Establishing an online presence is a must for any business. Although being active on social media helps, nothing beats having a website to claim your brand and provide customers a place to find you and your products and services on the Web. Whether you lack the time, money or technical skills to create a website, drag-and-drop website builders can get you up and running in minutes – no coding necessary. To help you get started, here are six of the easiest do-it-yourself website building tools, all of which also make search engine optimization (SEO) a breeze.
Webflow lets you create professionally designed, custom-built, responsive websites without any coding skills. This DIY website builder is both easy to use and one of the most flexible platforms available, giving businesses full control over their websites.
Like many website builders, Webflow has the basic features like drag-and-drop widgets, social media integration, multimedia, custom forms — such as contact forms, feedback, email marketing and forms for capturing leads — fast hosting (from Amazon CDN), real-time reporting and many more. What makes Webflow stand out, however, is that it takes awayeliminates the time and effort it takes to create responsive websites. Webflow makes it easy by letting you design your website for desktop, laptops, tablets and smartphones from a single canvas. It then automatically renders websites for optimization across devices, so you don't have to code or set it upthe websites yourself. [Building a Business Website: A Small Business Guide]
Moreover, one of the best things about Webflow is that you're not just building a functional website; — the platform also automatically generates the standard W3C-compliant HTML5 and CSS3 source code as you build your website, so you don't have to create it on your own. This feature becomes particularly handy if you decide to hire a professional website developer to redesign your website or if you want to make custom changes from scratch.
SEO: Webflow lets you manage SEO on both the site level and the page levels. This means you can enter the main SEO title and description for your entire website, as well as customize SEO on specific pages, including titles, descriptions and keywords. Additionally, Webflow can automatically generate robots.txt and sitemap.xml files, which lets Google and other search engines identify and crawl your website to rank on search results.
Webflow offers a free plan that includes one private website and 20 public websites; however, it does not come with a custom domain and is limited to 50 MB of storage and two pages per site. For unlimited websites and storage, paid plans start at $14 per month, which and also lets you use your own domain name.
Onepager is a New York City-based company whose goal is to help small businesses establish an online presence using simple, no-fuss, one-page websites.
Instead of publishing several pages to showcase your business, Onepager displays all your content in one page divided by sections. You can edit and rearrange content by dragging and dropping elements right on your webpage, eliminating the need to use a separate website editor and allowing you to see changes in real time. To build a website, just choose a theme and start adding your business information, a photo gallery, product video, a contact form, social media buttons and other content. If you have a physical store, you can also add a map to your location and hours of operation. Mobile websits are available at no extra cost.
SEO: Websites built using Onepager are automatically search engine optimized and include the new schema.org markup, a joint venture between sitemaps.org and major search engines to help crawlers better understand your website.
Onepager is a Made in NYC company. Subscriptions start at $8 per month for one website and up to $199 per month for 150 websites.
Squarespace is a do-it-yourself website builder for all types of businesses, from restaurants to retail stores, creative professionals, bloggers, web developers and more.
With Squarespace, users can start creating a website in three steps: choose from one of their modern template collections, start the 14-day free trial and get a free domain. From there, you can access their user-friendly interface to add business pages, such as an about page, a products page and a contact page. Websites can be customized to fit your brand by personalizing fonts, colors and layouts. Squarespace also enables businesses to sell products by adding an online store to their website and instantly accept payments for physical and digital products.
Other features include scalable cloud hosting, 24/7 customer service, social media integration, user data collection, a full-featured blogging platform, analytics and more. Users also get a built-in mobile website that can be viewable with the same look and feel on every device. A website management app is also available for the iPhone, iPad and Android at no extra cost.
SEO: Squarespace offers automated SEO tools without the need for complicated plugins. This includes full page control, indexing, sitemap generation, image tagging, Google AuthorRank support and more.
Squarespace was launched in 2004 from the founder's dorm room and has since helped millions of businesses create their own websites. Pricing starts at $8 per month with limited features up to $24 a month for full e-commerce integration, advanced options and several unlimited features.
Editor’s Note: Looking for an e-commerce website builder for your business? If you’re looking for information to help you choose the one that’s right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:
Wix is a popular, free website builder that allows anyone to create easily customizable, Google-friendly business websites.
As one of the most popular do-it-yourself website builders, Wix offers an extended library of website templates for nearly all types of businesses, from sellers to service providers, restaurants, consultants, creative professionals and more. Their drag-and-drop website builder and fully functional editor enables businesses to create robust HTML5 websites that can integrate powerful web apps, such as social media, social comments, shopify online store, live chat, real-time scheduling, email marketing tools and other business apps for a full Web presence.
SEO: WIX offers an SEO Wizard and Monitoring Tool, a three-step process that generates an SEO report to help maximize your SEO efforts and target what your customers are looking for. They also have the Wix Learning Center, which includes a free "Better SEO" guide.
Wix is used by 40 million businesses, organizations and individual users worldwide. The service is free with Wix advertisements. Several ad-free plans are available starting at $8.25 a month, which comes with a free domain name. Users can also connect their own domain names for $4.08 a month, with ads.
Jigsy is a content management system and website builder hybrid that serves small businesses, news portals, artists, churches and other organizations.
Like many do-it-yourself website builders, Jigsy offers a drag-and-drop website editor that simplifies the website building process. It offers unique designs that you can customize to fit your brand and message, all of which have mobile-friendly templates with responsive designs that fit all desktop and mobile screen resolutions. The service includes a powerful blogging platform and seamless photo sharing using Jigsy's image uploader – which supports all image formats and sizes, eliminating the need to format images yourself – or Flickr integration. Instead of paying for professional photography, Jigsy also gives users access to thousands of free, high-quality, professional stock images.
What makes Jigsy stand out is its drag-and-drop e-commerce solutions that make it easy to set up online stores and sell your products and services. This includes e-commerce shopping carts, PayPal sales and dynamic product listings and widgets for eBay sellers.
SEO: Jigsy offers comprehensive SEO features so customers can find you on Google, Bing and Yahoo! It also includes SEO analytics, which provide you with useful data on submitted and indexed Web pages and images.
Jigsy is free for one website with advertisements and limited storage, bandwidth and content pages. Users can register for or upgrade to an ad-free Pro membership for $8.25 a month, which includes unlimited everything, as well as e-commerce, SEO, password protection and other advanced options.
SnapPages is an Austin, Texas-based do-it-yourself website building company whose goal is to help people create simple, yet polished and fully functional websites as easily as possible.
SnapPages offers a drag-and-drop HTML5 page editor that is optimized for both desktops and touch-screen devices. Users can choose professional website themes from their library of modern designs, then customize their website's look and feel, such as colors, fonts, typography and dimensions. SnapPages also features a simple blogging platform that allows businesses to start blogging immediately instead of spending time setting up complicated blogging tools. The service includes a vast collection of social plugins and cloud hosting by business web-hosting company Rackspace.
SEO: Websites created using SnapPages are search engine-friendly, thanks to their advanced SEO settings. Users can optimize not only their homepage, but also individual pages and blog posts. SnapPages has also enabled Google Webmaster Tools integration, which allows webmasters to boost and track their website rankings. Paid accounts also come with advanced SEO options.
SnapPages is free to use with a limited number of pages and storage and includes SnapPages branding. A Pro account is available for $8 a month and includes larger storage, custom domain names, cloud file storage, custom code snippets and advanced SEO options. A Developer subscription is also available for managing multiple accounts and the ability to manually edit custom CSS.
Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.