Frequently Asked Questions About Building a Website (Especially Your First One)

Which website builder do you recommend for me?

It really depends on what you’re looking for and what industry you are in. In general, we rate Wix.com as the best overall drag & drop website builder because:

  • Most innovative website builder – Wix has a history of proactively adding new and up-to-date tools on a regular basis. If they don’t have a specific feature right now, they are more likely to add it in the future. So we have strong confidence that Wix be able to grow along with your business / website in the years to come. The same level of confidence can’t be said of their competitors.
  • Designs are up-to-date with the latest trend – True to their core competency, Wix enables you to add some of the latest designs without ever having to touch code (just drag & drop). For example, you can create 1-pager parallax designs, insert background videos, segment your page to have different background sections, etc. Other website builders simply don’t have these offerings.
  • Industry-specific tools – Wix covers a very wide range of niches and have built industry-specific tools to help users excel and grow online (e.g. room booking for hotels / bed & breakfast, distribution tools for musicians / bands, etc).

 

Overall Rankings:

Industry specific rankings:

  • Business – Wix  and Weebly
  • Design / Portfolio – Wix and Squarespace
  • Restaurants – Wix and Squarespace
  • Music – Wix
  • Hotel / HospitalityWix

Other Helpful Pages:

Which ecommerce online store builder do you recommend?

In our view, Shopify is the best All-Around ecommerce builder today.

They are a pure ecommerce builder and comes with beautiful storefront designs, comprehensive features, App store if you want to bolt on more advanced tools, and qualified / pre-approved experts for hire if you need to take your customization to the next level.

 

Comprehensive eCommerce Builders:

#1Shopify

#2Bigcommerce

Basic eCommerce Builders:

#1Wix

#2Weebly

#3Squarespace

Other Helpful Pages:

How much does it cost to build a website?

Cost of a website often goes beyond just money.

It’s important to keep in mind that creating a website also costs you time and energy. This is something we severely under-estimated / under-appreciated when we first started.

We share our experiences and mistakes in this 2-part series:

Which website builder is the best for SEO?

A common question we get is which website builder is better at getting higher search engine rankings.  Or if we think that WordPress is superior at SEO (“search engine optimization”).

We feel that there are a lot of MIS-information about search engine rankings out there (at least in our own opinion).

When it comes to search engine rankings, which website builder you use only has a marginal impact.

If it was that easy to achieve high rankings just by using the right website builder, then all websites would be on the first page of Google – which just isn’t the case!

How Google ranks websites mainly has to do with how authoritative the website is.

A good example is Wikipedia. Since it is a very resourceful website and has a ton of authority, Google recommends it by rewarding it with higher rankings in search results.

If one puts up a shoddy website that lacks substance to people in search for information, Google (in our view anyway) will not put it on page 1 of search results. It doesn’t matter what website builder you are using. Make sense?

Consider this scenario. You used a drag and drop website builder to create your website. You are a leading authority in your topic of discussion (what your website is all about), and you have other industry experts linking to your website as they want to promote / endorse your website as a place of knowledge for their own readers. Your webpages / discussions are shared broadly across social media.

In short, you’re a bit of a celebrity in your field.

If you were able to achieve that, we’re willing to bet that it doesn’t matter if you’re using Wix or Squarespace, or WordPress, or any another web builder, your site will be rewarded by Google by ranking higher in search results.

Of course, achieving such “celebrity” status is challenging and takes time (think years). And that’s why those who are committed for the long haul has a much higher chance of succeeding, and those who give up after a week because their website is not ranked on page 1 of search results will always disappear off the grid (and complain that the website builder they used didn’t work).

So the key point is, being rewarded with higher search engine ranking IS achievable – no matter which website builder you use.

For more in-depth information about SEO, see our guide on Website Builder SEO vs WordPress SEO.

People keep telling me to use WordPress. What do you think?

No doubt, WordPress is one of the largest and most popular website builders today. It is also very flexible and you can customize it to your heart’s content (sky is the limit with WordPress, so to speak).

However, to use WordPress effectively, you will have to know how to code very well, be willing to climb a steeper technical learning curve, or hire a capable designer or developer to help you build your website.  As such, building a website with WordPress will take a lot more time and energy.

WordPress doesn’t offer you dedicated support so you’ll have to figure things out on your own if you have questions (research the web / discussion forums for scattered information) or pay someone for help.  You’ll also have to manage your own hosting / servers.

So if you are a beginner, or if you prefer not to invest a lot of time and money into building a website, WordPress may not be the best option.

With drag & drop website builders, you don’t need to be technical or know how to code at all. They’re easy to use (drag & drop), have 24/7 dedicated support teams to answer any specific questions you may have.

You can publish a first version of your website in less than a day (and keep improving upon it afterwards). So the speed to getting a website up and running is much faster than WordPress.

Note that drag & drop website builders do have customization limitations compared to WordPress, as you won’t have full access to the codes or database.

Here are some discussions to help you become more informed on this topic:

Should I buy a domain name through a website builder?

Buying a domain name through a website builder makes it easier for you to connect your domain name to your website. The process is streamlined and your domain name can be connected with just a few clicks.

Some website builders even give you a domain name for free for 1 year if you signed up to their annual plans.

However, after the first year, the annual renewal fee with website builders (around $20) is higher than if you registered your domain name with a domain name registrar (such as GoDaddy or NameCheap – around $10 – $15).

So over multiple years, registering your domain name with a domain name registrar will become cheaper.

It does take a bit more work to connect your domain name from a domain name registrar to your website builder. But the set up process is a one-time effort.

Further, if you were to change website builders for whatever reason, it’s easier to manage the process if your domain name is registered with a domain name registrar as you can just disconnect the domain name from your old website, and reconnect it to your new website.

If your domain name is registered with the website builder, you will need to migrate it out (since you are changing website builders), and into either the new website builder, or into a domain name registrar.  This usually costs around $10 – $15, and is one more thing to manage.

See our Beginners Guide to Domain Name for a more in-depth discussions.

Other than choosing a website builder, any other things I should worry about?

Picking the right website builder for you is just the first step in building your website!

A lot of your time initially will be used to testing out various website builders to see which one is best for your needs (you can also see our recommendation list above).  There are other important things that you should be aware of once you’ve settled on a specific website builder.  

Some of these items include how to choose the right template for you (Tip – don’t pick a design solely on how it looks as there are other things you should assess), how to create professional looking page layouts, how to edit images with simple, free image editing tools, how to use color to your advantage, etc.

Building a website is a journey – so you probably need some sort of road map to keep you on the right track.

To get a comprehensive overview of what else you should be thinking about, so you can at least be aware of them, take a look at our Road Map infograph.  It’s a simple diagram that will ensure you stay on the right track!

Can I build a website with no design and coding skills?

Absolutely.

Drag & drop website builders empower you to build a good looking website, even if you’re not confident with your design ability or if you don’t have any coding or technical skills.

How? They provide you with attractive and professional looking website templates, so you don’t have to design anything from scratch.

You no longer have to stare at a blank canvas and struggle about how the heck you’re going to start!

Just pick your favorite design and start populating it with your own content.

Sounds too good to be true, right?  It’s really that straight forward!

Here are some design examples that you can start using right away:

How do I choose the right template design?

Drag & drop website builders offer you a lot of professional looking template designs nowadays.  But to pick the right design for you can be a bit confusing – especially if you’re not sure what works well for you.

We’ve created a guide to picking the right design template that can work well for your business / industry by using 3 simple criteria.

Do I need to hire a website designer or developer?

You definitely can, but you don’t HAVE to.

If you are using a more advanced builder like WordPress and you don’t have any coding skills, then you either have to learn how to code very well, or hire someone to do it for you.

With drag & drop website builders, you can do it yourself.  These builders offer you a code-free way of building your website.  You can insert content, adjust colors, modify layouts, with their drag & drop user interface.

Drag & drop builders also give you a wide selection of professional looking design templates, so that gives you a head start with design (instead of looking at a blank canvas).

For sure, if you have a little bit of coding knowledge, it can add more flexibility to your design even if you are using a drag & drop website builder. It’s not absolutely necessary, but an added advantage.

Here’s our Coding for Beginners guide to where you can find free or paid lessons to learning some basic codes.

You can still hire a designer to help you out, but it’s by no means necessary.

How do I create an awesome logo if I don’t have design skills?

Creating a logo is important for your brand.  But the challenge is that you may not have design skills, or the creativity to translate your vision into an image file.

Hiring a designer may be pricey, and can sometimes take weeks finalize a design.

Here is a guide that will show you a few ways you can create a nice looking, professional logo without having to hire a designer, without breaking the bank, and can be done in minutes.

Our recommended resources to help you get started with your first website

Here is a collection of the best how-to guides, tools recommendations and posts to help you get started on your website or online store.

Website Builders Comparison Chart – Not sure which website builder is best for you? See this detailed comparison chart to see how they compare with each other, and which one is perfect for you.

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Snapshot Summary Comparison of e-Commerce Online Store Builders – Overview of how Shopify, Bigcommerce, Squarespace, Weebly & Jimdo compare to each other.

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How Much Should a Website Cost You? A Definitive Pricing Guide For You What is the cost of building a website? See our step-by-step pricing guide on how to estimate the cost of a website for you.

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Picking a theme for your website design can be confusing if you’re not a designer. Follow our 3 simple rules to pick the right design for your website.

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9 Simple Questions to help you find the best website builder for your needs – see this practical guide to get started.

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How do domain names work & where should you buy one? This free beginners guide will walk you through the ins & outs, and raise issues you should be aware of.

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Should you learn to code? Learning a bit of code can help you add a lot of flexibility to your web design. Here are the best (and easiest) ways to learn HTML & CSS codes.

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Do you know the difference between a good and bad homepage design? See our guide on how to create an awesome, effective home page design layout.

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Using an online photo editor can make a HUGE difference in the way your website looks. They’re easy to use and you don’t have to be technical at all.

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Using high quality images is the easiest & fastest way to transform your website from average to looking darn good. See our guide on how.

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Choosing the right font style design can hugely improve your overall website design & improve your visitors’ experiences. See how to pick the right font for your website here.

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Picking the right color scheme for your website can help brand your business & influence your visitors’ psychology. See our guide on how to to choose color.

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