Website Builder Tools Guide 101

Your ultimate guide for Website Builder Tools.

By Isaiah Shelton

1. What is web building and how is it different from web hosting?

While web hosting is the process of uploading your website’s files and pages onto a server so that it is viewable on the internet, the process of web building includes the actual process of designing the website itself. Many people opt to have web hosting companies such as iPage design their websites, while others prefer to handle the building process themselves, often resorting to companies that cater to non-expert webmasters by offering templatized web designs that can be neatly implemented on personal sites. If you’re planning to launch a website soon, know that you’ll need both a building and hosting option. Whether or not you side with one of the many one-stop-shop providers out there will largely depend on what type of site you are creating and your level of expertise as a webmaster.

2. What are my free security options?

Fist, you’d need to ask yourself a few questions regarding your website. What type of website are you trying to create? Will you be integrating any sales elements? What type of people is your site intended to reach? Start with these questions and use the following guidelines when searching for a web builder that can fully meet your needs:

Customer Service:

Even experienced webmasters are bound to occasionally run into issues when building a website, so it’s imperative that you look for a building provide with top notch customer service. Is technical support offered round the clock? Be sure that if 24/7 customer service is available that response times are fast, as well. 1&1 is a great place to begin your search of reliability and availability. Lastly, make sure that the company provides tools to help users figure out many of the typical issues they might run into. Knowledgebases and automated responses are very useful resources and a great indication that a provider’s customer service initiatives have been well thought out and developed with ease of use in mind.

Cost:

Having a clear understanding of your website’s goals will help keep costs down when entering the building stage. Be sure to shop around and make sure you’re not paying for services you won’t be using. Perhaps a website building provider that offers customizable solutions is best, as you can often tailor the offer towards your site’s needs. All the same, make sure that you aren’t overpaying for services that you do need.

Ease of Use:

While technical support is crucial, you shouldn’t need a user guide just to find your c-panel. Experienced web builders may prefer more authority over the construction of their websites, but a neat interface could still help with under the hood work. More importantly for novices, ease of use when building a website could largely affect how a site performs. This is why so many newcomers grow fond of drag-and-drop website builders like Weebly, which is also completely free at the same time.

Hosting Option:

As noted prior, many users will prefer single solution for their building and hosting needs. Keep a look out for companies that offer both; however, beware of companies that noticeably excel at one, yet offer both as a sloppy package deal. In these cases, it might be more advantageous to keep web building and hosting solutions separate.

3.What are my free web building options?

There is a plethora of free web building providers out there, many of which will provide free hosting options, as well. Weebly, Wix, and Webs are a few of the most known free web building/hosting providers. Note that many of these providers also feature paid packages which prevent the usual restrictions that come along with free solutions. For example, you might not be able to acquire unique domain names, leaving you stuck with a wwww.yoursite.com/buildercompanyURL or similar. As for web builders that also provide hosting, storage is often limited and you might need to eventually upgrade to a cost-based plan in order to still meet your needs. Other hindrances include unwanted ads on your website and the lack of timely support.

4. How do I know what site design is right for me?

Understanding your bottom line is the best way to know what site design is right for you. Too often do people over-design their websites in order to stimulate viewers; but this could often result in your goals being buried beneath all the design fluff. For example, if you’re building an e-commerce site, perhaps an overload of colorful graphics isn’t the best way for people to actually find your products. Today’s web design paradigm is highly focused on simplicity and for good reason. This keeps objectives clear and puts what needs to be seen front and center.

5. If I change my service package, what happens to my current website?

You should check with your provider, as answers may vary per company. Generally speaking, though, if you are planning to downgrade and your current package involves advanced features that the downgraded option does not, there is a high probability that your current design will be affected considerably. In the case of Squarespace, users should rejoice in knowing that they'll be refunded the prorated difference between the two plans if they choose to downgrade. As this is not standard for all providers, you should consult with your provider before manually downgrading your plan to prevent the stress of figuring out what went wrong after the fact.

6. Is it necessary that I be familiar with HTML before building my site?

No. There are plenty of web building companies that offer design templates and easy to use functionalities that alleviate the need to know any coding before building a website. While it is great to know some basic HTML and grow your knowledge as your website matures so that you can achieve a more customized look and feel, it is simply not necessary that you do too much under the hood work to render an effective website.

7. Should I build my website with the same service that hosts my site?

If the hosting company provides a building tool that fully meets your needs, you may find that this helps keep costs down and serves as a neater solution all away around. Using 1&1 as an example, you won’t have to worry about figuring out whether an issue is hosting related or design related, as both will be answerable when keeping everything under one roof.

8. How can I make sure that my website is viewable internationally?

It’s often the case that people want their sites viewable by the most people possible, but do not perform the necessary back-end work to make this a reality. Here are a few guidelines for acquiring more international viewership:

Multi-Language Capability:

There are many web design templates that will allow you to switch languages without much hassle. You may find it difficult to switch to this template when already using a single language one, but it could be well worth the effort to investigate this solution more.

Multi-Domain Extensions:

This is a great tactic for garnering viewership in other countries. While “.com” means a great deal in the United States, it might be ideal to purchase domains for the countries in which you wish to gain viewership. For example, try .au for Australia o.fr for France. This will help the people of those nations understand that your site contains what they are looking for by offering them something they’re used to right off the bat. Check out providers such as Network Solutions for more flexible domain registration options.

Cultural Sensitivity:

It is very important that you be aware of cultural codes when translating your website for international use. This should not only be reflected in your language, but in your website’s images and themes, as well. You don’t want to offend people when trying to reel them in.

9. How can I set up traffic tracking on my website?

Many website builders provides include plugins that can be used for website analysis such as traffic and bounce rate tracking. There is a myriad of third party options such as Google Analytics which allow for tracking, as well. You’d simply insert the code into your site editor and follow the directions as outlined by the provider. Either way, tracking is very crucial to your website’s success, as you can effectively identify both its best and worst elements.

10. Aside from intruder protection, what else can a home security system offer?

Absolutely. Mobile access is set to become the primary way that people access information, and innovations that make mobile phones and tablets more convenient to use will only continue to drive that trend. If you are someone running an ecommerce website, you should especially build a mobile version of your storefront, as you could very-well be neglecting a huge percentage of sales by not connecting with buyers on the go. But if you’re worried about the challenge of figuring out how to go about this all on your own, there’s really no need to fret. The top website builders understand the increasing importance of mobile access and have tooled their services to accommodate your needs. For example, the 1&1 website builder automatically creates a mobile version of your site for you. This saves you time you can reinvest into marketing, content creation or other site optimization techniques aimed at providing you the best experience possible.

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