Nowadays, everything is on the Internet; if you're not on the web, you don't really exist, and that could easily turn out to be a problem for companies and individuals looking to make their products and ideas heard. However, contrary to popular belief, creating and maintaining your own website doesn't necessarily require years of training or exorbitant fees. Here are several online services that will not only help you build professional looking websites even if you're not a tech savvy person, but will do so for affordable prices.
Let's start with my personal favorite, a service called Wix, which provides one of the best website designing tools on the market. Besides being intuitive and easy to use, Wix excels at providing a large selection of unique, modern-looking themes and tons of widgets. This service has the best options for adding image galleries and allows its users to customize every small detail of their website by rounding corners, adding animations or creating unique styles for each element. Another big advantage is the fact that the tool provides a list of add-ons called Wix Apps which enable you to expand the functionality of your website. Moreover, the tool automatically creates a mobile-friendly version of your website, which is hugely important in today's market. Last but not least, this service provides free hosting for your domain.
There aren't many disadvantages in using Wix. In fact, the only thing that really bothered me is that even though you can build an online shop, the creation features aren't that great. This means that if your goal is to create an e-commerce website, you should look for a different solution.
I recommend this service to creative people who pay a lot of attention to details and require a wide array of customization options. People like photographers and architects who need an online environment for their portfolios or even bands looking to enhance their online image would benefit from using Wix.
Web.com is one of the largest services on the Internet, and it offers a bunch of handy features which are especially useful for small and family business. Besides the website creation tool, Web.com can build you a personalized website for free (if you decide to keep it running for more than 30 days you will have to start paying a monthly fee) or create a professional Facebook page for your business. Furthermore, the service is also capable of boosting your social media stats and promoting your website / Facebook page through search engines and various other sites.
In case you decide to do it yourself, the website building tool is well-designed with easy to understand features. What I liked about it was the fact that templates are neatly organized (since there are about 10,000 of them, that's actually important). Another thing you will like is that there are numerous customization options which you can use for each of the elements on your page. Furthermore, the service provides you with the ability to easily add third-party apps to your page (such as Google Maps), as well as social widgets. Lastly, Web.com also offers free hosting.
As far as I know, GoDaddy is the world's largest seller of domain names. However, besides hosting, the service also offers a website building tool which, judging by its latest version, has become quite good. The website builder offers a clean (uncluttered) interface and is one of the few tools of the kind which allows you to move your toolbars and buttons around, making things more comfortable. This service doesn't offer anything more than the functionality you've already seen on this list, but it lets you create media galleries, add widgets, and provides basic graphical elements capabilities, so it's good enough.
What I didn't like about this service is that it doesn't offer any special tools for creating blogs. Another disadvantage is it provides a layered working space which can be handy, but most of the time it turns out to be a mess, more like a puzzle than a working environment.
If you're already a GoDaddy customer, that the GoDaddy website builder is the right choice for you, however if you don't yet have any ties to the service, you should first check out your other options.
iPage is another decent solution for building your website, offering an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor and some really great marketing and SEO tools. What you will probably like about this service is that it offers unlimited storage space, bandwidth and email addresses. Furthermore, the tool provides some decent analytical tools and, for an extra fee of $100, adds a web hosting control panel with great website monitoring and security features. The actual website building functionality isn't that extensive, but it still provides blog creation tools and a cool solution for embedding media galleries.
I recommend iPage for those who require good marketing and SEO tools. So, if you're looking for a powerful online promotional tool, this might be the right way to go.
The last name on our list, BuildYourSite.com is a service that is very useful for any brand, new or already existing, looking to expand with the help of the Internet. Using this tool has several advantages such as the ability to professionally create email accounts or the option to easily include e-commerce functions such as shopping carts or secure payments into your site. Additionally, the service can take care of search engine submissions (so your business will be easy to find) and offers powerful website analytics tools.
The thing I liked the most about BuildYourSite.com was the ability to create unique custom logos. Since branding is one of the biggest parts in marketing, you probably already know how important it is to have a logo that stands out and catches the customer's eye. Furthermore, the service also has its own designers, which will lend you a hand in the logo creation process without requiring you to pay any additional fees.
If you're asking me what's the best website building service that you can use, I can't give you a clear answer. I've already stated my personal favorite, but each tool mentioned here has its own special thing, so it's up to you to decide. Basically, it all depends on what the website is for and how much you're willing to pay. All of the services included in this list also provide hosting services (you can buy / get your website name and domain directly from them), so you can easily avoid any unwanted complications.