Drag and Drop

There are a lot of website creation tools out there.

Part of my business (which is frequently perceived as all of my business) involves website design, and I'm always interested in more efficient and full-featured editors.

After various experiences, I can definitely tell you which ones I prefer.

One of the big selling points of website builders is being easy to use. It's a safe bet that there's a fair amount of complexity beneath that "easy" appearance.

I originally wrote this post describing editing with a particular website builder [in annoying detail, some might say); trying to compensate for limited features of the image gallery and fulfill the client's request for a full page gallery. The repetitive corrections were as annoying as describing them would be.

Then I thought what may be of larger concern is the return on investment and ability to scale.

The website builders referred to in this post are self-contained  packages usually with restricted provisions for customization with HTML or Javascript. They may be unlikely to be able to take advantage of broader/newer enhancements of these tools.

There may be "undocumented features" such as certain techniques that work only with certain templates. Unless there's a kick out of constantly feeling like Sherlock Holmes ("Elementary my dear Watson"...) there are other deadlines to meet so a direct approach is probably more appreciated.

But First, A Message From Our Sponsors

When the site is finally launched will there be distractions with your brand and message? You may have to settle for that (even with unrelated products/services) depending on the plan.

I think there's no comparison to similarly priced hosting plans, giving choices of content management systems, a variety of templates and no shared ad space.

With a CMS you can change templates as easily as a few clicks, and there are vast selections of them, free and in many price ranges.

Free Means Free, Right?
Another common aspect of website builders is use of the "freemium" model: getting additional
options/period of usage until the time period is exceeded, then charges kick in.

Auto-renewed billing is commonly applied to accounts. The freemium model makes it even easier to get charged for services that tend to become easily taken for granted as free. If you have flexibility at the outset to create as many websites as you need, many types of sites, use latest and greatest technology, create more email addresses when needed, adjust to spikes in traffic without a similar impact on fees...your marketing can be more effective.

Keeping Up, Being Limber, Cost Effective

Mobilizing your site is a critical capability these days. It should be easily

readable and navigable on mobile devices, meaning re-organization and re-

dimensioning content and controls. While website builders have kept up with this trend offering responsive templates, a hosted provider typically includes extensive disk space and multiple databases, facilitating implementation of more features.

Having an email account (and having enough of them) might be an add on too.

Based on purely unscientific analysis by surfing a few forums, it generally seems hosted sites have more dependable email with greater delivery success rates. It would be interesting to hear other opinions.

You need responsive and competent support regardless of the choice of provider. You may want to check reviews to guage experiences.

Is there an ability to purchase from your website? If missing, and you get any feedback, consider this fortunate: another way this translates is they leave your site to buy from a competitor.

Growth of ecommerce website builders than a few years ago and hosted sites offer top quality open source builders in their plans.

The average cost for a website builder basic subscription is $5.00/month if you purchase annually; several I've looked at show costs rise significantly at the next level.

Generally a plan must be purchased to use your own domain (or the domain is an add on).

Hosting providers such as Bluehost and GoDaddy will include one 5-10 page website builder template and resource allocation, with a domain purchase.

A strategy that misses consideration of the future is just half a strategy.

Agreed? You've heard "don't paint yourself into a corner"...

Choice. It's a beautiful thing.

If you're paying about $60.00/year (plus or minus $15.00) get the most you can!

At minimum, gain flexibility in showcasing your business, discover what's more effective and has potentially greater yield.

Posted in Business and Marketing, General Business.

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