Did you know that you can make your own website for your home staging business? You can, and creating a website can be pretty easy with a website builder. Of the many DIY (do-it-yourself) website builders available, they often come with website templates to help you get started.
In this post, we will review and compare three of the most popular website builders available: Wix, Weebly, and GoCentral by GoDaddy. We will explain the pros and cons of each, the templates available, and the pricing package that we recommend for home stagers.
A website builder can be great for a home stager’s first business website, despite their limitations. These limitations include the amount of your time required to make a good website, their structures (the technical stuff) generally don’t provide SEO benefits, and your website is hosted on shared hosting with other websites, to name a few.
Obviously, Stager Sidekick would love for every home stager to use our website templates, or allow us to make your custom website. Whether you are just starting out, or have an established home staging business, Stager Sidekick has a solution for you.
However, many home stagers find that the website builders are the option that is right for their business.
There are many good reasons for a new home stager to make their own website. The primary reason is they can be very inexpensive. And with the user friendliness of many DIY website builders available today, making a basic website can be relatively easy, even for someone without technical skills.
Website builders even come with templates for many different types of businesses. However, of the website builders reviewed, only GoCentral has templates specifically for home staging businesses as of this writing. Fortunately, each website builder has other templates that may work for your home staging business.
Reviews of Website Builders for Home Stagers
Each review of Wix, Weebly, and GoCentral will cover how each of the following items relate to a new home stager’s website needs:
- Overview of website builder
- Display of your portfolio of pictures
- Templates that may work for home stagers
- Pricing and features plans available
1. Wix website builder
Overview of Wix
Wix is the most popular website builder available, and often the most recognizable.
Wix helps you get started quickly. The interface to design your website is drag and drop. Customizing your website is easy. And creating your blog is a snap, so that you can provide even more value to your website visitors.
Pictures with Wix
Pictures and portfolios are some of the most important pieces of a home stager’s website.
Wix has a function that will automatically reduce the file size of your pictures so that your pictures don’t slow down your website very much. A fast website is critical, so this is an important feature.
Wix doesn’t have the ability to create separate portfolios for each of your projects. This can make it difficult to tell the story, or case study, of each of your projects. The lack of a portfolio function is a major drawback for Wix.
A benefit is that you can easily add alt-text to your images in Wix, which is essential for SEO.
Wix Website Templates
Wix has a large library of templates to choose from. Although none of the templates are specific to home staging businesses, there are some decent templates that you can start out with and modify to your needs.
One template you can start out with is the “Interior Design Portfolio” template. Then take a look at the different “Photography” templates for ideas on how you could display pictures of your projects.
With Wix, you will have to modify any template to make it work for you. Fortunately, creating a website with Wix is as easy as dragging and dropping to make the design you like.
Wix Plans available
Wix has both free and paid plans.
With the free plan, Wix shows Wix ads on your website, and your domain will look something like this: username.wixsite.com/siteaddress. Imagine putting a domain like that on your business cards!! Not if you want to look professional. Although the thought of “free” can be tempting, we don’t recommend this plan.
Fortunately, the premium plans are not very expensive. We recommend the “Unlimited” plan. Unlimited provides the storage space you need for your images, while not going overboard with features that you don’t need with your first website. At the time of writing this, the Unlimited plan is only $14/month. With a Wix Unlimited plan, your domain is free for the first year, then it costs $14.95/year after that.
You can view the Wix templates here.
2. Weebly website builder
Overview of Weebly
Weebly also helps you get started quickly.
Weebly templates are called “themes”, and customizing your website is easy with their drag and drop website builder. Creating your blog is a snap with Weebly, so that you can provide even more value to your website visitors.
Pictures with Weebly
Weebly has the ability to create picture galleries where your visitors can scroll through pictures. This is a great feature for showing off each of your projects in your portfolio that Wix doesn’t have.
Like Wix, you can add alt-text to your images in Weebly, which is essential for SEO.
A major drawback is that Weebly doesn’t resize your picture when you load them. Picture file size can have the greatest impact on the speed of your website. Loading a single picture taken by an iPhone can slow down your website. Imagine have 10, 20, or even 50 pictures! Don’t even think about loading pictures taken by a DSLR camera. Weebly suggests modifying your pictures with Photoshop or similar photo editing software prior to loading them to your Weebly website.
Weebly Website Templates (or Weebly Themes)
Weebly templates are actually called “themes”. They have a large library of themes, but none specifically for home stagers.
Evaluating the available themes in Weebly isn’t as intuitive as Wix. Weebly has general groups for their themes, but the theme names are like the names of paint colors – they don’t really mean anything.
The Weebly themes that we recommend that will give you a good starting point are:
- Mandy Miller – Cento
- Bella Marcel – Unite 2
Although these themes aren’t for home stagers or interior designers, they have great features that you can incorporate into your website design. Additionally, there are independent theme developers for Weebly that you can purchase a more appropriate theme from.
Weebly Plans Available
Weebly has both free and paid plans to choose from.
With the free plan, Weebly shows Weebly ads on your website, just like Wix does with their free plan. Your domain on a free plan will look something like this yourcompany.weebly.com. We don’t recommend the free plan if you’re serious about your business.
The premium plans are not very expensive. We recommend the “Personal Use” plan. This provides the storage space you need for your images, while not going overboard with features that you don’t need with your first website. At the time of writing this, the Personal Use plan is only $8/month, when paid annually. With a Weebly Personal Use plan, your domain is free for the first year, then it costs $19.95/year after that.
3. GoCentral website builder
Overview of GoCentral
GoCentral is a website builder offered by GoDaddy. GoDaddy started out as a domain registrar (aka a place where you get a domain name for your website), and they continue to add more utilities to become a one stop shop for all your website needs, such as a website builder.
Making a website with GoCentral is also very easy to do, and they have home staging website templates to help get your website started.
Pictures with GoCentral
By now we sound like a broken record, but pictures and portfolios are some of the most important pieces of a home stager’s website.
GoCentral has the ability to create picture galleries where you can scroll through your photos. This is a great feature for showing off each of your projects in your portfolio, and the best of any of the website builders we reviewed.
A major drawback to GoCentral is that there is no capability to add alt-text to your images, which is important for SEO. However, if SEO was really important to you, then you would have your website built on WordPress, rather than any of the DIY website builders in this review.
GoCentral Website Templates
GoCentral has the largest and most organized library of templates to help home stagers get started with their website. As of this writing, there are 18 templates under their home staging section.
Each home staging template is relatively similar in functionality, but the designs are different providing great options to get you started. The template library is comprehensive and intuitively organized in GoCentral – much better than the Wix and Weebly libraries.
In the GoCentral website template library, simply go to “Real Estate”, and then “Home Staging” and you’ll find multiple pages of templates to choose from.
GoCentral Plans Available
GoCentral doesn’t have a free plan. However, since we don’t recommend the free plan for Wix or Weebly, we don’t consider that a drawback.
The paid plans are not very expensive. We recommend the “Business” plan. The Business plan provides the templates you need, and the lowest price plan that offers SSL, which is a security feature that is very important for websites. At the time of writing this, the Business plan is only $9.99/month, when paid annually. But you also get your first month for free. With any plan on GoCentral, your domain costs $14.99/year.
You can get 30% off on your new website and domain from GoDaddy with this link. From there, you can go to “Websites” in the menu at the top to see what GoCentral has to offer.
Each of these website builders, Wix, Weebly, and GoCentral, is great for the home stager who is just getting started and needs a website with few frills at a low cost. They are all very easy to use and can make a good looking website.
Each website builder has their pros and cons, so there is no absolute best choice for a home stager.
If you decide to make your website with a DIY website builder, we don’t recommend choosing based on price. Your business deserves more than the free versions, especially since the paid versions are so inexpensive for what you get.
The decision of which builder to use should be based on your needs for a portfolio, the template or theme designs you think would be a good starting point, and the overall ease of use. Most important, choose the one that you are the most comfortable using.
Many successful businesses In other industries have websites that are on these platforms. However, home stagers have specific needs that need to be considered when selecting a website builder platform and design.
Stager Sidekick makes professional websites for home stagers on WordPress. Our website templates are modern and professional, and are proven to showcase your home staging business. We also make custom websites for the home stager with specific needs.
Here are those links again to the three website builders we reviewed: Wix, Weebly, and GoCentral. Check out each link, and start using the website builder that you think will work best for you. Then let us know in the comments section which one you chose!
Here is the link to check out Wix templates
Here is the link to check out Weebly themes
Here is the link to check out GoDaddy (and get 30% off!)