The time has come when anyone, regardless of their background, technical knowledge or experience, can build their own websites. I will discuss the options available if you just need a simple site to showcase your business. I will then move forward to show how you can learn to build blogs and websites you will be really proud to own or produce for others.
Why Businesses Should Have A Website
Businesses of all types and sizes are losing clients because competitors have a website and they don’t. Before contacting a business people like to research the people they are hiring or purchasing from. The one media that can portray comprehensive details of your services, products, past work, qualifications and much more is your website.
An advertisement (leaflet, magazine etc.) needs to provide reference to a website otherwise 50% of your potential customers will ignore it.
Simple Drag And Drop Websites
There are many platforms offering you the facilities to simply build your website using their drag and drop templates. Traditional website creation needing skills in HTML, CSS3 and design are long past, as are the needs to take anything between a couple of days and a few months to code one website.
With drag and drop you select from predefined options by clicking your mouse on the elements and dropping them into a template that you have selected. You have the flexibility to re position the design elements to create your own unique designs.
Free Drag And Drop Website Options
Many of the platforms will offer a free of very low cost entry level. These options allow you to gain an understanding of how their particular platforms work and the options they provide. The free options are not suitable for showcasing your business unless you can accept the platform provider advertising on your site and your website name being a sub-domain of the platform provider.
Choosing Your Platform Provider
A Google search for “drag and drop website builder” will present you with a number of review websites. The review website we recommend as having a lot of useful information is webbuildersguide.com and the builders that we like are WIX and WEEBLY. Depending upon your requirements you may find other platforms more suitable.
Wix is the leader in drag and drop website builders with 110 million websites already built using WIX. You choose from 510 templates to help you design a unique website. All of WIX premium plans provide free hosting, no set-up fee, a wide range of modern and stylish templates, Google Analytics, premium support and many add-ons that cater for all your business development needs.
Limitations in WIX include no options for redesigning the existing site – only customizing – and once a template has been chosen you cannot change to another. There are only two levels of navigation and you may experience limitations of the website downloading times. Having your own domain or an inline store are among their paid options.
Highly rated, Weebly has been used to build over 40 million websites. There are over 100 themes to choose from and, unlike WIX you can change the theme at a later date,
Drag And Drop Conclusion
Using drag and drop you will tie your website to the chosen website builder. You have access to limited compatible plugins and true customization of your site doesn’t come easy. You must therefor make a careful choice of the platform that is going to be able to support you into the future.
There are website developers who have created their business by producing websites within a drag and drop platform – one wonders if their clients are aware of the limitations. Please refer to our article: Risks With Template Website Builds.
The Strength Of WordPress
For the ultimate in power and flexibility, you require a content management system (CMS) to create your website. WordPress is the most widely used.
WordPress is powering over 33% of the world’s websites (2018), including 1 in 3 of the top 10 million websites.
WordPress has the flexibility to grow with your firm
A huge range of themes offering multiple options
Over 55,000 FREE plugins and each one can be installed immediately
WordPress sites rank highly with the search engines
The websites are mobile responsive.
WordPress and the drag and drop website builders such as WIX and WEEBLY are as different as chalk and cheese, WordPress has them beat easily.
How Much Does A WordPress Website Cost?
Expect charges for setting up WordPress of £40 – £75 per hour.
Flat rate charges of £400 to £1,000+.
Monthly service charges of £20 to £40 per month
In general website maintenance plans cost between £40 to £100 per month.
Build Your Own WordPress Websites
Building your own WordPress websites will save you a lot of money and can provide a good income if you decide to build websites for other businesses.
It was a few years ago that I realised the time would come when everyone would be able to build their own websites. At that time businesses were often being fleeced by website builders and hosting providers.
In 2016 one e commerce service increased it’s charges by a factor of 15! Their clients had the choice between accepting the massive increase or spending a lot of money to move to another provider. Other businesses were losing their websites due to a lack of security or server failures. Most websites were not mobile friendly.
It took about two years of research to find a WordPress platform that really is perfect for absolute beginners. But first let us look at the challenges you would need to conquer if you were moving forward without their support.
WordPress is clearly the platform for the future, expanding fast and being the easiest open-source content management system (CMS) available.
WordPress is free but setting up a WordPress site is not easy. You also have to deal with maintenance, as WordPress updates and backups are not executed automatically. Hosting with the WordPress Business Plan costs about £250 yearly.
With all of the themes and plugins available, how do you choose which to use?
There are hundreds of hosting services to choose from. We took a sample of 70 and tracked them for just one week. During that one week 19 out of the 70 we monitored had service disruption or outages.
Having your websites load almost instantaneously is a must as slow loading websites are irritating for your customers.
You will want to add images and videos to your site, where do you find suitable images?
How do you choose a domain name and where do you purchase your domain name?
How can you be sure you have full security and backup on your site?
Who do you turn to if your site does not load?
Where can you learn about adding social media?
How do you create a logo for your business?
Can you add e-mail addresses to your website?
How can you possibly learn everything?
WordPress is clearly a different ball game to the drag and drop options. Can my statement “the time has come when anyone, regardless of their background, technical knowledge or experiences, can build their own websites” really apply to WordPress? With the help of one support system, the answer is YES.
A business that commenced in 2002 as a training business, has developed into a technology company that is a world leader in it’s field. This business concentrates on WordPress and it’s world-class managed WordPress hosting is the elite platform within the WordPress industry.
Everything you need is in one place – let me explain:
WordPress is ready loaded on your platform
You can choose and purchase your domain name and this will appear on your platform within minutes, thanks to their world only all-inclusive domain platform.
As your business grows your platform needs to grow with you, you can run several multi-million pound websites from ONE platform.
You can host up to 50 websites in total.
You have access to over 3,000 beautiful mobile-ready themes, there is a design available for every type of niche website.
You have access to over 55,000 FREE “add-ons” (plugins).
Build membership sites, add shopping carts to your site, image/design plugins, manage social aspects and enhance your website in every imaginable way.
The ultimate writing platform provides over 1,000,000 beautiful graphics.
Your graphics are automatically optimized for fast website load times.
Run the grammar and spelling checker to prevent errors.
Run the plagiarism checker to confirm you are not duplicating content with any of over 8 billion pages online.
This business guarantees the fastest load time in the industry.
They provide a three-point protection layer against website hackers.
Website encryption (SSL certification) is included for all websites.
Your websites are monitored (manually and automated) 24/7.
The technology employed by this company will automatically scan, find and deal with any issues to maximize your website security.
Virus/malware protection is in-built.
Site support is available 24/7 with average response time of 5 minutes.
Your sites receive “next level” hosting, with the real services comparable to £200 – £250 per month hosting packages out there – but we are even faster.
So you can see they have the ultimate WordPress build and hosting facilities, but, as I mentioned earlier, they are also a training business and if you are serious about building top quality websites then this training is for you:
Every week there is a Live Class lasting between 1 hour – 1 hour 30 mins. Every live class is recorded and published as a replay. This library includes well over 300 hours of education on absolutely every topic.
There is a Bootcamp Training (70 lessons) which concentrates on the “make money” niche.
There are 1,000’s of training modules covering pretty much everything you could imagine in terms of running an online business.
They offer the most diverse subset of training in the world, showing the many ways in which you can run a business and monetise it online, local marketing, SEO, pay-per-click, e-mail marketing, lead generation etc. are all covered within the classrooms.
If you need help you will have unlimited access to the many ways in which they offer support and help. There is a live chat facility to get help with any questions you have to do with your website or business. There are always senior members and ambassadors available to offer assistance or feedback. The owners are supporting people directly every day and there are 10,000’s of industry experts you can connect with within the membership of 1,400,000.
The membership are a global community and whether you are in North/South America, Europe, Africa or Australia you can network with “ultra successful” marketers on a day to day basis.
Wealthy Affiliate (WA)
The business I refer to is Wealthy Affiliate. They commenced in 2002 with the quest to teach and promote a then very little known marketing method which was Affiliate Marketing. Today most businesses of any size have affiliate programs, the best known being Amazon.
As their business grew they invested about $15 million in the development of their on-line facilities for the benefit of their members.
When I joined I had zero experience in website development but was soon up to speed. One of the first websites I built was for a sports club I am a member of. The website you are on now is known as a “blog” – a collection of articles on a topic. I have recently produced a “showcase” WordPress website to demonstrate some of the facilities you could utilise to build a website to showcase someone’s professional services etc. You can view our showcase site by clicking here. N.B. note how fast the site is loaded, thanks to the Wealthy Affiliate hosting.
Some experienced business people have joined WA purely because they could no longer find a fast and secure hosting service at a reasonable cost. To view my article which includes server comparisons click here.
As shown above, WA covers all the tricky parts of setting up your WordPress, website, hosting, security, backups and access to images, plugins etc. This enables you to concentrate on the content and design you wish to include. With plenty of tuition available, you will soon be compiling superb websites.
In 2002 WA commenced their training course with a fee of $359 a year. Today, with massive coverage and all of their technological expertise and continual advancements their whole package is priced at $495 a year (about 112p a day UK).
Join For FREE
You can join WA for FREE and experience for yourself the ease of building WordPress websites on the WA platform. As a free member you can build two websites and you have the possibility of trying out this program for as long as you want.
There are, of course, limitations for the free members – fewer themes to choose from, fewer add-ons (plugins), you will be restricted to two sub-domain websites and the first 10 lessons. However, this time will enable you to chat online with other members and witness the vibrant community of members.
Having developed their business around Affiliate Marketing, Wealthy Affiliate do, as you might expect, have their own affiliate program. Everyone joining WA is included in the affiliate program and can receive a commission for introducing new members. Should you join I will receive a commission and I will become one of your mentors within the program. You will be able to private message me at any time, my user-name within the program is “Braintree”. I will also introduce you to some of the ladies and gents who have been most helpful to me.
For more information about Affiliate Marketing Click here.
At WA we are all keen to see fellow members succeed in their businesses.
My article, Simple Website Tutorials, includes information on my own introduction to Wealthy Affiliate.
I am always pleased to receive your comments and questions, please leave them in the space below and I will gladly reply.