If you have been wanting a website, but think it’s going to be too difficult because you don’t know any code, or too expensive because you’d have to pay someone to design it for you, THINK AGAIN! I’m going to go over some top website design companies that even you can use (no matter how little you know!).
True Story: When I was running my stationery and invitation business, I paid more than $5,000 to have a customized website built to showcase and sell my custom invitations. It was pretty awesome and used some really high tech web features to let the customer view their own designs before printing. The day we launched the site, I felt sick instead of elated. We’d changed some things with our stationery and now, the site was out-of-date. I knew I could sent the revisions over to my designer, and she would happily have updated the site for a small fee. But what I was feeling sick about was that I was now hand-cuffed to this big, complicated, never truly up to date website. I had no control to change things on the fly, which, let’s be honest, is how I do everything. Blogging was rising in it’s popularity (this was in 2007 or so), so I created a blog that I could update and change whenever I wanted. It was liberating. Before long, I realized that everything I really needed for my business website was possible even within this simplified format. I’ve never looked back.
This is how I know you can create a website
I don’t know a spec of code (and I hope to never learn it!) and I have created websites on a variety of platforms such as WordPress, Blogger and WIX. And I didn’t die. I actually enjoyed the process! After researching and trying out several of the online website programs, my favorite is still WIX. It offers the most flexibility in design options (I can choose fonts, colors etc) and it’s a very simple and intuitive process. If I want an image, I put one on the page. If I want to make that image larger or smaller, I just grab the corner and change it. No restrictions, no coding, no problems.
Here are some web platforms you can use. I know there are even more than this short list, but I’m a big fan of “not too much information, please” These are the most popular among Creative Juicers. All have free starter options, and a nice stepping up of features and fees associated with those. They also will accept your URL or you can buy one and have them host it for you.
To be honest, I’m only luke-warm on my feelings for WordPress. “Real” website designers swear by it, and I truly respect their expertise. I find it to be a little overwhelming and not as flexible as I’d like. I’m still frustrated by the .com and .org debate. I don’t think it’s really easy to navigate the design templates, nor do I find the visual builder very intuitive. It’s often slow. I have to do my own back-up of the site. They seem pretty vulnerable to hacking. I’ll stop whining about it now. I feel like it’s still a program for web designers and coders and not for a visual person like me. It’s good if you will need more sophisticated functionality to your site. You can set up a shop on WordPress with WooCommerce.
I have not used Squarespace, but I know plenty of amateurs who have made really fine websites with it. There are nicely designed, clean and modern looking templates which is a bonus. Those templates can be modified slightly, but some have told me that there are many features not available to them once they’ve picked their template. Squarespace offers an e-commerce option in their premium package.
Weebly seems to be pushing hard for attention in the maker crowds. They too use templates, and offer quite a nice variety of features to add to your site. You can see a video of a behind the scenes tour of a Weebly website here. From what I can see, you can do a lot of customizing, with the exception of choosing fonts. Of course you can also set up a shop for the premium pricing.
If you are a first-timer and your website isn’t going to be super complicated, then I highly recommend WIX. You can use their templates to start your website, but then change everything about them as you brand the website to your specifications. And hooray! You can change text! I really love their Lightbox feature (making non-annoying pop-up boxes). I love how easy it is to drag and drop features like slide shows, sign-up forms, images, backgrounds, videos and I really love that I can move and resize everything just how I like it.
I’ve used WIX for the “Create Your Website” E-Course offered this month. If you have chosen another web platform, don’t worry. This will still be a very valuable process as it will get you organized and the creation of your website systemized so that you don’t spend all your time trying to re-invent the wheel.
Do you want to try to create your own website?
If I can do this, YOU CAN DO THIS! Let’s get started! The course is only offered this March, so don’t delay! You can register for that with the button below. Hope you join us!