You need a simple website or an eCommerce site, but don’t have the technical skills or money to pay to a website developer? There is a solution – online website builders that will enable you to create a professionally-looking website for your startup or eCommerce business without wasting your time trying to learn the basics of PHP or HTML. No need to pay to a website developer either.
Read this article and you will learn how to build a website even if you are just starting out.
There only 3 steps that should be taken to build a website:
1. Buy you own domain name
When you have chosen a name for your website, you should also choose your domain name extension. For example, some general: .com, .net, .eu etc. or national, like: .co.uk, .ru, .pl or other. One way to buy your domain name is to buy it from your national domain registrar. For example, in Latvia, it is: www.nic.lv. The other way is to buy it from some international domain registrars, like: www.GoDaddy.com, http://www.register.com, http://www.namecheap.com, http://www.eurodns.com and many others. Prices may differ, starting from $3 a year, to several thousands and more a year. It depends on your preferred domain name. The more popular it is, the more expensive it will be.
2. Choose your Online Website Builder Tool!
There are plenty of online website builders available on the Internet (their advantages and disadvantages will be described further in this article). They can usually be used for free in the beginning, which means that you must pay only after your page is ready to be published.
3. Choose the most convenient Website Builder Online tool for you!
And start creating your web site – add your texts, images, products etc.. Advertise!
What Options Online Website Builders Provide You? (in short)
- You can choose between different, ready-to-use website design templates
- You can administer your website – add texts, images, product descriptions, payment and delivery methods etc., whenever you need to.
- Your webpage hosting is provided either free of charge (if you are using their free plan) or you need to pay monthly payment that can vary from $3 to $150 or more a month (depends on the plan and functionality you are using). You can be billed monthly, for half a year or annually – it depends on the payment policy of each provider. For example, if your monthly cost is $9, but you must pay annually, your bill would be 108$. Therefore, it is advisable that you check the website builder’s payment policy, before you invest your time and efforts in building a website using their tools. Especially if you don’t want to make annual pre-payment for their service.
- Most of the online website builder providers offer you an option to use their sub domain for free, which usually looks something like this: www.yourname.providername.com. This can be good enough in the beginning. However, if your goal is to do serious business and you want a representative website, it’s advisable to use your own domain name and a paid plan. When you apply for a more expensive and functional web page hosting plan, many of the providers promise to give you your domain name for free (if you choose this option, then you can skip the step Nr.1). However, before you choose this option, it’s advisable to check, what would happen with your domain name in the case you decided to cancel your subscription and use it for another webpage that is made with another online website builder tool or by your web developer. Would you be able „to take your domain name with you”? Could you administer it? Maybe it doesn’t seem so important in the beginning, but if your small start-up grows into a real BUSINESS, it can become very important.
How to Define the Functionality of Your Web Site?
1.Decide what the main features you need for your website are. For example, accepted payment methods, number of products (their options), currency, language (one or several), tax and shipping calculation, inventory management, password protected pages, bulk product description and photo uploads… etc… etc…
2. Prioritize the features you need
- Critical feature – the highest priority. If there is no such feature, you cannot do your business and achieve your goal. For example, if you cannot build your website in the language you need to, you won’t be able to use it for your purpose. Therefore, this function is critical.
- Would be nice to have a feature – a feature you can live without or substitute it with another solution. For example, a built in newsletter. It’s nice to have it in your website builder, but you can substitute it with another provider, as well. For example: GetResponse and others.
3. Get a free trial of your chosen website builder and test it – remember that details matter. In general, all the website builders are similar, but it’s the little details that make the difference and can either help you do your business or hold you back.
4. Check out what marketing features are provided – banner places, convenience of social tools, administration of SEO, implementation of Facebook pixels for remarketing, your e-shop integration with the biggest marketplaces (eBay, Google Shopping, Amazon etc.). Lack of this functionality can significantly disturb your marketing activities.
5. Check out if you can download your client data base (eCommerce website) for marketing purposes or, in the case you decide to change the website builder tool later in the future. Losing your client data base in the process wouldn’t be good at all. Additionally, it is advisable to find out if you would be able to export your images and texts for the same reasons. This option would significantly ease the process for you.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Website Builders
- A quick solution to launch your website and start your project – just choose a standard template and then proceed to add your content .
- It’s cost effective – you can create your website free of charge and pay only for its domain name and monthly hosting.
- Usually rather good functionality – regular free upgrades and even more functionality added
- Free technical support
- Dependence on the website builder (if something goes wrong, you will lose your website). Because you build the site using their tools, you never actually own it. No copy of the site files including html, php, jpgs and all the other files that go into making the website will be provided to you. Therefore, in the case you decide to migrate or develop your own website, you will have to start everything over again.
- Dependence on their functionality – you cannot add a new feature that is not available yet. Just suggest it to the website builder developers and hope that someday it will be implemented. In the case it is critical, you will need to migrate.
- Migration will be time consuming and will require a lot of effort. Most probably you will have to start everything from scratch.
By now you should be aware what steps should bee taken to build a website. Hopefully you have picked some useful information from this article that will will help you.
Comparison of 10 Online Website Builders
Click on the table image below, in order to open the pdf file with comparison of 10 online website builders (no email required).