Sometimes, your clients need to build a website to begin their online presence, but they simply don't have the budget to hire a web design company. You can suggest ideas, but it's not within your scope to do the work yourself. What should you recommend?
Here are six great ways to make a website with little or no web design experience:
1. Find a domain from NameMesh.
Aside from finding a good web host, which varies from location to location, a new website needs a good domain name. The days of powerful exact-match domains are long over, but so is the free availability of easy brand-name URLs. Rather than opt for some third-string dot-biz URL, check out NameMesh. It's a domain-name brainstorming tool that allows you to plug in keywords and find ideas. It scans the exact keyword or brand name for availability on common TLDs, checks synonyms, antonyms, related words, and colloquial usages, gives you search optimized ideas, and throws out a few curveballs just to keep you on your toes.
2. Build a blog using WordPress.org.
WordPress on this list should come as no surprise. WordPress.org is so easy to set up it's hard to recommend WordPress.com, particularly when a basic entry-level web host is so easy to find. Go ahead and recommend the hosted dot-com solution if your clients can't get a web host of their own; otherwise, it's simple to get up and running with WordPress.org. Add a few security and usability plug-ins and a nice theme, and you can have your clients up and running in no time at all.
3. Make a site with Web.com.
Web.com is a quick and easy drag-and-drop website designer with a wide variety of sample site templates to adapt and optimize for a given client. The service comes with hosting, web space, email accounts, domain registration, and an image library to use for the site. It also offers e-commerce and mobile site design, as well as a hands-free managed site creation service.
4. Build a storefront on Shopify.
With a two-week free trial, Shopify is a great all-around commerce solution. It works on the web, of course, but it also offers a point-of-sale in-store service to replace the register. For some small businesses, it's a match made in heaven. Shopify is completely secure and comes with a website builder, analytics, and a host of add-ons to extend site functionality. It supports dozens of payment options, it's preoptimized for SEO basics, and it works globally for worldwide online sales.
5. Go responsive with Webflow.
Webflow is a service that's specifically designed as an easy-to-use drag-and-drop website builder with a mobile emphasis. If your clients need a mobile presence, and they need it yesterday, Webflow can get it done. The sites made through this service are completely W3C compliant for HTML5 and CSS3, they're guaranteed to work on any mobile or desktop device, and your client never needs to see a line of code. Plus, Webflow's CDN hosting is fast, synced, and always online.
6. Publish everywhere with Moonfruit.
Moonfruit is a lot like Webflow; it's drag-and-drop, it's mobile, it's fully customizable, and it publishes everywhere with a single click. Building a site through this service is completely free. Templates, hosting, add-ons, e-commerce shops, blogs--it's all available. The only downside is the limitation on free sites: only one site with limited storage and pages, and it's Moonfruit-branded. Even so, the package with no branding and multiple restriction-free websites is incredibly inexpensive. Your clients can be up and selling for less than the cost of a Netflix subscription.