16 May 2019

How To Build a Website from Scratch (Beginners Guide)

Building a Website from Scratch is Actually Easy!

Once you have chosen your website creation tool of choice, you then need to figure out how to use the thing. In this article, we’ll explore how to create a website from scratch.

This is designed as a step by step guide for someone just starting out in the online space. I’ll cover everything so that all you need to do is follow the guide.

As a complete beginner using a website builder is advisable. This will make the whole process of creating a website so much easier. For this example I have chosen Wix and WordPress, however in the end I decided that WordPress was a little bit complex for complete beginners, and would advise Wix. I’ll explain why…

Ok I’ll have to admit, after owning and creating websites for years I was a bit of a WordPress snob. Wix just seemed to be a bit naff. But I have completely changed my mind today, sorry WordPress! Wix is so easy for beginners to get up and running inside just a few minutes. The whole process is completely streamlined – I’m now a Wix fan.

Before You Get Started

It’s a good idea to own a domain name or buy one for your new website. This will be your online presence. I never made this a step in the process; because you don’t actually need a domain name to get started with Wix, which is awesome.

Both Wix and WordPress.com guide you to purchase a domain name, however if you are feeling adventurous then you could even snag a completely free domain name and point it to your WordPress or Wix website.

Recommended: 10 Ways to Get A Free Domain Name (In Less than 1 Minute!)

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Setting Up A Website With Wix

BEST FOR – Complete beginners who want to get up and running quickly

All you need to get up and running with Wix is an email address and an idea, simple.

STEP 1

Head over to Wix.com and hit “Get Started”.

One great thing about Wix.com is that you can sign up in seconds with your Facebook or Google accounts. Alternatively you can input your details to create your account (which takes a few seconds longer).

You’ll then be taken to a fill in the blanks style questionnaire

STEP 2

Fill in the blanks on the questionnaire to let Wix know more about the type of website you are creating – the answers appear as a prefilled dropdown so it’s really easy to follow.

STEP 3

If you’re a complete beginner then the “Let Wix ADI Create a Website for You” is free and makes life so much easier. Simply hit the “Start Now” button (on the left) to be guided through the process from creation to publishing your website in minutes (literally).

You’ll then be asked a few questions about your blog or website. I chose a “Health Food Blog”, however you can fill in a few keywords and select the type of website that best suits your project or organisation.

STEP 4

Decide what features you want on your website. If you are not sure you can skip this part for now. However, I’d advise selecting a few features that you think that you might use from the available options which are as follows:

  • Live Chat
  • Online Store (eCommerce solution)
  • Bookings
  • Video
  • Events
  • Instagram Feed
  • Paid Plans
  • Subscribe Form
  • Music
  • Bandsintown (display upcoming bands in your area)

I chose the following features for my blog – subscribe form, paid plans, Instagram feed and bookings. However, if you want to display videos or sell tickets to an event then you might choose the features “Video” and “Events”.  You can even sell online plans and programs, which is pretty neat.

STEP 5

The intuitive questionnaire will populate your website with some relevant content and you can select the right template to fit your needs. All you have to do is select the type of theme you want and select from the displayed choices (my options are shown below).

The theme options are fairly limited with Wix.

STEP 6

You can easily edit the theme by hovering over areas and pressing the “edit” button (shown in the image below)

When editing your website design, you’ll see a panel appear on the left hand side of the page that will allow you to change the text and images.

Pros

✔ You get a FREE Wix domain name

✔ There is an option to use your own domain

✔ Creating and publishing a site is free and easy

✔ Questionnaire style web creation makes the process fun

✔ Set up a feature rich website in minutes (seriously, it’s that easy!)

✔ Great features like live chat, bookings etc…

Cons

✘ Limited scope for customizing templates

✘ Wix advert displayed on free options

✘ Bandwidth is limited

Setting up a website on WordPress.com

BEST FOR – More competent website owners or small businesses

Creating a website with WordPress is not as straightforward as Wix. You’ll require a domain name to get started. You can get one from WordPress.com easily; however bear in mind that you’ll need to pay for the DNS service. Even if you have your own domain name, WordPress.com wants paid for you to have the privilege of using your own domain host.

Transferring your domain to WordPress.com or purchasing a domain name from them seems to be their preference. If you are happy to host your domain name with WordPress.com then the process is straight forward.

Creating a WordPress website is a great option if you want to scale your business up in the future. There are unlimited options and additional plugins that you can get to upgrade your WordPress website. I’d suggest going for a .com domain name extension and taking the time to learn WordPress (or employing someone to upgrade your theme) if you are serious about your online presence.

STEP 1

Go over to WordPress.com and hit the pink “Get Started” Button.

STEP 2

Create your account using your email address, create a new username and a secure password. Unfortunately you can’t sign up with Facebook or Google like you can with Wix.

STEP 3

Pick the type of website that you want to create from the following 4 options:

I decided to choose a food blog as I want to write about raw living foods and share recipes. However, you might want to choose a professional portfolio site, if for example you are a Graphic Designer or Photographer.

STEP 4

This is where your domain name comes in. You have three options, you can either choose to buy a new domain name, transfer your domain name to WordPress.com or map your domain to your WordPress.com (which costs $14.50)

STEP 5

Choose a theme by clicking on “Themes” down the left hand side menu. There are a great number of themes to choose from. To find a theme that suits you then use the search bar (where it says “business”) and enter keywords relevant to your theme to narrow the search.

There are both free and premium themes to choose from and you can toggle between both (depending on your preferences). Your theme will decide the look and feel for your business, and can be changed at a later date with ease.

STEP 6

Customize your theme by hitting the customize button on the top of the page. Here you can change the title of the page down the left hand side menu. You can also many other aspects of your website appearance.

STEP 7

By default your website homepage will show your latest blog post, to change the website to a static homepage instead (With content of your choosing).

To create a static homepage create a new page (from the menu on the left).

Then call this page “home” and set to a “static” page type

STEP 8

The entire website can be customized further for example you can change the colors of the site by choosing colors and backgrounds on the menu.

Then you can choose a color scheme that matches your brand

Your WordPress website can be tweaked over time, keeping the blog content intact.

Pros

✔ Easy to upgrade to a feature rich professional WordPress website on your own hosting if you should choose to at a later date

✔ Great for adding in blog content in the WordPress CMS area

✔ Lots of plugins

✔ Content can be downloaded at any point

✔ Lots of templates to choose from

✔ More customizable website options

Cons

✘ No completely free option

✘ You’ll need to buy or own a domain name

✘ The interface is hard to use for a beginner

✘ If you use a domain name you own you’ll still be charged an extra $14.15 per year to keep your domain name on your current DNS/ domain name hosting provider.

✘ Time consuming & confusing

✘ No Facebook or Google signup option

In Conclusion

If you are looking for a TRULY simple way to get up and running then Wix is your best option. The whole process is streamlined and perfect for beginners. However if you want to get more indepth and are not baffled and bewildered by the huge amount of customizable features, then WordPress is the best option. To get WordPress looking like you want can take days or weeks. However, Wix can be up and running within a few minutes – so defintetly the more convenient option.

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15 May 2019

10 Ways To Get A Free Domain Name (In Less than 1 Minute!)

Need a domain name, but don’t want to pay for it? Believe it or not there are many ways to get a free domain name. If you’re looking to get started in the internet space then a business domain name is essential.

Normally the best way to get a FREE domain name is with web hosting. Many hosts and website builder companies offer a promotion where they’ll give you a free domain name for a year. After the free year has expired you could transfer your domain name and hosting to another provider (if they also offer free migrations, this could be a good option). However, in some cases domain registrars will offer completely FREE domain names.

10 Ways to Get a Completely FREE Domain Name #FREE #domainname Click To Tweet

You’ll normally only get a free domain name for legacy extensions like .co.uk, .com or .net. Premium extensions like .club, .coach or .academy are not often offered free of charge from many domain hosts, with the exception of Bluehosts, Dreamhost and Hostinger, who offer a wide range of extensions for free.

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1. Wix (FREE .com)

BEST FOR – small businesseses with limited technical experience who want a .com domain

You can get a free .com domain name from Wix when you sign up for one of their website builder plans. Wix is ideal for people who are just starting out online and have limited technical experience. Websites can be made with templates and customized with drag and drop tools.

Recommended – See how Wix stacks up against Weebly

Pros

✔ Great for novice

✔ FREE .com domain name for 1 year

✔ Easy to use web builder

Cons

✘ Free domain name only available with web builder

✘ Restrictive in terms of web development

2. Bluehost (FREE .com)

BEST FOR – Best for – WordPress hosting and domain names for a professional business

 

With Bluehost you have peace of mind that you own your domain name. They allow you to transfer it to another hosting provider and access your chosen domain name, which is great. You can also get access to a wide range of domain names, even premium domain names like .club and .tech. They offer a free domain credit (worth $11.99) if you don’t select your domain name straight away.

Recommended – View our full Bluehost review here

Pros

✔ Site builder included

✔ Free domain name

✔ 24/7 support

✔ 1-click WordPress installation

✔ Reputable domain host

Cons

✘ Prices displayed are for a 36 month term

✘ VAT is not included

✘ No monthly billing, only annual billing offered

3. Dreamhost

BEST FOR – offering a wide range of domain name extensions

To qualify for a free domain from Dreamhost you must sign up for one of their hosting packages. Starter Shared/ Unlimited Shared hosting or DreamPress plans all come with a free domain name. You can choose from a wide range of domain name extensions including: .blog, .club, .com, .global, .info, .net, .online, .org, and .shop

Pros

✔  You own your domain name and can transfer it

✔  A wide range of domain name extensions available

✔  Easy to set up hosting within the control panel should you need it

✔  Domain name credit can be redeemed at a later date

✔  Unlimited subdomains

✔  Straight forward domain management tools

Cons

 ✘ Free registration must be redeemed within the first month (otherwise it expires)

 ✘ Limited opening ours for customer support

4. 1&1 IONOS (FREE .co.uk)

BEST FOR – FREE .co.uk with optional hosting

Want a domain name for free with no hosting? Then look no further than 1&1 IONOS. Provided you are looking for a .co.uk domain name, then you can snag one 100% free of charge for one year. This offer is unusual as hosts normally tie you into a hosting agreement to get your free domain name

Pros

✔ You don’t need to buy anything to get your free domain name

✔ Freedom to use your domain name as you like in the future

✔ 1 email account

✔ SSL Wildcard included

✔ 10,000 subdomains

Cons

Offer only available for .co.uk domain names

✘ Not for the novice

5. Weebly (FREE subdomain/ .com)

BEST FOR – early stage start-up/ personal projects

If you are not too fussed about a professional domain name and are happy with a subdomain (eg. yoursite.weebly.com) then Weebly could be an option. Weebly is a website builder designed for complete beginners. On the other hand, if you upgrade to their $8/ month package then you can get a free professional .com domain name.

Pros

✔ 100% free option (for both domain name and hosting)

✔ Free professional domain name with hosting purchase

✔ Website builder available

✔ Easy to use

Cons

 ✘ Ad supported (your site will have adverts on it unless you upgrade)

6. Hostinger

BEST FOR – grabbing a free domain name from a reliable website host

For just $1 per month you can get hosting and a free domain name from Hostinger. You also get access to a free web builder, so you can be up and running within a day.

Recommended – View our full Hostinger review here

Pros

✔ Free professional domain name

✔ Cheap hosting

✔ Bitcoin payment accepted

✔ Custom email address

✔ 99.9% uptime guarantee

✔ Website builder

✔ 24/7 support

Cons

✘ Free domain only available with annual hosting package

7. Dot.tk (FREE.tk)

BEST FOR – small projects or those that want to raise awareness of Tokelau.

FREE .tk extension domain names are available at dot.tk “Free domains for all”. Dot TK is a project of the government of Tokelau in the South pacific. Dot.tk was created to offer free .tk domain names that would raise awareness about Tokelau throughout the world. The only thing is they don’t offer hosting or website builders should you require one. You can however, transfer your domain name to another host.

Pros

✔ Completely free domain name

✔ Raise awareness about Tokelau

Cons

✘ Can only register for one year

✘ No website builder or hosting

8. Biz.nf (FREE .co.nf)

BEST FOR – projects or small businesses who need FREE hosting and FREE domain

If you’re looking for a 100% free domain name with free hosting then you can get these from Biz.nf. Unlike other free domain name services, you can register your free domain name for an unlimited time. Normally hosts only allow you to register your FREE domain name for a year. A decent free service to get you up and running

Pros

✔ FREE domain name

✔ Register domain name for unlimited period of time

✔ FREE hosting available

✔ Good for info sites or sites where the domain name extension doesn’t matter too much

Cons

✘ Unusual domain name

✘ No legacy or memorable domain name extensions available

✘ File size restricted to 15MB

✘ Domain name non-transferable

9. One.com (.co.uk, .com, .uk, .org)

BEST FOR – wide range of credible free domain name extensions

One.com offers the widest range of credible domain name extensions. You can secure your business identity on all the major extensions like .com, .co, .co.uk, .org and .uk for FREE. The only thing I would point out here is that they do apply a monthly $1.24 DNS fee, so the domain name is not really free. Bummer.

Pros

✔ Wide range of credible “free” domain names

✔ No hosting required to claim free domain names

✔ Website builder can be added on for under $5

Cons

✘ Tempting to fill your basket with free domains

✘ DNS fee of $1.24/ month is applicable (eg. not free)

10. Names.co.uk (FREE .co.uk)

BEST FOR – companies that want a UK presence with a free .co.uk domain name

If you want to register a domain name for free then you can do so with Names.co.uk. You can get a FREE .co.uk domain name without ordering hosting from names.co.uk. If you do decide you want hosting for your domain name, then you can take advantage of the free website builder and email service offered by Names.co.uk

Pros

✔ Part of a reputable domain registry group

✔ 100% free domain name

✔ Free Email

✔ Free Suite builder

✔ 24/7 support

Cons

✘ $0.99 for domain name privacy

In Summary

Whether you are looking for a  domain name for a personal project, or want to get your new idea off the ground there are plenty of FREE domain name options, for example DOT.tk or Biz.nf. A professional brand should still be on a .com domain name, so if you are looking to expand in the future then you can get a .com from Wix, Bluehost, Dreamhost, One.com or Weebly. It’s a good idea to consider what is important to you, do you want a website builder? Or would you like a one click installation for WordPress?

10 Ways to Get a Completely FREE Domain Name #FREE #domainname Click To Tweet

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13 May 2019

25 Mobile Marketing Statistics for 2019 & Beyond!

Mobile marketing in 2019 is at an all-time high. Every time you use your phone to access the internet, you’re hit with marketing. Remember those adverts on YouTube? Perhaps you’ve seen an advert whilst browsing your social media?

Everyone would’ve experienced this kind of marketing on a mobile phone or smart device. Mobile adverts generate a lot of money; they drive 75% of all digital advert spending.

I’m going to show you some astounding mobile marketing statistics in 2019. Sit tight and digest all there is to know about mobile marketing, you may be surprised!

Mobile Marketing Statistics

References:

Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2018/02/23/mobile-advertising-will-drive-75-of-all-digital-ad-spend-in-2018-heres-whats-changing/

Statista: https://www.statista.com/topics/779/mobile-internet/

Business of Apps: http://www.businessofapps.com/news/mobile-advertising-now-makes-up-92-of-facebooks-ad-revenue/

Hollywood Reporter: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/amazon-ad-revenue-top-11b-year-as-digital-overtakes-traditional-spend-study-1188292

Statista: https://www.statista.com/statistics/241462/global-mobile-phone-website-traffic-share/

Tech Jury: https://techjury.net/stats-about/smartphone-addiction/

Statista: https://www.statista.com/statistics/262875/development-of-the-world-population/

Statista: https://www.statista.com/statistics/924632/planned-investment-video-use-mobile-marketing-worldwide/

Leighton Interactive: https://www.leightoninteractive.com/blog/2018-most-insightful-email-marketing-statistics

Think with Google: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/interactive-report/gen-z-a-look-inside-its-mobile-first-mindset/

Citrus Bits: https://citrusbits.com/50-mobile-statistics-facts-and-trends/

Stat Counter: http://gs.statcounter.com/browser-market-share/mobile/worldwide

Impact BND: https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/mobile-marketing-statistics

Statista: https://www.statista.com/statistics/303817/mobile-internet-advertising-revenue-worldwide/

Statista: https://www.statista.com/statistics/617136/digital-population-worldwide/

Convince and Convert: https://www.convinceandconvert.com/mobile/7-mobile-marketing-stats-that-will-blow-your-mind/

Think with Google: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/experience-design/mobile-speed-scorecard-impact-calculator/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wsjtech/status/451886622788055040?lang=en

Fortune: http://fortune.com/2017/01/19/linkedin-redesign/

Smart Insights: https://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/

Think with Google: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/consumer-immediate-need-mobile-experiences/

Think with Google: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/data-gallery/detail/online-mobile-transactions/

Twitter: https://blog.twitter.com/marketing/en_us/a/2015/new-research-twitter-users-love-to-watch-discover-and-engage-with-video.html

Ad News: http://www.adnews.com.au/news/marketers-still-lagging-as-consumers-shift-to-vertical-video

Think with Google: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/local-search-mobile-search-micro-moments/

Download this infographic.

Embed Our Infographic On Your Site!

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13 May 2019

9 Best Domain Hosting Companies of 2019

Building a website? You’ll need a domain name. Your domain name is separate from your website hosting, but most hosting companies offer domain names. To encourage you to have your domain name on their server, some hosts will even throw in a free domain name.

I’d suggest that you think about this in depth because for the past 20 years I’ve found:

Having your domain names on a different domain host is preferable #domain #host Click To Tweet

What is a domain name?

A domain name is your website’s online address. Computers find web servers via a long string of numbers known as an IP address. These numbers are hard to remember so instead we use domain names like “YourBusinessName.com”.

Why keep your domain name/s on a separate host?

Keeping your domain names and your data on two separate hosts has many benefits. For example, if you don’t pay for a domain name – all that happens is a domain name becomes inactive (normally for about a month). While it is inactive you can still pay for your domain. Think of it like a grace period. If you don’t pay for ONE domain name after it has been inactive for a month, and you have TEN, then you can keep the other NINE. You’ll just loose the one that you didn’t pay for, ideal.

On the other hand if you decide to keep your domain names and host on the same hosting provider, then it’s a case of having all of your eggs in one basket. Let me explain…

Profit from Domain Names

A domain name, in and of itself can increase in value. You can even flip domain names to make money online. In fact, you can buy and sell domains to turn a serious profit on sites like EmpireFlippers.

Domain names have inherent value and so you should keep them in a safe place. You can also make money from your parked domains (domain names that you are not using) with GoDaddy’s CashParking service.

The domain name cars.com sold for $872 million #mostexpensivedomain #host Click To Tweet

Why Is Keeping My Domains On ONE Host Not Advised?

The main reason that you should keep your domain names separate from your host is that you don’t want to lose access to your domain. A domain name is your brand identity and important for any business or website.

Say for instance you decide you don’t like your host, and wanted to change. If for any reason the host decides you need to clear an outstanding bill or similar, then they can lock you out of your account. This will in turn lock your domain name (even if you have bought it for 2 years).

When selecting the best domain hosts/registrars we consider the following:

  • Are there any additional (or hidden) fees for transferring your domain name?
  • Longevity, history and reputation of the hosting company
  • Cost (I’ll compare prices of .com and .net)
  • Make sure the company is: Internet Corporation for Assigned of Names and Numbers (ICANN) Accredited
  • Do they provide easy domain transfer and forwarding services?
  • 24/7 customer support
  • WHOIS registration policies (and associated costs)
  • Renewal – Both manual and automatic is preferred

1. GoDaddy.com

BEST FOR – cheap .com domains and domain flipping

GoDaddy has been around since the very early days of the internet (founded in 1997). They are the largest domain name registrar in the world and have registered over 73 million domain names.

FUN FACT: GoDaddy used to be called Jomax Technologies #domain #hosting Click To Tweet

With more than 17 million customers, GoDaddy is a reliable and stable choice to store your domains. GoDaddy offers great features for domain management that makes organising your domains simple. You can also create forwarders and subdomains easily with GoDaddy.

Read our full GoDaddy review here

Domain Pricing & Features

GoDaddy is probably the most feature rich domain registrar. With features like bulk domain search, domain privacy and protection, domain value appraisal, domain auctions, discount domain club, domain investing and CashParking. The introductory price for a .com domain is very nice!

  • $0.99 for a .com for the first year ($14.99 thereafter)
  • $12.99 for the first year (19.99 thereafter)
  • WHOIS privacy protection costs an extra $7.99 per year
Pros

✔ Domain name transfers are free (for .co.uk domain extensions)

✔ The largest domain name registrar in the world

✔ Offer a wide range of web and email tools

✔ 24/7 customer service via phone and chat

✔ Amazing domain investment & management tools

Cons

✘ Price rises after first year

✘ Prices displayed exclude VAT

✘ Cluttered DNS management interface

2. Domain.com

BEST FOR – 24/7 customer support

Domain.com was founded in the USA in 2000. Domain.com is owned by Endurance International Group which is massive company with over 2500 employees. Keeping your domain names on Domain.com is a great idea as you’ll always remember that URL – feels organised.

Domain Pricing & Features

Pricing with Domain.com is average; however they don’t have any low introductory prices like Godaddy.com offers.

  • $9.99 per year for a .com
  • $12.99 per year for a .net
  • Free domain with hosting
  • WHOIS privacy protection costs an extra $8.99 per year.
Pros

✔ Feel organised with all of your domains on Domain.com

✔ Pricing is reasonable

✔ Get a free domain with hosting

✔ Reputable, longstanding company

✔ 24/7 customer support

Cons

✘ It is tempting to get hosting with a free domain

✘ You need to pay extra for WHOIS Privacy protection

3. Namecheap.com

BEST FOR – free Whois Guard privacy protection

Namecheap.com is one of the biggest domain registrars in the world. Founded back in 2000, Namecheap now has over 3million global customers. Namecheap is accredited by ICANN.

Domain Pricing & Features

Namecheap.com has cost effective domains and great value-add bonus features like: 100% free email forwarding services, secure DNS, free WHOIS privacy feature and custom name servers. I’m a fan of their FREE WHOIS privacy protection. Also after the free period WHOIS protection is still really cost effective.

  • $8.99 .com for a year
  • $12.99 .net for a year
  • FREE WHOIS Guard for a year ($2.88 thereafter)
Pros

✔ Great security features

✔ ICANN Accredited

✔ Domains are simple to transfer

✔ 24/7 customer support via help desk

✔ Free privacy protection from WhoisGuard

Cons

 ✘ Domain extensions can be expensive

✘ No phone number to contact customer/ tech support.

4. Bluehost.com

BEST FOR – organizing and locking down domains

Bluehost is the host of choice for many, even WordPress.org recommends Bluehost. Although they are a bit more expensive, they do offer a good range of tools and a nice 30-day money back guarantee.

See how Bluehost stacks up against HostGator in our review

Domain Pricing & Features

Bluehost offers a few nice features for domain management, such as an easy to navigate interface and control panel. It’s possible to enable and disable auto-renewal so that you don’t need to remember when your domain name expires. You can even lock your domain down so that it isn’t subject to any unwanted domain transfer, which is great to protect your online brand identity from hackers.

  • $11.94 for a .com for a year
  • $12.99 for .net for a year
  • Domain Privacy Protection – $11.83 per year
Pros

✔ 24/7 live chat, phone & email ticketing

✔ Decent domain management features

✔ Auto and manual renewal possible via control panel

✔ Free domain offered with hosting package

✔ 30-Day money back guarantee

Cons

✘ Expensive domain registrar

✘ Domain privacy costs extra

5. HostGator.com

BEST FOR – being an experienced and reliable host

HostGator is a popular host that also has a decent web-builder called Gator. Founded in 2002 and also owned by Endurance International Group, alongside Domain.com and Bluehost, so you know that you are getting good tools and an experienced domain host provider. I would say that you probably shouldn’t have your domains on one Endurance International Group site and then your hosting with another of their subsidiaries.

Read our full HostGator review here

Domain Pricing & Features

HostGator are really expensive for domain names, however they are an experienced and reliable host.

  • $12.95 per year for a .com (or $2.99 per year if you host with them)
  • $12.95 per year for a .net
  • WHOIS privacy $14.95 per year
Pros

✔  Tutorials and live chat support

✔  Get free unlimited domains with reseller, WordPress hosting, Baby Cloud and Business Cloud

Cons

 ✘ Privacy is $14.95 per domain per year, which is expensive

 ✘ No ticketing support system

 ✘ Pricing is not transparent

6. Name.com

BEST FOR – feature rich, secure domain management

Founded in 2003, Name.com is owned by Right Side Group and between the two companies they control 16.5 million domain names. Name.com well established and cost effective domain name host that has a fantastic range of premium domain extensions to choose from for instance .live .film or .best.

Domain Pricing & Features

Domain pricing from name.com is reasonable. Domain names from name.com come with FREE URL and email forwarding, FREE Two-Step Verification, FREE forwarding to social media and FREE DNS management.

  • .com cost $8.99 per year
  • .net costs $10.99 per year (usually $14.99)
  • WHOIS privacy is $4.99 per
Pros

✔ Free domain name with hosting

✔ Security conscious host

✔ Bulk domain search

✔ Expiring domain search

✔ Feature rich

✔ ICANN-accredited domain name registrar

Cons

✘ Customer service only via email ticket and live chat during limited office hours

✘ Domain transfers cost $8.25

✘ SSL Certificates from Name.com are expensive

7. 1&1 IONOS

BEST FOR – offering a FREE wildcard SSL certificate

1&1 is one of the oldest domain hosts around and was founded back in 1988. 1&1 is a massive company with over 7,000 employees. Transferring domains is free and easy to do with 1&1 IONOS, which is awesome.

Read our full 1&1 IONOS review here

Domain Pricing & Features

1&1 offer some nice features with your domain hosting including free email address, free privacy protection, free wildcard SSL certificate and if you get hosting from 1&1 you can get a free domain for a year. They also have a domain transfer lock on all domains, so that people can’t transfer your domain anywhere (unless you authorise the transfer).

  • .com $1 ($16.99 thereafter)
  • .net $9.11 per year for the first year ($20.83 thereafter)
Pros

✔ 24/7 customer support via live chat, phone, email, and social media

✔ .CO.UK domain names free for the first year

✔ WHOIS domain privacy protection is free

✔ Free personal consultant

✔ Free privacy protection

✔ Free SSL

✔ Easy to use subdomain feature

✔ Professional email addresses are easy to set up

✔ UK company

Cons

✘ Prices displayed exclude VAT and rise considerably after the first year

8. Register.com

BEST FOR – those looking to host with one of the longest established domain hosts

Register.com is a massive domain name host that is possibly the oldest. Founded back in 1994 in New York before most people even knew the internet existed. Register.com currently control over 2.5million domain names. Register.com is already an awesome domain name, they also own web.com which is a comprehensive knowledgebase and the owner of Register.com.

Domain Pricing & Features

Register.com has all of the features that you might expect from your domain host. However they are extremely expensive when compared to other providers.

  • .net $38 for 1 year
  • .com $38 for 1 year
  • WHOIS privacy protection $11
Pros

✔ AutoRenew feature included

✔ Established domain company

✔ Domain Expiration Protection can be added for $10

Cons

✘ Extremely expensive domain registrar

✘ $12.00 transfer fee

✘ Website is a bit sluggish

✘ Private domain registration is $11 extra

✘ No live chat

✘ Only open during office hours

9. InMotion Hosting

BEST FOR – feature rich domain management 

InMotion is an American hosting provider founded in 2001. A much smaller domain provider, with just 300,000 registered domains.

Domain Pricing & Features
  • .com $14.99
  • .net $14.99
  • Privacy protection $12.99
Pros

✔ Automatic domain renewal

✔ Free domains with some packages

✔ 24/7 customer support

✔ Free domain transfer

✔ Free domain with hosting

✔ Secure Transfer locking

✔ Automatic domain renewal

✔ Intuitive domain management control panel

✔ 90-day money back guarantee

Cons

✘ Pay extra for privacy protection

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10 May 2019

9 Proven Online Businesses For 2019 (that you can start today)

Building an online business is not much different to building a bricks and mortar style business. One thing holds true in both cases, you must pick a niche that you are passionate about. The main reason is that, when things get tough you’ll hang in there if you are dedicated to the business.  Online business is rewarding, fast paced, scalable and the best bit:

Work from anywhere that has a Wi-Fi connection

With so many different opportunities to choose from it is easy to suffer from “shiny object syndrome” and fleet from one idea to the next. I’m sure you have a tonne of amazing business ideas. However, it is important to stick to one area and be consistent before expanding into other areas.

Choosing the best online business idea that suits you is easier than you might have previously thought. It’s all about spreading a message, service or range of products that you feel will enhance lives.

The more lives you can enhance – the better your online business will do #online #business Click To Tweet

A few things I’d like to mention before we get started. Creating a website is great, but the main thing is getting people over to it. To even things out a little, it is important to balance your online business activity out. By that I mean – you should share your business with people who can benefit. Find out where they are (online and off) and let them know about your online business. Also you’ll need to split your activities up and wear three hats, namely:

1. Money making/ working

2. Administration

3. Marketing

Without further ado, here are:

7 Ways To Start Your Online Empire In 2019 Click To Tweet

1. Start a Blog

BEST FOR; People who are looking for a long term sustainable business, love writing and have a passion or idea to share with the world

It’s not too late to start a blog and share your message with the world in 2019. In fact there are many ways you can get up and running – TODAY & FOR FREE. So there are no excuses.

The main thing about your blog is being consistent in creating content. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to get organised (wink-wink) you can easily schedule both your blog posts and social media posts to advertise your articles. So if you’re like me and like to get everything done in one go – you can.

There are free tools that can help you stay organised with scheduling such as Sendible and Hootsuite, where you can schedule all or some of your social media activities. Hootsuite offers a nice 30-day free trial. However if you are super organized then your calendar will look more organised.

How long should your blogs be?

This is a great question, as Google’s algorithms change continually. In 2019, the perfect length of blog is 1705 (believe it or not). The minimum blog post length should be 300 words; however Google prefers blog posts over 1000 words. The SEO keywords in your blog are equally as important as the length.

What Will You Write About?

You have two choices here, create unique content OR go ahead and copy people that inspire you. Both approaches will take dedication – but the main thing you should do in either case, is write about subjects that are of interest to you.

Monetizing your blog 

OK, great, you’re thinking about starting a blog, or already have one and want to make the most of it. But how do you make money from your blog? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

·         Advertising

·         Digital Products

·         Donations

·         List / Community Building

·         eCommerce – Sell Physical Products

·         Membership

·         Sell Your Website

Pros 

✔ Get started for free

✔ Learn more about subjects that interest you

✔ Share your expertise and help others

✔ Work from anywhere in the world – live the “laptop lifestyle”

✔ Fans and traffic compounds over time (if done correctly)

✔ A great foundation to branch out into other areas in the future

✔ You don’t need to speak to customers

✔ Set your own schedule

Cons 

✘ You need to be interested in writing or hire someone that is

In most cases you’ll need to drive traffic to your blog

✘ It is a long term project, so it might time to build a following and make money

2. Start An Online Store

BEST FOR; Hardworking people who are comfortable dealing with physical products and customers

Again, the main thing (with any online business) is choosing products/ services that interest you and benefit others. Logistically an online store or “ecommerce” as it is known, is a lot more difficult than starting a blog.

You need to think about products, shipping costs, packaging, inventory, storage and so much more. If you want to go into ecommerce, then you need to be happy with that.

An eCommerce business is basically the same as starting any shop/ store, the only key difference is that people don’t normally visit your warehouse in person. When you ship the products you’ll need to ensure that this is handled professionally and the chosen company are competent and cost effective. Additionally, the postage and packaging, tax and other costs must be considered when deciding on a price for your products.

PRO TIP: 

Check out what others are doing on Amazon and on their personal sites to decide on pricing.

If you’d rather not set up your own ecommerce website to start with, then you can create a store on Amazon or Ebay. The benefit of starting this way is that you will have access to the site’s audience. In the case of Amazon, they have done so much advertising, it’d be silly to miss out on that opportunity. Even if you are thinking of starting your own ecommerce website, then it is a good idea to also sell on Amazon.

How Will I Get Customers Over To My Ecommerce Website? 

This is a great question, because often people start up an ecommerce store and then wonder why there is no traffic. Realistically, nobody is going to find your online store unless you advertise it. The best ways to advertise your online store are SEO, Social Media/ Google Ads, Inbound Content Marketing and taking advantage of massive sites like Amazon and Ebay.

How Much Does it Cost To Start An Ecommerce Store?

You will need hosting, an ecommerce solution and also a domain name. The domain name will be your brand identity – so that part is important. On the other hand, you can set up an online store easily with a solution like Shopify. Shopify now has 800,000 store fronts and does all of the hosting and tech stuff for you. They have a free trial, which means you can get started for FREE today (Which is amazing).

Pros 

✔ Building your online store is rewarding, both financially and as a business owner (there is something about tangible products)

✔ You can get started for free or minimal cost, as many hosts scale as you grow your business

✔ Delivery day is exciting if you are selling products that you are passionate about

✔ The opportunity to grow a massive business is very realistic

✔ Can be coupled with other online opportunities to drive traffic, like adding a blog

Cons 

✘ Products can get lost in the post

✘ Good customer service is required

✘ Suppliers can take time to deliver or run out of stock

✘ You’ll need a good secure, dry space to keep your products in

Alternatively if you don’t want to hold products you can dropship….

Dropshipping is where you advertise product and you don’t personally have it. When the product sells, you simply ask your supplier to send the product to your customer. For many this is a very lucrative way to do ecommerce, as they don’t have the financial outlay of buying and storing products. On the other hand – if you choose to dropship, the process is out with your control and you can find yourself stuck in the middle of the dropshipping company and your customer.

3. Affiliate Marketing

BEST FOR; Someone who has experience with sales funnels, SEO and online marketing principles

There are many avenues to venture down when it comes to affiliate marketing. Basically as an affiliate marketer you are getting in-between the supplier and buyer and taking your cut. A bit like drop shipping. Sorry to harp on again here, but it is preferable to select a market that you are really passionate about.

It is easy to get started with Affiliate Marketing and it can be incorporated in a blog. For instance, if you are in the health niche, then you can promote people’s detox or weight loss products and take your cut. The customer gets the product at the same (or lower costs) and you get to take some money home. Often Affiliate marketers can take home 50% or more of a digital product and quite a bit less if you are promoting a physical product.

How Do I Advertise An Affiliate Product? 

There are many ways to advertise affiliate products, such as sending a mail out to your email list, promoting on your Facebook business page (not your personal page), creating sales funnels and through your blog. Google Ads, Youtube and Facebook ads will be your best friend if you are an affiliate marketer.

PRO TIP: You’ll need to understand basic SEO, Sales Funnels and Copywriting to be able to succeed in this niche.

Pros 

✔ You can get started for free

✔ Places like Clickbank are a powerhouse of affiliate activity – you can find products in every niche

✔ Get started straight away

✔ Can be incorporated into other online business activities

Cons 

 ✘ Physical products normally offer a low commission

✘ There are some big dogs out there spending a fortune on advertising with tried and tested strategies

✘ Advertising can be expensive

4. Publish A Book

BEST FOR; People who love writing and have a story to share or something to teach the world

Always wanted to write a book? Today it is easier than ever to self-publish. Sure you’ll want your book to be amazing, but you can do this easily by setting aside time every day to focus on writing your book. When compounded, 20-30mins of writing per day amounts to over 150 hours (even with some time off).

The publishing part is now super easy thanks to platforms like Amazon. You can publish your book inside a day, easily. However, before you write your book it is a good idea to validate your idea. Also, and most importantly you’ll want to make sure that there is a sizeable audience.

In some cases it is good to niche down, however when it comes to books, you can niche down too much and create a book for a tiny audience. This guide is extremely valuable if you are looking to self-publish a book.

[81% of Americans Want To Publish A Book #selfpublish #author #book #publish]

PRO TIP: If you want to sell physical copies of your book, then bear in mind Amazon take quite a while to create a proof and send it out to you. There is an added fee for their expedited service, however – you’ll want to set at least a month aside to get the proofs looking perfect.

Pros 

✔ With just a few books you can create a great recurring income

✔ Very low start-up costs

✔ Your book is an asset or IP that you can build on

✔ Tell your story and inspire others

✔ Be able to say you are an author

Cons 

✘ Very time consuming

✘ Mental blocks can seriously get in the way of writing and promoting your book/s

5. Create a Course

BEST FOR; teachers, coaches, consultants or people who already have a book

If you’ve written a book, then you can use this as the foundation of your online course (especially if there is a lot of interest in your book). Online courses are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people come online. Your online course can also be turned into a live workshop, or vice-versa.

There are three parts to creating an online course:-

1. Advertising

2. Website

3. Course Materials

An online course can be a fantastic tool to share your knowledge (and turn a profit at the same time).  You can use a free or basic website and teach over Zoom or Skype and then create course materials on your laptop. To encourage collaboration and interaction,  you can also create a Facebook group for classmates to meet up and support each other.

Teachable is a great resource for people who are looking to start an online course. Alternatively you could share your course on somewhere like Udemy.

Pros 

✔ You can turn your book into a course

✔ Share your knowledge with an unlimited number of people

✔ No product outlay

✔ A course is IP that can build a nice portfolio of recurring income

Cons 

 ✘ Time consuming

✘ Can be overwhelming with all of the moving parts

6. Start a Podcast

BEST FOR; people who don’t like to be on camera but want to take advantage of a growing online platform

Podcasts are becoming popular as people are increasingly busy. Podcasts are great for people on the go. Simply listening to a podcast on your smartphone is so much easier than watching a video if you are short on time.

In short, podcasts are great for people who like to multi task. Consistency is key with a Podcast, when you get fans – they’ll want to listen at a specific time every single week. The good news is that you can record your podcast with your phone or if you want to edit it then you can use free software like Audacity.

6 Million UK Adults Listen To Podcasts (according to Ofcom) Click To Tweet

A podcast can be added to your blog – and so your online empire begins!

Once you know your niche and name, you’ll need to decide on your podcast show format. This is a good example of a podcast show format. A simple podcast can be done in an interview format. With a guest or interview based podcast you’ll never be short of people to reach out to so that you can share their expertise with your audience. You’ll also need a podcasting website, if you don’t already have one – you can set up a free website to get started promoting your podcast and show schedule.

Pros 

✔ Start for free

✔ No video required, so you don’t need to get dressed up every time you go live

✔ Free software to record and edit

✔ Use your phone as a microphone

✔ A booming industry

✔ Meet lots of new people with similar interests

Cons 

✘ You’ll need a high-quality microphone (unless you have a great phone)

✘ Building an audience takes time, consistency and patience

7. Start a Youtube Channel

BEST FOR; people who like to be on camera and have a message to spread

First off, I’d like to state, that becoming a Youtuber isn’t for everyone. It can take years to get your channel off the ground, so there is a lot of commitment required. However, for some people they are passionate about making videos, maybe that’s you, if so – I’m jealous.

Youtubing is a fantastic skill to have. Over time you can build your Youtube channel up and then branch out into some other avenues like we have discussed such as a blog, ecommerce store, digital products or merchandise.

Now is a great time to become a Youtuber. Many marketers are stating that they want to take advantage of Youtube and influencers. Youtube is extremely popular and can lead to a wealth of opportunities, such as speaking gigs and expansion into other online businesses. The best way to start a Youtube channel in 2019 is by using an iPhone. When speaking to the BBC I found out that they often cut videos from iPhone – so you’ll be creating professional content with very little kit.

Pros 

✔ Get better at storytelling

✔ Build your brand

✔ The best way to reach a large audience

Free and easy to start (so long as you have a good quality smartphone)

✔ Have to think about your character and presentation

✔ Very little outlay

Cons 

✘ Can be embarrassing if you are not used to being in front of a camera

✘ You’ll need to be consistent

✘ Video editing can be time consuming

8. Become a Freelancer

BEST FOR; people who want money upfront and already have a developed skill

In 2019 there is no longer a need to meet your clients in person. So there is now a lot of opportunity for people to share their skills to benefit others. Any area of a business can now be outsourced, from HR to graphic design – so no matter what you are good at, or what you want to try, there is a lot of scope for earning a decent income online. Here are just a few jobs that you can do online as a freelancer:

App Developer/ Programmer

·         Copywriter

·         Marketer

·         Graphic Design

·         Social Media Manager

·         Accountant

·         SEO Expert

etc…

Sites like Peopleperhour and Upwork make it really easy to connect with people who want to hire freelancers. You can make a profile for free and get started within a day. Payment is normally taken via Paypal and a cut will be given to the platform after you have successfully completed the job.

On the other hand, you can also create a Freelancer website to help you get higher paying clients. If you decide to go this route you can still use the freelancer sites and direct people to your online portfolio based website.

Pros 

✔ You can get started straight away (for free)

✔ There are many freelance platforms that you can find jobs on

✔ Get paid for the work you do quickly

✔ Work from anywhere

✔ No boss

✔ Choose your own clients

Cons 

✘ No job security (if that is even a thing anymore?)

✘ Days off and holidays are not paid

✘ No company pension

✘ Money can fluctuate

✘ You have to run the whole business and wear many hats.

9. Coaching or Consulting

BEST FOR; people who want to help others and make money at the same time

Starting a coaching or consulting business can be very rewarding. Consultants and coaches can make a lot of money (if they are good). What’s more there is a lot of scope for expanding into other areas. For example you could write a book on your expertise and use it to generate traffic to your consultancy website.

You can help people in just about every area of life, however you’ll need to choose your own coaching niche. Did you know that Opera Winfrey has a coach for every area of her life? When you need a little extra accountability or guidance, your coach is your guide on the side. You can lean on your coach. A coach can offer group or 1 to 1 coaching in all areas of life. There are even Fortnite coaches out there (believe it or not).

How do I get traffic to my consultancy website?

The best way is for you to set time aside to help others for free. So for instance you could provide assistance to people on forums or in Facebook groups. Make sure that you choose groups and forums that have a lot of traffic, so that you can reach more people.

Pros 

✔ Very low start-up costs

✔ High income potential

✔ Lots of scope to expand your business

✔ Help people from all around the world via Skype or Zoom

✔ Work from the comfort of your own home

Cons 

✘ You’ll need to be very confident in your sector

✘ Building rapport and positioning yourself as an expert can be time consuming

In Conclusion

There is now so much opportunity to make a great living online. However, it can be daunting to know what is best for you. Make sure you take time to figure out what you want to focus on. Pick a niche and the type of platform that resonates with you and your audience. If you love writing, then you could start a freelance copywriting business and a blog. On the other hand if you’d love to help others, becoming an coach or an online consultant could be the best route.

So What Are You Waiting For?

Start your online empire today with one of the above ideas, you can always add to it when you have the foundations laid.

Best Online Business Ideas of 2019 – Start Your Digital Empire Click To Tweet

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08 May 2019

10 Best Free Blogging Sites – Which Platform is the Best?

Looking for a blogging platform that is perfect for your niche? Blogging is BIG BUSINESS and the best thing about it? You can get started for free – within minutes.

Whether you are looking to blog professionally, or simply share your thoughts with the world, blogging is still a great option IN 2019. Longer blog posts are more successful, not just for the end user, but they get more traffic over to your space on the web. Successful blogs are measured in: Views, shares/likes, and time spent (and also claps, but more on that later)

… you’ll want to choose a platform that easily allows your users to do the above.

Make Money Blogging

If you’re looking to make money from blogging in the long run then you’ll want to invest in a professional domain name down the line. However, that’s not necessary right now. We just want to get on to a great blogging platform and become a blogger.

B2B marketers outsource 64% of their blog copywriting Click To Tweet

There are great NEW and innovative ways to make money blogging which we’ll touch on briefly – so that you can get excited about your new blogging platform. Your blog can grow as big as you want to make it, both in readers and also monetary value.

Why would you want a blog?

There are several reason’s someone would want a blog. If you have a business, then you’ll want a blog to attract more customers to your website. Companies with blogs get 67% more leads than those without a blog.

You might want to create a blog to share your life journey (or an aspect of it), to gain experience as a blogger, because you love writing or share your hobby. The reasons to start a blog are endless, and I applaud you for taking the first step on your blogging journey. If you want to be like the pro bloggers out there then the professional approach is to create an editorial calendar.

A massive 69% of companies use an editorial calendar to keep track of their blogs Click To Tweet

Choosing the best online platform is critical for your online success. Now that you’re all hyped up about your new blogging journey, let’s dive in to our pick of the:

Top 10 Best FREE Blogging Platforms of 2019

#1 | Medium

BEST FOR; reaching an established audience, making money

Medium is a fairly young blogging platform with some exciting benefits for bloggers. Launched back in 2012, Medium is changing the blogging landscape. If you’re looking for a FREE quick-and-easy way to jump online and start blogging, Medium.com could be for you. The best bit about it is that you can get paid for blogging on Medium, through their partnership program.

There are many reasons that Medium has taken our number one spot. Since its launch Mediums founders have been on a wild journey, which is starting to pay off in 2019. With 60 million monthly users, you’ll have an instant audience on Medium.com. Obviously, your content will have to be good to get the readers, however it’s exciting to know that 4.5 million reading hours are spent on Medium every single month.

 

The interface at Medium: 

Click Here To Visit Medium

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Pros 

Login & create an account in seconds with any of your social profiles

Share your story with a massive community of readers

No design experience required

Publish your articles in minutes

Get paid for your writing, add your bank account via Stripe and accept payments

Get traffic to your website from Medium.com by sharing your website URL

Medium articles are well received and picked up regularly on Google.

Cons

You can’t use your own domain name, instead you get https://medium.com/yourprofilename

You can’t earn via affiliate money on Medium (eg. You can’t place ads in your content)

By hijacking the Medium.com audience, you have great instant reach, the only thing is you can’t access this audience out with Medium.

You don’t own your follower database

Medium.com is geared towards US/ English speaking audience.

#2 | WordPress

BEST FOR; creating your own branded blog

WordPress is the leading blogging platform with a wide variety of themes to choose from. I put them second on the list just because you need to build your own audience and setting up a blog with WordPress is basically like setting up an actual website. Great, sure, but a bit more daunting than publishing your blogs on Medium.com, that being said – I’d advice going for both a WordPress website and publishing on Medium.com for exposure.

26% of all websites are WordPress sites, however originally they were designed to be blogs. IMO blogging is still WordPress’ greatest strength. You can install wordpress on your own host within minutes and use your own domain name.

PRO TIP:

WordPress.com and WordPress.org are different sites. Furthermore, you can install WordPress on your own server – there are actually three different approaches to using WordPress.

WordPress.com is the 100% free option for you to build your website. WordPress.org is where you can download the latest version of WordPress to upload onto your own webserver/ host. Therefore if you are looking for a quick and easy way to get started blogging, WordPress.com is a good place to start. You can always download the files later and upload to your own name server when you get there.

The interface at WordPress:

Click Here To Visit WordPress

Pros 

You can choose a theme/ branding for your WordPress blog

Available in 62 Languages

Built-in plugin features to choose from

Built in statistics to monitor how well your site is doing

Easy for beginners to set up

Flexible, you can start of FREE and move on to a custom domain or hosting in the future by downloading your files and porting them to your new server.

.

Cons

Prone to spam messages

Your site will be branded with the WordPress logo

You cannot sell ads on sites with less than 25,000 monthly views.

Space is limited to 3GB

#3 | Wix

BEST FOR; beginners looking to create a branded blog or website

Another great platform to start blogging on is Wix. Again it is more like setting up your own website, rather than a simple 3rd party blogging platform. So you’ll need to work on getting readers over to your new website.

Wix is very popular for people starting out their online journey, because the offer an easy way to set up a website, even if you have limited technical ability. Founded back in 2006, Wix is a reputable and well established web-builder platform, trusted by over 100 million users. A great option if you want to go down the traditional website pathway.

The interface at Wix:

Click Here To Visit Wix

Pros 

Perfect for beginners set up your website intuitively with drag and drop

Quick to set up

Branding and customization options are endless.

Cons

Free plan has Wix branding (you can pay to remove it)

Limited ecommerce functionality

After you have selected your theme you cannot change it, so make sure you are 100% before you decide on the look and feel for your new Wix blog.

#4 | Blogger

BEST FOR; easily creating a 3rd party blog

Got a Google account or gmail? Great, that’s all you need to get started with Blogger. One of the first blogging platforms to be created back in 1999, Blogger was acquired by Google in 2003. Blogger is secure and reliable platform to publish blogs. However, you can’t use your own domain name and unlike Medium you don’t get access to their traffic. If you want to use your own domain name then adding a Wix blog to your existing site is a good option, or Gator.

The interface at Blogger:

Click Here To Visit Blogger

Pros 

100% FREE

Allows multi publishing, so you can have others publish on your blog

Easy to get started, no tech skills required

Cons

Limited features and templates

Not updated regularly

Doesn’t have its own traffic

Isn’t updated frequently

#5 | Ghost

BEST FOR; people looking for a lightweight alternative to WordPress

Another Opensource CMS site, similar in type to WordPress is Ghost. Ghost is specifically geared towards written publications like magazines and journalists. Ghost offers an easy blog solution that is clean and intuitive.

Ghost is not 100% free, but they do havea free trial of their fully managed Ghost Pro service. The free trial is 14 days long and you’ll need to enter your credit card to take advantage of this service.

The interface at Ghost:

Click Here To Visit Ghost

Pros 

14 day free trial

Created specifically for bloggers

Clean, intuitive design

Cons

No 100% free option

#6 | Tumblr

BEST FOR; microblogging, personal content and reaching other members to share your content

Tumbr is a microblogging platform and the 7th leading social media platform. Tumblr hit the news recently as they have issued a porn ban, leading to a third of their users leaving. The best thing about Tumblr is that there are people over there to share your content with as they have 437 million monthly active users, down from 521 million before they announced the new rules.

Not a professional platform – more something you might use to share your musings. If you’re looking for somewhere to write and share your content then Tumblr is a blogging community well worth a look.

The interface at Tumblr:

Click Here To Visit Tumblr

Pros 

100% FREE to use

You can make money with adverts

You get your own sub-domain for your blog

Super easy to get started with, like any of the major social media platforms you’ll be up and running almost instantly

The social media aspect means you can share your work with more people.

You can upgrade and use a professional domain name with your Tumblr blog

A wide variety of themes available

Cons

Limited features

Pages are not easily customized / branded – eg. No professional themes/ templates

Backups and downloading your Tumblr blog to port it onto another platform is tricky

#7 | Squarespace

BEST FOR; beginners who want a beautiful website

Squarespace is an American owned website builder designed for small to medium business’ to get online easily. Squarespace has been around for 16 years and offers some great features for bloggers. For example you can choose from a wide range of templates that suit your brand’s look and feel.

The interface at Squarespace:

Click Here To Visit Squarespace

Pros 

Great for beginners

Great choice of templates

You can use your own domain name

Cons

Limited features

# 8 | Jimdo

BEST FOR; people looking for a front end CMS

Jimdo is really easy to use, even for the complete beginner. If you like to edit the website from the front end (eg. how the user sees the website) much like Clickfunnels or Visual Composer then Jimdo could be a great option.

Probably a good option for a new blogger that likes the front end approach, rather than someone who has been blogging for years and is accustomed to back-end content management.

The interface at Jimdo:

Click Here To Visit Jimdo

Pros 

Great for those who like front end web management

Easy to use for the complete beginner

Cons

No back-end content management

There are ads on the free version

No custom domain option

#9 | Joomla

BEST FOR; people who want to scale their additional features

Joomla is similar to WordPress, and at some point in the past it was a serious contender. Powering a decent 3.1% of the web, Joomla is still a good option for a lot of people looking for a blog. The only thing is, you’ll need to upload it or install it via your website host, so a bit more technical ability is required. You can get great hosting from Siteground or Hostinger and select Softaculous, which will allow you to quickly deploy Joomla.

The interface at Joomla:

Click Here To Visit Joomla

Pros 

Feature rich

You can use your own domain name

Cons

You need to find another host

Complicated framework to use

10 | Fuel CMS

BEST FOR; those looking for a premium grade website

If you are feeling technical, then Code Igniter is one of the more advanced PHP frameworks that also offers a FREE CMS. You’ll probably need a developer to download and install Fuel CMS, however, if you are great with technology they do have some great documentation to help you. A great solution if you want a thoroughly professional website.

The interface at  Fuel CMS:

Click Here To Visit Fuel CMS

Pros 

Easy to use for content editors, when installed

A great forum and documents to help you

Flexible and suitable for those looking for a premium CMS experience

Cons

Created for the more tech-savvy blogger

You’ll need a host and domain name

So Which Blogging Platform Suits You Best?

Blogging platforms come in many different shapes and sizes, as you can see. Choose the best platform provider that suits, that will depend what you want to do with your blog going forward.

Fancy starting a #blog ? Check out the 10 Best FREE #Blogging Platforms Click To Tweet

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14 Nov 2018

15 Website & UX Statistics of 2018-2019 [INFOGRAPHIC]

If you want to be successful online, you’re going to need a website (check out our website builders). However, simply having a website isn’t going to cut the mustard. Web design and user experience (UX) play a massive role in ensuring your website and online presence is successful!

At UK Web Host Review we’ve put together an infographic to showcase the statistics. These are statistics for last year (2018). Later on the year, we’ll update these to include 2019..

Website & UX Statistics of 2018

 

 

1 | 75% of people base credibility by a website

You may have the world’s best team behind your business. But, if your company’s website is not up to scratch, you could lose 1/4 of your customer base! Yes, that’s right. 75% of people base a company’s credibility by how their website looks, feels, and responds to the user journey.

2 | 53% of mobile users will leave after 3 seconds

Speed is everything in 2018. With greater technology comes a greater responsibility to provide content, almost instantly. 53% of mobile website users will leave a site or a web page if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds. The more time passes, the higher the abandonment rate.

3 | 59% of people prefer a beautifully designed website

41% of consumers would prefer a simple design, whereas 59% prefer a stunning website. So, it’s pertinent to remember that if you want your customers to stay engaged, you’ll need something quite outstanding.

4 | 86% of visitors want information about products and services

When you visit a website, what kind of information do you want to see? 86% of surveyed people want information about products and services. It is therefore recommended that this kind of content is readily available and not hard to find. This will ensure that you continue to provide a great user experience.

5 | 1% of users interact with website sliders

Creating the perfect landing page or homepage can be difficult. Knowing what features to include and not to include is vital to creating an engaging user experience. Only 1% of users actually click on sliders, therefore having a plugin or similar on your website probably isn’t doing much to improve things!

6 | 94% of people won’t trust an outdated website

A stunning website is of course important. However, keeping your website and it’s design update is just as important. An outdated website could lose you visitors! 94% of users no longer trust outdated websites, and it’s no surprise given the competition! Make sure your website’s design is in-keeping with trends.

7 | 70% of small businesses miss call-to-actions

Call to actions range from newsletters to guides, specials to purchases. If a call to action isn’t obvious, how can you expect your visitors to click through to where you want to lead them? A whopping 70% of small businesses fail to outline clear call to action buttons, and could potentially be missing out on a lot of business.

8 | 50% of eCommerce revenue is from mobile users

Everyone is going mobile in this digital world that we live in. 50% of eCommerce revenue is produced from mobile users. This certainly backs up the notion that websites should be mobile responsive. Imagine creating a stunning eCommerce website that didn’t work on mobile! You’d potentially be losing half of your customers.

9 | It takes just 0.05 seconds to form a design opinion

Within milliseconds of visiting a website, users will have already formed an impression of what they see. It takes just 0.05 seconds for someone to decide whether they like your website or not, so grabbing their attention is key to your success. Investing in excellent web design is essential to a long-lasting business online.

10 | 44% of users will leave if there’s no contact information

If your website doesn’t contain contact information, 44% of users will leave. If there’s no information available, this could instill a lack of trust into your users about your business. Contact information relates to an address, telephone number, or email address. Make sure your visitors have a way of contacting you via your website.

11 | Slow image loading times can cause 39% of users to abandon

Slow website loading times are frustrating at the best of times. But, if a visitor manages to reach a website, and images don’t load, 39% of users are likely to leave the website. Image optimisation is key to web design; whether you’ve hired a web designer or you’re creating your own website (a fast web host is also recommended).

12 | You have on average 10 seconds to impress

When a user visits your website, you have around 10 seconds to impress them before they leave. Your website should capture a user’s attention within the first 10 seconds and keep them engaged. A good website will provide a smooth user experience and should give visitors a user journey that’s easy to follow.

13 | 2 out of 3 minutes spent online are via mobile

Mobile devices account for 2/3 of time spent online. This is why it’s so important to ensure your website and UX follows a mobile responsive design. If 2/3 of your website visitors couldn’t access your website properly, or features didn’t work, they’d quickly abandon and go elsewhere.

14 | Video content 53x more likely to reach the first page of Google

Video has become much more popular and relied on by businesses in 2018. A website that contains video content is 53x more likely to appear on the first page of results on a Google search. The impact of video is astounding; not only does it boost the user experience, it also increases your website’s SEO score.

15 | 70% of people pay attention to bulleted lists

Bullet points are much easier to digest when it comes to lists, compared to other list presentations. 70% of people will absorb information presented in a bulleted list. So, if your website is content heavy, it may be worth considering condensing your content into bullet points.

References:

https://revive.digital/blog/website-design-stats-2018/

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/data-measurement/mobile-page-speed-new-industry-benchmarks/

https://landing.adobe.com/en/na/products/creative-cloud/264699-state-of-content/index.html#Experience-by-Design

https://komarketing.com/files/b2b-web-usability-report-2015.pdf

https://thrivethemes.com/why-sliders-suck/

https://www.mytechlogy.com/IT-blogs/15792/30-insanely-elevated-website-design-stats-for-2017/

https://curatti.com/web-design-usability/

https://www.infront.com/blog/the-blog/8-statistics-that-prove-responsive-web-design-is-essential-to-seo

https://www.sweor.com/firstimpressions

https://www.bluecorona.com/blog/20-web-design-facts-small-business-owners/

https://gomedia.com/zine/insights/business-philosophy/web-design-stats-2018/

https://blog.red-website-design.co.uk/2018/07/16/web-design-stats-2018-2019-infographic/

https://www.roundhaywebdesign.co.uk/27-interesting-useful-web-statistics/

http://www.videoexplainers.com/impact-of-a-video-on-internet-buyer/

https://www.tytonmedia.com/blog/51-insane-web-design-statistics-2016/

Download this infographic.

Embed Our Infographic On Your Site!

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12 Nov 2018

21 Ways to Speed Up WordPress (UPDATED FOR 2019)

WordPress is an extremely popular publishing platform which is used to power millions of blogs and websites around the world. It can be used to create blogs and websites that are rich in features and enables you to publish posts and pages, customise your site with various widgets, themes and bespoke menus and use plug-ins to make your site even more functional and impressive.

In Google’s Webmaster blog, we learn that users don’t want to wait for websites to load. If a site doesn’t load within 3 seconds, there is a very strong correlation showing site abandonment.

One of the main drawbacks of WordPress is that it can sometimes grind to a halt for various reasons. However, there are many steps you can take to speed up the performance of WordPress to save time and make using it more enjoyable.

At UK Web Host Review, we’ve taken the time to outline some of the most effective techniques for boosting the performance of your WordPress site (we currently use all of these techniques and they work VERY well!). 

 

1. Enable Browser Caching

Caching is a way of storing static files (ones that won’t change) like images, CSS, and JavaScript. By enabling browser caching, you can actually speed up your WordPress website. When you enable browser caching, your database doesn’t have to be communicated with every time someone visits your site.

By doing this, and minimising the retrieval of content from your database, your website’s speed will increase. This will enable a better user experience for your visitors, as well as increasing your page speed (which is a rating factor for SEO).

You can enable browser caching in a variety of ways through WordPress. However, my personal recommendation is to use W3 Total Cache plugin. Simply navigate to the plugins section on your WordPress dashboard.

 

2. Remove Unnecessary Plugins

It’s quite easy to get carried away when you first install your WordPress site. There are so many plugins to choose from, all boasting great features and tools to simplify managing your site. The problem is, plugins can cause issues, namely slowing down your site. Out of date plugins, conflicting plugins, and useless plugins can clog up your WordPress site.

It’s really important to manage your plugins effectively. This includes deleting plugins that you no longer use, or ones that aren’t actually necessary for your website. It’s going to take a bit of effort on your part here, researching the best plugins for their desired purpose, but I promise you it’s worth it!

When you’re ready, simply navigate to the Plugins section on your WordPress dashboard and locate the area called Installed Plugins. You can view your installed plugins and choose to delete those that you no longer need.

 

3. Choose the right WordPress host

It’s essential that we don’t underestimate the importance of a quality web host. Reputable shared web hosting providers will spend sufficient time on optimising performance, though shared hosting does mean sharing resources with a large amount of other people. Busy neighbouring sites can have a significant impact on the whole server and therefore your site. We also suggest that you stay away from any free web hosting services as these often have numerous downtime and site speed issues.

You may well wish to opt for a managed hosting service over a shared one. Opt for a managed service and you’ll be able to benefit from highly-optimised server configurations as well as automatic back-ups, updates and complex but valuable security configurations that will enhance the security of your site. This step is regarded as one of the most effective ways to speed up WordPress.

The hosting of your site is widely agreed to be amongst the most important factors when it comes to loading times. Many providers offering “unlimited” bandwidth are unable to provide impressive loading times, especially during peak hours. Furthermore, the vast majority of these providers can’t guarantee more than 99% uptime per month.

 

4. Compress your Images

Images are one of the most resource hungry aspects of a WordPress website. Because they can take up a large amount of space (if not compressed), they can slow your website down. For websites that focus on imagery, like photography or art portfolios, this is a must!

Image compression takes an existing image and compresses it’s size, whilst maintaining an acceptable level of quality. Unless someone is viewing your website on a 60 inch television, they’re probably not going to notice that your images have been compressed.

My favourite image compression plugin for WordPress is called Smush. It’s super easy to download this plugin from the WordPress plugins store and install it to your site. You can configure Smush to automatically compress images when you upload them so you barely have to put any effort in yourself!

 

5. Update your site regularly

Updating your site regularly is essential. Themes and plug-ins are refreshed regularly, and if you fail to take advantage of them, you could become vulnerable to bugs and security issues as well as slow loading times.

Keep on top of the latest updates to avoid performance being affected. Make sure your site, plugins and themes are all updated to the very latest versions.

What’s also good is to update your site with new content regularly. By doing so is looked on very favourably by the likes of Google, who also reward fast-loading sites that offer fast performance with better rankings.

 

6. Use free tools to optimise WordPress

Its really easy to get detailed performance statistics and data regarding your website. Making use of these tools (for free) can teach you all there is to know about your site, thus being able to optimise it.

If you have a well optimised website, your website will load faster and your SEO score will sky rocket. Here’s a list of a few free tools you could be making use of:

 

7. Take advantage of excerpts

WordPress will keep the entirety of each article on your homepage and your archives unless you instruct it not to. This leads to homepages, categories, archive pages and tags loading slower.

If full articles are shown, visitors may not decide to visit the page in question, which means pageview numbers can be negatively affected.

By using excerpts, you can convince users to click through to view full pages and spend more time on your site. The Settings menu enables you to show summaries to your visitors rather than the full text.

 

8. Break comments into pages

Although it’s always great to see vast numbers of visitors commenting on your articles and joining the discussion, loading comments can also take time.

The Discussion part of the Settings menu offers a Break Comments into Pages option that will help you avoid this problem and enable you to avoid slow loading times likely to send guests away.

 

9. Content Delivery Networks

A Content Delivery Network or CDN will help you speed up loading times for visitors no matter where they are. Without a CDN, users in the country where your server is based will experience faster loading times than visitors located elsewhere.

CDNs consist of servers from across the world, with all servers storing static files like images, JavaScript and CSS that make up your site. Using a CDN means users will be served files from the server nearest to them, whilst your own web hosting server will perform quicker because of the reduced pressure on it.

 

 

Most well-known and well-read WordPress blogs are now making use of CDNs in order to cater for visitors across the world effectively. The Max CDN Content Delivery Network has a great online reputation and has been complimented for its intuitive dashboard and generous pricing structure. Furthermore, it comes with video tutorials designed to make the setting-up process smoother and quicker.

 

10. Avoid uploading videos directly to WordPress

Uploading your videos directly to WordPress can also vastly reduce loading times. What’s also worrying about this is that hosting videos directly can be very expensive in terms on bandwidth, and you could be faced with a big bill from your hosting provider, who may even decide to close your site.

Even if you’re paying for so-called unlimited bandwidth, you may still be met with tough penalties. Hosting videos will also make backup sizes swell and make the restoration process much more difficult.

However, help is at hand. You can instead embed videos that you have uploaded to services like YouTube who do have the bandwidth. Just cut and paste the URL into the post and it will be embedded seamlessly, helping you avoid slow load times and penalisation.

 

11. Choose a speedy theme

Though scores of great WordPress themes are available, it’s important to consider speed when selecting one. Some of the most visually-impressive themes have bad coding and can have an adverse effect on load times.

Try to strike a happy balance between performance and visual quality when selecting a theme. You may need to experiment with a number of themes before you reach the best compromise.

Many WordPress site owners opt for simple theme and select a number of high-performance plugins to get the right visual feel and efficiency. Some of the most reputable theme shops include StudioPress and Array Themes and are great channels for obtaining impressive themes that won’t result in snail-like loading times.

 

12. Faster slider plugins

Sliders are particularly popular amongst WordPress users but do have a tendency to lengthen loading times. What’s more is that they can even undermine your attempts at speeding up your site, such as choosing optimised images.

It’s wise to spend time online researching the best slider plugins for your needs. Nivo Slider, Soliliquy and Meteor all have a great reputation amongst leading WordPress experts and veterans.

 

13. Faster gallery plugins

Do you need to display a large number of photographs? As we have already mentioned, photographs that haven’t been optimised can lead to poor loading times. Many professional photographers using WordPress opt for speedy gallery plugs ins that have been designed for speedy loads.

There are many reliable and fast gallery plugins on the market – some of the most reputable and acclaimed include Envira Gallery, NextGEN and Foo Gallery.

 

14. Splitting longer posts into pages

There are many great reasons for adding detailed, lengthy posts to your WordPress site. Long post can provide your readers with detailed analysis and facts about complex topics and really establish yourself as a leading player in your field.

They can also be fantastic for SEO. However, if you do post extensive information supported by a string of images, loading times can be impacted.

One way to get around this is to separate your longer posts into pages. Splitting posts into sections isn’t complex – you simply need to use the <!––nextpage––> tag when you wish to end one section and begin another. Long posts don’t need to have an unwanted effect on loading times.

 

15. Prevent pingbacks and trackbacks

Pingbacks and trackbacks tell you whenever your site receives a link, but they can put your server resources under pressure. What’s more there are other resources you can use to assess links of your site, such as Google Webmaster Tools. The pressure on your server comes from the way requests from WordPress are sent back and forth when link ups are made.

Additionally, hackers and other cybercriminals can exploit pingbacks and trackbacks in DDoS attacks. You can switch off this functionality in the Discussion area of Settings. Simply deselect “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks)” to disable pingbacks and trackbacks.

WordPress is designed to interact with other blogs equipped with trackbacks and pingbacks. When you are mentioned on another site or blog, data on your own post is updated. Don’t worry about backlinks being lost if you disable trackbacks and pingbacks – you’ll only be losing clutter on your site by taking this step.

 

16. Cut down external HTTP requests

Though it is helpful to use some files from other sites, overdoing things can also impact load times. A large number of plugins and themes load files from other sites, with many making use of scripts, images and more from the likes of Google and Facebook. However, if your plugins make a large number of requests, chances are that loading times will be effected. You can get around this by disabling some scripts and styles.

Alternatively, you may wish to merge them into a single file. This task may seem more complex than many of the other tips and tricks we’ve discussed in this article, but making these changes and gaining a rich understanding of what you need to do to reduce HTTP requests can be worth its weight in gold. There are many tutorials online that will show you how to cut down HTTP requests and disable JavaScript and CSS files from plugins to boost loading times and bring your visitors a smoother and faster site experience.

The process of minification won’t lead to unwanted results but will eliminate unnecessary characters from HTML, JavaScript and CSS files. Minification reduces load times and boosts performance by removing redundant code and unnecessary characters. Various studies have shown how minification makes a significant difference to the performance of WordPress sites. You can also speed up WordPress by minimising page size and reducing the number of calls to JavaScript and CSS.

17. Use GZIP compression

Many computers owners choose to compress files on their computers in order to save disc space after looking for ways to speed up WordPress. The equivalent of this for WordPress users is GZIP compression, which cuts down bandwidth usage and reduces the time it takes for users to access your site. It means the browser unzips your site before they enter it. There are many plugins available that will enable you to compress your files, though you can also add the code below to your .htaccess file.

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript

 

18. Reducing database calls

Again, this step may seem somewhat complex but you can expect your efforts to pay off if you invest time in understanding what you need to do to reduce database calls.

You will need to gain some understanding of PHP and the template files of WordPress to perform this step. Unnecessary direct database calls and requests can put too much pressure on your server and can result from badly-coded WordPress themes. Even themes that are otherwise coded impressively may make database calls just to get simple information.

The tag <?php marks the beginning of a new database call. If you’re using a child theme to customise your site, the calls can be deleted and replaced with specific information. You can also replace them with static information when using a parent theme.

 

19. Remove unnecessary information from your WordPress database

Once you have been using WordPress for some time, you will probably come across a significant amount of unnecessary information.

The WP-Sweep plugin can be used to eliminate much of this and will get rid of unused tags, trashed posts and much more, giving your database a much-needed and valuable spring clean. Furthermore, you can optimise the entire structure of your database with just one click.

 

20. Cut back post revisions

Post revisions can fill up a great deal of your database, and some experts suggest that they might have a negative impact on plugin database queries. Plugins that don’t exclude revisions could search through revisions when they don’t need to.

However, it’s relatively easy to limit the amount of revisions kept for every article. You can achieve this by adding the code define( ‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 4 ); to your wp-config.php file, which will result in only the last four revisions being kept and older revisions being discarded.

If you’d prefer to use a plugin for post revisions, options are available. A plugin called Revision Control enables you to revert to previous versions if mistakes are made and enables you to decide how many revisions you wish to save so your backend isn’t clogged up with scores of old drafts that you no longer require.

 

21. Stopping hotlinking and leaching of your content

The higher the quality of your content is, the bigger the chances of someone else using it without your permission become. When other site owners choose to serve your images from their URLs on your site rather than uploading them to your servers, they are using your bandwith, without you even being able to enjoy extra traffic as compensation. Add the code below to your .htaccess file to stop others hotlinking your images.

#disable hotlinking of images with forbidden or custom image option
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?ukwebhostreview.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?google.com [NC]
RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,F,L]

You may also be negatively impacted by content scraping websites, which take content from your RSS feed to create their own posts. Fortunately, there are many tutorials online which will help you prevent content scraping from your WordPress site.

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04 Aug 2018

Wix VS SquareSpace – 4 Differences to Decide Your Winner

Comparing Wix Vs SquareSpace was certainly an interesting task! If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering which website builder is best for you. Well, it’s a good job you’ve arrived! Website builders generally do have similar features to equip you with the tools to make your perfect website.

However, there are also many difference between them, setting one platform apart from the other.

They’re two of the biggest names in the industry, both boasting individual features that set them apart. I’ve signed up and used both Wix and Squarespace in order to give you an accurate representation of each website builder.

 

1. Responsive Design

User experience is something which cannot be ignored (and shouldn’t). 87% of consumers own and use a mobile device. It’s estimated that 6.1 billion people will be using a smartphone by the year 2020! According to IMPACT, nearly 60% of mobile users would not recommend a business with a poor mobile site.

An important thing to do when creating your website is to test it. If you don’t, how will you know what it looks like to your users? There are various different tools you can use, like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test which will determine how well your website works on a mobile device. One of my favourite tools is Browser Stack which allows you to test over 2000 devices and browsers.

When designing a website using a website builder, I expect to be equipped with a mobile ready site. I experimented with Wix and Squarespace’s tools and features to see how easy it would be to design a mobile a website. Let’s take a look at the results!

 

Wix

Wix has loads of beautifully designed templates to choose from. However, they don’t provide exclusive responsive templates. That’s not to say that their templates aren’t mobile ready, because most of them do appear to be.

 

 

It’s great if you’re simply looking to make a few changes to an existing template! But, if you want to add/remove features like blogs and forums, things get a little more tricky. Wix has a mobile interface editor which allows you to view a mobile version of your website and edit content as you please. The issue is that this can cause the process of creating a website to take a lot longer than other website builders.

 

 

If you’ve got the time though, Wix’s mobile editor is actually very powerful. There’s lots of advanced tools allowing you to create a mobile version of your website that’s either the same or entirely different to your desktop version. In my opinion this offers a lot more flexibility and control over how your mobile visitors view your website.

 

Squarespace

On the flip side, Squarespace’s templates are all mobile responsive. They can be used on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobiles, with absolutely no effort or changes required. Their templates look absolutely effortless and I for sure love them!

 

 

Because all of Squarespace’s templates are designed by professionals, there’s a level of guarantee that other website builders don’t offer. If you’re not sure how your website will look, you can easily view it on a selection of devices and test it’s responsiveness in front of your own eyes.

 

 

SquareSpace has a built-in responsive designer. When you create content, images, etc. it will resize where appropriate to fit a range of devices. This means you won’t have to put in too much effort in order to ensure your visitors are getting the best experience. You won’t have to create multiple versions of your website, because SquareSpace’s intuitive responsive design does this for you.

It can be quite common for some content not to look great, and that’s down to the content you’re using. Instead of leaving you in the dark, SquareSpace helps it’s customers to resolve these common issues. When banners are cropping or images are distorted, SquareSpace explain how responsive design works. This helps to understand how you can choose the right content to ensure your website looks fantastic.

 

2. Features

When you’re paying for a website builder, you want to be reassured that you’re getting the most for your money. I certainly do anyway! Features are of course dependent on what your own needs are, but it’s also possible to make a general assumption as to which builder offers more.

 

Wix

If you’re a complete beginner to building websites, Wix is a great choice. You can build websites, blogs, forums, and more, all with a few clicks. It’s not possible to list every feature that Wix offers, so I’m going to break down the main ones here:

 

 

  • App Market: Whether you’re looking for a form builder or newsletter signup, the app market has it all. Apps unfortunately aren’t free, so you’ll need to pay a price on top of the standard Wix fee.
  • eCommerce: You can build an online store within minutes! Wix’s store manager allows you to organise and filter products into collections, as well as creating options for sizes, colours, etc.
  • Blog: It’s super easy to integrate a blog into your website. You can manage posts, social media, and comments all in one place.
  • Forums: Does your website have a need for a forum? Sure it does! It’s simple to add a forum to your website where users can interact with each other and post thoughts/ideas.

Many website builders use elements. Elements can describe a range of items like images, shapes, videos, etc. Wix has an insanely large collection of elements for you to use. Anything you could possibly need for your website is available (with even more added on top).

In my personal opinion, I love the amount of choice Wix offers. However, I can understand that too much choice can also be a problem. Users don’t like to feel overwhelmed, but I don’t think that’s the case with Wix’s elements. There’s so much to choose from but I don’t feel they’ve gone overboard.

Some of Wix’s elements don’t feel that intuitive. Sometimes it comes across like they’ve given lots of choice but haven’t thought about how each element interacts, or where to find it. But Wix is extremely flexible; whether you’re looking for shapes, icons, navigation, buttons, etc. you’ll be able to find something that suits your needs.

 

Squarespace

Squarespace offers very similar features to Wix, bar the app market. What I feel sets Squarespace aside though is their advanced approach to existing tools and features. Don’t get me wrong, Squarespace is really user-friendly, but I feel it offers more to those who aren’t just beginners:

 

 

  • Import/Export: As well as creating your own blog with Squarespace, you can import content. That’s right, if you have WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, etc. you can bring your content over to your site.
  • App management: If you need to make any changes to your Squarespace site on the go, there are iOS and Android apps to access your account.
  • Developer platform: Confident with code? Squarespace allows you to change any code on your website so you’re not stuck with your template looking the same as everyone elses.
  • Access levels: Having a team of people manage your website can be useful. Especially if you’re running an eCommerce store. Squarespace gives you the option to manage multiple contributors with different access levels.

 

SquareSpace has a gigantic array of features. Like Wix, they also use elements to assist users in building and designing their website. SquareSpace appear to think outside the box, offering their customers solutions to annoying problems like restaurant menus. When you create a menu using a website builder, you’re restricted to size and things can get a bit tricky.

SquareSpace have created their own coding language which ensures the likes of restaurant menus are no longer an issue! It may seem like a minor problem, but I for sure would choose a website builder that offered solutions like this.

 

3. Customer Support

Whether you’re hosting a website or building one, customer support is incredibly important. Although many website builders are intuitive and offer helpful hints and tips, there’s always going to be occasions where you require additional support.

Customer service (for me) takes into consideration a few elements. In my opinion, great customer service offers the following:

  • A variety of contact methods
  • Instant support available (like live chat)
  • Quick response times
  • Helpful customer support agents

In my experience, both Wix and Squarespace have offered outstanding support. In fairness I’ve never really needed to contact them, but as a test I did. I wanted to see if they ticked the boxes in terms of customer support.

 

Wix

Wix’s help center is divided into categories in order to provide quick navigation. Categories include getting started, billing, mailboxes, domains, and lots lots more. They have a trending topics section too, where you may find the answer to your question.

If you want general help and advice, Wix points it’s users to it’s help center. If for some reason you can’t find the answer there, you can open a support ticket. Their support tickets get answered in a very reasonable time frame (in my experience), but don’t provide instant support.

 

Highlights of Wix’s customer support include:

  • Every element in Wix has an icon you can click to learn more
  • Large help center
  • Videos and how-to articles
  • Ticket support
  • Phone support (Mon-Fri 5am-5pm PST)

 

Squarespace

SquareSpace’s knowledge base provides a similar feel to Wix’s help center. There are plenty of categories to find answers to burning questions you may have. My favourite thing about SquareSpace’s support is their popular guides. They offer advice on some key features that your website may need, like how to increase SEO.

They have step by step tutorials, video guides, and related articles to ensure you receive the best advice possible. They also provide a community forum where you can chat to other members who may be able to help you further.

If you’re still stuck, you can contact SquareSpace by choosing the relevant option on their contact us page. They’ll provide potential solutions to your chosen topic, or you can contact them via email or live chat.

Highlights of SquareSpace’s customer support include:

  • Tutorials
  • Workshops held in New York office
  • Wide knowledge-base and guides
  • Forum
  • Email support
  • Live chat support

 

4. Pricing

Both website builders offer a range of pricing plans catering to different requirements. Wix has 5 plans and Squarespace has 2 plans for website users and 2 plans for eCommerce users. It’s hard to directly compare all of the prices available as they differ so much, so I’ve tried to outline some key elements for you:

  Wix Squarespace
Pricing Connect (£3/month)

Combo (£6/month)

Unlimited (£8.50/month)

eCommerce (£11/month)

VIP (£16/month)

Personal (£10/month)

Business (£15/month)

Basic (£20/month)

Advanced (£30/month)

 Free Plan Brand ads on Free No free option
 Domains 1-year domain on Combo+ Free domain on all plans
 SSL SSL licence additional Free SSL licence
 eCommerce Online store on eCommerce+ Online store on Business+
 Marketing $75 ad vouchers on Combo+ $100 AdWords on Business

 

Wix

Overall, Wix’s plans are cheaper than Squarespace’s. If price is all you’re worried about, Wix would seem like the sensible option. You can choose Wix’s free plan, but you’ll have a Wix branded advert displayed on your website at all times.

 

 

You’ll also have a Wix domain e.g. (mywebsite.wix.com) which in my opinion doesn’t look very professional. If you’re willing to pay for your website, Wix offers tiered pricing to suit all users, from beginners to experts, blogs to online stores.

 

SquareSpace

Squarespace is more on the pricey side and they don’t offer a free plan. If you want to try their services, you can opt into their 14 day free trial.

If you know what you want from your website builder, Squarespace offers more features than most I’ve seen, so their hefty price tag really does seem worth it. If you’ve never used a website builder before and want a more professional look, give Squarespace a go for free to start off with.

 

Conclusion

To be honest Wix winds hands down. I’ve used it for many sites over the past few years and it’s my “go to” website builder.

Wix is a great platform if you’ve never created a website before. It’s also pretty handy if you want to edit the entire content of your site including it’s positioning on desktop and mobile. Wix’s ease of use makes it a perfect choice if you’re not too fussed about having every feature available to you.

You’ll honestly have a different experience with both website builders; neither of them are sub-standard to the other. They have both positioned themselves well in their market, providing the tools and resources to build a professional website from scratch at their reflected prices.

Visit Wix.com

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