You have to have web site software and tools to build your own successful web site, but what do you need, why do you need it, and where can you get it with good quality at a good price
It's possible to build a quality small business website with
quality tools for just a few hundred dollars. A hobby site can cost
I'll show what software and tools are needed and give different options to suit different needs.
web site software is like choosing any other tool, it has to suit what
it for. A $20 battery drill is no good for a professional builder, and
a $600 battery drill is a waste for a home handyman who just wants to
hang a few pictures.
Think about what you want to achieve. If you want a small business website, factor your hourly rate into the costs. Spending $300 on a suite of software and tools could save you weeks of time. If you're building a hobby site for personal interest you may want to spend the 300 bucks, or you may prefer to take the longer route with free or nearly free software and tools.
There are a variety of ways to build web pages. My number 1
recommendation for a newbie is the page builder
from the Site Build It! suite of tools,
followed by wysiwyg web site software.
Site Build It! has a different approach to most with a block by block web page builder. It's easy to use with a small learning curve, has a built in analyzer that gives pages that are optimized for free search engine traffic, and has customizable templates. Read my Site Build It web page builder review.
Wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) website design programs let you build pages in a similar way to using a word processor. You can see what your page will look like while you're building it. Prices range from free for KompoZer (quite okay for most web sites) to around $400 for Dreamweaver.
You can code your web page in HTML using a text editor like WordPad, and many sites and books recommend this. That's fine if your website is a hobby, but personally I think most people will find wysiwyg software easier and quicker.
Wysiwyg web software does have minor problems (like bloated code) so there are HTML editors that combine the best of wysiwyg and hand coding. They're still harder to use than a wysiwyg editor for a newbie though.
Then there are the online point and click web site builders where you can "build your own site in 5 minutes". Prices range from really cheap for unhosted site builders to $20/month, $50/month or more. You still need to do a lot of preparation work if you want a successful site.
You can also use blogging software such as Wordpress to build a complete website, though it's not a great choice for a variety of reasons.
if you knew what keywords people were searching on to
find businesses just like yours. You could build a page around each
keyword and get lots more targeted traffic to your site.
Keyword tools let you do just that. They are essential for building a successful site that gets free traffic from the search engines.
There are some free tools that have excellent features such as Nichebot Classic, and the free Google keyword tool, but the free tools all leave out essential information as well. They're fine for getting your feet wet, or for a hobby site.
I suggest subscribing to a paid keyword service until you have pretty well built your site. They have a lot more features and you can do more with them. There are dozens of different tools out there. I don't know which is the cheapest around, but for $14/month you can subscribe to Nichebot X which is an excellent keyword tool.
can build your own
web site template,
and I have a complete template
tutorial on this site. Professionally designed templates
that expensive though, they're an easy way to give your site a
and they can save hours or days of time as
You can buy templates from sites such as Template Monster, or subscribe to a template service such as Dream Template. Some web design programs come with a selection of templates.
Some hosting sites have free templates. Hostgator, which is one of the best hosting sites around has 4,500 free templates in a variety of categories for your use.
tell you that people have to see your message seven times before they
Autoresponders let you keep your message in front of people. Visitors can sign up for your newsletter, or for an informative e-course you've put together. The e-course may be in five, seven, ten parts, whatever you choose.
After you've set everything up the autoresponder works on autopilot, sending out the e-course at the right times in the right sequence without any more input from you. Or you can use the autoresponder to easily mail out your newsletter every month.
Autoresponders are essential for a successful money making or lead generating site. Free or cheap is not necessarily best here as you want to be absolutely sure your message is being delivered to as many of your signups as possible.
AWeber is highly regarded by serious marketers and starts from $20/month.
You'll need quality web
hosting for a small business or home business website. There
are dozens if not hundreds of web hosting companies and prices range
few dollars a month up. I like hosting that uses Cpanel with Fantastico
which makes it very easy to install scripts for things like customer
relations, shopping carts, FAQs, image galleries and so on.
Hosting is often included with online site builders and suites of tools.
One important thing with a web host is is how well they respond to your questions and problems. Some hosts offer 24/7 technical support as well as forums, a knowledge base of common questions, and even tutorials.
A quality web host includes a statistics tool so that you can see how many visitors you get a month, what pages they look at etc so that you can see how your site is performing.
is a lot more web site software and tools that you'll find useful,
saving you time or making your website more successful. Here are some
You'll find you need a range of web site software and tools
and each extra one adds to the cost, with either a one time charge or
$10, $20, or more a month. Before you know it you're up to $1000 or
the year, with many costs on-going.
Using a suite that has all or most of the tools you need can save you a heap of money. I've come across two suites so far.
The best web site software suite for a small business owner trying to get their business online is Solo Build It! I've used Solo Build It! extensively and it has every tool needed to build a website from an easy to use page builder to a state of the art keyword tool, templates, autoresponder, hosting, page analyzer, page submitter, a friendly and helpful forum, and heaps more. It costs $299/year or $29.99/month, but you won't need to spend a cent more. (Read my Solo Build It review).
The other suite is the Ultimate Marketing Center. It's more for someone right into web marketing who intends building a number of websites than a for small business owner going online or someone starting an internet business.
The Ultimate Marketing Center doesn't have every piece of web site software you'll need, but it does have a good few of them. It has a website builder, templates, autoresponders, ad tracking, an affiliate program, and you can host up to 20 websites with it. It costs $20/month. You'll still need to subscribe to a keyword tool at least.