Having an awesome website won't raise awareness of your organization or boost sales if no one knows about it. Although search engines favor content over SEO tricks, it's still important to have the ability to submit your website to search engines and enable metatags.
We evaluated each application's SEO tools, including the different ways each application has you input metatags, and whether the program automatically submits your site to search engines or if you have to do it manually.
Those programs that automate SEO practices and offer quick ways of inputting metatags received a higher score than those that lack these features and put the onus on you to submit your site to search engines.
Analytics help you see how your website is performing and how and where you can improve. We evaluated the different analytical tools each application comes with. All of the software on our list employs Google Analytics, but many programs offer their own analytic tools that track different data points.
Weebly, Squarespace, Yola, Jimdo, Strikingly and Aabaco all have proprietary analytics that they track, giving you a more thorough analysis of who your audience is and what they are looking for.
We examined the metrics provided by each application on our list. We awarded the highest scores to the programs that not only track industry-standard data points, like the number of visitors and page views, but provide additional data, such as bounce rates, referring pages, behavior, and mobile data points.
Weebly offers some of the most helpful data points that help you pinpoint the areas of your site that are bringing in the most audience and what parts of your site need adjusting according to audience behavior.
Besides offering web design solutions, the best website design software also hosts your site. Most programs offer free custom domain hosting for at least the first year of your subscription.
While this feature is touted as free, you typically have to pay for setup fees or to register your domain privately. If you do not, viewers have access to your private information.
Finally, storage is important, especially if you have video or image-heavy webpages. The hosting services we evaluated all include a huge number of webpages, but if you have a large store, consider plans that allow for a higher number of pages.
If you intend to create more than one site, be sure to find a web design software solution that allows for this. Finally, having a custom domain and the ability to add several custom email addresses is important for branding and presenting a professional image.