How to Create a Restaurant Website for Free!
For restaurants and bars across the country, staying competitive during the pandemic means establishing an exceptional online presence.
But is it really necessary to spend hundreds of thousands on a website? No.
Here are four platforms you can use to create a beautiful website that looks expensive but is actually 100% free.
Wix is an all-in-one website builder and an excellent option for both experienced web designers and total newbies. The platform comes with an intuitive dashboard that doesn’t take very long at all to master.
Here are a few of Wix’s features for restaurants:
- Templates. Wix offers a wide variety of mobile-optimized restaurant templates.
- Menu Builder. You can create and manage your menu directly from the site.
- Order System. Your clients can place orders, organize delivery, and make payments online with zero commission.
- SEO Guide. Wix provides an SEO tool that lets you quickly and effectively improve visibility.
- Table Booking. You can choose to give your customers the ability to book tables in your restaurant using third-party apps such as OpenTable Reservations or Wix Reservations.
The biggest disadvantage of using Wix is limited flexibility. For instance, you’re limited to Wix’s templates and designs. Wix doesn’t allow for deep editing, whether through CSS or third-party apps and widgets.
Weebly is a cloud-based website builder that focuses on ecommerce. The platform operates using a drag-and-drop editor and a wide variety of customization tools. Here are a few of its notable features:
- Integrated Ecommerce Engine. Weebly is optimized for ecommerce, allowing you to include order placement, online payment, booking, and similar features.
- Video Hosting. Weebly comes with integrated video hosting, letting you upload restaurant-related content directly from your computer or through YouTube.
- Weebly App Center. Weebly’s site builder allows you to add third-party apps and extensions such as LiveChat, PinPoll, Event Calendar, and more.
So, what are the cons of choosing Weebly? The platform lacks a few significant features, including customer logins and order history. This prevents you from running automated loyalty programs.
Squarespace is another cloud-based website builder that includes a diverse range of features and services offered. Squarespace requires no previous web design experience to master and includes just about every feature you need for a fully-functional restaurant site, including:
- Designs. Squarespace offers fully-customizable and responsive restaurant-focused templates.
- Ecommerce functionality. Squarespace provides all the functionality you need to run your restaurant through the web, including online ordering, inventory, automated emails, and more.
- Logo Creator. If you don’t have a logo for your restaurant, Squarespace’s site builder allows you to design one from scratch that’ll help you stand out from the crowd.
- Image Editing Tools. Squarespace is known for its portfolio-focus. The platform lets you create beautiful menus that feature high-quality images of your most popular dishes.
The cons of using Squarespace include a lack of advanced marketing tools, such as SEO functionality, and no support for third-party apps, plugins, or extensions.
As its name suggests, SITE123 operates based on a three-step process for building a website: choose a design, add content, and go live. SITE123 is another web platform that offers a variety of features that would be useful for a restaurant owner, such as:
- Templates. Like Wix, SITE123 provides over twenty different templates targeted toward restaurants.
- Menu. SITE123 allows you to show your full menu alongside operating hours, location, and other key information about your restaurant.
- Reservation System. SITE123’s reservation system allows customers to make reservations and set their table sizes.
What are the cons of using SITE123? The site requires you to upgrade to premium in order to access many of its best features. Another downside is that the platform offers fewer templates in comparison to other site builders.
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