It wasn’t long ago that creating a website required a great deal of time and know-how, usually coupled with associated costs to get it up and running. Blogs and personal pages have blossomed in the last five years because of tools that simplify their birth, though a full website, with e-commerce included for selling product or services, has also become an easier project to take on.
Going the blog route
The options to do this have grown in abundance, thanks in part to the popularity and ubiquity of WordPress. Many blogs and sites have popped up in the last few years powered by the platform, which is almost entirely free (creating your own template isn’t) and relatively user-friendly. With some trial and error, including the bevy of information and tutorials available on the Web, it doesn’t have to be a difficult process to get acclimated to how it works.
Claim your name
Of course, snagging a domain name is integral to making a site truly your own. GoDaddy is one of the most visible options with its commercials and advertisements, though others, like Name.com,IWantMyName and NameSilo, among others, offer good prices and great service as well.
Customization and templates
Digging deeper to build a site that may include all of the above and more with added features and options is not as complicated as it might seem. The reason for this is because the vendors offering these services have managed to present them via interfaces that simplify and streamline the process of adding and building a site’s pages. This includes everything from adding text, images, links, video, audio, social media links, comments sections and more. In fact, if you intend to create a site to sell products or services, you can make it an e-commerce site to enable your business that way.
Part of what makes this easier to manage is the templates that make them look good. WordPress has always been a standout for its almost endless supply of templates, and despite the fact others can’t compete in quantity, they certainly do in quality.
Squarespace is one such service, offering slick and modern designs that can be customized to some degree to fit your taste. These are separated by the type of site you’re looking to build, be it a business, portfolio, restaurant or personal one. You don’t have to stick to these under their specific focuses, as you can tailor a template to what you want when you edit it anyway. Squarespace offers annual hosting and a limited storage amount for $96 per year (or $10 per month), $192 per year (or $20 per month) for unlimited bandwidth and extras or $276 per year (or $30 per month) to integrate an e-commerce storefront into the site.
When it comes to templates in abundance, Wix is one to look at. Its drag-and-drop interface is very user-friendly, and is similar to how some of the others work. Because the coding works in the background, there is a focus on the visual presentation above all else. Interestingly, Wix also has an app market for plug-ins to enhance certain features of your site — something WordPress is renowned for, though others don’t necessarily offer. Like Squarespace, Wix also has live support with real people to help you learn or get out of a jam. You have a handful of signup choices for Premium plans, ranging from $4 to $30 per month.
Weebly is very similar in that it has e-commerce and a drag-and-drop interface, as well as positioning itself as an ideal choice to create a blog or professional page akin to an online business card. Pricing ranges from free to $25 per month for the complete package, including e-commerce.
German-based Jimdo is another great option for working professionals looking for a unique presence online. You can create a site for free, albeit with limited space and no custom domain name, or pay $90 per year to go with the Pro option that opens things up considerably. Jimdo Business is your e-commerce choice for $240 per year.
New Year’s resolutions are usually about engineering changes in your life, and if creating a website for a new business or vocation is something on your list, these are good places to start. Even if you think it might be a tall order, consider a basic tutorial like this as a possible jump-off point.
If you’re wondering about security for your content and keeping spammers at bay, these services offer some help with that, so you’re not in any danger. With everything put together, you can have a fresh new site that helps you build a business, your professional services or a blog to call your own.