The importance of having a web presence is often overshadowed by high costs, slow processes and a lack of comprehensive technical experience. However, there are many services available that help you build a site fast without spending a lot of money and with little to no technical knowledge.
The top sites for building a website include blogging software platforms, drag-and-drop programs and outsourcing options, so regardless of your level of knowledge or involvement, you are sure to find a perfect fit.
Using an existing blogging software platform is one of the best and simplest ways to build a website quickly. The software is easy to use and doesn’t require any technical experience. With flexible and attractive options, you can get a professional, customized website off the ground quickly.
Of course, the sheer quantity of options available through WordPress can be intimidating. The Using WordPress for Your Business course available through Docstoc can walk you through the process, including how to set up an account, how to create pages and posts, and how to create excellent content.
2. Zoho Sites
This app available from online productivity suite Zoho is a drag-and-drop website builder that anyone can use to build a website in minutes. A key benefit to using Zoho is that desktop sites are automatically optimized for mobile devices without doing any extra work.
A number of other features are available through Zoho Sites, including a built-in blogging platform, payment buttons and customizable online forms. Because of the drag-and-drop technique of the apps and features, updating content frequently is a cinch.
Strikingly claims to be “The Easiest Editor Possible,” and with the ability to publish, edit and design from only one screen, it just may be. The software is driven for those who understand the importance of a mobile web presence yet have little or no software development experience.
The platform is focused on simplicity and is aimed toward building a mobile web presence in the very beginning stages. As opposed to developing a desktop site and then simplifying for mobile, Strikingly allows you to build up from your basic mobile design for desktop pages.
Recently launched Bislr was built to integrate marketing applications as you build your website. Bislr starts with drag-and-drop page-building tools and adds marketing automation and customer relationship management tools.
The combination of these features allow for genuine lead nurturing through social campaigns, blogging and email marketing. Bislr makes your website more intelligent by providing graphical calls to action and allowing you to develop landing pages in minutes.
If you’re feeling brave and want to conquer the task of completely developing your own site, but have no experience in coding, One Month Rails is a good solution. The site is created for absolute beginners and offers a complete course for those wishing to build their own site.
The course lasts about a month, but has a structure that allows you to learn only what you want to learn. This process gives you the essential resources and skills without the hassle of paying for an expensive developer or enrolling in an in-depth, complicated course.
For those who are still wary of attempting to design a website on their own, 99designs offers a different route. Through this site, you pitch a design brief detailing what you want on your website, and then a pool of designers compete in a design contest, submitting designs for your feedback.
Once you give feedback and designs are shaped, you choose a winner, sign a copyright agreement and use the design however you like. The entire process only takes about 7 days. You also have the option to continue working directly with a designer through 99designs’ 1-to-1 Projects.
This site is another great resource for outsourcing the building of your website. Elance is the largest freelance network for businesses, and it is free to register and post jobs. Once you post a job, you then review proposals from Elance’s large community of freelancers and award the job to the person that best fits your needs.
You can then collaborate together online through the process of building your website and give specific feedback and requests for the development. Elance also lets you track job progress, and you only have to pay for work you approve.
For more options on hiring freelancers, see the article Where to Find Independent Contractors.
Check out Docstoc’s video, How to Build a Website: The Best Way to Build a Basic Website, for more advice on getting a website up and running very quickly.