Posted by: johnocunningham | June 27, 2013

For Solos and Small Firms: Free DIY Website Programs

Sole practitioners and small firms cannot afford to invest tens of thousands of dollars in their Websites, as large national or international firms do, so they have historically looked to affordable local or regional Web designers for assistance in putting up a “bare bones” presence on the Internet.

This approach often makes the smaller firm look less technologically capable because the site looks very plain, and it can cause a major problem when the firm wants to upgrade its site, only to discover that their local provider (or the super-geek nephew in college) has now moved or gone into a new business, and the whole thing has to be rebuilt. Problems can also arise when the firm decides to improve a site well beyond its original capability, and the original designer explains that a whole new platform needs to be constructed now.

The costs can mount and the time involved can be significant; plus, there is no sense of ownership of the site. It feels like something that is being rented from a mysterious techno-magician. Nobody knows how to use it, how to make changes, or how to add new features to keep up with the times.

But now there are a variety of do-it-yourself (“DIY”) Web services sprouting up (not just Blogger and WordPress) but more sophisticated on-line tools that allow you to create Websites that are mobile-device-enabled and capable of displaying all kinds of easily uploaded media.

One example of such a site that received very positive reviews in “Windows Secrets” is the Weebly.com site, which is free to use for a basic version, but costs just $8.00 per month for a “pro” package full of useful features.

This is just one more example of how technology is proving to be a great equalizer for smaller firms and solos that are not able to compete on scale with large firms.

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