When deciding on the best website builder for your salon, it’s important to keep a number of things in mind.
Not all salons are the same, and not all website builders are, either. So, how do you choose? Keep reading to find out.
Choosing the Best Website Builder for your salon — What to Look for?
If you’re going to choose a website builder for your salon, the best thing to do is figure out your salon’s needs first. You can start by brainstorming (alone or with your team) everything that you want to use your website for. Make a list of the features that you’d need to achieve this.
Still stuck? Try checking out the website of other businesses with client-facing industries like restaurants or consultancy firms. Don’t be shy about looking at other salon websites, too.
Some things that you should consider are: price lists, staff profiles, a review page for clients, making it compatible with your salon software, retail product pages, and SEO features like tags.
Many website builders are very user-friendly and allow you to drag and drop in images and blocks of text. Some of these even offer free trials, which is a great way to see if they’re right for you.
Remember that whatever you choose should be able to keep up with your salon’s evolving needs.
Criteria for Our Best Website Builder for Salons Review
We’ve done our best to check out and test drive several different website builders, coming up with a list of criteria to help you choose the best one for you.
Overall, the most important things to look for are:
User Friendly: Any beginner should be able to use a good website builder- you shouldn’t need to know coding or have to understand a bunch of technical jargon to get started. Ideally, the website builder should have a lot of options to customize your salon website’s features, be easy to edit and have a variety of templates to choose from.
Booking Online: Clients don’t want to wait until your salon is open to call and book an appointment- they’d much rather do it conveniently using their phones or laptops when they have time. This will get you a lot more customers, so make sure that your website builder has online booking integrated into it already.
Pics and staff Profiles: Staff profiles and an image gallery that shows off your salon’s best work (including before and after pictures) are excellent ways to let potential clients get to know your salon. The best builders let you make these pages easily.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Functions: These make it easier to find your salon on search engines like Google, which is vital for securing new clients. You’ll want a website builder with easy to use SEO functions.
Value: Everyone hates hidden fees almost as much as everyone loves free features. We’ve taken a look at each website builder to see which ones offer the most bang for your buck in terms of things like including an email address, a domain name, etc. as well as what different features cost.
Customer Service and Assistance: Even though all of the website builders we’ve picked out are user-friendly, it’s still important to have access to round-the-clock customer support. You never know when you might need it.
Website Builders for Your Salon
1 . Zolmi - Our Top Choice
Zolmi is a popular salon software platform that includes a salon website builder as part of its wide range of features focused on the beauty and wellness industry. It’s versatile, user-friendly and provides great value for your money.
Zolmi offers a free account for both its website builder and salon software with a wide range of functions that will help to get you online simply and easily. It has everything you need in one convenient place.
The free account doesn't include a domain name, so if you choose to use your salon website on social media and Google Business profile then you might want to upgrade to a premium account.
Simplicity and user-friendliness are key with the Zolmi website builder for both salon owners and their clients. Page speed and mobile-friendliness are huge areas of focus and this ensures that Google likes the websites built on this website builder. All of the templates are predesigned to make it easy to get online quickly and easily.
Fully integrated with your salon software - as your website is fully integrated into your salon software, all your staff updates and price lists are automatically updated on your website without the need to do this in two places.
You won’t be able to add ‘plugins’ to your website like you can do with Wordpress. Some salon owners might find this restrictive, but remember that this website builder is built for speed and plugins like Wordpress are famous for slowing down websites.
Moving your website to another provider may be difficult as you are not able to download your website at this time. So, if you choose another website provider then you will have to start from scratch.
This salon website builder doesn’t use drag and drop and instead uses templates with elements that you can turn on and off quickly. This might be seen as not as flexible by some, but an advantage is that it allows for things to get done very quickly and easily.
If you’re using Zolmi as a free website builder, then you can use the free mybelliata domain. With the premium version you can buy a domain name if you want to have your own url for your salon. This typically costs $14.99/year from providers like namecheap.com or marcaria.com and link to your website.
Using the free version, your website will carry an advert for Zolmi, as well as having a limited number of images that you can add to your site. However, the paid version is very affordable and you will be able to add more images, have staff profiles and show customer testimonials from your Zolmi account.
To learn more please check out our post on How to Choose a Web Design Company for Your Salon.
Known for being the world’s most popular platform for website building, WordPress.org has over 30 million websites currently running on its hosted and self hosted platform.
So, what’s the difference between the two?
Website builders are hosted tools, meaning that you don’t need to buy the software and deal with hosting your own website (although this really is not as hard as it sounds). This makes this version of WordPress a lot like the other website builders we will look at.
The self-hosted version of WordPress uses a CMS or Content Management System with a lot of features that are easy to use, can be scaled to fit big and small screens and give you full control over your website (you own it and have complete privacy over what you do with your contents).
To get started with this, you’ll need to get a WordPress hosting account, but we’ll go over this in more detail soon.
With WordPress, you have full control over each aspect of your salon’s website. This means that you can design and build it according to your needs (whether this means focusing on retail and ecommerce, image galleries or anything else).
There’s also a library containing thousands of different themes that you can choose from and the option to design your own custom webpage by using a drag-and-drop program like SeedProd without ever needing to learn how to code.
Some other advantages include the ability to use over 59,000 WordPress plugins for free, giving you access to extra features like a shopping cart, google analytics, social media tools and even a live chat option and SEO plugins and tools.
You can also set your site to redirect people to whichever language is used in their region, if you have a multilingual website for your salon.
There can be a lot of updates that you’ll need to stay on top of, if you want everything to keep working perfectly. You’ll also need to create a backup of your website (your hosting provider can do this automatically, too).
If you’re managing your own website, you will need to learn the system and become familiar with what everything does, which might seem intimidating for first-time users. This does get easier with experience and requires a bit of practice.
WordPress’s website builder is free to use, but you’ll still need to pay for a domain name and a website hosting service. This will probably cost you around $14.99 a year for the domain and about $7.99 a month on average for the hosting.
3. GoDaddy Website Builder
GoDaddy is a major player in the website hosting and domain name registrar game, with many businesses using their services and even hosting their own WordPress sites here.
They also have a very easy-to-use website builder (it’s a bit basic but fine for jobs that don’t require a lot of complex features) available for anyone to use, too.
GoDaddy’s website builder is straightforward and good for beginners. It uses a drag-and-drop system of blocks that allow you to experiment with different layouts for your salon website, along with a photo gallery that lets you load and use up to 250 different images.
It’s also flexible and scales well on both small and larger screens, letting you work on your phone or your tablet when needed, which is perfect for salon owners on the go.
As we said before, GoDaddy’s website builder is simpler than some of the others we’ve chosen, which might be a problem for those looking for something with a lot of different features and design options to choose from.
Also, it’s hard to move your salon website from GoDaddy Website Builder to WordPress’s platform later on if you want to, which is not ideal.
The cost for GoDaddy’s website builder begins at about $6.99/month if you get their basic plan, $10.49/month for the standard one and $14.99/month if you choose the eCommerce option. Expect to receive a bill once a year if you sign up.
Our final verdict: GoDaddy’s website builder can be a good option if you’re looking to build a basic website, but not the best value for someone looking to make something more content-rich or complex with a lot of features.
Wix.com is a website building software which is gaining in popularity (about 1.9% of all the websites out there use Wix, so this gives you an idea of how big it actually is). It’s cloud-based and easy to use with a good selection of features for anyone looking to create their own website.
To start with, you won’t have to pay hosting fees, since Wix is a platform that’s fully hosted. This is convenient, to be sure.
Next, they offer a lot of templates that you can choose from (literally hundreds), which you can adjust using drag and drop functions. They also have an artificial design intelligence called Wix ADI which you can use to design your website.
As far as features and the functionality of your website go, they offer both free and paid apps that you can install. Some of these apps were created by Wix and others were made by third parties.
Finally, Wix offers both a free plan (although it has less bandwidth than the premium one) so that you can try it out. This does not come with a domain name, but you can easily get one by upgrading to their premium service. You do, however, get free SSL which will encrypt your data and help keep anything sent on your website secure.
If you sign up for the Free plan or the Connect Domain plan, then be prepared to have Wix’s ads on your website. The only way to get rid of these is to sign up for either a Combo or an Unlimited plan.
Moving your business’s website away from Wix is a complicated process, which can be frustrating.
Wix’s Connect Domain plan costs $9.16 per month and it only allows you to connect a custom domain name that you own- it does not include the cost of the domain name itself, which you’ll still have to buy.
Wix does offer customers the option to buy a free version of their website builder (although it is limited in what it can do), and it comes with a branded sub domain. If you want to connect your own domain, it costs $9.16 per month.
If you choose their Combo plan, this includes both the website and the domain name for as low as $14 a month. Finally, their eCommerce plan (which is mostly meant for retail businesses) costs about $23 monthly.
Weebly’s website builder has a lot of options to choose from, including a very user-friendly page builder that makes editing your salon website easy and fast. They also have many different designs and functionalities to try out.
Square, a payment platform, bought Weebly in April of 2018 for about $365 million in order to create a one-stop solution for online businesses.
Since Weebly’s platform is fully hosted, this means that you won’t have to install or deal with any extra software. They will do all of this for you in one place, making things less complicated.
Weebly also offers a range of design options to help you get going on your new salon website. And, these designs are editable, so there’s nothing stopping you from customizing things until they’re just right for you.
They also offer convenient features including contact forms, sliders, options to add photo galleries, as well as ecommerce support if you want to start offering retail products online.
Since Weebly.com’s platform is fully hosted, you don’t have much choice about using their features or not. This means that you won’t be able to bring in your own web designer to add anything that’s not already available.
Also, Weebly will display ads for Square on your website unless you buy their Professional plan, which is among the more expensive options that they offer.
Weebly’s free plan is usable, but very simple. If you’re looking for something less basic, you can sign up for a $6 per month option or get their Professional or Business plans for $12 or $26 a month respectively. Theme amounts are all billed on a yearly basis.
So, which website builder is right for you?
We recommend that you choose something that is a good fit for your valuable time, skill set and your salon’s needs.
Make sure that whatever your choice is, it provides you with the most bookings possible through delivering a great user experience - that is why we recommend Zolmi website builder as our top option.
The Creative Person's Website Builder: How to Make a Pro Website Yourself Using Word Press and Other Easy Tools
Determinants of successful website design: relative importance and recommendations for effectiveness
Do we fear the right things?