Written by Alison Newth ~ Northeastern BC, Canada
There is a tonne of work that goes into setting up a website. This is especially true when you are new to it and starting out for the first time. It is hard to decide which webhost is right for you. I hope you find this helpful in making a decision.
Maybe you have no experience with websites.
Maybe you don't know how to write code.
Maybe you can't afford to hire someone to build a website for you.
Maybe you don't have loads of time to devote to learning and doing.
I am basically describing myself. When I decided to start my own website a few months ago, I thought long and hard about how I was going to accomplish it with so little experience. I did a lot of research and talked to a few people and came up with 2 finalists for webhosting, keeping in mind my "issues" listed above:) I had to make a choice. Extremely simple but a little more expensive...or fairly simple for extremely cheap.
Foliotwist versus Weebly
After all the research I did, it seemed that Foliotwist.com was the clear choice for artists. Simple, efficient, well-designed...but a little costly for someone just starting out ($30+ a month including domain name and awesome support). However, I was willing to pay in order to get all the other things I wanted. And it was SOOO easy! Did I mention that it was so easy? Very user friendly.
So, I signed up for the 30 day free trial and was about a week into it when my son told me about another web hosting site, Weebly (affiliate link as of Sept/14). I was really hesitant to even look at it because I had become so comfortable starting to build my site with foliotwist during the free 30 day trial.
So, why did I change my mind and give another webhost a shot? When he told me that Weebly was so cheap in comparison (more like $50 for the year including domain name).
I know that money isn't everything and I was already set on foliotwist, but I started researching Weebly, just to see, and found that there were some great reviews and a lot of benefits, including the price difference. Also, there were WAY more template options. The drawbacks? It was more difficult to naviagate and build the site. More choices=more decisions=more time!
I decided to leave my folio site on pause while I checked out weebly. I signed up for the most basic package I could get while still having my own domain name (I believe the free package you have a something.weebly.com domain name).
After I searched through the weebly help files and tutorials (took a couple of hours), I felt more comfortable. What you see on my site today, July 12, 2014, on DAY 1, is the result of about 100 hours of thinking about it (you know what I am talking about!!), 10 hours of online research, 3-4 hours building foliotwist website (which I am no longer planning on using) and about 4-5 hours learning about and building my site on Weebly, which I am still working on. In fact, this post was written on my first day with my website online and my first blog post ever!! Super exciting.
So, ultimately, I decided to stick with Weebly.com instead of Foliotwist.com. Weebly took more effort to understand and build but it was also quite a bit less expensive. I decided it was worth it for someone just starting out.
A webhost is a webhost. It provides some things. However, you still have to do your best to build the absolute best site you can. There are many things you can do to ensure you have a beautiful and functioning website. I have a whole bunch of articles/posts that will help you out.
Regardless of which webhost you decide to go with, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. If you want to read more, check out my other blog posts.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is boss. Here are some basic tips: