Hi Gina, Thanks for your comment and sharing your thoughts. Hiring an expert developer is always good, but it does have its challenges. Financial investment is just one of them. It's not a big problem if a company is well established already and is cash flowing to re-invest its profits into technology. But not all companies have that level of budget to commit, and not all companies are well established (yet). A lot of users are just starting out and just don't have that level of resource to get their websites off the ground. In such circumstance, I think our list above makes a lot of sense. No doubt, your comment is also valid, but I think that's more applicable for well established businesses. We have a full discussion of the cost of building a website that compares the cost of hiring a developer versus using a DIY website builder such as the ones I suggested above. I also wrote an article about the idea of hiring a designer / developer - when it's appropriate, and when it isn't appropriate. It's just my own view and what I would advise my friends and family if they were to ask me. Of course, every single person that's looking to build a website has different needs, motivations and resources. Thanks for adding to this discussion! Jeremy
Ghost is another popular open-source CMS, geared more towards creating stylish blogs or online publications (as opposed to complex websites). It comes with versatile features for customizing page layouts, scheduling posts, injecting analytics code, and more – all from one streamlined interface. Ghost also makes it easy to optimize and produce content on multiple distribution channels (maximizing your readership in the process).
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The first step to creating a website, no matter which approach you decide to use, is selecting a web hosting service and a domain name. The web host is the company that provides the server and storage space for your site and gives the online world access to your brand. The domain name, on the other hand, is the URL (e.g., www.hostingadvice.com) that people use to navigate directly to your site.
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If you're a WordPress user, Bluehost is definitely a web hosting provider to consider. While its managed WordPress hosting is a little more pricey than basic shared hosting, the company has both specific WordPress and WooCommerce hosting plans available (along with management support). It also offers a site migration service for an additional fee.
You can make a website for free, but there are catches. Free accounts on website builders hold a lot of important features back. You can’t use custom domains, and your free site will have ads for that website builder. If you’re looking to learn more about website building then the free options are worth a look. However, if you want a professional, feature-rich website you’re going to have to pay at least a few dollars a month.
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Many companies moved or started their blog on the Medium platform. The lucky ones among them could still publish on their own sub-domain name. But that suddenly changed a while back: now you have to publish on the Medium.com domain, which is a terrible idea if SEO is important to you. Also you get annoying mobile pop-ups pushing you into installing the Medium app.
I use ExpressionEngine for most of the professional sites I’ve developed over the past 10+ years or so (I think Craft is based off EE, or developed by one of the EE programmers — I forget the details). Started out with that one because it’s easy to create templates and you know exactly what’s going on under the hood. WP was not an option earlier because it was an easily hackable mess. I finally took another look at WP because 1) I’d seen so many complex, well-crafted sites and 2) ExpressionEngine got too pricy for many of my non-profit organization clients. I just wish WP code wasn’t so convoluted — it’s not elegant code, but any means, and there is way too much stuff loaded that doesn’t serve any purpose. I guess I just have to get used to it.
Web design skills are highly valuable in the job market and maybe you’ve thought it’s something you want to pick up. Building a website from scratch will give you the tools to create and customize a site exactly as you see fit. There’s a higher learning curve but a greater reward, as knowing HTML will allow you to fine-tune your site design and carry those skills forward to expand and update the site with ease.
I’ve made some use of Kirby CMS. It’s a really well put together flat file CMS. It takes some coding out of the box to get it set up as desired, but then it’s a pleasure to use. Advantages of not having a database include simpler setup, and the ease of version control of the whole site. Statamic is a similar option, though I’ve not spent any significant time using it.
The primary reason I’m looking for an alternative to WordPress is its reliance on PHP. A language so awful I wouldn’t let it anywhere near my computer if I didn’t rely on WordPress for my blogging. Using PHP as the substrate for your CMS/blogging platform guarantees you’ll have day one security problems. Just look at all of the WordPress plugins and themes that have horrible security flaws (e.g., revslider).
Hosting that is aimed at specific CMS platforms and tweaked optimally for them: e.g., WordPress hosting, Drupal hosting, Magento hosting, etc. In these cases, the best hosts do far more than just provide the minimal requirements for those platforms. They provide a rich, and fully managed environment so your site can perform like a well-tuned machine.
While the the best of them offer surprising amounts of flexibility, they also impose stringent enough restrictions to page design that you shouldn't be able to create a really bad looking site using one of these services. Typically you can get a Mysite.servicename.com style-url with no commerce abilities for free from one of these services; you have to pay extra for a better URL and the ability to sell. One issue to consider is that if you eventually outgrow one of these services, it can be hard to export your site to a full scale advanced web hosting like Dreamhost or Hostgator. If you know that's where you are eventually going, it may be better to skip the sitebuilder step.
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