Web site design isn’t the easiest thing that one could do. After all, there is a reason why people go to school for years to master it, and still continually need to upgrade their skills to keep up with changing technologies. Often this is the reason why small businesses and individuals don’t even tempt the idea of starting up their own website. They don’t have the funds to pay a professional to build and make the site for them, and they aren’t aware that there is an alternative.
Or we should say, “are” alternatives. There are a lot of great web site design services out there for those with little to no experience with design, and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg (or possibly not cost you a single dime!). Listed below are some of our favorite web site design services that you need to check if you are interested in making your own website.
There’s so many thing about WordPress that make it deserve top spot on our list. You know it’s gotta be good when both amateur and professional web builders and bloggers are using it, first of all. Second of all, it comes with a ton of templates for you to choose from, and if you don’t like their templates, you can get them elsewhere.
What’s even more impressive is that this service is absolutely free, and it’s incredibly uncomplicated. Literally anyone can open up a free account and create a professional looking website within a very, very short span of time. If you are looking to create a blog, then WordPress gives you every tool that you need to build and promote it. It gives referral stats without you having to add any sort of third party app, and it’s not flooded with ads. Definitely check this service out, whether you have no idea what you’re doing when it comes to web design, or if you are a total pro.
NVU isn’t as easy to use as WordPress, but it’s still a great free website creator and editor. The one thing that one can really appreciate from a beginner’s standpoint is that NVU doesn’t require you to memorize tons and tons of code. What else makes it unique is that it is one o the very few free WYSIWYG HTML editors out there. You can use it what your Mac, with Windows and with Unix, and it has a site manager with FTP.
TIP: WYSIWYG interface is an acronym that is used to describe a type of application that will display the content you enter in code exactly as it will appear when it is complete. So while you’re entering code and putting stuff together with WYSIWYG, you know just what your website is going to look like once it is published and goes live.
Now for the bad points. It doesn’t have a CSS validator (though it does have a built-in CSS editor) and you aren’t able to edit images or connect to an external graphics editor. This can be a real headache for anyone who doesn’t have a clue how to make websites. You may have to spend some time trying to clean up some coding, which at first is incredibly frustrating if you have no idea what you’re doing. But on the plus side, cleaning up the code will force you to learn a little bit about it and help you create a better website.
TIP: Another web design service, Kompozer, is derived straight from NVU. How it looks, feels and works is incredibly similar to NVU, so if you aren’t happy with NVU, you won’t fall in love with Kompozer, either.
3. WebEasy Professional 8
Though this web site design software isn’t free, you still don’t have to put out a ton of cash to get it. Whether you have never created a website in your life, or you have a lot of experience with web design, what really makes this product popular is the easy-to-use WYSIWYG –user interface.
Another great benefit is the tutorials that are provided. While a lot of web site design programs will advertise free tutorials, most of them are so boring or headache inducing that new web builders just give up. These ones are actually worth your while and will keep you engaged.
There is one thing that we don’t like about this software: the multimedia effect. We would like to see more options than playing and recording audio, but for new web site designers, this probably isn’t even a slight concern.
This is another program that you will have to pay for on a monthly basis, but it’s definitely worth it for the new web designer. Intuit gets points on having an interface that is both user-friendly and intuitive. It also comes loaded with templates, so there is definitely something for everybody with this software.
We can see Intuit really being beneficial for any company that wants to sell things. If you have products or service that you want to advertise, you can count on Intuit to basically come up with the HTML code for you so you come out with a fully customized website which includes professional royalty-free photos.
But what we really loved was the drag and drop functionality and the step by step instructions. This makes it so easy to quickly create a very clean and professional website that can display your merchandise, advertise your services, or even act as a contact form. Their monthly fee also provides hosting and storage for your site, something that could easily cost more per month and not even offer web site design and building tools.
So what didn’t we like? The fact that there was no spell checker. Any website with spelling errors looks extremely unprofessional, so you may want to dig up your Microsoft Word program and run anything you type through there before you publish it to your site. There also isn’t the ability to have the program automatically name your pages, which can be a bit of a nuisance but to most isn’t a deal breaker.