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Magazines > Information Today > October 2021

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Information Today
Vol. 38 No. 8 — October 2021
OUTSIDE THE BOX
Insights on Content

Website Building 101
by Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig

Entrepreneurs and individuals who have a side hustle have many things in common. They are passionate about creating something that is their own. They relish challenges. And, of course, they are committed to their business being successful. However, one thing that they may not share is knowledge of how to create a website. Do you really need one? No matter how simple or elaborate it may be, in today’s world, the answer is yes. If you can’t find a friend or colleague to build it (for hire—their time is as important as yours), creating something yourself will have to be added to your to-do list. Here are some tips and suggestions that will help you get the internet visibility your business needs.

 GETTING STARTED

Once you have created a name and a logo, along with a blueprint of what your business will provide, you’ll have some important decisions to make. 

#1: Choose and Register a Domain Name 

At times, the stars align, and you are able to claim the domain name that you want. If that’s not available, then choose one that is easy to remember. Don’t make it complicated.

#2: Choose a Hosting Service

There are many hosting services out there. Since the main goal is to produce a site that is clean and simple—while conveying what you want to—save some money and go with an inexpensive, but reliable, option. Remember that as your business grows, so can your website, so you can always move to a different service.

#3: Choose a Website Builder

Make sure you have a website builder that is not only easy-to-use, but also provides flexibility. There are some builders that boast a simplified drag-and-drop service. Unfortunately, many people will go that route, and when they can afford to upgrade, they have to basically start over—paying even more money in the process. 

SITE DESIGN

With the help of CNET, I’ve listed some favorite builders for novices. I’ve shared some pros and cons; however, I suggest doing your homework and playing around with each one to discover the best fit for your needs.

Squarespace

Squarespace is a good choice if you’re selling products, as purchase plans can tie to your sales figures. It is not as intuitive as other builders, but its sites look professional and clean. The layouts provide the opportunity to post beautiful images that can grab people’s attention.

Weebly

Weebly is one of the easiest builders for those who have limited internet and design knowledge. It allows you to download site files so that you can transfer them to another service as your business grows—something most of the others do not provide.

Wix

Although CNET ranks Wix as best overall for 2021, it does come with challenges. If you want a site that is easy to update regularly, Wix may not be the right option. Its many tools can be overwhelming, and a more hands-on approach may be needed to maintain your site. If you don’t have the time or desire to do this, choose another builder. An upside is that it uses AI to navigate both novices and experts through the site-building process.

GoDaddy

Best known for web hosting and custom domains, GoDaddy is great if you don’t need a site with a lot of bells and whistles. It offers an all-in-one product to give you a no-frills internet presence. 

WordPress

Often confused with wordpress.com (a favorite among writers and bloggers), wordpress.org is where tens of thousands of themes and templates can be found. Use WordPress if you already know what you want. It is my go-to builder, as it offers options that include simple, one-page websites and detailed, multipage creations.

BOTTOM LINE

Learn what each builder can and can’t do, and then determine which one will provide what you really want. Talking to a consultant—and multiple friends and colleagues—is a great way to get input on which builder to use so you can create the website that will attract the business you want.

Links to the Source

CNET: “Best Website Builder for 2021”
cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/best-website-builder

Squarespace
squarespace.com

Weebly
weebly.com

Wix
wix.com

GoDaddy
godaddy.com

WordPress
wordpress.org

Michelle Fitzhugh-CraigMICHELLE FITZHUGH-CRAIG is an award-winning journalist who is the owner of MFC3 Media and CEO and editor in chief of shades Magazine (shadesmagazine.com). She’s president of the Exceptional Women in Publishing’s board of directors and committee chairperson at the National Association of Black Journalists. Fitzhugh-Craig is the mother of four grown children, and she has two grandchildren and one on the way. She lives in Oakland, Calif., with her two daughters and their children. Send your comments about this article to ecletters@infotoday.com or tweet us (@ITINewsBreaks).