This article is aimed for beginners who want to build a personal website or blog. If you need a business website, I strongly recommend you hire a pro that specialises in growth driven web design.The options mentioned in this article are NOT viable for a business website.
Ten years ago designing your own website wasn’t easy. You needed to know a lot of technical stuff about Web programming and Web design. But times change and in the world of Web design they change for the better. True, it’s still good to know things like HTML, CSS, php and other Web programming languages and techniques. But even if you don’t, you can still create a professionally-looking website. Here are three options that are best for beginners.
- Use Weebly
If you know nothing about Web design but would still like to have your own website, try Weebly. Weebly is a San-Francisco based company that offers an awesome service for less techy users. With the help of this service you can quickly create a professional website for free. All you need to pay for is a domain name (best to get a domain name through Namecheap – you get great value for money). You can also publish a website using a Weebly subdomain without paying a cent (it will look like yoursite.weebly.com), but that’s not the preferable option. A website using a proper domain is always best.
So, what does Weebly have to offer? Well, a lot. You can create webpages and a blog, you can add images, videos, upload files, and even create slideshows. If you are photographer, Weebly is great for portfolios. If you just want a personal website, Weebly is great and easy to use. If you know CSS and HTML, Weebly themes are editable and you can configure your website in any way you want. Best of all, it’s free. You don’t even have to pay for hosting. Just a note – there is a Pro plan, but it’s not really necessary as you probably won’t need the pro features they offer. You can read more about Weebly here.
- Use Moonfruit
Moonfruit is another service offering you to build a professional website for free. They offer a number of different themes, designs and options. Moonfruit is ideal for portfolios and online stores, as you get a very vibrant design and some great e-commerce options for free. You can also start a blog and share it to the world with integrated sharing features. Best of all, Moonfruit sites are mobile-friendy, which is great in the world of smartphones and tablets. In addition to the somewhat limited free plan (1 website, 15 pages, 20MB of storage), Moonfruit offers advanced paid plans. You can check them out here.
However, Moonfruit has one disadvantage – they build websites using Flash. This technology is OK for photography portfolios, but overall it’s less SEO-friendly than conventional website building. Some people will disagree, but that’s my experience with Flash. You just need to spend more time optimizing your site. In any case, Moonfruit websites look awesome and you can do a lot for free – just have a look at their website gallery.
- Use WordPress
WordPress is by far the best way to design a website. All right, you need more technical knowledge, but the results can satisfy even the choosiest of you. Don’t forget that WordPress is used by thousands of Web design professionals all over the words and is the CMS of choice for thousands of professional and popular websites.
Using WordPress.org (not WordPress.com) requires you to purchase a domain name and a hosting plan. This is a small investment compared to what you get in return. You get a free website and blogging platform, you can choose from a massive number of free themes (there are paid themes too), WordPress is very search engine friendly and there is no end of customization to be done. With WordPress you can create virtually any website – just select the theme that suits your needs.