Many small businesses assume they need a fancy web designer to have a website, as well as deep pockets. These days, that’s simply not the case. There are plenty of free or affordable resources that help you create your own website in minutes. All of these are either free, offer trials or are $10 or less a month.
1. Canada Get Your Business Online (Google)
Last year, Google launched a series of events to get small businesses online. With this program, you get a free website (the design process is super simple) as well as a free listing on Google Maps. You also get a .ca web address free for 12 months. There are also resources and videos to help you understand social media and internet marketing on the site.
I confess, I’m a bit partial to SnapPages, since I used it to create my website. I constantly get compliments on how professional it looks, but trust me: I’m no designer. To design your page, you use a template and drag and drop components (photos, text, social media links) where you want them. You can store files, use a calendar and set up a blog as well. They’re constantly adding additional features, which makes me happy.
Intuit, makes of QuickBooks, offers a DIY web design platform as well. Their templates are professional looking, and they’ve also got that easy drag-and-drop functionality. As a customer, you get access to the Web Advisors, who can give you design tips or help you create your site.
If you’re looking for a visually appealing site, check out Wix. They offer free Flash templates you can customize to get the attention of your website visitors. According to the site, they’ve helped create more than 13 million websites. I’d recommend this site for an artist, designer or someone else who wants to use image-heavy design on their website.
While WordPress templates were very popular a few years ago, since they’re free, we’re seeing more of these other types of content management systems (like the previous 4). Still WordPress shouldn’t be left off my list. It’s really a base for a blog, but because you can create any type of pages you want, you can also use them for a website. If you have a WordPress blog, it’s easy enough to expand that into several more pages to accompany your entire website. A simple search for “WordPress themes” will give you ample free and cheap designs you can customize for your own site.