Today’s post is brought to you from our friends at Ocoos:
Have you considered your small business website lately? If not, it’s time to make it a priority. We’ll explain why.
If you own or run a small business, you understand that having a quality web presence can make or break your success. Whether you are selling a product or offering your services, potential customers need to find you. The best for them to do so? By accessing your website and having quality information about your business, products and services at their fingertips.
How can you make sure your website meets customers’ needs? By creating it with a website builder that’s high quality, versatile, and offers a large number of e-commerce solutions.
One of these website builders is Weebly, which was one of the first do-it-yourself website building tools. Weebly provides users with a number of customizable templates, a storefront for product sales and a web editor that allows even novices to design and build their own website.
Sounds great, right? But is it the right solution for small businesses?
Let’s take a closer look at Weebly to discover the website builder’s pros and cons.
Weebly’s homepage development is its biggest strength. Customers have access to a variety of templates that are customizable. With Weebly, you won’t have to worry about flexible security; the builder can publish web pages publicly and privately, which is managed via password control. If you want e-commerce tools like calendars or maps integrated into your site, you can include them via third-party apps.
With Weebly, you can upgrade to a paid plan for access to a built-in discount manager — important for sales and other promotions — and PDFs can display for an additional fee. Finally, site hosting is available, as is product sales tracking.
The downside of a huge number of customizable templates is that if you’re tackling your own customization, you might wind up with a website that doesn’t look good or is confusing for users to navigate. Plus, it might not be optimized for certain browsers, search engines, or mobile devices, like smartphones.
If you’re using third-party apps to add tools to your website, you run the risk of having to deal with multiple vendors, and be responsible for updating and supporting them as needed.
In a similar vein, payment solutions are also only offered through third-party vendors, along with appointment scheduling and built-in messaging. You will not have the ability to incorporate complex transactions, like payment upon completion of services.
A free version of Weebly’s website building tool is available, but most small business owners will need additional functionality and have to upgrade to the $25 per month plan. Support can be difficult to come by because Weebly is sold directly through distributors.
Small business owners can opt to build their website using a platform tool, like Ocoos. A platform refers to the underlying technology, which is always maintained and upated behind the scenes, and keeps up with current technology standards — even as those standards evolve.
Ocoos offers a customizable website design that will always be optimized for mobile devices, browsers, and search engines. Traffic-driving tools like maps, are supported, and a patented B2B recommendations engine will allow your business to be partnered with related companies (a tailor and a dry cleaner, for example), driving traffic between the businesses.
Ocoos has built in payment solutions, with access to both PayPal and Square, and it supports complex transactions, like deposits. Web pages have flexible security and can be published as public or private with password control.
A discount manager is available, as are appointment scheduling tools. Ocoos has CRM (customer relationship management) tracking abilities that sort and analyze data, and the ability to show PDF documents.
If you have questions about your website, Ocoos offers telephone and online support. If you’re unsure about building your website on your own, Ocoos’s concierge service will do it for you for a fee.