Websites strike fear in the hearts of many entrepreneurs. They can be intimidating, complicated, technical, and potentially expensive. Thankfully, much has been done in the past decade to make building a website easier and cheaper than it ever was before.
For solo entrepreneurs, it's important to have a website on a platform that makes it easy to edit your content. You don't want to have to call up a web designer every time you change a price or want to revise your bio. Unless you have some horribly unique website need, there are many website platforms that will create a website without the need of a web professional.
Every platform has it's downsides, the key is to find one that will work the best for you. The following are three leading platforms that I work with on a regular basis and the pros and cons of each:
This website is a Square Space site. Their templates are clean and modern. The platform includes many built in components including forms, calendars, blogs, galleries, and online store. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) functions are also integrated. This is my top favorite platform, though it is one of the pricier out there.
- Price: $8/mo for a year plan*
- Support: Included!
- Design: beautiful template options; not too much customization available
- SEO: Built In!
- Optimized for Mobile: Automatic!
This platform is the most flexible in terms of design. This is a double edged sword: it lets you make the site look exactly how you want, and you could make poor design choices without realizing it.
- Price: $9.25/mo for a year plan*
- Support: Included!
- Design: template options; and it's SUPER customizable
- SEO: Built in!
- Optimized for Mobile: must manually tailor
First thing to know about Word Press is that it comes in two formats: Wordpress.com (all-in-one, less powerful) Wordpress.org (requires install on separate hosting, more powerful.) Here I'm going to discuss the less powerful option because it's an all-in-one like the other two. If you need a super-cheap platform and you're not worried about SEO, this is a strong option. If you want a site with features, support, and organic search engine ranking, you either want to use the more powerful Wordpress.org (possibly with some tech guidance) or you want to use one of the other two platforms.
- Price: $13/yr* (free if you don't need a custom domain name)
- Support: Not Included, though many professionals exist
- Design: tons of template options; not too much customization available
- SEO: NONE
- Optimized for Mobile: Yes (may vary by template)
*all pricing represented is the lowest level that allows you to include a custom domain name.
Once you've selected your platform you could have a web page up in less than an hour. The internet rewards change, so I'd highly recommend getting a site up and figure out the rest of the content for the whole site as you go. And of course, if you want more support on building your website, I'm here for you!