Branding, Marketing, Success Formula

The Truth About Free Online Websites

The truth about free online websites – do it yourself site builders

I’m just about to launch a training on building your own website and presence online. As expected, when I started helping my first ‘students’ I began to realize just how many do-it-yourself web designs are out there! Let’s face it, there’s no shortage of website templates available in the online space but are they any good? And, if so why would you need to hire a web designer? WeUnknown-3ll here’s the low down! Hosting companies like GoDaddy, WIX, and Weebly usually offer free do-it-yourself website templates, for the simple reason that they want you to pay for hosting. And that’s ok I’m fine with using freebies as a lead to get your business, but are the actual websites any good?

 

The simple templates offered by companies such as GoDaddy are created for people who have no web development experience – in other words most of us! But the issue is that the predesigned templates can be quite limiting. So, what do you need to know about these free online websites and the do it yourself site builders?  While most have a simple paint by number platform the reality is that true functionality of the site is quite limited. If you’re trying to run an online business with plenty of audience engagement then these sites just won’t deliver.

 

 

What you need to know about free online websites – the power and ease of WordPress

The most popular platform available on the market today is WordPress. WordPress is basically the top dog in the world of websites/blogging platforms primarily because it offers hundreds of themes, which can be easily customized. The platform’s capabilities can be enhanced for greater viewer engagement and activity thanks to add ons called Plug-ins. A plug-in is basically software that increases the sites performance. Think of it like a house, the template is the home in its basic form. The plug-ins are the major appliances that enable you to live comfortably in the home. However, in order for those plug-ins to work they must be turned on; enter widgets! Widgets are the fuel necessary to ignite the power of the plug-ins.

 

 

Even GoDaddy, providers of their own DIY web builder, offers WordPress as one of it’s applications and says one of the biggest advantages of WordPress are the themes that can be easily changed without the risk of loosing content. That’s a huge plus for businesses just starting out. Very few people ever stick with their original design. As a business continues to evolve, the need to make changes to a website or design usually arise. WordPress makes it simple for your site to grow along with your business. In the world of free online websites WordPress seems to rise above the crowd.  The only drawbacks are that if you decide to customize the WordPress template yourself you’ll need to know about plug-ins and widgets and which are best for your needs. Fortunately, plenty has been written on these tools.  Copyblogger published an article describing plugins as “the most loved component of WordPress,”  http://www.copyblogger.com/wordpress-plugins/

 

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Free online websites – ease and capabilities  

One of the core strengths of WordPress is the group of creative designers and techy brains, who have produced thousands of customizations through the addition of these plug-ins. As you might expect as technology continues to evolve, new more robust plug-ins simplifying a variety of processes seem to always be hitting the market (some plug-ins are free, some do cost). The average blogger, entrepreneur, home based business owner can easily make changes, update, add more color, designs and run a true business thanks to the ease of the WordPress platform and the functionality of plug-ins.

In recent years, WordPress has made the installation and activation of these plug-ins quite easy. Simply go to your website’s dashboard/plug-ins/Add New and either browse through the existing selection or enter the name of the plug-in you wish to add in the search bar, then hit install and activate. It truly is that easy!  The truth is that all free online websites are not all created equal.  If you want simplicity and adaptability then the best choice is a WordPress platform.

Need help getting your site and business online?  Enrollment for the Complete Website in a Box Cheat Sheet opens soon – interested in learning more? Access details below:

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