Thanks, Jeremy, for your excellent article, but I still have a couple of questions. We use Dreamhost for our website, which was built in 1999 (seriously) and we keep it semi-current using SeaMonkey's editor. Last year we added an ECWID shopping cart to replace the really difficult to use PayPal shopping cart system, which has helped, but a replacement website that's easy to change is what we really need. It seems that all of these site builders want to host us, when what I need is a program I can use to create the new site and replace my existing one. Is there a standalone site building program you recommend? How about an easy to use interface to put between me and Wordpress? (That seems like it would be an excellent tool for someone to develop.) Or should I just buy a copy of Wordpress for Dummies and start fresh? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
By creating a website, you are creating an online presence. This allows you to connect with people that you might not otherwise be able to reach. Whether you’re making a basic website with contact information for your small business or medical practice, creating a landing page for your freelance work, a multi-page experience for your wedding photography business or you just want a place to blog about your thoughts on food, having a website will give you a dynamic advantage.
As an example, let’s consider Shopify – a premium eCommerce website builder. Over the years, Shopify has become quite a heavy and complicated e-store creator. Its focus on adding more technical capabilities has transformed the visual editor from something a beginner could use, to something that can intimidate a beginner. Today, nobody recommends Shopify as a relevant e-store builder for newbies.
Choosing the CMS to start a blog or a website development project is a big decision, particularly if you aren’t going with WordPress. You’ll need to meticulously research different interface options, what add-ons and extensions are offered, coding capabilities, and layout templates. However, as we have seen, there are plenty of WordPress alternatives out there to try before you make your final decision.
Just imagine Medium shuts down as did Posterous back in the days (which was a similar service). You will not necessarily lose all your content but all the SEO rankings you ever created. To get it right you need to publish on your own domain name and preferably on your root domain (www.yoursite.com/blog) and not a sub-domain (blog.yoursite.com). This has numerous SEO advantages.