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The days when websites were primarily distinguished by their code are long

gone. Nowadays, the web is a true publishing medium that favors well

thought-out ideas. You can get a professional-looking website online in

minutes with many website building services and software. But what should

you look for? What are the features you really need and which are just


Content Editing

Some website authoring software packages only allow you to entire plain,

unformatted text. Some of them allow you to entire HTML tags. Others

provide a WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) interface with options for

font, links, and image insertion much like a word processor’s. Some

will allow you to use more than one, or even all of these options so you have a

choice on how you want to format your text.

Template Designs

Every website builder ever invented came with at least one or two templates

for creating the graphical look of a website, so you don’t have to design the

look of the site yourself. But some packages have very large libraries of

templates, some have only a few. Some will let you mix and match elements

of the design templates, while others will lock you in to one setup.

Ecommerce Functions

Many ready-to-go websites created by website builder software feature

built-in shopping carts. Some even come with credit card processing.

This is of course necessary if you’re going to be selling stuff direct

online. But if you’re not going to be selling anything, ecommerce

functionalities may just complicate the administration of the site and pad the

price for the software or service.

Blogging Functions

Blogs are “web logs,” but blogging software involves more than just a simple

online journal. Blogging technology allows you to send your new posts

directly to subscribers via RSS, without them having to visit your site or

receive an email from you. Still, unless you plan on updating your site

regularly (at least once a month), your website’s blog will just gather



Some hosted web authoring systems provide email accounts at no additional

charge, while others do charge separately. Some web builder systems even

come with modules for creating email newsletters.


It is very likely that you will encounter a technical difficulty at some

point while owning your website. Make sure you know in advance of paying

whether the company provides only paid support, and if any included support is

over email, a web ticketing system, or the telephone.

Photo and Image Management

For many, if not most, people who want personal websites, displaying pictures

online is a primary motivation, if not the only motivation. If you want to

display pictures on your website, make sure to choose a website builder system

that makes it easy to upload and publish images.

Renting vs. Owning

You can buy website authoring software upfront for a flat fee, or you can

“rent;” i.e., pay a company every month to use a hosted service. The

choice is up to you, but remember that the hosted service will likely charge you

much more in the end: averaging around $20/month, hosted the typical hosted

website builder will cost you $240/year–far more than most desktop


In short, you don’t need to know how a website is coded to make one, any more

than a book author needs to know about printing ink. Don’t burden yourself

with learning how to do web design. Having fun with your website starts

with choosing a website builder software that will make it fun.

Source by Joel Walsh