What is the easiest way to get a small business website online?


3

I'm a coder so I still do everything by hand: find a web hosting company, write the HTML by hand, layout in CSS, graphics in photoshop and/or stock photos, hack it all together, get the email forms working, etc.

But I figure it's 2011, and there's got to be easier ways to do this stuff.

What's the easiest way to get a small business website online? Any thoughts or opinions are greatly appreciated!

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asked Jun 24 '11 at 05:12
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User11476
141 points
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8 Answers


6

The quickest way to get your website up is to use WordPress, hosted by another company like GoDaddy or Rackspace.

There is an extensive collection of WordPress themes, and plugins that let you customize your website fairly quickly, and with little effort.

Edit (In response to your comment):

I want to set up a company web site at "www.mycompany.com" and do it as easy as setting up a facebook page: edit the title, upload some photos, boom! online. Does such a beast exist?

Have a look at Posterous. I think that may be what you are looking for. Setting up the website is super quick and easy, and they let you use custom domains. This is a really quick way to get a website up, but keep in mind that it won't look like a professional business website.

Another option may be FatCow. They are a hosting provider, but they also offer "Point & Click Site Building Tools". From their website :

Point & Click Site Building Tools Create a professional-looking website with just a few clicks, using a variety of dynamic themes and templates. No programming or HTML experience needed!

answered Jun 24 '11 at 05:19
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Zuly Gonzalez
9,194 points
  • Thanks for the suggestion, I think I'm imagining something easier than that again. Like, I want to set up a company web site at "www.mycompany.com" and do it as easy as setting up a facebook page: edit the title, upload some photos, boom! online. Does such a beast exist? – User11476 9 years ago
  • Most hosting companies offer wordpress and some CPanel to easily set you domain name and edit you site with wordpress admin panel. – Ross 9 years ago

2

My gut reaction was the same as Zuly's - use Wordpress... but when I saw you wanting something even more 'out of the box', the thing that springs to mind is Drupal Gardens . It has recently come out of beta and wraps up a lot of the complexity of managing a drupal site. There is still a bit of a learning curve, but then it is a very capable CMS. I think this is the sort of thing you are looking for...

Another great 'website-in-a-box' service is Ning - which might be more suitable if you are interested in setting up communities with strong social features. Less setup involved than with Drupal Gardens - Ning's strapline is 'all in a matter of clicks'.

But you know, having thought more about it... I'd still go with Wordpress. Being a developer you can not only tweak the themes to your hearts content, but you can write plugins and widgets as well which will give you the flexibility you need as you grow and scale your business. If you are familiar with PHP and MySQL you can write some great plugins that will turn a CMS/blog website into a dynamic business portal. Existing plugins are great - they include eCommerce solutions and lots of niche-specific applications. Don't write off Wordpress.

answered Jun 24 '11 at 18:14
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Edralph
2,333 points

1

Your definitely go is Wordpress using a Theme from either ThemeForest or WooThemes.

With this approach it will look professional and will work as you expect it to work, easy to maintain, online in minutes.

answered Jun 24 '11 at 19:42
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Herr K
292 points

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If you are not planning to do any programming, I would stay away from Wordpress and try site builders like Website.com or Wix.com

answered Jul 23 '13 at 08:07
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Henry
109 points
  • Wordpress is easy and widely used, without programming. – Steve Jones 6 years ago
  • I find Wordpress very powerful but hard to work with. Installing theme, adding page and code snippet, or installing apps seem like a hassle. – Henry 6 years ago

0

You might also want to try Blogger. You can start with yourname.blogger.com, and as you feel more comfortable, you can move it to your own domain and ultimately to your own hosting.

However, once on your own hosting, I'd get on WordPress. Many hosts have this as a 1-click installation option. Then, you just log in and modify the pages as needed. If just getting started, it's nearly as easy as setting up a facebook page.

answered Jun 24 '11 at 13:26
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Business Hut
11 points

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You can try Google Sites:
https://sites.google.com/ If you own a Mac you can use iWeb and one of their predefined templates.

Anyway, I would go with wordpress and it has already been suggested.

answered Jun 24 '11 at 17:28
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Christian
3,590 points

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You should definitely look at a hosted solution like http://www.squarespace.com or someone reliable that offer hosted Wordpress solutions. You want to minimise the maintenance aspect of hosting/maintaining a website and focus on your business functions

answered Jul 23 '13 at 05:56
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Nduplessis
101 points

0

DotNetNuke (DNN) is also a quick way to get a site up & running. I've used to build several sites for my company & some of our clients. They also have a large selection of modules and skins available on http://www.snowcovered.com/ that are reasonably priced.

If you need to get fancy with custom development, you can write your own modules or download the entire source code from CodePlex too.

The primary difference between DNN & WordPress is that DNN uses Microsoft SQL Server instead of MySQL & requires IIS.

answered Jun 25 '11 at 05:42
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Alexander Mac Gregor
11 points

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