drops design
- Solid site speeds
- High design flexibility with themes
- Simple and easy to use
- Comes with a mobile app
- Limited blogging tools
- Requires payments for more help
- Abandoned Cart Saver
- Activity Dashboard
- Bulk ordering
- Channel management
- Product variants
- No transaction fees
- Solid SEO features
- Annual sales threshold
- Limited free themes