Your business website should be as individual as you are. You can design your site on your computer and download it, use an online service, or use open source software to develop your online content. Free and paid options allow you to configure your website the way you want it using plugins, themes, extensions or modules.
The best choice for you depends on a number of factors. What do you want your website to do? What is your budget, technical skill level, and skill level as a web designer? What are your business goals? You will also need to consult your web host about your technical requirements.
If you’re looking to build the perfect website for your business, here’s a look at some of the more popular options:
- WordPress: A free and open source option, WordPress is a popular solution, especially among bloggers and publishers. You can choose the free online service and follow the online instructions or download the free software, upload it to your domain, and manage your own site and hosting. WordPress has an active user community that has developed many improvements to the core software. You can customize the self-hosted WordPress site with themes, which are add-ons that give the website a new look and style. Plugins can dramatically extend the capabilities of your website to include storefront, bulletin board, advertising, search engine optimization tools, multi-site management, translation, statistics on visitors and affiliate links, to name a few. Their robust user forum is a great resource for troubleshooting, as well as references for paid help. You can easily add blogs, upload photos, and allow others to join and become users, guest bloggers, and buyers.
- Adobe Dreamweaver: Adobe has long been regarded as the premier provider of professional publishing software. Its website software, Dreamweaver, provides visual site building tools as well as advanced features for those who want to enter code directly into their pages. Adobe also produces the popular Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator page layout software for creating logos and artwork, both of which work seamlessly with Dreamweaver through Adobe’s Creative Suite. The suite is available in different configurations to meet your needs. You can purchase Windows or Macintosh compatible versions, prepare your website, and upload it to the Internet. Dreamweaver is also compatible with WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal.
- NetObjects Fusion Essentials: This is a free Windows-based option that offers a downloadable step-by-step guide. It covers the basics of preparing a website and explains how to add products, photo gallery, rotating banner, board, and site navigation tools. Paid upgrades are available for more advanced users.
- Joomla! : Joomla! is open source software with multiple capabilities to manage your content. Templates provide a basic design – you can extend the power of Joomla through free and paid extensions and add-ons. Some of the notable capabilities of Joomla include multilingual support, banner management, polls, email concealment for security purposes, content syndication, and fast page loading. Extensions are available for banner images, chat, social media, message board automation, shopping carts, advertising, multiple sites and more. Its vibrant community offers a user forum, user groups around the world, community events and a magazine.
- Drupal: Drupal is free and versatile, with active community support and plenty of add-ons to extend its innate capabilities. An installation profile includes the basic software and prepackaged add-ons for different uses. Drupal can also be used for a wide variety of website applications. It is powerful and flexible, although it takes time to learn how to use it. It is a good choice for software developers and has an active support community across the world.
Hassan Bawab, founder and CEO of Magic Logix digital marketing agency, is a cutting edge technology leader and innovative speaker / writer. For more information, visit http://www.magiclogix.com/about/ceo-hassanbawab.
The Young Entrepreneurs Council (YEC) is an invitation-only organization of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentoring program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses through live video chats, a library of expert content, and email courses.