If you’re looking to create a website for your business in South Africa, you have two options: creating it yourself or spending money on a web developer.
But get this, website design prices in South Africa range from R500 – R30 000+, so if you don’t want to spend too much money, building your own website with a website builder is the way to go.
In this article, we will look at 9 tips to get the most out of using a website builder in South Africa and end up with an amazing website without breaking the bank.
Table of Contents
What is a Website Builder?
A website builder is a tool that helps you create a website without needing to know how to write code.
You can use a website builder to add text, pictures, and other things to your website and make it look how you want it to.
Some website builders are very easy to use, and you can create a website in just a few minutes.
Others are more complicated and have more features, but they can take longer to learn.
Either way, a website builder can be a great way to make your website without needing to be an expert in coding.
1. Types of Website Builders Available in South Africa
There are two types of these tools.
There are free builders.
These free website builders can be a great starting point if you want to get an idea of how website building works without spending money.
Examples of free website builders include OLITT, Wix and Weebly, which offer users easy-to-use drag-and-drop tools for creating websites.
Some are paid.
Paid website builders come with more features than their free counterparts, such as custom domain names and access to premium templates.
Examples of paid website builders include Squarespace and WordPress.com – both have options for monthly or yearly plans depending on your budget and needs.
But here’s something.
Most free builders come with a paid plan.
For example, OLITT has both free and paid plans. Such builders/tools are termed as ‘freemium.’
Regardless of which type you choose, understand what each offers to make the best decision for your site.
As mentioned, you get what you pay for, right?
If you want more features, consider taking the paid plan. But a free package will work if you are just dipping your feet in the water.
2. Choose the Best Website Builder for Your Needs
Now, besides deciding solely based on your pockets, ease of use will play into your decision.
Don’t get me wrong; the cost can be an essential factor for some people.
As such, comparing the different subscription plans available from each website builder can be beneficial.
But also, consider the features offered by each website builder, as this may impact the cost and how easy it is to use.
For example, some offer more advanced features, such as customisable templates and analytics tools, which may come at an additional cost (we’ve discussed this).
It is also essential to look at the ease of use when choosing a website builder in South Africa.
If you don’t have any experience with web development or design, then it would be wise to select a platform which has drag-and-drop tools or tutorials which can help you build your site quickly and easily
3. Create a Basic Structure for Your Website
Before you dive into the design process, create a basic structure for your website.
I know it sounds daunting, but it is easy!
To start, consider the layout of your website and decide how you want your content displayed.
Think about where elements such as menus, headers, titles, and sidebars should be placed.
Do not forget visual stuff.
Choose colours that will create an aesthetically pleasing look and feel for visitors.
You should also plan out your site’s navigation by deciding which pages are most important and what information should be included in each one.
With a well-thought-out structure in place, you’ll have an easier time creating a successful website with a website builder in South Africa.
4. Fill in the Content
Now you have a quick and simple sketch of what your site should look like.
Your next move is to curve it out using the tools available.
And it starts with content, not just any content, quality!
Quality content helps engage your readers and builds customer trust and credibility.
When writing content, ensure it is relevant and interesting to the reader.
Use clear, concise language so your audience can easily understand your message.
Adding videos and animations to a website can help make the page more visually appealing and engaging.
Videos provide a great platform for showing off products or services, while animations can be used to add some spice and fun to the website.
When using videos or animations on websites, ensure they are of high quality, as this will help create a better user experience.
Quality images are another important element when using a website builder in South Africa.
So, to increase your website’s appeal and make it more memorable, make sure to include high-quality images that will grab the attention of your audience.
5. Develop an SEO Strategy
Whether you like it or not, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an integral part of website building.
It can help your site reach a wider audience by increasing its visibility in search engine results.
Develop an effective SEO strategy to ensure you get the most out of your website builder in South Africa.
What is SEO and why should I consider it?
SEO is optimizing webpages to make them more visible to potential customers searching for relevant terms or phrases on search engines like Google or Bing.
By utilizing keywords that match what people are searching for and optimizing your content, you can increase the chances that people will find and visit your site.
A successful SEO strategy should involve optimizing each page on your website by identifying relevant keywords and integrating them into the titles, meta descriptions, image ALT tags, headings and body copy.
Luckily, website builders like OLITT allows you to get that right.
You can easily add an SEO title, which is the title users will see when your site appears on SERP.
6. Utilize Social Media
To get the most out of a website builder in South Africa, integrate social media platforms.
With more than 30 million social media users in South Africa, you can capitalize on this massive audience to increase brand visibility and build relationships with potential customers.
Start by integrating social media accounts into your website, allowing visitors to follow them on various platforms easily.
Once this has been done, focus on creating engaging content that appeals to your target audience.
This could include photos and videos from events, inspiring quotes or stories about how the business impacts the community.
Also take advantage of existing trends, such as using hashtags or participating in trending topics related to their niche.
7. Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
With the number of people in South Africa using a smartphone estimated to be about 20 to 22 million, it is more important than ever for web developers and website builders to make their sites mobile-friendly.
If you want your website to have maximum reach in the South African market, this is your #1 chance!
A great way to ensure your site looks great on all devices is by regularly testing it on different smartphones and tablets.
This will allow you to get feedback from users about how well their experience was using the website and make any adjustments necessary.
Try paying attention to page loading speed, navigation menus, and font size readability, as these are all key factors when creating an enjoyable experience while browsing a website on mobile devices.
8. Integrate Analytics
Integrate analytics to get the most out of a website builder in South Africa.
Setting up analytics requires minimal effort and can be easily accomplished by adding a tracking code on the website.
Once you have installed the code, you can monitor website performance and gain insights into visitors’ behaviour.
Analytics will help you measure user engagement, track conversions and understand how visitors interact with your website.
This data is invaluable for understanding what strategies work best for reaching your goals and identifying areas for improvement.
As the saying goes, “you can’t scale what you can’t measure”, – so make sure that when creating a new website, track its performance and use metrics like page views, time spent on pages or bounce rate to analyse user behaviour.
9. Test, Test, Test!
It’s critical to test your site thoroughly before launching it in South Africa. Testing is an important aspect of website building, and it should not be overlooked
This will allow you to catch any bugs or security issues that may have been missed during development.
The first step is thoroughly testing all core functionality, ensuring everything works as expected.
All buttons, links and forms should be tested for accuracy and performance. Additionally, check for typos or spelling mistakes in both text and codebase.
Testing for general usability is also good; does your site look professional?
Is it easy to use?
Are there any navigation problems?
Once basic functionality has been verified, it’s essential to test the overall security of your website by using various vulnerability scanners and penetration testing tools available online.
Regarding website building, South Africa offers users a great range of options.
From the affordable, flexible and user-friendly website builder to the more complex platforms for professionals, South African webmasters can find a solution that fits their needs and budget.
First, understand your own needs and requirements before selecting a website builder.
Do thorough research on available tools and features offered by different providers so you can make an informed decision.
Second, once you have chosen a platform that best suits your needs, take advantage of any tutorials or customer support offered by the provider to get up and running quickly and confidently.