This is quite an old topic but very important because now you need to be online at any cost. The aim of this post is for the common man who is wandering about in the cyberspace to establish their identity.
So first of all why you need a website or should I say web presence. You need this as the global population is going online to find solutions to their problem which they use to find offline. In other words we do not visit our public library since we have kindle or for any question we have big daddy “Google”.
Hence you need to go over internet and its great if you are available there as an information so people can know you. Simple things that you need a job or some work done, get it on web right away, its so easy.
So no matter if you are an entrepreneur or an individual its time to go for a website. (And do not forget it should be mobile friendly)
Therefore you have both options to explore :
FREE WEBSITES : Free hosted on 3rd party domain. This is for the beginners and the ones who are not interested to spend the money. In this you get a unique URL and you can post as many pages as you want. Mostly the blogs sites were used as free content creating platforms. I would like to specify some of them.
- Blogger : This is the part of google and is a free blogging platform. A lot of interactive plugins are available. This is widely used in the blogging community and is both secure and fast.
- WordPress : This is another one which is quite popular and you can start your website in few minutes. Like blogger its also enriched with lots of powerful tools which makes your site quite interactive.
- Tumblr : A very strong blogging platform and you can embed text, videos, images etc.
- Wix : This is also very famous free website builder and has good features. Some premium (paid) plans are available too if you want to go for several features.
- Yola : Its another free website platform but is limited to storage for free ones and has paid plans if you want to expand your website.
- Weebly : It’s a very good platform which offers free and interactive website builder along with blogging platform.
Pros of free websites :
- First of all its free, so you can start it right away.
- Its good for the beginners although professionals do use it quite often.
- Very easy to manage since their dashboards and interfaces are quite simple.
Cons of free websites :
- You do now own your website as its with the hosting provider so they can terminate your account if you do violate any of their terms / conditions
- You do not get a proper unique name like domainname.com , instead like domainname.com/user123. This also does not look so professional when you are mentioning it in your business card. Its fine if you are just an individual but if you are a company it looks odd.
- Your account could get hacked and its not easy to recover your website / blog if its mis-used.
- The designs offered by these sites are very simple and you do not have control to edit the theme so easily.
PAID WEBSITES : Hosted after a domain name purchase, followed by design.
- Independent : This is the official one and used by company / individuals to promote their product or services altogether. These sites can be built in customized way as per your requirement like design and features. You can even go for open source technologies like org, Joomla, Magento in which you just need to pay your developer or designer for the customizations. Mostly your investment is one time for design and development which is followed by maintenance. Its considered as best option since you can change your developer and get your work done by other company since you own your domain name, website code etc. Today a lot of freelancing sites are there like peopleperhour.com, upwork.com, freelancer.com from there you can hire any developer or designer at the most minimal cost. So you just need to book a domain, get it hosted and finally hire a team of designer / developers.
- 3rd party : This is also quite growing and is for those people who want to try their website for some time and not sure if it will work so they can cancel their subscription. So you can get your website creates on other platform like shopify, volusion and Wix paid one. They do offer customized solutions too so you can get the site done according to your choice. Besides website maintenance is at their end so you need not to bother to hire any team. But in the long run this is costly and mostly people prefer independent website design as the best option.
Pros of paid websites :
- Independent websites are your own property so it’s the best choice.
- 3rd party sites are also good if you are starting business at low cost.
- You can customize both independent and 3party sites easily i.e. get it done by developer or designer
Cons of paid websites :
- Independent sites set up fee is very high and the project costs a lot if it’s a big one.
- If your business fail or you choose to shut it down, then it’s a big loss
- In case of 3rd party sites you do not own the site design or code so if you cancel the services, you need to move to another. Even its difficult to migrate the content / date to other websites if the platform is not compatible.
So getting online is must and you should. Your facebook or twitter profile will not do a justice hence get a website now.