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There’s no downside to an optimized website with plenty of fresh content. These are our favorite website-building tools.

WordPress

WordPress is free software that powers about one-fifth of all websites. You’ll still need to pay for hosting though. Launching a WordPress site can be straightforward or very challenging depending on want you want to do, and there’s no centralized support. On the other hand, WordPress is flexible, effective, and has a huge user community. Overall, it’s the best future-proof solution. Get some help if you need it and you’ll be in great shape going forward. There are TWO major versions of WordPress. WordPress.org is downloadable software that runs on your hosting companies server. For businesses, this is the way to go because there’s no limit to how it’s extended and used. The other version is available as software-as-a-service at WordPress.com. The WordPress.com version is hosted by WordPress. This hosted version purposely limits options. It’s OK for a blog or informational sites, but not good for ecommerce or anyone serious about SEO. WordPress is simply the way to go for almost everyone, but we’ll include a couple of alternatives if it’s not your cup of tea.  Learn more about WordPress.

 Squarespace

Often referred to as the Apple Computer of website builders, Squarespace is elegant, provides adequate design options, but by limiting those options, does not overwhelm the user. All themes and plugins are designed and supported 24/7 directly by Squarespace.  Theme selection is small, but the minimalist designs look great and work with mobile devices. Squarespace allows direct access to HTML and CSS, which means you can insert our code and change its appearance. Later, you can export your Squarespace content to WordPress. Or, if you’re stuck with a WordPress site that’s too hard to manage, import it into Squarespace.  Learn more about Squarespace.

 Weebly

Weebly offers a large selection of good-looking themes, and a easy-to-use editing system. The interface is not as elegant as Squarespace and there are no export options. Leaving Weebly for say, WordPress means building a new site. Weebly does not provide access to CSS which means you won’t be able to change the appearance of our code unless you use the workaround. Learn more about Weebly. This is one of the better website builders, but it pales to WordPress in every respect.

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