Whether you like it or not, if you live somewhere with internet access you will get sucked into the convenience of what the web offers. It doesn’t just touch your life in the form of googling to learn new information but ordering your groceries, booking trips, shopping, education, webcam meetings, etc. With internet access comes opportunities that never existed, especially when it comes to making income. Many people are no longer restricted to job opportunities within a certain mile radius or even have to move for work. Living in Dallas, Texas or even Bali, Indonesia, and working for a company in Chicago, Illinois (telecommuting or working remotely), is possible because of the internet. The speed of globalization is mainly due to how connected we have become because of the web.
Gone are the days where artists (or creatives) have to carry around portfolios, they simply have to store all their content online on their website for anyone interested to take a look. You don’t even have to take a resume on job interviews anymore. Some professionals have websites that function as an online business card. With the changing ways of doing thing, depending on your profession or chosen path(s) in life utilizing the internet as a form of storage or means of exposure is becoming (or has already become) a standard not an option. Whether you’re an artist (or creative), professional, business owner, it’s best to jump on the train and start designing your corner of the web or online repository.
Check out the website builder platform options below to get you started:
Wix: You can use this website builder to make a blog, website, portfolio, or an online store. It’s the easiest website builder to use. It has a multitude of templates to choose from, you can create a stunning digital space for your brand in minutes. Its mobile customization is definitely top-notch. As with anything, there are upsides and downsides.
One of the downsides would be that it actually isn’t as customizable as a number of its competitors. Don’t get me wrong, on the front end it allows you to pick colors and imagery but it you can’t alter template on the back-end.
Price: Combo: $13/mo (more features come with plan upgrades)
|2GB Bandwidth||3GB Storage||Connect Your Domain|
|Remove Wix Ad||30 video minutes||Free Domain for 1 Year|
Other tiers include: Unlimited bandwidth, 1 – 2 video hours, ad vouchers, site booster apps, visitor analytics app, professional logo, social media logo files, VIP support, accept online payments, etc.
14 – day free trials with all features
WordPress: You can build a website, portfolio, blog, or a store to sell you products/services. Though it owns over 30% of sites on the internet, WordPress isn’t as easy to use as Wix, there is a bit of a learning curve. The pros that come with using WordPress make up for it though. Your site’s stats can be found on your dashboard, it has a large number of plugins and integrations that will optimize your website, and its SEO capabilities are a major selling point. You can have the greatest looking website and mind-blowing content but if you can’t be found on the web, what’s the point?
When signing up for WordPress, you have to be mindful that there are two versions.
WordPress.com: you can have a fully functional site in minutes. A good option for those that don’t want to go the more technical route of installing WordPress.org.
WordPress.org: allows for more customization on your end by way of coding & the downloads you can upload onto your site. It’s WordPress’s free and self hosted option. Meaning the initial expense you have to worry about is the price of the hosting company you sign up with.
Price: (WordPress.com) Free (more features come with paid plans)
|Jetpack Essential Features||Pre-Installed SSL Certificate||3 GB Storage||Dozens of Free Themes|
Other tiers include: Free domain for one year, email & live chat support, unlimited premium themes, advanced design customization, remove wordpress.com ads, simple and recurring payments, VideoPress support, Google Analytics integration, SEO tools, upload themes, install plugin, remove wordpress.com branding, automated backup & one-click rewind, SFTP and database access, eCommerce marketing tools, unlimited products or services, shipping carrier, etc.
Weebly: From building an online store, website, or blog, Weebly has got you covered. If you go by the aesthetics of the platform’s website design, compared to the two mentioned previously, it doesn’t measure up. However, when it comes to the features of its free option, the other 2 don’t compare. A few drawbacks are that its mobile sites aren’t responsive (which is a big hit seeing as just about everything is expected to be possible on mobile devices now and google is prioritizing sites that are mobile responsive). Also, it doesn’t have image storage, meaning you can’t reuse images you’ve already uploaded onto your website. To use them another, you would need to upload the image(s) again.
Price: Free (more features come with paid plans)
|Free SSL Security||Advanced Site Stats||Site Search||3rd party embed code||Shopping cart|
|Automatic Tax Calculator||Coupons||Square Gift Cards||SEO||Lead Capture|
|2.9% + .30 Square Processing Rate||Items||Items Options||Inventory Management||In-store pickup|
|Instagram Feed||Community Forum||Chat & Email Support||Phone Support|
Other tiers include: Free Domain, unlimited storage, connect a custom domain, remove square ads, advanced site stats, password protection, item badges, item reviews, shipping calculator, shipping labels, shipping discount, abandoned cart emails, advanced eCommerce insights
Drupal: An open source Content Management Software, that for developers and coding enthusiasts with knowledge of PHP is a gem of a find. It’s basically a blank canvas for PHP developers to code whatever site (forum, website, online store, etc.) to their hearts content. Unlike the previous options mentioned it doesn’t have any paid upgrades and is highly customizable because it’s developer friendly.
Where do I even start with the perks of this open source content management system (CMS)? How about the fact that it’s free, as in actually free. There is no paying to upgrade to a better plan, its truly free. All you have to do is download and install it on your PC. It has great speed, you can design whatever site you want (forum, website, online store, etc.), security, etc.
A drawback would be that it was developed with professional webmasters in mind (well, I guess depending on who you’re talking to it could actually be a perk), so if you don’t fit that description, the learning curve will be a very steep one. Another would be the amount of storage it needs. It makes sense, with all of its capabilities, you will need a large amount of space to store the program. Even though you save money with Drupal’s free installation, the price of hosting might have you questioning that decision.
Price: Free, open source platform with no paid upgrades. It’s self hosted so you will have to pay for a hosting service.
|Hundreds of Modules to Customize and Extend Your Site’s Capabilities||Open Source||Collection of Pre-Configured Themes|
|Creative Content||Collaboration||Design and Display|
As you may know the options listed are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to website builders platforms but to not overwhelm you on the start of your journey, we’ll stick to keeping the list short and sweet.
Let us know, which website builder platform your interested in trying.