Amazing website creation software is a myth
Have you ever wondered if there is an easier way to build a website than what exists in the market today? Us too. We've looked high and low for website building software. Website software is only a fraction of the effort required to get a professional looking website. Listen to us talk about the good and bad of website building software. See what HubShout is doing to streamline website development.
If that isn't enough for one video, check out how we believe Wordpress is the right software for building websites because of its large developer network and support.
Chad: Hello, and welcome to our website creation software video. I'm Chad Hill and I have Adam Stetzer with me as well.
Adam: We're diving deep into website creation software. We all get these solicitations for website building software, this amazing piece of technology that's going to make your life easier and launch a beautiful website. I want to start first off by just asking you, is that a myth? Does this website software really even exist?
Chad: I've never seen it. I mean, I've fallen for the great advertisements and thought that this thing was going to make building websites super easy. I've tried all of the website building software, they all kind of come off as simplistic and ultimately fail, especially when you try to add things down the road.
So for that reason, one of the things that we did our due diligence, many times, several years ago. But we have always come back to the same conclusion that WordPress is really the best website building software for a small business, and actually in a lot of cases, even for bigger cases.
Chad: But I think the great thing about WordPress is that it's very well supported, and that there are - I just looked this up on the wordpress.org site - 60 million websites running WordPress today. So the community that's there and the momentum it has, it's so good and so big that it's really not worth looking anywhere else and looking for any other silver bullets, because WordPress is the way you want to go.
Adam: All right, so you've decided that WordPress is the website creation software of choice. So you do your install, your MySQL. You've got your PHP server running, and you pick a theme and you think, "Oh, right. In five minutes I'm going to have a beautiful, professional looking website." It can't be that easy, right?
Chad: Yeah. I think that's where the easy software for website construction myth ends, because you're looking at the the WordPress interface, what do I do? Now there are thousands and thousands of themes out there. Once you have the platform, I think that's where you need a company that can help you pick the theme, and then ultimately take the theme.
Because, even if you do find a perfect theme, a lot of times just loading that up, the work it takes to size images correctly and to make sure that the images you load don't sort of conflict with otherwise the layout that you're buying, it looks nice, is more difficult than most beginners can handle.
So what you want is you want a company that can help you pick a theme as a foundation or as a platform, and then customize it or add in your own information so that it looks and works how you need it to work.
Adam: So put another way, I've seen a lot of really ugly WordPress websites. I'm sure you have too. So I guess in understanding how choosing this website building software will help you and where it won't help you, you have to understand that it will offload some of the simplistic stuff.
You'll get a blog pretty quickly and your navigation structure is there and you can add widgets. So there are some very maintenance-type development items that normally you have to do repetitively that picking a CMS like WordPress really does help. But I think people don't extrapolate, like you just said, Chad, to thinking, "I'll have a beautiful website without putting in any effort." That's just simply not true.
That's where - particularly if you're going to do these at volume or maybe you're an agency looking to offer web design - you either need to get these skills in-house to be very good with WordPress because it is just a tool set, or you need to find a partner who's going to help you do it. So I think that's our bottom line on how to select website creation software.
12/20/12 - Chris said:
Very accurate guys, great video.
Chad's research on web site building software is right on. I have been building sites since the time when all web sites were ugly :) Since the beginning, these site builders have been a function for web hosting not web design. When you look at some of the bigger players now, like Weebly and 1&1, they want you as a hosting client, without much concern for design or functionality. Easy, self-serve web design is just a marketing tool to feed their core business of hosting.
With site builder software that is tied to hosting (monthly fees) you are are trapped with that platform and dependent on the continued support and survival of that company. It is a very frustrating experience when the platform on which you built your site with ends up abandoned. I have worked with clients in this position and it can really be devastating.
One other thing that I have to mention is the tease of low monthly fees you see out there. Just like the SEO pitch that promises to get "ranked #1", any web hosting that offers "unlimited" anything is a myth. These are all shared hosting environments, meaning your site lives on a server with 1000 other sites, all competing for the resources of that server.
The general practice is to oversell these shared servers and then force out the sites that actually have traffic. Your site will be punished for success, and it will come at the worst possible time. It usually happens something like this: You build and market your new site. One day you finally get a write-up or publicity that generates traffic to your site. You go to your site and its down. Your friendly shared hosting company tells you that you are over-utilizing resources and they had to take you down to protect their other clients. They tell you that you need to upgrade your hosting to a plan that cost about 10x your current fee.
At that point, frustrated with losing massive exposure and then being asked for more money, some site owners will decide to leave. When they do decide to leave the other shoe drops. They find out that their current site cannot be hosted anywhere else or worked on by another developer. Back to square one.
This may seem doomsday-ish, but I have been there with A LOT of clients and I hate to see this happen to them (plus it sours people to web development as a whole). In today's world your web site is the most visible face of your business. You should treat it as such and remember two age-old cliches. "You get what you pay for." and "If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.".
12/20/12 - Paul said:
I love Wordpress! The overall layout of the back end is much simpler and easier to navigate than its competitors' are. There are also more subtle advantages that I have become more appreciative of after having to use other content management systems (CMS) such as how Wordpress requires fewer keystrokes and page loads to navigate the back end when creating and editing pages, posts, widgets, HTML, CSS, and PHP.
Some drawbacks for the do-it-your type of business owner is that there can be a lot of coding necessary to customize your theme beyond whatever built-in tools are provided. Structuring the pages and links for your site also requires some knowledge on design and usability. There are also nuances with SEO. This is where having a partner comes in handy.
12/21/12 - Nick said:
Very nice. I've got a friend who is building a business and was picking my brains about WP -- I have pretty limited knowledge about it (and also very limited time!) so I'm going to send this along to her.
12/21/12 - Jason G. said:
Yeah Wordpress is the place to go. I got my won website up and running very easily ( not a technology Person at all). Chad , right on about "that's where the easy ends" Call the pro's to give it that professional finish!!
01/10/13 - Matt said:
I like WP because it is easy to make changes later. plugs ins and community support are large. It is like using an android phone. lots of apps and every body is developing for them
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