By: Lindsey Hobbs
If you have plans of running your own business, or even a side-gig, you may be paralyzed trying to figure out that first step to get the ball rolling on this dream. In today’s world where Twitter is our go-to news source and Facebook is a verb, the first step is really putting your product or services online for people to be able to find them easily. You need a website and one that is easy and fast to build. Here are some of the best Content Management Systems (CMS) out there for quick and easy webpage building:
WordPress is probably the most widely known website builder there is, mostly due to its versatility if needed, and its simplicity if needed. It started off as a blogging platform, but has evolved into a way that anyone can jumpstart their web presence with the simple purchase of a domain name. Just pick your favorite built-in theme and add your content (and keep adding your content). With it’s background in blogging, WordPress is an excellent CMS for a site where your content is king.
Say you’re in the business of selling a product that you make. To get something quick and easy off the ground where you can sell that product you could use Joomla. It is powerful, and customizable, but not as easy, or as complex as the others on this list above and below it. You’re going to need some technical knowledge with Joomla, though, so for something completely beginner friendly, Squarespace may be your better option.
Squarespace is incredibly user-friendly, with mostly drag and drop features. It is not as robust as even WordPress and your options for design will be more limited. But you could make a simple online store with Squarespace and sell your products quickly, connecting to Paypal and Stripe for credit card transactions. Squarespace even has shipping times and fees built-in. And design-wise it’s pretty slick, too. You may recognize it from dreamingwithjeff.com.
For the more code-savvy entrepreneur, you could use Drupal instead. It’s got drag and drop features just like WordPress, but it is powerful enough to be used by major corporations, if you have the knowledge.You’ll love it’s faster site loading times and how customizable it is with its long list of plug-ins and themes.
This is great and all, but I want something even more basic
Then you’ll want to check out Weebly. With Weebly’s completely free plan, you can get a minimum number of pages with a slick template to just load up your contact information and maybe examples of your work. You can get more complicated with an online store, but it will cost you the upgraded plan. Just drag and drop the elements you’re looking for and watch your site come to life in the preview window. Incredibly user-friendly and fast to get off the ground.
These are just five of the most popular, and depending on the service you are trying to sell and your technical knowledge, you may find one that’s not on this list that you prefer. Whichever platform you choose, though, use it to get your name out there and you’ll be able to build momentum on those startup dreams.
Lindsey calls Columbus, Ohio her home, where she is an online marketing strategist by day, and a red wine sipper and budding kickboxer by night. You can read about her mission to learn programming at the614project.com or fuel her Twitter obsession at @hobbsie11.