Do you need an online presence?
If you want to have on online business, the answer is: YES. You need to have an online presence. But there are a lot of website design decisions you need to make. Like: Website Builders – The Right Choice For You?
Online Presence = Website
There are many ways to get a website online. Some approaches require technical expertise, while others do not require any technical experience.
Some are expensive, while others are free.
Will a website builder work for you? And if so, which one is best suited for your goals?
This post is based on what I learned as I researched and tested website builder software to get my online business up and running.
I hope this post helps you sort through the noise, see the website creation options that are available to you, and helps you move forward with your online business.
Some Background Information
We’re researching information, connecting with friends and family, and of course, spending money.
We know our way around and we’re pretty savvy at identifying the good sites websites from the scams.
If you’re like me you’ve decided to create your own website.
Maybe you want a personal website. Or, maybe you’ve decided to venture into the world of online marketing and sales.
After all, a lot of people are making money online. Why not you?
So, like me you started a research process ONLINE.
And, you quickly find website builder offerings. Especially the free offers.
What do should you do? What can a website builders do for you?
Online vs. Offline Builders – What’s The Difference?
Online website builders:
Most online builders provide a quick and easy-to-use website development tool usually called drag & drop that often does not require experience.
Using ready-to-use templates, a website can be built and up and running live on the Internet in a matter of minutes.
These companies often provide chat and often email support. While some provide phone support it’s usually only available for their higher prices packages.
While there are many general website builders, there are also specific niche website builders. For example, there are website builders for dating or medical websites with features for the specific niche.
The range of services varies from one website builder to another. Some focus on personal or social network web pages while others provide tools for a web store or eCommerce.
The process may be using pre-designed templates. Or if you have more expertise, the more flexible platforms will allow you to design your website totally from scratch.
Offline website builders:
The offline website builders provide different tools than the online website builder software provides. Many do not provide ready-to-use templates.
Instead, offline web builders are most often used by professional web designers to create web pages for their clients.
They generally require at least basic knowledge of coding in Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) or XHTML. Which is the coding language used for creating web pages and websites.
Offline web builder software is often expensive. However, there are some open source free products available.
If you’re like me, you’ll decide to go for the online web builders, use a template, and leave the coding to someone who knows what they’re doing.
Web Content Management Systems
Advanced web builders are often called content management systems.
This class of software allows the user to manage the website content and how it is seen by visitors to the site more thoroughly than other web builders.
WordPress.org is one of the best know web content management systems. It provides the user with tools to organize web pages in menus and sub-menus.
Web content managers also provide for add-in software apps (called plug-ins and widgets) that allow you to customize your website with something as simple as check boxes or as complex as a shopping cart.
Website Hosting – Do I Need this?
Think of it this way. If you want to build a house you need two things.
- The land on which you will build the house.
- The materials such as concrete, wood, and nails to build the house.
Building a website is like building a house. Web hosting is land on which you build your website and put it on the Internet.
Hosting is a service you pay for and in turn they provide the technology such as server space and a domain name (like your house’s street address) needed for your website to be seen on the web.
The template you’ll use for site design, and the pages and graphics are the wood and nails for building.
To use an old cliché, you can’t have one without the other!
Website Builders – The Good and The Bad
Pros and Cons:
There are a number of benefits to using a website builder, especially if you are new to creating web materials. The benefits include the following.
- Price – most providers have a no-cost option
- Easy – ready-to-use templates
- Fast – most will have a website up in minuets
- Hosting – one-stop for website, hosting, and domain name
There is a down-side to using a website builder. Some negatives to this approach include the following.
- Functionality – often basic or limited tools
- Learning curve – some support provided but often no training
- Search Engine Ranking (SEO) – limited site visitors
- Control – restrictive design tools
- Ownership – you cancel your subscription and you lose the website
What Did I DO?
I tried a number of options. It cost me time and money.
And then, there is the knowledge of online marketing. My results and research were showing me what I needed to learn. And, I needed to learn a lot.
To be successful I knew I needed TRAINING.
While doing a Google search, I found a review of the Wealthy Affiliate program. With Wealthy Affiliate I could start for free and, most importantly, their materials talked about training. Lots of training!
So, I made the move.
At Wealthy Affiliate I am learning how to create a website, drive traffic to my site, and make money selling online.
The free Wealthy Affiliate membership provides access to 12 website designs. If I chose to upgrade to the Premium membership ($49 per month, $19 trial for the first month) I would gain access to about 2,600 website templates.
Most importantly the Premium membership provided a lot of training – up to 170 lessons!
Sounded like what I needed to be successful.
Other than the cost of buying Domain Names (from $13.99 to $15.99 per year/ per Domain Name), I learned there was no other up sell!
This is a great place for beginners to start out and it is where I started out. The training is easy to follow and while I started as a newbie I’m becoming an advanced online marketer. You can too.
And possibly the best part of it all is that they have a free membership where you can get started and test drive the system. I have written a review that you can read by clicking the link below if you want to know more…
What do you think of Website Builder software products?
Leave any comments, questions, or concerns in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you soon!
The opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and are based on a combination of personal experience, published product reviews and users’ ratings.