Most small businesses and many people want to have a website. The key considerations on how you build that website are cost, technical expertise and features the site will have. Here are the most common solutions for non-computer professionals;
Roughly 30% of websites on the internet use WordPress. Wordpress is either free software that you run on a hosting company server or a paid service setup at WordPress.com. Wordpress is the cheapest and most technical solution which is why many companies and businesses use it. Prices start at $48 per year. The downside to WordPress is it can get complicated choosing what you want and adding features like shopping. You won’t find much you can’t do but you will invest a lot of time learning.
Wix is a popular option for setting up a website quickly. While not as flexible as WordPress, it comes with shopping and you will have your website setup in minutes. You basically pick a style for your website and start adding pictures and text. Prices start at $120/year.
SquareSpace directly competes with Wix. SquareSpace is known for beautiful designs. Prices start at $144/year.
All three services will act as registrar for your domain / URL. If you would prefer not to be so tied to a service, you may also use a different registrar like NameCheap (cheapest) or Hover. If you go with a 3rd party registrar, you will have to configure the domain to point to the service you selected. You will also get a second yearly bill to pay for the registration $5-$15. You can always move your domain to a different service or registrar in the future although the process varies.
How to decide
All three options offer free trials. It is worth the effort to try two before selecting one to purchase. During the trial period, don’t create a domain name until you select the service you want. If you are going to be selling something casually, look at Wix and SquareSpace before WordPress. You may also find discount codes for your first year of service.
Note that as soon as you stop paying for these services, your website will disappear. If you want a permanent website, see LivesArchived.com.