Almost everyone shops online - from clothes and household items to cars. Therefore, building an automotive website could help improve your car sales massively. Not only is it a great way to show off dazzling motors in your showroom, but its a modern way to attract new customers and make sales.
The great thing is, there are a lot of companies within this industry that fail to create something that looks professional and eye-catching - meaning that you have an opportunity to stand out above the rest.
Prior to this review, I have test driven dozens of page builders perfect for auto dealers - and these right here are the best car dealer website builders:
- Wix (Nice variety of automotive field-specific templates)
- WordPress (Wide customization capabilities for a unique site)
- SITE123 (Easy website builder with great support)
- GoCentral (Great pre-built design elements)
- Squarespace (Suitable for a modern and sleek looking website)
Price: from free to $35/month
Recommended for: users who want a stunning template that is specifically designed for the automotive industry.
First off the line - it's Wix. There are nine templates in total that are specifically designed for car dealers or repair shops. And as you can see from the one I have chosen to display, it is modern, sleek, and professional.
When it comes to customizing your website with Wix, you are presented with a drag-and-drop editor - one of which is well-known for its user-friendliness. For users who have no experience in website building, Wix is a good place to start, and there are plenty of video tutorials available too.
Wix also uses something called ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence), and what this means is that you can pretty much have your site built for you automatically. Wix does this by gathering information from a series of questions that it asks you, and then builds a site for you based on your answers.
Aside from the initial design elements, Wix provides a ton of features for small businesses:
- Users can add contact forms and online booking forms for appointments;
- With Wix's blogging platform users can inform potential customers about offers or deals etc;
- Creating an online store and sending invoices is easy with Wix Stores;
- Multiple payment methods such as PayPal, offline payments and more - all commission-free;
- Get your site known with Wix's industry-leading SEO;
As you can see, Wix covers almost every inch of tarmac with its features. But is the pricing fair?
Wix may be free - but consider upgrading
Wix offers a free plan and its great for familiarising yourself with its features. But it does not support a custom domain of your business and will display Wix's own ads on your website - both bad things for your business. So after building your website, I would recommend upgrading to its Unlimited ($14.00) for the best results.
If you want to build an online shop to sell your cars online, there are three separate plans for this - and they range from ($20.00 - $35.00). They all include 100% commission-free, allow you to connect a custom domain and prevent ads displaying on your website.
- Nine templates designed for the automotive industry
- Drag-and-drop builder
- 24/7 support
- Its customization options can seem overwhelming at first
Price: free to use, requires hosting
Recommended for: users who want a choice of automotive industry templates but don't mind a slightly higher price.
WordPress has by far the most automotive industry-specific templates out of all these website builders. And although some of these come with a $79 price tag attached - it still makes it one of the best choices, especially for established businesses.
Saying this, there are hundreds of free templates that are perfect for auto dealer website design. Once you have selected your theme - you are then free to customize it.
Customizing your website with WordPress is done a little differently to most website builders. Instead of using a drag-and-drop editor, it uses a form-based editor that keeps your content and presentation separate. You can still customize things like colors, fonts, header/footer, etc.
One of the most impressive features about WordPress is the plugins list, this feature can totally transform your website.
Users can add plugins like WooCommerce to build an online store, or Yoast SEO to improve the number of visitors to your website.
Now, let's take a look at how much all of that would cost...
WordPress costs as much as you wish
A WordPress website can be built for free - that can be achieved by simply using free web hosting and downloading WordPress there. A free plan is a good way to familiarise yourself with its interface. However, if you're looking for a business that wants a serious website - I'd recommend upgrading.
That can be done by getting premium web hosting - and this option is much cheaper than going to WordPress' website and picking out one of the paid plans. You can get plenty of premium options for a price that can be around 1 dollar a month. Depending on your needs and options, you can go bigger and choose any kind of plan - WordPress really costs as much as you can afford.
- Premium themes built for the automotive industry
- The free plan allows you to get to grips with its interface
- Email and live chat support
- Steeper learning curve than most website builders
- Its interface can appear overwhelming at first
- Plugins feature is limited to the most expensive plan
Price: from free to $38 a month
Recommended for: users who want a straightforward and easy website builder with amazing support.
SITE123 offers a website builder and hosting for it, as it claims it has the easiest builder to use. And for most parts, we have to agree with that.
When you sign up, you have a choice of 14 different categories to best describe what you want your website to be. These categories include an online store, blog, music, events, community, and more.
After you select your type of website and create a name for it, your website will be automatically created. SITE123 builder even adds relative images and text to your website, so you just need to fill the content.
The editor itself lacs true drag-and-drop features and is based on block editing, when you place content into predetermined positions on the website. While it restricts your creative freedom, we need to remember that not everyone is a designer at heart.
These restrictions mean that you won't destroy your website's entire design by dragging something to the wrong position. And you won't need to spend to much time optimizing your design to fit the mobile device, every template here is mobile friendly.
But if you want to use its free plan you will have to settle for a random name subdomain (for example our test website got 5ddcfe7ed5ffb.SITE123.me subdomain name). So the free plan is more for testing the designs.
But if you ever run into trouble you can count on SITE123's customer support team that works 24/7. Every time we tested the live chat support, we got real help in a couple of minutes. Every question, no matter how small or insignificant will be answered.
SITE123 Pricing Options
There are 4 plans you can choose from, the cheapest Basic plan will cost around $5.45 a month. This plan will give you 10GB of storage and 5GB of bandwidth, which is not that much in all consideration.
I would recommend choosing a Professional plan if your serious about your business. This plan usually is on sale and currently costs $5.72/mo. You will get 90GB of storage space, 45GB of bandwidth, eCommerce features, and 3 additional languages to your website.
There are 4 billing cycles you can choose from - 3, 12, 24, and 36 months. The longer period you choose to host the more you will save. Oh, and if you choose the annual billing cycle you also get a free domain name for 1 year.
- 24/7 customer support
- Mobile-ready templates
- Completely free plan
- Random name subdomain
- No drag-and-drop features
Recommended for: users who want pre-built design elements to get your website off the ground quickly.
GoCentral uses its own version of a drag-and-drop editor - they call it swipe-to-style. Although it has a slightly more fancy name, it does a very similar thing.
GoCentral offers upwards of 20 templates specifically designed for the automotive industry. Each one is fully responsive and transitions well to almost any device.
However, if you are put off by the idea of having your website built for you, don't panic - you are free to tweak your website yourself. GoCentral allows live editing and tweaking HTML and CSS code to change up the design.
What GoCentral does well in addition to this, it allows you to build an eCommerce store without almost any fuss.
This is perfect for inexperienced users who are new to website building but want the perks of being able to sell things online.
GoDaddy's online store builder has all the needed features to run a business - appointment booking system, many payment options as well as syncing your social media with the online shop.
No free plan - but good value for your money
Unfortunately, there is no free plan with GoCentral. Instead, there are four paid plans that range from $5.99 - $19.00 per month.
For users who aren't fussed about an online store, I would recommend the Business plan ($9.99) per month. This plan is great for creating an online presence and comes equipped with SEO tools, 24/7 support, and SSL security.
The eCommerce plan is priced at $19.99 with a free trial for 30 days.
- Simple and easy to use interface
- Easy to set up an eCommerce store
- 1 month free trial with each plan
- 24/7 support
- No free plan
- Limited design customization elements
Recommended for: users who want a professional-looking website with cutting-edge design features.
Squarespace offers a great selection of modern and sleek templates, and its image quality is no doubt a show-stopping and important feature for a car dealer.
You may notice that only a few templates include a photo or a description of a car, however, I can assure you that each template is versatile enough to design something great for your automotive biz!
Squarespace is the master at helping small business websites look like a million dollars. Plus, its layout features like Cover Pages and single scroll websites don't only look great, but they can also be a good sales technique for businesses, too.
To break things down and give you a clear view of some of the key features:
- Users can customize things such as colors, fonts, background images, etc;
- Integrate your social media platforms to your website with Squarespace integrations;
- Create an eye-catching blog and spread the word about deals or promotions;
- Create an online store that looks just as good as any;
After a more in-depth look at Squarespace, it's safe to say that it would make a good match for anybody who wants to build an automotive industry website. With its superior templates and outstanding image quality alone - Squarespace almost guarantees your website will draw attention.
Now, what about the pricing?
Well, if Squarespace was a car - it would definitely be a Lamborghini.
There are four paid plans to choose from that range from $12.00 - $40.00.
To get your site up and running without an online store will cost you $12.00 per month. However, for small businesses, I would recommend the Business plan ($18.00). This includes an eCommerce feature, unlimited contributors, the option to sell unlimited products, and 24/7 customer support. If your business sells anything that isn't cars, this could be a great pick.
- Top of the range templates
- Excellent blogging platform
- 24/7 live chat support
- Mobile-optimized website
- Steeper learning curve
Out Of These Car Dealer Website Builders, Who's The Winner?
To pick one clear winner is a tough decision, as they each bring a number of excellent features. But to help further your decision, I have made a list of what I believe each of them does best.
- Wix is best suited to users who want plenty of automotive industry-specific templates to choose from;
- WordPress would make a good choice for users who have a little extra cash and want to build a unique website;
- SITE123 is great for beginners who want to create professional-looking websites fast;
- GoCentral is the best choice for users who are on a budget and want pre-built design elements;
- Squarespace would suit small businesses who want a professional and clean looking website;
Choosing the right website builder depends solely on the purpose of your website. For users with a little more experience in website building, and who want to impress customers with a unique design - I would recommend Squarespace.
Wix is one of the leading website builders for a reason - it's extremely versatile and is home to a bucket load of features to help make your business successful. If Wix was a car it would be classy, fun, and reliable. But other options can be perfect, too - I suggest having a look at the templates you can get with each option and see which ones look the best.
So, after testing many website builders, I have come to the conclusion that these five website builders are the best match for those looking to build either a new or used car dealer website. If you have any other suggestions though, please feel free to comment with your thoughts below.