No really, that is what this blog post is about.  Keep reading.

There are many options for someone who wants to design and build their own website. Many of them are at a very low cost, and some of them are free. I am going to showcase a few of them in this post and talk about some of the pros and cons of each.

When you are developing and designing your website, there are a few main things to keep in mind: keep it clean, make it easy to navigate, include good web copy and content, and use imagery/photos that inspire reaction and reflect your brand. Make sure and include a call to action and possibly offer free downloads of useful things after the visitor has provided you with some of their information like name, phone number and email address.

Here are a few of the popular DIY website builder sites:

Godaddy – www.godaddy.com

GoDaddy offers several simple website building programs designed specifically for people who don’t have web development experience. These programs use pre-designed templates to get you started quickly. You can choose templates that are pre-populated with images and content for your industry, all you need to do is replace a few images and customize the copy. Inserting images, text and moving blocks around function similar to Microsoft® Word and PowerPoint. These quick-start layouts, and drag and drag designer tools, mean anyone can build a website.

Pros:

– No technical skills needed. You can create a website in minutes.

– Affordable. Also, reduce costs by making your own site changes.

– Often includes free integrated hosting.

Cons:

– Limited range of template styles

– Advanced functionality is limited to number of plugins available in the website builder program.

– Watch out for unnecessary add-ons when you are signing up. Keep it basic.

IPage – www.ipage.com

iPage’s tagline is “Everything web. Made easy” and the company does its best to live up to this. They offer an industry-leading suite of web development tools that will not only help you design and maintain your website, but market it, grow it, and easily expand. Tools to help you develop and launch a secure e-commerce site are included; multi-media features are also supported. Whether you want to blog, post photo galleries, videos or podcasts, you will be supported by your iPage.com services.

Pros:

– In addition to unlimited bandwidth, disk space and emails, this web service offers basic shopping cart tools, marketing tools and around-the-clock support.

Cons:

– The service lacks some advanced features, such as custom plug-ins and a script library.

Wix – www.wix.com

By far, one of the most popular website builders, Wix has built its reputation on building ‘stunning’ websites. Originally, this meant Flash websites.  Now, their website builder creates HTML5 / Javascript websites. Wix is a true drag and drop editor. Which means you can drag elements literally anywhere on the page. Like many website builders, Wix doesn’t have truly mobile websites. They use the shortcut route of creating a separate ‘mobile’ version website. This approach isn’t ideal because you end up having two separate websites where the experience and branding can feel inconsistent.

Pros:

– Wix offers more than 280 beautiful templates for your customizing pleasure.

– Wix has a diverse App Market with premium and free add-ons to your site.

– The free version offers you complete access to all of the tools you need to build a successful website.

Cons:

– Once you choose a template, you’re stuck with it.

– There is no native blogging app, you have to install a third-party application.

– With a free subscription come Wix ads and no access to ecommerce tools.

So now, why in the world would I write about how to build your own website for little to no cost when that is exactly what my company does?

The answer is quite simple… bringing success. My personal goal is to help individuals, organizations, businesses and start-ups grow and become successful. It is the reason I do the work I do.

The reality of the matter is that not everyone can initially afford the services and experience of a design agency. That’s where these types of DIY sites offer a solution. And it is also true that these DIY sites are only going to be able to get you to a certain level with your brand awareness and online marketing.

When that time comes, it will be time to invest in a more robust digital marketing plan that includes branding, a custom designed website developed for your specific goals as well as creative and strategic marketing strategies.. That’s where we come in.

So feel free to let me know if you need some help getting your site online. Again, it is really about raising all ships, right?

By: Orhan Mc Millan