Websites are expensive. Like our All Things Wishful CTO says, "they're like sausage - tastes good at the end, but man, what a mess it is to make it." And wow, seriously, it is quite a lot of work creating just the right site from scratch. SERIOUSLY. Having worked in consulting firms with ginormous technology clients for many years, websites are also a majorly expensive venture. Thousands and thousands of dollars, zillion hours, .... pushing the damn pixel up and down, playing with fonts and copy. Logos. Design. Buttons. Layout. Usability and user experience. Security. Privacy. Data. AH!
But what about the small businesses that want a nice website for their bar/restaurant, yoga, or photography business? Why should they have to pay thousands and thousands of dollars to a firm or freelancers to build them a website, that might… really just suck and they wouldn't know it? WHY??? WHY??? WHY??? ---> I'm sorry, but really, when a small business really wants a nice website with nice home page, a menu, contact us page, maybe a blog, some photos, ... they really should not be burning their valuable resources on hiring a developer to build a website. Hellz no. I've had the opportunity to work with a bunch of small women‐owned businesses with their website needs recently, and here are some thoughts:
WordPress! Everyone loves WordPress! Seriously - probably one of the best tools out there for the DIY website | blog. Really well supported. Lots of people running around building site after site with it. I do contend though that this is probably a little more difficult to use upon first glance than other template‐site building options out there. They got a zillion plug‐ins and widgets galore. I can see it being a little intimidating for the not‐so‐tech‐saavy user. Actually, it is intimidating.
SquareSpace is another template website builder that's pretty easy to use for your average Jane or Joe. My dear friend, Kate, is a big advocate for SquareSpace - used them to build her wedding website when she got married the other year. Loved the experience - I haven't used them yet. 14 day free trial period. Social media plug‐ins. Photo galleries. Blogs and hosting. Seems quite nice. They are on my list to try. Still, I'd say it's more for a more seasoned web user.
Then, there's Weebly. My younger brother told me about them last year - hot SF‐based firm also building website solutions for the non‐developer. No, actually, more for the completely non‐technical person. My way of helping the bunch of small women‐owned businesses with their website needs: I handhold them through the process. I pick the tool for them, train them on how to "manage" their own website (blog, change content and copy/photos, add pages, etc...) —> and for the small business owner that is looking for a simple solution and is completely not-tech‐saavy, Weebly has been wonderful. Social media tools, videos, photos, cool web fonts - I'd totally recommend them.