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In-depth Review of 5 Popular Low-Cost Website Services

There are many low-cost website services that you can use to build your website affordably. However, making the right decision is not always easy. Here is an in-depth review of 5 popular services along with the pros and cons of each. I hope you will find this useful for choosing the right service for your needs. Pros and Cons of the Top Low-Cost Website Services Bespoke website development is arguably the most professional way to build your website. However, high developments costs coupled with budgetary constraints often make it unsuitable for the needs of many small businesses and start-up ventures. In such cases, other low cost web design options may be a better option for building your web presence. There are several low-cost web-based services that offer an alternative to bespoke development and allow you to build your online presence faster and cost effectively. In this article, we take a look at five such low cost services for building your website and discuss the pros and cons of each. 1. Wordpress.Com

Although most users think of Wordpress as a blogging platform, you can use it to start a blog or build a fullfledged website. Wordpress is completely free to use. You can use it to build a great site and spend nothing. Wordpress is available in two versions, a hosted version where your site is hosted on Wordpress.com, as well as independent software that you can download, customise and install on your own server and your own domain name. It may not be as powerful as some of the other open-source CMS software such as Joomla or Drupal, but the core built-in features are usually sufficient for most small business needs. Pros: • •

Excellent for SEO Can be used as a website as well as a blog

Hosted version on Wordpress.com does not cost anything to use

Cons:


In-depth Review of 5 Popular Low-Cost Website Services • •

Although it is a great blogging platform, features are somewhat limited when used as a regular website You need to create your site and install the plugins yourself which can seem daunting if you have no design experience

2. Shopify

If you are looking for an out of the box e-commerce website solution, then Shopify is worth considering. Shopify is like other hosted website builders except that is designed especially for creating e-commerce websites. It is a hosted shopping cart service which is great if you want to sell products online. It takes care of most aspects of running a successful e-commerce website which means you do not need to worry about development, web hosting, payment gateway integration, and other usual aspects involved in selling online via your website. Pros: • •

Shopify is one of the easiest eCommerce applications You can get set-up and ready in minutes

There is no need for software installation

No need to worry about expensive development costs or dealing with developers

Cons: • •

No support for daily offers or loyalty points which is a major drawback on e-commerce sites With prices ranging from approximately $30 per month to $185 per month, it can be expensive and out of reach for many businesses

3. Weebly


In-depth Review of 5 Popular Low-Cost Website Services

Weebly is one of the most popular website builder services that is used by over 12 million users worldwide. It offers one of the easiest, most powerful, and affordable ways to build your website. And best of all, it is free to use. If you have a small budget or are looking for a free way to create your website presence, then this service is worth checking out. Weebly offers an impressive set of features that you can use on your website. Key features include image gallery, slide show, video player, custom forms and blogging. It offers a collection of drag & drop website building tools that you do not need to be an experienced designer to use. For those who wish to host the website on their own domain name and benefit from more professional themes and feature-set, a premium paid option is also available. Pros: • •

No technical skills required to set-up Great interface that makes it easy to use

Cons:

To host your site on your own URL, you need to upgrade to the Pro version for approximately $8 per month Poor Social Media Integration

You need to set-up the site yourself using tools

4. Template Monster


In-depth Review of 5 Popular Low-Cost Website Services

Template Monster is an online website template provider founded in 2002 that provides a vast collection of website templates, blog themes as well as other graphics and media for use on websites. Template Monster specialises in creating and selling premium website templates and graphics. It has one of the largest libraries on the Internet with over 20,000 website template designs. The website also provides website design tools and resources, as well as custom individual and business website and blog design. Pros: • •

One of the largest collections of templates Caters to the needs of many website CMS platforms including Joomla, Wordpress, Drupal and more

Good variety of designs

Cons: • •

Template modifications can be painful and can take a long time. Unless you are a professional designer or have some design experience, you will find it difficult to work with the templates

5. SmallBusinessEcommerce.Co.Uk


In-depth Review of 5 Popular Low-Cost Website Services

This is a relatively new service but offers some great features. It is a ready-made website service designed specially with the needs of small businesses in mind. It is an inexpensive way to get a professional website at a low one-off cost of $67. It is different to standard website templates as you get a fully functional website with all core pages, industry standard text, and many working built-in features including newsletter sign-up, email marketing tool to send email campaigns, live chat feature on website that you can use to interact with customers in real-time and social media integration. You essentially receive a website with 6 core pages and a template that can be used to add more pages as required. Pros: • •

In-expensive way to get a website Low one-off cost of $67 with no monthly charges

Free logo, web-hosting, and professionally prepared industry standard text

Cons: • •

Primary focus is on brochure style websites May not be suitable for large websites

The Author K.Singh is Web Design Consultant for London based Web Design Company and the Editor-in-Chief of Internet Marketing & Web design Blog.


In-depth Review of 5 Popular Low-Cost Website Services