Gone are the days of websites coming in at a pricey $3000 for an “About” and a “Services” page.
Although a site with complex functionality still requires the skilled mind of professional designers and developers, it’s never been easier to construct your own basic site with clear informational content and a sharp look and feel.
Here are five of the best free website creation tools on the web in 2013.
Wix offers a range of template designs, easy editing features, social media integration and push-button publishing.
It’s ideal for building simple HTML sites.
The drag-and-drop interface really makes it almost too easy to create your website. Experienced web designers might get more than a little worried when they see the ease with which complete amateurs can create classy looking sites.
They can rest easy for now, as Wix still only allow users to create sites with limited functionality. However, they’re adding features regularly and growing their user base fast.
If you’re willing to get your hands dirty “under the hood” – that is, to get stuck into the HTML code of a site – then the Coffee Cup HTML editor is a fantastic choice.
A few features stand out. A handy split-screen tool lets you see both your HTML and your webpage side by side, so you can easily tweak code and see the immediate results. And an intuitive file structure management system lets you order and organise your pages in an intuitive, logical way.
Moonfruit is an ambition website creation tool and aims to service both static web design and e-commerce store creation across multiple platforms.
They boldly claim that you can “Start selling in 10 minutes”, which may be a little far-fetched for even the more tech savvy among us, but their interface is certainly very lean and user-friendly.
Like Shopify, their interface keeps you well away from the raw HTML and CSS, although you can get stuck into it if you like. They offer a free version, along with a paid service aimed at business owners and people with meaty passion projects, priced according to three tiers of monthly subscriptions.
Weebly has been around for quite a while, and has built up a solid reputation. Their focus is ease of use, and the site builder leads you by the hand through their “Plan, Create, Publish, Grow” process.
The site creation itself is drag-and-drop, and as with other options, Weebly offers a basic free version alongside several premium subscription plans that come with options for custom branding, expanded site statistics and premium support.
These are just a sample of what’s out there – we hope to see even more exciting free website creation tools come on the scene as the technology continues to progress.
Of course, your website is just one aspect of your business. Click here to find out about Study Now’s Sales and Marketing courses, which help you put your best foot forward and close the deal, both online and offline.
Shopify is a wonderful subscription-based product that lets you put together an E-commerce store with the minimum of hassle. While not completely free, there is no charge for 14 days, and then offers you various monthly payment options.
On the face of it, e-commerce appears almost incompatible with free website creation – the customisation and back-end functionality seem to necessitate a dedicated developer.
However, Shopify have done an excellent job and their service is smooth, lean and reliable, enabling you to get an attractive and functional online store up and running quickly in true bootstrapped fashion.
Customisable storefronts, streamlined options for adding products, and an easy-to-use administrator’s interface help to make Shopify a world-class e-commerce setup tool.
Scott Adams is a contributor to Study Now, Australia’ biggest directory of online educational courses, you can view the website here. In additional to writing for Study Now, Scott is a keen amateur photographer and marathon runner.