Make a Website, or re-do an existing one ?
That depends of what you need to make a website for really. There are all types of sites available and all kinds of reasons to have one.
How to choose the best blogging platform for your particular business?
How to Start A Website or Blog
Recently I was speaking to some who wanted to have some type of advertisement for his new massage business. He had no idea of what he needed to bring in customers. What type of website or blog did he need and how would he even set one up? I helped him out with some information…
If you are just starting out and have never used a website before…
You could just start out with a free site such as this one with Book Like A Boss, a free site to book customers and add info about yourself.
You might like to look at using the free website platforms. However eventually, as your business grows you will have to transfer to a professional type site. This may not be an easy task. I’ve done it twice with large sites. I do recommend using a WordPress site with a domain name and website hosting from the beginning!
One type of small free site ( they also have upgrades ) that I use in connection with own website is specifically for booking though I also use another booking site on my website.
This may or may not be of interest to you. Click to visit site in another tab Book Like A Boss
Consider in your decision making process – are you ready to makeg a commitment to this blogging endeavor of yours?
- Are you doing this as a hobby for fun or is this for a business?
- Do you have a budget and do you have the time?
When you have answered these questions for yourself, the most important decision will be if you should use a free or paid blogging system?
To break this down I’ll provide some context so you can make an informed decision.
FREE BLOGGING PLATFORMS
My blogging experience has shown me both of these types of platforms.
In terms of a free blogging platform I prefer WordPress.org. The platform is open source, free but this is the WordPress that has a domain with it and requires website hosting VS the free WordPress.com
The other WordPress.com is owned by WordPress and is easy to set up for a beginner.They supply the SSL certificate if you choose the free blogging platform. Simple to use.
However…Customization is extremely limited. Your files and sever space are not your own. Should they choose to shut you down or change their policies you are at their mercy. If you are running a business through your blog on one of these free sites you could loose it all!
Choose a design get a free domain. A Blogspot.com domain or buy a custom domain.
Google AdSense can automatically display relevant targeted ads on your blog so that you can earn income.
Blogger has built in Google Analytics Blogger lets you safely store thousands of posts, photos for free.
Some great info on Blogspot you might like to check out. Do you know what page views are?
Originally launched in 2003, WordPress has become perhaps the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world. WordPress can be one of the best platforms for your business. Today, WordPress is used by more than 74 million sites that publish new posts every second. No matter the size of the blog that is using WordPress. This site is a WordPress site with a domain and hosting.
The flexibility of WordPress is another feature that can’t be topped. Your business site is owned by you and will be unique to your business. No matter what you’re using it for.
With WordPress.org you have an extensive support community that is ready to help with design, or technical questions on blogging. Plugins can help as well making your website/blog into a unique site tailored to you and your personal or business type of branding.
WordPress.org is integrated with the top web hosting services. Helping you go live easily and as fast as possible. One of those web hosting services is SiteGround my personal recommendation (I am an affiliate for SiteGround) I have tried almost all of them. BlueHost, GoDaddy, Host Gator and more…I much prefer their up-time, speed and they have excellent support.
Sign up with SiteGround and you’ll be blogging in a very short amount of time, they will even move your current site for you with their WordPress.org partnership and can eliminate a step in your start-up process if you are a new blogger.
PAID BLOGGING PLATFORMS
These come in two forms. Self-hosted as mentioned previously, WordPress.org or WordPress.com as a Website Builder program.
If you Google ” Free website platforms:” You will find Platforms such as:
The five of the most beginner-friendly website builders:
- WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly. … Though WordPress is the most widely used, Squarespace has the highest ratings according to Fit Small Business readers.
If you go for Square Space it’s much more expensive. SquareSpace gets away with its steeper pricing by being the most stylish builder in the market. However…
Consider that these are platforms are like renting , you do not own them and so they could vanish sometime in the future. Buy your home online with WordPress.org and pay for a $10 domain and hosting for the year. This is what the professional business bloggers do.
Professional designers cost around $500 to $1,000 or more if they’re designing the website from scratch instead of using an existing template or theme. Completely custom website development can cost $2,000 to $10,000 or higher. May 21, 2018
A pure drag and drop website builder and is therefore super easy to use. WordPress is a much more complex platform that demands a higher level of technical knowledge. If ease of use is the most important factor to you when choosing between Wix and WordPress, Wix will be the one for you, However… Reasons not to use Wix
They use Flash technology. Phones don’t display it and some tables, too.
Do you really want to exclude a portion of people who might want to see your website?
Google doesn’t like Wix. Your site will not rank well. Affecting your traffic as your site will not be search engine optimized.
Wix sites load slower than those on HTML (like WordPress) People will have little patience to wait 10 seconds to see a website they are not used to. This is further penalized by search engines. Why Google doesn’t like it. ( See why) Wix sites are not cheap.
WordPress (.org) software is free. What you pay for server space for hosting, which holds the content of your site. You can get hosting for as cheap as $3.95 for the Start Up Plan with SiteGround for your WordPress site. And you have full website capability and the ability to customize your heart out. You typically have all the space you can need, and you have a site that can be without ads if you like.
If you want to create a website that looks professional, gives great user experience and plays well with Google, a Wix site is not for you. AT ALL. Not right now, anyway. They would need to overhaul the platform for this to change. It’s a shortcut that won’t present you as the awesome person/business entity that you are.
Meanwhile, Wix sites are starting at $4.08 a month and that’s the most basic plan. Wix is available for free for as long as you want, but if you require professional features like your own domain name or priority support, you must choose from one of their five premium plans ranging from “Connect Domain” to “VIP (only US)”.
For your new online store or you are interested in using Shopify as your ecommerce platform. Store migration information available.
Depending on the pricing plan you choose. Showcase and process payments for you. Free and Paid Themes for your store. Support team.Two types of accounts with different permission options:
account owners and staff accounts.
Is user-friendly and intuitive. … But if you are handy with HTML or CSS, it gives you the option to use them. Unlike its rival website builder Wix, Weebly has a built-in code editor that lets you customize your site more extensively.Nov 20, 2018
A neat drag-and-drop store builder. It’s definitely one of the best Shopify alternatives. It might not be as powerful, but it is a cheaper alternative to Shopify. When comparing Shopify vs Weebly, the truth is it comes down to what you need from your store.Dec 14, 2018
Weebly allows you to integrate your store with Google Analytics’ ecommerce tracking function. But the user experience is not as good when compared to advanced ecommerce analytics dashboard that is built into other online store builders such as Shopify, BigCommerce or even Squarespace. Domain names are free the first year. Afterwards Weebly will charge $19.95 per year. With Go Daddy or Namecheap, for example, you can purchase a domain name for around $10-15 per year.
An Established Site
Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you think maybe YES -you might need a new website or blog. You may already have a site but is it really working for your business needs?
You may have a particular affinity for your site, after all you designed it and for most small business owners, they picked all the elements that went into creating it. So admitting it needs a major overhaul may be difficult to admit. That’s okay I get that.
I hear you, I design sites for others and still I ask myself if my website could be better. I am constantly updating and tweaking. You can always improve on what you have, or start all over. I’ve done this countless times.
So do you need a website?
- Are your social profiles easily accessible?
- Is your content easily shareable?
- Is your site reviewed by the search bots?
If you went through these questions and answered -No to the majority, it might be time to start considering a website re-design or get a new website launched.
Here are some items to look over to help you decide….
Branding is more than just the visual, it’s how you represent your company or business. It’s the core functions, – it’s your message to the world.
Today it’s your message that is your brand. The visual representation of your brand such as, a logo, it just reinforces your brand, but it is not your brand per se.
When someone sees your website or say a landing page /squeeze page, blog article, social media post or what ever. Does it gives them the feeling that you are someone who can help solve their problems or help them with a need that they have? Do you come across as an authority for your niche?
Your message defines you as that is what people are searching for.
In the offline world:
- you identify with that person’s brand when you ask them “What do you do?” They answer about what their business is all about. What’s on special today etc, and where it is located. They likely will give you a business card that is branded as well to convey their message.
Messaging and branding are now about -how you can make a difference for them after they have related to you online. It’s that What’s in it for them that always follows.
- Here is the process that clients go through
What specific problems are you looking to solve?
- Do you feature a clear call- to-action above the fold?
- What is your major objective – money – traffic – exposure?
- How is the product or service a solution – what outcome is perceived?
- Is your website responsive? People want a seamless optimized experience today.
WordPress – whether as a personal blog or for a popular e-commerce site, WordPress is versatile enough to meet any and all of your needs through its extensive features and extensions.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) The most popular search engines (Google) actually prefer sites that are powered by WordPress because its framework is easy to crawl. WordPress has thousands of plugins and themes, with just one click of a button. You can customize your site to appear and function as you would like.
Because of the seemingly endless number of features that WordPress has to offer, you can create the website or blog that you’ve always wanted. Just be sure to use the WordPress.org type with a domain and hosting to make a website not WordPress’s own free site WordPress.com.
While WordPress earned its reputation as a great blogging platform that can be inserted into an existing website, WordPress itself can be used as a website with or without a blog attached. Because WordPress contains a post and page structure, you can have daily blog posts, as well as static pages – such as your Contact or About pages. Use posts as the blog page.
Ever since I switched my personal and business sites to WordPress 5 years ago I have found out how powerful WordPress can be. You can do literally everything with WordPress.org I highly recommend that you switch today! My hosting and my domain with my WordPress site for more information.
Image is courtesy of Creative Market themes featured on my website.
It all depends on what you need individually . A free blogging platform for one stop shop blogging if you just want to get started with blogging without committing yourself to anything long term and low cost. The free site WordPress.com may be the way to go. Check out the sites mentioned here.
Alternatively, should your intentions be long-term, and you have tried blogging before and you want a platform for your business. The a self-hosted WordPress.org platform is the way to go. These blogs or websites with blogs on them look professional with the ability to be customized to make your site unique. My take after many years of blogging, I believe that the best and the highest used platform online is paid self-hosting option WordPress.org
If you like an appraisal of what you have – a website/blog etc and get some suggestions as to how to improve your site, you are welcome to book 20 mins of my time FREE on my contact page.
Send me your URL to my email first with a few questions. My free time is on Tuesdays 9am – 2pm
email: email@example.com Subject : Website appraisal
Please comment with any questions or feedback on this post. I will reply asap.
Some links are affiliate links that I use to support my website see descriptions on my site.
About Kathryn Maclean-Racicot http://www.facebook.com/marketingofflineonline
A Social Media Campaign specialist using Facebook, Twitter Pinterest & Affiliate Network Marketing using resources such as: Monthly Recurring Income – http://bit.ly/2LE6MXU and a multitude of courses on many different topics here at – https://bit.ly/2EAZMMv