Design It Yourself: Website Platforms To Make You Shine

Business.com / Starting a Business / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Learn what web resources can help you create a powerful online presence, increase brand awareness, generate leads and more.

A powerful, robust online presence is critical for building brand awareness, generating quality inbound marketing leads and growing your small business. Building this online presence, however, is easier said than done.

Managing a team of designers and front-end developers is not only time consuming but also expensive. Planning the do-it-yourself approach? Keep in mind that it takes more than just a beautiful layout to build a great website.

While your business’s graphic designer might be a fantastic visual designer, splicing and encoding your visuals onto HTML will require the help of a front-end web development professional. This is especially true if you intend to publish a responsive website that will work across device types.

Despite all the complexities that go into building a custom small business website, this process still follows some relatively predictable patterns. When these patterns are compiled into an application, they open up the potential to create tools that let you self-publish websites—no complex coding knowledge required.

Small businesses can take advantage of a few essential tools that can place web development and design in their control. Whether you are a beginner, or if you already have an intermediate knowledge of design, these free and premium tools enable you to publish your designs directly without the need for a developer to intervene.

Related Article: You Built It, Now What? What to Do After Launching Your Website

Webydo: For Those Who Want Maximum Control and an Ultra-Modern Flow

Today, some of the biggest enterprises in the world are increasing their investment in websites that simply blow everyone’s minds in terms of design. There are scrolling animations that look very unobtrusive, large images that resemble an infographic, and interactive elements that are lacking in many other sites. Webydo allows you to do this for pennies on the dollar.

Webydo Screenshot

Image via Webydo

Built by designers with other design professionals in mind, Webydo frees you from worrying about coding so you can focus your creative efforts on design. Despite the simple interface, Webydo gives you a surprising amount of control over how your site will look like on a variety of different devices. Select from a list of templates or design something completely from scratch. And yes, all Webydo sites are mobile-friendly, too.

Related Article: M-Day is Almost Here: Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly Yet?

WebHostingHub: For Those Who Want It In A Box

Are you the kind of person who grunts whenever a product you’re buying says “some assembly required” on the packaging and comes with a laundry list of to-do tasks? If so, watch out for website builder apps that claim “no coding required,” but fail to mention the fact that their interfaces are completely convoluted and downright impossible to use.

webhostinghub screenshot

Image via WebHostingHub

Avoid these frustrations with WebHostingHub’s website builder. While it does sacrifice a little bit of choice in the way your site is designed and presented, the builder gives you a well-developed list of templates from which to draw inspiration. Since there is an “out of the box” element to this builder, it may feel a bit linear when you’re using it, but you can definitely make a workable website that doesn’t look like it’s been extruded through a mold.

Related Article: How to Transform Your Static Site into a Responsive Website

Register.Com: Easy eCommerce Glory

Meet the all new Register.com. While the company may have had a shaky time in the past keeping itself afloat, it’s back with a fresh new look and powerful collection of web development tools perfect for small businesses looking to expand their eCommerce footprint. Gone is the old late-1990s, I-might-as-well-be-using-dial-up feel. 

web.com web hosting company screenshot

Image via Register.Com

In its places is a powerful website builder that’s included with Register.com’s 300 GB-and-up storage subscriptions. All you need to do is upload a few images, add some text and the site will be up and running, powered by Register.com’s versatile eCommerce back-end. Even better, Register.com provides a simplified and handy system for adding a shopping cart to your new site, perfect for increasing customer conversion rates.

Bottom Line

No website is perfect the first time it’s built. As your small business grows and evolves, your website will need to do the same. Until you’re ready to invest significant marketing dollars in a major website overhaul, however, these affordable resources can make it easier to build your own custom site. No platform will hold your hand all the way through the process, but each of them will give you varying degrees of control depending on how willing you are to go the extra mile in design.

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