The Best Website Builders for 2019

Building a Website Has Never Been Easier

Getting your message out these days requires good helpings of Facebook and Twitter, with maybe a dash of Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Tumblr. But that’s not enough: if you want an internet presence that truly represents you or your organization, you also need a website that sets you apart from the crowd. A real website, as opposed to a social media page, gives you complete control over design and content. This lends credibility to your business, organization, or personal brand. Facebook pages all look alike in terms of design, but on your own website, you can realize a brand image, offer products for sale, and integrate third-party web services.
It’s never been easier to set up a professional-looking, design-forward website. Prominent site builders such as WordPress,is constantly improving. And newer competitors, such as Simvoly, Strikingly and uKit, are popping up all the time with their own clever twists on the process.

How to start a business blog?

Blogging for beginners

These days it’s easy to start a blog and put your ideas out there for all (or just some) to see.
A blog, short for web log, is just a website designed to put your opinion or expertise online. Many blogs take the form of an online diary, but with pictures, audio and even video.
There are lots of reasons to have your own blog. Maybe you want to share your adventures with far-flung family and friends. Or maybe you’re running a club or special interest group and need a way to keep everybody informed. Perhaps you just want to share your expertise on … well, anything.
Whatever your reason for blogging, you don’t need a writing degree or web design skills. There’s a wide range of places for you to web-publish your prose. And they all have designer-created templates to make your work look polished and professional. All you have to do is add your ideas.

What do you want to achieve?

First, work out why you’re starting a blog. If it’s just for you and immediate family and friends, your focus should be on keeping it fresh, interesting and satisfying.
If your aim is to get readers from far and wide, think about who they are and why you want them. Are you spreading awareness about a group or publicizing a cause, or do you want to build an online community for your own fun, reputation or profit? 
Understanding your end-goal will help you decide what kind of service to use to create your blog.

Free blog platforms

There are several popular free blogging platforms with easy-to-use templates that let you add your own personal touch. Some, like WordPress, also offer paid plans with more options and tools if you upgrade down the track.
A free service is good if you’re new to blogging and just want a way to express yourself, or let friends and family know what you’ve been up to, without incurring extra costs. Usually they will provide a free web address for your blog, such as ‘’. To have your own domain name, such as ‘’, will cost you extra.

Popular free blogging sites


Paid blog platforms

Paid platforms give you more options and ready-to-go templates that do much of the heavy lifting for you. You can start off simple and expand your blog’s website as you gain experience. Experienced users can also build everything from scratch. Payment is usually monthly or yearly.
If your blog is for a club or group that has a bit of money to put towards it, a paid website will probably be the right choice, but check out the free options first. You may want to start out with a free version of the service to see how well it fits your needs, then upgrade to a paid version later.

Popular paid blog builders


Who’s your audience?

Are you an expert giving advice to novices or are you writing for people with the same level of knowledge as you? Is your audience there for a good time or are they more of a serious crowd?
This will guide your tone of voice and how much detail you go into. As with anywhere else in life, you can’t please everyone all the time; just keep your style consistent so your readers know what to expect.
A top tip to grow and keep a successful blog is simply to treat your readership with respect. Just because they are likely to be less knowledgeable than you about a subject (which is why you’re writing the blog) doesn’t mean they’re not as smart. Put yourself in their shoes. How would you want something explained to you? Assume your readers are just as intelligent as you and go from there.

Stay on topic

Aim for one core topic or focus, with a smattering of related content to keep things fresh. A blog about golfing will appeal to golfers, but if you include your passion for red wine and love of Hawaiian shirts you’ll struggle to find readers interested in all three. If you want to discuss a wider range of subjects, find a link between them.
For example, food and travel go well together because people like to read about different foods from interesting places. Once you can easily balance those two, you might add fine wine into the mix, as it’s often specific to a region and goes well with food.
If you have lots of information and opinions on different subjects you might even consider creating separate blogs.

Can you make money blogging?

The short answer is yes, you can make money from blogging. But no, it’s not easy. Publishing your blog for profit is a whole different exercise that requires a systematic approach, consistent effort and a fairly steep learning curve.
You may need to learn about online marketing, using social media platforms, blog directories, search engine optimization (SEO), ad services and affiliate programs. You might even create an online store for selling your product, such as art, crafts, t-shirts and suchlike.
Top bloggers can make big money, but you might be happy if you can just cover your online costs, so that your hobby pays for itself. Web search “make money blogging” or similar for more info.

Regularity and consistency

Irregular blog contributions can frustrate your readers. Two articles on the same day followed by a two-month break looks disorganized and unprofessional.
Consistency is more important than frequency. Do you want to publish daily? Weekly? How about monthly? Keep to a rough schedule. If you have the time to write a blog post early, it might be a good idea to keep it till it’s time to publish again.

Common blogging missteps

Avoiding bad habits can make a big difference to your readers. Here’s how to avoid common mistakes people make when writing for the web.

Accurate article titles

Don’t get caught dreaming up attractive, snappy titles that have little to do with the article’s content. Your readers will figure it out pretty quickly and leave.
Web search engines will also pick up on this trend and mark you down as an unreliable source for that particular search phrase or topic. This means you get fewer readers over time. Give your blog posts an intriguing title, but keep it relevant and honest.

Have a strong lede

If article-writing has a cardinal sin, it’s ‘burying the lede’ (also known as the lead). 
The lede is the sentence that introduces the subject matter and hooks the reader. Put it in your first sentence, not several paragraphs lower. Buried ledes mean readers can lose interest and leave before they get to the good stuff.

Show the good stuff

After your introduction (complete with a good lede), put the most important information next. Most people never read an entire web article, so to make sure they easily find the information they came for, put it up top.
You can always put supporting information after the main parts, for those that need it.

Keep paragraphs short

These days it’s likely most of your blog traffic will come from people using a smartphone. So, keep paragraphs short to avoid your reader having to scroll forever on their tiny screen. 
Try to limit your paragraphs to two-to-four sentences if you can.

Text type and size

Larger, more spacious fonts work better online. Calibri and Arial are good staples, as are Verdana and Georgia. Thin, serif typefaces such as Times New Roman can look like big, impenetrable walls of text on a small digital screen.
Avoid fancier fonts such as Lucida Handwriting and Forte; they’re harder to read and slow down your readers. And avoid Comic Sans. You may think it’s fun, but it has a bad reputation, whether or not you agree with its maligned status.
It’s hard to nominate a specific font size for online – just make sure your text doesn’t have the tiny lettering. Easy reading is the key for the casual online audience. Templates will have typefaces and sizes already set, so go with what they give you, at first anyway.

Use subheadings

Regular subheadings act as anchor points. They help the reader keep track of where they are and what topic they’re reading about. They also visually break up large slabs of type.
Make your subheadings directly relevant to your content rather than overly clever and ‘punny’. This will both help your readers keep track and make your blog post turn up better in web search results.

Other top tips


Keep your blog and website name short and related to its theme, purpose or content. Match your blog title to your website address. If both are related to your blog’s theme and content, it will help you rank well in web searches for that topic, making your blog easier for people to find.

Self-editing your blog

Edit as you go for spelling, grammar, correct context and conciseness. This will make subsequent edits easier. For the final edit, leave your blog post alone for a few hours, if not a day. Then come back to it with fresh eyes. If you don’t, you risk missing obvious mistakes that your eyes have become accustomed to glossing over.

Copyright considerations

You can’t just pinch images from other websites willy-nilly. It’s illegal to use copyrighted words or images from other websites without express (preferably written) permission by the copyright holder, unless it falls under ‘fair use’ provisions.
However, you can freely use many materials, such as images, that have a Creative Commons license. This lets you distribute, remix, tweak and build upon the original work (depending on the nature of the license) so long as you give credit for the original creation.

Keep it fun!
Making your blog should be interesting and fun, but if the pressure of regular, fresh content starts to pall, you might need to alter your approach, change your schedule or broaden your topic.
Look for new image and information sources. Adjust your output goals or teach yourself some new skills. Experiment with shooting high quality videos, editing images for web useor learn to use Google Analytics to better understand how your blog is performing.
You might also find working on your blog is a good excuse to invest in some exciting new software tools or computer gadgets to make your life easier and more fun.
Remember to take regular breaks when writing. There’s no point sitting at your desk if you’re not being productive. Get up and do something else for a while so you dive back in fresh when you come back.
Whatever your reason for starting a blog, creative control over your own little corner of the internet is a great way to learn new things and express yourself. With so many free blogging services it’s fairly easy to set up a professional-looking website. Think about what you know and love best and start sharing.

WordPress 5.1 What Does it Mean for Plugin and Theme Developers?

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.1 and update the Tested up to version in the readme to 5.1. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release.
The WordPress 5.1 Field Guide has also been published, which goes into the details of the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! This release also marks the hard string freeze point of the 5.1 release schedule.

Public Library Website Guidelines

Websites are the electronic front door to your library; as such they deserve the same planning and care that your library receives. Websites are a form of marketing and a way of reaching otherwise unserved customers. A library website can be a vital information resource for your community; capitalize on the opportunity. Bear in mind that a web page is not a website. Displaying the depth of information and resources available at the library requires more than a single page.

The Office of Library and Information Services Local Library Development Team and Web Publishing Team have developed the following basic guidelines for the content and design of public library websites. These guidelines are designed to support libraries in designing are great website. These refer directly to information and resources that should be available through a library’s website.

Library Home Page

Essential Information

  • Library name, location and phone
  • Library hours
  • Link to branch information
  • Link to catalog
  • Links to services, programs, calendar, and about the library
  • Link to site map

Additional Information

  • News and events
  • Link to “support the library”, Friends group, or a way to get involved as a library supporter

About the Library

Essential Information

  • Contact information: name, address, phone number, fax number of the library
  • Branch locations (if any) and contact information for the branches
  • Library hours
  • Key personnel and contact numbers and/or e-mail addresses
  • Directions to the library
  • Board of Trustees members
  • Board of Trustees meeting dates/agenda
  • Friends group officers, activities, and membership application
  • Library mission statement
  • Library policies (especially for library cards, loan periods, use of the meeting room, computer use, unattended children)
  • Contact Us link and/or virtual suggestion box

Additional Information

  • Annual report
  • Long-range plan
  • History of the library
  • Library newsletter (if any)
  • Trustee by-laws
  • Trustee meeting minutes
  • Volunteer information
  • Images of the library


Programs and Services

Essential Information

  • Children’s services
  • YA/Teen services
  • Literacy services and programs
  • Disability services
  • Classes/workshops (if offered)
  • Museum and park passes
  • Calendar of events

Additional Information

  • New books listing
  • Staff recommendations listing
  • Parents section
  • Teachers section
  • Seniors section

Reference and Research Information

Essential Information

  • Link to library catalog
  • Link to OSL home page
  • Electronic resources
  • Reference links
  • Virtual reference services (email/IM)
  • Special collections

Additional Information

  • Search engines and directories
  • Local history page
  • Genealogy page
  • Connections to other libraries
  • Statewide Reference Resource Center
  • Instant Answers
  • Ask a Librarian


Design Guidelines

  • Design by the 10 second rule: a visitor should be able to find a link to your catalog, your locations, your programs, your resources, or your key personnel in less than 10 seconds from any page on your site
  • Include the library name on every page (the name should be prominently displayed as a header and included in the <title> tag on the page)
  • Include library address, phone, and “contact us” link on every page (possibly as footer if not in header)
  • Provide clear and consistent navigation throughout the site; include a link to the library homepage on every page
  • Include a site map, and provide a link to it on every page
  • Avoid library jargon, e.g., provide a link to the library catalog
  • Make sure pages load quickly — limit the use of images and text graphics; compress file sizes for all images
  • Avoid flashing objects and multi-colored text that distract a visitor’s attention
  • Avoid pages longer than 2 screens; users will not scroll down to find information
  • Make sure the page is accessible to users with disabilities
  • Libraries meet ADA requirements; websites should have a comparable level of accessibility as specified in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and Federal Section 508 Standards for Electronic and Information Technology
  • Check your pages in multiple browsers to be sure they render correctly, e.g., Internet Explorer, Netscape (Mozilla), Firefox, Opera, even on a Mac (Safari)
  • Librarians are experts at organizing information; library websites should reflect this!

e-commerce Order Fulfillment

A big strategic issue for online retailers is whether to perform order fulfillment activities internally or to outsource them. Building central warehouses, stocking them with adequate inventories, and developing systems to pick , pack and ship individual orders requires substantial start-up capital but may result in lower overall unit costs than would paying the fees of order fulfillment specialists who make a business of providing warehouse space, stocking inventories, and shipping orders for online retailers.

Outsourcing is likely to be economical unless an ecommerce business has the high unit volume and the capital to invest in its own order fulfillment capabilities., an online superstore consisting of thousands items has partnerships with many leading brand-name companies and uses outsiders to stock and ship those products.

Strategies for Competing in Emerging Online Industry

Dealing with all the risks and opportunities of an emerging and ever changing online industry is one of the most challenging business strategy problems. To be successful in an emerging online industry companies usually have to pursue one or more of the following tactical avenues.

  1. Try to win the early race for industry leadership with risk-taking entrepreneurship and bold, creative strategy. A few good examples are Google, Apple regardless how many other companies have tried to compete with them they have not succeeded. Broad or focused differentiation strategies keyed to technological or product superiority typically offer the best chance for early competitive advantage.
  2. Push to perfect the technology aspects, to improve products or service quality, and to develop additional attractive performance features.  For instance adding new functionality features to your website such as live chat, 24-hours support phone etc., can tremendously help your chances in staying competitive.
  3. As Web 2.0 technological uncertainty clears and a dominant technology emerges, adopt bearer on expertise and to pioneer the dominant product design, businesses have to beware of betting too heavily on their own preferred technological approach or product design — especially when there are many competing technologies, research and development is costly, and technological developments can quickly move in a surprising new directions.
  4. Form strategic alliances with key influencers in your industry to gain access to specialized skills, technological capabilities, and critical materials or components.
  5. Acquire or form alliances with businesses that have related or complementary technological expertise so as to outcompete rivals on the basis of technological superiority. If you are a PR marking company try reaching out to high-tech web development agencies and collaborate or share resources with current clients.

Try to capture any first-mover advantages associated with early commitments to promising technologies, allying with most capable influencers, expanding product/service selection, improving styling, capturing experience curve effects, and getting well positioned in new distribution channels. Facebook , Twitter are the perfect examples of first mover advantage. Facebook not only swept MySpace out of its own business model but it created something what we now call “social media”. Facebook may have been the second or third after MySpace or Zynga but they made it into a first mover advantage.

What Are Sellers & Buyers Most Impressed with on Real Estate Firm Websites?

According to statistics, 90% of homebuyers use the internet during some point of their home search for a new home. This isn’t exactly shocking given how much a part of our lives the internet has come and how heavily we rely on it for everything from research to shopping for clothing. However, you may find it interesting to see what potential real estate buyers and sellers look for when it comes time to choose a real estate agency in terms of their agency’s website.

  1. Ease of navigation – Buyers and sellers look for real estate websites that are easy to maneuver through. It’s important that information is organized and accessible. Real estate browsers are often turned off by cluttered sites with too much text.
  2. Professional photography – Potential buyers and sellers like to see listings with professional photography. Multiple angles and great lighting often catch a buyer’s eye.
  3. Important Additional Info – Those searching for a new real estate property often look for additional information pertaining to the community, local schools, local amenities, etc.
  4. Housing market stats – Prospective buyers and sellers like to see stats from the previous year’s market on real estate websites. Providing statistics shows that a real estate firm remains current on local real estate patterns and trends.
  5. Virtual tours – Many internet real estate browsers like to see virtual or video tours of properties. Through this channel potential buyers are able to see a property in a unique way without having to attend an open house. Potential sellers like to know that their properties will be displayed online in a dynamic and engaging way.

Clearly, while it takes more than a nice web presence for a real estate firm to be successful, it’s important to choose a web design agency that takes its website and online listings seriously—. Contact us today to discuss your real estate website.

New Sites & Apps for Buyers & Homeowners

We discussed the real estate industry’s gradual shift to electronic status earlier, and it seems this is further proof of this interesting evolution.

A number of new sites and applications have been developed specifically for real estate buyers and homeowners.

Here are a few of the most interesting:

    1. Nextdoor Social Network – A private, free social network that allows locals to connect with one another. Nextdoor allows neighbors to meet one another without having to go door to door or waiting to bump in to one another. Once a Nextdoor member, individuals in a specific neighborhood can complete an individual profile for themselves as well as their family members. Nextdoor takes privacy quite seriously and only adds neighborhoods once 9 neighbors sign up within 21 days. Each member must verify their address with a credit card by phone as well.
    1. – This social marketing platform provides homeowners with a broad variety of services related to your home. You can invite preferred service providers to join the site as well. Members have access to local and nationwide product discounts that can be shared with friends.
  1. – This online system provides an easy way for homeowners to maintain a current catalog of the contents of their homes for insurance purposes. Additionally, provides those interested in remodeling or decorating with a way to easily keep track of budgets and find great deals.

What do you think of these websites? Do you think any or all of them would be useful to you now or after you purchase new real estate?

An Innovative, fresh and entertaining website

Just as successful brick and mortar retailers employ merchandising strategies to keep their stores fresh and interesting to shoppers online retailers must be good web merchandisers, exerting ongoing efforts to add innovative site features and capabilities , enhance the look and feel of their sites, heighten viewer interest with audio and live video, and have fresh product offerings and special promotions.. Websites need to be easy to read and interesting, with lots of eye appeal. Website features that are distinctive, engaging and entertaining add value to the experience of spending time at the site and are thus strong competitive assets. For example amazon has gone to great lengths of to foster a strong sense of community among users and visitors as par of its strategy to set itself apart from competitors. Moreover, websites have to be clearly marketed. Unless, visitors hear about the site. like what they see on their first visit, and are intrigued enough to return again and again, a pure dot-com company will not generate traffic and revenues necessary to its survival.

How Your Dental Office Benefits from Having a Website

If you are dentist and have a dental office that you want to promote, then it’s essential that you have a website. Most dentists are not aware of all the benefits they can get from having web presence.

When was the last time your patients used a yellow pages? Today’s people are using yellow pages less than ever and that usage will only decrease with time. When people start looking for a dentist, that search starts online or smartphone and usually with Google or Bing. According to online statistics, over 80% of all website traffic comes via search engines.

What does this mean for your dental practice? You must have a website so that your potential patients can get instant information and a visual representation of your dental practice.

The Internet never sleeps, and neither do many people. Having a compelling website, you’ll be able to share your business and contact information with patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How does it help your office

Being on the Web nowadays, with an engaging and vibrant website also increases your business credibility. Consider the alternative: What would happen if a potential patient searched for your office on the Web and found nothing or worse another dental office nearby? You just missed out on a potential lead.

With a website, your practice can also make appointments and take phone call during business hours. There is often no need to hire admin staff.

A website may also help improve patient relations and make it easy for you to provide a high level of information(e.g dental hygiene tips) and build long-lasting relationships with your patients. Through your website, you can give potential patients all the information about your specialties that will enable them to make an informed decision. You may even want to create feedback form on your website so that you can receive and answer patient questions.

Furthermore, having a website means your office can increase patient base and expand reach to a new audience to grow your business and generate greater profits.

Below is an example of a dental office website design:

Dental Office Benefits