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website builder

Why A Website Builder?

Website Builders are an alternative to setting up your own web server content management system and spending time maintaining the myriad of components on the web server. Creating pages of content using a website builder can be easy and fast. You will not need to have any knowledge of coding because they use such features as drag and drop within a user interface. Building your site will be restricted by the website builders functionality as you have no control over the web server, CMS, file system, database, or security which a full hosting service does provide. This means you will need to ensure the website builder has all the functionality you require now and in the future before spending your time creating content.

 

You will not be able to port your website to another vendors builder or to a fully hosted and controlled website. Some website builders may possibly have an export feature to download content but it would not be in a format to be able to port it into any other system. Fully controlled hosted websites would normally have a control panel option allowing a full backup of the site content and SQL database allowing it to be downloaded and then restored onto another (compatible) web server.

 

If all that's required is a simple web presence with a few features then using the services of a website builder platform can be a distinctly better solution than having to maintain a CMS. Most of these services provide a free startup package where you can get creative and then decide later to upgrade the site with your own domain name and extra functionality such as an online shop.

 

Your domain name is a precious thing. Register a domain name using a separate and reputable, well known re-seller or registrar. This ensures you have full control and ownership of your domain name. You can then "point" your domain name to the host (website builder providers web server), but ensure this option is available before you signup for an account with the website builder provider. A free website builder page is always going to use a sub-domain of the website builder provider and is not a domain in itself. e.g.  "mywebsite.vendorwebsite.com".  You then upgrade the free account to a paid account and use your existing registered domain name without needing to purchase a domain name from the website builder vendor. i.e. You are just paying for hosting and using their website builder software.

 


dudaResponsive website templates and a large selection of themes. DudaOne is for responsive websites on all devices such as PC screen, tablet and mobile and DudaMobile for mobile only websites. Free website plan for a quick start to being creative. Upgrade later to a Business or Business + eCommerce to have your own domain website name. You can also create a multi-language website.
strikinglyThree plans are available, Free, Limited and Pro. There is a simple and very easy editor to create a single page responsive website. Ideal for a small and quick web presence to showcase a portfolio or products and services or advertise events. The templates are highly optimized for mobile devices.

weebly logo A free website plan exists for basic use on the Weebly sub domain. Paid subscriptions use your domain name on the Starter, Pro, Business and Performance plans with each having a higher level of eCommerce and other available features. An Appstore exists to easily add extra features. There is also an option for creating a multi-language website. The available themes are responsive and the web builder interface is easy to use.

Above are some popular Website Builders. You can read the disclosure regarding these promoted sites.

 


Considerations For Choosing A Suitable Website Builder

The best website builder would be one that has the functionality available for your current and future needs. Some functionality can be included in a basic or free plan but others may require upgrading to a Pro or Business type of plan which has a higher monthly fee. You should investigate what is the final cost of having a website hosted with the features you require. For example, having an online shop may require a Business plan upgrade or the purchase of an Add-on. It is important to research and consider the billing practices of any vendor, ensure they have a good reputation. You also need to be aware of "phishing" scams that look legitimate but are not from the vendor which are usually in the form of emails threatening to delete your website unless you provide credit card details.

 

  • Check the templates and themes available are suitable for your needs and is it possible to change the template to another. It may not be possible to use a different template if you change your mind. Also another important aspect is if the template is fully responsive for what device it is displayed on such as a tablet or mobile phone as well as a regular PC screen. Responsive website design is important for SEO.

  • Are you wanting to sell products or services and is an eCommerce solution for creating an on-line shop available? Does the eCommerce solution provide for various types of currencies, taxes, and what payment portals such as PayPal can be implemented?

  • Is it possible to create content and have it automatically activated and then archived within a pre-determined time?

  • Can social media buttons such as Facebook, Twitter and others be inserted to the pages so you can link all your web presence?

  • Blogs can be an important part of many websites. Is there an inbuilt option or an available add-on?

  • Certain web pages may need to be password protected to only allow a select group of people access. This may not be possible on some website builders, but this feature may never be required.

  • Is there enough storage space available with the plan if large amounts of information is required to be published? Some plans may need to be upgraded to allow extra storage space.

  • Is a contact form available so that visitors can send you emails?

  • Statistics can be very useful and provides data on such things as the number of visitors, how long they stay and how many pages they view. It can give you valuable stats on what the popular pages are and what needs removing.

  • Can you produce a multilingual site if you need to reach out to people in a variety of countries?

  • If security is important then can the website builder allow SSL which is the HTTPS protocol that allows encrypted data between your website and the visitors browser?

  • Having an app store available to add extra functionality to your website could be a consideration.  Apps such as social icons, coupons, visitor comments, counters, etc. can make your site a better experience for visitors.

  • Uptime needs to be considered. Monitoring your website daily to ensure there are no issues is critical. Reliability of the server can be a serious issue and affect your visitor numbers. If your website has long downtimes then any visitor may assume your website does not work and they will never return. Many vendors claim a 99.99% uptime on their servers. Create some free test sites and monitor their performance before choosing a website builder.

  • Page load times need to be tested frequently. If the pages take considerable time to load and display in a visitors web browser they may just give up and go elsewhere. Website builders would have many different sites running on a single server, not just your website. You can monitor page load times using on-line tools. Search for "web site speed test" and there will be many sites offering free testing. Create some free test sites and monitor their performance before choosing a website builder.

  • Does the website builder vendor have the various support options available such as email, live chat, telephone, and a user community support portal?

 

 



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