Frequently Asked Questions

If you've never done that before, building a new website can seem complex. We've collected some questions that many people ask before starting out. If you cannot find the answer here, feel free to contact us and ask!

Website Builders Basics

What is an SSL certificate and do I need one for my website?

An SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layers) creates a secure, encrypted link between a web server and a visitor’s web browser. This ensures that any data that travels between the two locations will be safe from hackers trying to steal people’s private information. If your site has an SSL certificate your URL address will read ‘https://’ rather than ‘http://’.

Do you need an SSL certificate? Technically no, however, we strongly recommend that you do if your site harvests any form of personal data, especially if you run an eCommerce website that handles credit card information. It not only signals to your visitors that you take data protection seriously but there are benefits to your SEO as well. 

Some browsers like Chrome and Firefox have started issuing warnings to users entering a site without an SSL certificate. This will definitely put visitors off from purchasing anything or even entering the site.

Most website builders offer an SSL certificate as part of their hosting service package so you will most likely automatically have a secure site. 

I want to build an eCommerce site. What should I use?

Most website builder platforms offer some sort of eCommerce solution that enables you to sell products online but they vary in capabilities and performance. If you’re only selling one or two products you might be able to get away with one of the less comprehensive options. However, if you generate a large revenue or list lots of products you might want to choose one of the dedicated eCommerce platforms. If you need some help to make the right decision, go and check out our comparison list of the best eCommerce website builders and have a read of the in-depth reviews. The information there will help you to understand which platform is right for your business and individual needs.

Take a look at the best ecommerce builders on the market.

How can I build traffic to my website?

It’s important to remember that you won’t get thousands of people arriving on your site the moment you hit publish – building traffic can take time and patience (trust us, we’ve been there and done it!). Some of the best things to focus on are creating video content, search engine optimization (SEO), starting a blog within the website, building a social media strategy, and lots more.

Generating traffic is definitely an art form and there’s lots to learn. We’ve written an article about 5 ways to boost your website traffic for free to get you started.

What’s the difference between a blog and a website?

This is definitely a valid question because there’s not that much of a difference but here’s an easy way to distinguish between the two. A blog is a dynamic type of website where information is updated regularly and presented in reverse chronological order (newest content first). It’s not unusual for multiple entries to be uploaded daily for blog followers to read and enjoy. Whereas a traditional website tends to be static with information spread out across pages and is updated much less regularly. 

Do I need to know about web development to understand your reviews?

To put it simply, no, not at all. Our reviews are written with both complete beginners and experienced web developers in mind. Whenever we start to get technical with our language we make sure that we explain any complex terms in a clear manner. The aim of the reviews are to help you quickly understand the pros and cons of each website builder, so you can make the right decision on where to build an online presence for your business. If you ever get stuck, need clarification, or just have a question, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Why should I trust Website Builder Ninja’s recommendations?

We spend a long time researching and testing each and every platform that we review. We also conduct our own independent SEO audit to make sure we understand exactly how a platform has been set up for search engine optimization. Our reviews are a combination of the collective knowledge and expertise of our team here at Website Builder Ninja, who combined have decades of experience in web development and other related fields. It’s no secret that the site makes money through affiliate links, but that doesn’t stop up from providing honest and genuine reviews. We’re just as quick as to point out the flaws as we are the benefits.

How much will it cost me to build a website with a website builder?

Most platforms offer a free plan that includes a website with very limited features and storage to get you started. The next step from there is a basic or personal plan that starts from around a few bucks a month, again these sites will have limited storage and features. If you require access to e-commerce and advanced marketing features, you will need to sign up for a premium subscription that can cost anywhere from $15 upwards per month. Even the most expensive website builder subscriptions are a fraction of the cost of other methods which can cost thousands of dollars.

What is a template?

A website template is a pre-built website that users can customize with their own images, text, and video content. Web designing becomes effortless with a template because you can choose between a wide range of template options and fine-tune them to suit your own needs. These web pages have been designed by top-notch designers who have thought about all the elements and structuring needed to make a great user experience, so you can focus on the content, not the coding.

What is a website builder?

A website builder is an easy-to-use platform that has everything you need to build a website in one place, including domain names, hosting services, SEO, and much more. Website builders typically use drag-and-drop design software that allows you to customize award-winning web designs. This makes them a great tool for beginners to create professional-looking websites from scratch, without the need for any coding skills.

Building a Website

Can I use HTML on a website builder?

There is no simple answer to this question because it varies depending on the platform. Some offer the ability to customize the HTML/CSS scripts for everything, others only allow you to inject code into the headers, footers, and code blocks within a page layout, and some don’t allow you to add in any additional code. The best thing to do is to carry out some research on the website builder that you’re thinking of using. Either head over to the dedicated features page of the brand you think you want to use or have a read of one of our in-depth reviews to find out if the platform allows the level of customization that you need.

How do I know which design template to choose?

When you sign up to a website builder platform one of the first things you have to do is choose a website template design. It can be an overwhelming process with lots of options and very little guidance on how to pick the best one for your business. It doesn’t only have to look good but it needs the right elements and design for it to help your business rather than hinder it. There’s so much to consider, so, we’ve written an in-depth article that outlines everything you need to think about when it comes to choosing the right template. Please take a read, it will help you save time and money in the long run if you get this step right the first time around.

Find out how to choose the right template

What do I need to do before I can build a website?

There’s lots to think about and boy, do we know that it can be stressful. Domain names, design templates, hosting services, content, images… the list goes on and on. We’ve tried to take some of the pressure out of this process by distilling all the essentials you need to know about before you can successfully launch a website into one checklist. The information there will help you to understand exactly what you need to do.

Read our website launch checklist.

Why should I use a website builder?

Website builders are great for anyone looking for an easy and fast DIY alternative to either learning to code or paying for an expensive web developer to build you a bespoke website. It also simplifies the process by having everything you need in one place such as domain names, hosting services, eCommerce solutions, CRM, and much more. It always works out as a cheaper solution and you will get access to expert support and guidance to help you through the process.

Specialty Websites and Builders

What should a photography website include?

There’s lots to talk about, but we’re just going to outline the basics. To start with, every photography website should have at least these three pages; Gallery, About, and Contact. Photography website content should of course include your best photographs organized into clear and easy-to-find galleries, and you should try putting your most impressive shots on the first few slides of a gallery to captivate the visitor. Including a blog on your photography website will also allow you to impress the viewer more by telling the story behind some of your work as well as having benefits to the SEO of your site.

How do I sell my photos on my website?

To sell photographs online using a website builder you will need to sign up to an eCommerce pricing plan to activate the online store features. Setting up an online store with a website builder is really simple and they often have pre-designed templates with everything you need to get started. Make sure you lookout for a builder that allows you to sell both physical and digital products so that you can sell print and downloadable photographs to maximize your sales potential.

Which website builders do photographers use?

All of the website builders that we have listed above are great for building a photography website. Which one is best for you depends on individual requirements such as budget and your level of experience with building websites. However, you will notice time and time again that Squarespace comes out as the most recommended website builder for photographers. This is mainly down to template designs that are suited to showcasing large image galleries and an easy to use drag and drop builder.

Do I need a custom domain name for a portfolio site?

While it’s not essential, we would definitely recommend getting a custom domain name. An online portfolio is about showcasing your talents, looking professional, and making a good first impression. A domain name will be the first thing a potential client or future employer will see before they click-through to your website, so creating a relevant domain name could be very important to start off on the right foot. When thinking of your domain name make it easy to spell, keep it short, and avoid special characters like dashes and numbers. You can purchase a custom domain from most website builder platforms and it’s often part of the onboarding process. It’s easy enough for anyone to do, no matter what your experience.

What pages should I include on my portfolio website?

This may vary depending on the industry you work in or the type of work you do. There’s no perfect answer here and there’s room for individual preferences. However, if you’re looking for a framework to get you started, most portfolio pages will always have a navigation bar that includes a Home page, About Me, My Work, Testimonials, and Contact. If you create these pages and fill them with content, you should have all the information you need to let clients and employers know a bit about you and showcase some of your work.

What is an online portfolio?

You could think of an online portfolio as a digital CV. It’s a website that houses a collection of your work that can include text, video, images, or hyperlinks to live examples. When it’s done well, it presents your work in a much more engaging way than the more traditional word document CV. Therefore, a good online portfolio can increase the chance of landing a new client or impressing a new employer. Finally, an online portfolio could benefit you no matter what industry you work in, but they work particularly well for writers, photographers, graphic designers, artists, and musicians.

What’s the most easy-to-use website builder for small businesses?

All of our top-ranked website builder platforms are beginner-friendly and often have detailed onboarding videos and guides to help you get started on the platform. So, you will be able to create a stunning website whichever one you choose.
However, we did find that getting up to speed came easier on some platforms. If you take a look at our ratings you’ll notice that we scored Shopify, Weebly, Site123, and Bookmark very highly on our beginner-friendly rating so one of these builders might be a good place to start. Read our in-depth reviews to find out if they could be a good fit for you and your business.

How long will it take me to create a website for my small business using a website builder?

Most of the website builders that we review have a very fast-onboarding process and easy-to-use editors which means that you could potentially have a website live and ready to receive visitors within a couple of hours. However, if you have the time we recommend spending at least one to three days building and editing to make sure everything is perfect and looks as good as possible. 

If you’ve never built a website before and you’re wondering what you need to do, take a read of our website checklist which covers all the steps you need to take before launching a successful website.

How do I pick the best logo maker?

This is all down to your individual needs, however, there are some things that everybody should think about when deciding on which logo creator to choose.

Budget – artificial intelligence logo makers tend to be cheaper whereas services with expert designers will come at a premium.

Ease of use – some DIY solutions have a simple drag and drop editor whereas others are more complex, what level are you at?

Turn around time – if you need speed, find a logo creator that can deliver results quickly.

What is important to know when choosing a new logo?

There’s a lot to think about when choosing a logo design. If your budget can stretch to it, we recommend using one of the logo creators that offer direct contact with professional designers, such as Fiverr, 99 Designs, Logo Garden, or Design Hill. However, if you don’t have access to a professional designer, here are some fundamental principles that every logo design should follow:

1. Visually represent your company and its values to attract your target audience.

2. Make sure your logo can fit both a wide and a square format so it can fit into different locations across your website (navigation bar, banners, etc) and in different elements on social media (profile pictures, header image, etc).

3. The colors in your logo should influence the color scheme of your website.

Blogs & Blogging Platforms

Which website builder has the best blogging template designs?

All website builders offer professionally designed blogging templates that allow beginners to make a really good-looking website without the need for any coding or design skills. So, there will be great templates for you to choose from whichever platform you finally decide on. However, you’ll notice that we have scored two brands very highly on our design capabilities rating. 

The first is Wix, which not only offers some of the best template designs but their editor is super easy to use and provides the highest level of creative freedom. You can really get your designs dialed in and looking exactly how you want them with Wix.

The second is Squarespace, famous for having the best quality template designs on the market. Squarespace designs really bring images to life and the platform supports great blogging features like the ability to have multiple contributors and automatically push content to your social channels.

What’s the cheapest blogging platform?

While it’s important to stress that ‘cheapest’ is not always best, there are a few builders that offer great value for money and a cheap entry-level starting price. Wix and Webnode are two brands that have the lowest starting price and they both offer great blogging features too.

Make sure you check what is on offer from the monthly subscription because it’s often the case that the cheaper options don’t include advanced features that you might want to use, such as visitor analytics or lead capture forms. Cheaper subscriptions also have bandwidth and storage limits which could become a problem if you’re expecting lots of traffic or want to publish lots of content.

What’s the difference between a blog and a website?

This is definitely a valid question because there’s not that much of a difference but here’s an easy way to distinguish between the two. A blog is a dynamic type of website where information is updated regularly and presented in reverse chronological order (newest content first). It’s not unusual for multiple entries to be uploaded daily for blog followers to read and enjoy. Whereas a traditional website tends to be static with information spread out across pages and is updated much less regularly. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

What can I do to improve SEO on my website?

There are lots of things that you can do to your website to optimize for search engines. Conducting keyword research, writing great (link-worthy) content, and optimizing titles to include relevant keywords is just the beginning. There’s too much to talk about to fit it all here. So, instead, we’ve written an article detailing everything you need to know about SEO on website builders packed full of tips on how to improve your rankings.

Read more about how to improve your SEO.

Which platform is best for SEO performance?

Some of the website builders have a great technical SEO foundation with the ability for users to make edits to important On-page SEO features such as HTML headings, Friendly URLs, image alt tags, and much more. Whereas others have been poorly designed and will make it difficult for your website to rank well. We reveal all in our in-depth reviews and provide a detailed summary of the SEO audits we carry out on every brand we assess.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization and involves making certain changes to your website to make it more appealing for search engines to list your web pages higher up the search engine ranking pages (SERPs). There are three different types of SEO that include On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and technical SEO. You will need to pay attention to all three areas to carry out a successful SEO strategy for your website.

The good news is if you’re using a website builder the technical SEO has already been taken care of so you only need to focus on On-page and Off-page SEO. However, some platforms have done better than others with technical SEO. If you want to find out more head to the SEO section in each of our in-depth reviews for our own analysis.

Hosting & Domains

What’s the difference between a domain name and a hosting service?

A domain name is a unique set of characters that act as the address for your website. This enables people to search for, and find your website. Although there are lots of different options for a domain name, most follow a simple formula of www.[business name].com.

A web hosting service is a company that has large computers (or servers) that store computer files such as HTML, documents, images, video, etc while providing internet connectivity so others can access these files. 

So, a domain name is used to find your website whereas a hosting service is used to store your website.

Will I require a domain name and a hosting service when using a website builder?

Domain names and a free hosting service come as standard with a paid plan from all of the website builder platforms we have reviewed. If you want to connect a custom domain name you will have to pay a small additional fee. Most of the time custom domains can be purchased from the website builder platform itself, so there’s no need to go anywhere else. 

You will have to bear in mind that entry-level subscription plans come with a hosting service with limited bandwidth. Therefore, if you’re expecting lots of web traffic you might want to sign up for a premium plan with unlimited bandwidth to make sure your site doesn’t crash when you need it.

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