07 Sep

Popular Solutions To Build A Website Without Professional Skills

Widely known as website builders, they can help in creating websites without having any professional skills in website design. It can be a good option for those who don’t have enough budget to hire a web developer or would like to create a simple website without spending a fortune. 

Using a good website builder is also one of the fastest ways to set up your website. Many free and paid website builders provide simple, drag-and-drop tools that make creating a website simple and straightforward. 

However, not all website building tools are equal. Some are more flexible and/or reliable than others. Here are the most popular solutions on the market in 2020 that can help in building the website without having to study for years.

WordPress.com

WordPress

WordPress.com is a commercial edition of the open-source WordPress software. What you get from WordPress.com is a self-contained website platform that’s geared toward serving the DIY beginner user.

Key features:

  • An all-in-one platform for building a website yourself and launching it to the public. 
  • A visual content editor that’s easy-to-use and supports drag-and-drop. 
  • A separate design customization interface. 
  • Hundreds of free and paid website templates. 
  • A top-of-the-class blogging module. 
  • An eCommerce module. You can sell products and services. Worldwide payment processing can also be integrated with ease. 
  • Thousands of add-ons available. For things like contact forms, collecting leads, subscriptions, backups, and more. 
  • SEO tools, Mailchimp integration, Google Analytics, and more. 
  • Advanced reports and website statistics. 
  • Apps for iOS and Android. 
  • One-on-one sessions with support staff to help you get started. 
  • 24/7 live chat support.

The only thing you require is quality WordPress hosting from a reliable provider.

Wix

Wix.com is an all-in-one website building solution that lets you craft a professional and optimized website all by yourself.  The best thing about Wix is how it delivers its features and how easy to grasp the entire platform is. No matter your level of experience, you will be able to build a beautiful and functional website that doesn’t lack any essential features. 

Key features:

  • Wix Editor. It’s a drag-and-drop website building tool. It’s fully visual, which means that you can build your website design by moving elements around – no coding skills are required. 
  • Wix ADI. It’s an artificial intelligence module for website design. Basically, it asks you a range of questions about your idea for the site and then suggests a ready-made website that’s optimized for your needs. 
  • A fully functional eCommerce module. Wix allows you to add an eCommerce functionality to your website and sell whatever products or services you wish. 
  • Wix Logo Maker. A logo is a must-have when building a website. Wix offers its own logo maker tool that’s just as easy-to-use as anything else in Wix. 
  • 500+ designer-made website templates. 
  • Good SEO features and social tools. 
  • A custom domain name. 
  • Advanced analytics and stats.
  • 24/7 phone support in English. Support also available in other languages during working hours (Monday-Friday from 5 am-5 pm PST).  

Constant Contact Website Builder

Constant Contact is one of the leading players in the email marketing space – offering a functional email delivery service.  They’ve also entered the website builder market with an interesting, budget-friendly solution for businesses and small stores that need a website fast.

Key features:

  • A comprehensive AI website design module. The builder will ask you a couple of questions about your site and suggest a whole website design based on your answers (with individual pages and images included in context). 
  • A visual page building tool. You can tweak your design by adding new sections on the page and changing the specifics of what they look like. 
  • A fully-featured eCommerce module. 
  • A free image library (500,000+ professional images to choose from). 
  • Built-in integrations with a content delivery network (CDN). 
  • SEO features and optimizations built-in. 
  • Integrated with Google My Business. 
  • Optimized to be viewed on all devices. 
  • An analytics module. 
  • A blogging module. 
  • An integrated logo maker. 
  • Support available 24/7 via live chat, email, and also phone on higher plans.

Squarespace

Squarespace is one of the most popular website building tools out there. It’s also the only website builder to have had a Super Bowl ad, which is proof that the company is really confident about their product. 

Squarespace prides itself on its beautiful designs and intuitive interface. Works great if you want to build a business website. 

Key features:

  • Hundreds of professionally-made and award-winning designs to choose from. The designs come in different categories based on the purpose of your site. 
  • Fully visual and drag-and-drop enabled website editor. 
  • A blogging module. 
  • A fully-functional eCommerce store module allowing you to sell products (physical and digital, services, and subscriptions). 
  • A complete all-in-one package of SEO tools. 
  • Advanced analytics to help you understand what’s going on right now but also what the overall traffic trends of your site are. 
  • App integrations with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Maps, Unsplash, Zapier, Dropbox, Open Table, Xero, and many others. 
  • A functional mobile app to work on your site on the go. 
  • A logo maker. 
  • 24/7 customer support via live chat and email. 

Zyro 

Zyro is another all-in-one website building solution that lets you do everything yourself. 

It is also one of the newest players in the world of website builder tools. Right out the gate, its main selling point seems to be their functional free website builder, and very affordable paid plans after that. 

Key features

  • 20 website design templates to choose from. All of them truly beautiful and modern. 
  • A visual website building interface that’s grid-based and has full drag-and-drop functionality. 
  • AI Writer. An artificial intelligence module to help you write your website copy. 
  • Zyro Logo Maker. Easy to use and has some cool elements to help you get started. 
  • An eCommerce module allowing you to sell on your site and also via Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon. 
  • Two more AI tools: Business Name Generator and Slogan Generator. 
  • Optimized for all devices automatically. 
  • Integrations with Unsplash (to get unlimited images for your website), Facebook Messenger, Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Hotjar. 
  • Basic SEO features. 
  • Support via live chat, knowledgebase, and email. 

Webflow 

Webflow is a new player in the website builder landscape and quite an original one at that. 

On the one hand, it does come with a free plan, which lets you build a functional website without spending a dime. But on the other, it also delivers advanced features that are not commonly seen in free tools. 

Key features:

  • An advanced visual website builder. This one works with drag-and-drop, but also lets you tune-up every little detail about the elements on the page. 
  • Lets you build your design based on a CSS grid – a useful feature for advanced users. 
  • Accepts custom code. 
  • Exceptional typography control with over 2000 web fonts available. 
  • Fully responsive (also scales your images to make them fit). 
  • 100+ website templates (free and paid). 
  • 3D transformations and animations. Useful if you want to make your site stand out. 
  • CMS features integrated. This means that you can add content like portfolio items, blog posts, etc. 
  • An eCommerce module. 
  • Great SEO and Open Graph settings. 
  • Features allowing you to create sites for clients and then bill them from Webflow. 
  • Integrates with Google Analytics, Mailchimp, Google Optimize, Zapier. 
  • Email support for paid accounts and prioritized support for team accounts. Community support via online forum for free accounts. 

Weebly

Weebly is another all-in-one website platform on the list. It can handle all your website needs, from simple business card sites to eCommerce stores. 

It is similar to Wix in many aspects but does deliver its features in a slightly different manner. 

Key features:

  • A drag-and-drop website builder. Has all the standard content elements you might need and also some more unique elements like video backgrounds. 
  • 60+ website templates to choose from. 
  • An eCommerce module with secure checkout, inventory tracking, a powerful filtered product search, and other features. 
  • A blogging module. 
  • A custom popup creator. 
  • Apps for iOS and Android with access to website stats, online store stats and visitor interactions. 
  • An app center with third-party integrations and add-ons. 
  • SEO tools. 
  • An email module for communicating with your audience. 
  • HTML and CSS control for advanced users. 
  • Live chat and email support, and also phone support on higher plans. 
01 Sep

How To Choose The Correct Hosting Location For Ultimate Website Performance?

Choosing the hosting locations for your website should be the top on your checklist if you are launching the new website. Your web hosting server locations should be nearest to your target audience.

But Why Is It Important?

Because it will play a crucial role on performance of your website and SEO. Choosing the closest web hosting server to your target audience will reduce the page load speed, especially if you are running an e-commerce website. The slow loading speed of your website might cost you the prospective clients. Also, the Google has added the page load speed to their ranking algorithm so website loading speed will surely affect the ranking of your website. Hence hosting a website on a server closer to your target audience is very important from the SEO standpoint as well.

How To Choose The Best Location For Your Website?

Latency plays a crucial role when it comes to the speed of a website. Lower is better, 10 ms or lower is considered as an ideal latency. The best way to reduce the latency is to put your target audience closer to the web hosting server. You can also use the CDN if you are getting international traffic on your website.

What Is CDN And How Does It Work?

Content delivery networks (CDN) stores the cached version of your website’s static content in multiple web hosting locations across the globe and it will deliver  the static content of your website from the nearest server to the user who is browsing the website. For example, if your website is hosted on a server located in Chicago and the user is browsing it from London, the CDN will deliver the cached content of the website from the nearest CDN server to London which will reduce the load time and latency dramatically.

Conclusion

In such a way, we highly recommend choosing a cloud hosting server closer to your targeted audience which not only gives the performance to your website but also helps in SEO and ranking of your website. Your website will have a lower latency which will result in a faster page loading.  And if you are getting the traffic all around the world, then you should also consider using the CDN service to bring the content closer to your prospective users. Just ask Softsys Hosting experts and we’ll advise.

03 Aug

eCommerce Platforms: Pros and Cons of Server-Based and Cloud Solutions

There are so many eCommerce platforms that let you build an online store from scratch like nopCommerce, Prestashop, Magento, etc. and you can start offering your products and services online without any hassle.

Once you have selected the appropriate platform according to your needs the next step is to choose the hosting platform. 

Basically there are two types of hosting for eCommerce platforms:

  • 1. Server-based.
  • 2. Cloud solutions.

In this blog post we will go through the insights of both of these hosting types and also will discuss major pros and cons of them.

Server-based

Server based ecommerce

In the server-based hosting for your eCommerce website either you can go with a dedicated server or a virtual private server (VPS).

Both dedicated server and VPS gives you the root level privileges and also you will get the higher bandwidth compared to the cloud solution. So if you are running a large eCommerce website and getting a huge traffic then the server-based hosting will be ideal for you.

Pros: 

1 : Disk Space And Bandwidth

In dedicated server or virtual private server you will get the high disk space and bandwidth so you don’t need to worry about the storage space or bandwidth consumptions and you can focus on your business.

2 : Privacy And Security

In the dedicated server or VPS you will get the root level access to your server and only your websites will be hosted on the server with your unique dedicated IP address. Security is more robust as well because yours is the only traffic going in and out of your server.

3 : Performance

Performance is major factor when it comes to any website. No one likes the websites which load slowly. So if your eCommerce site is hosted on a dedicated server or VPS you already have high-speed bandwidth and all other resources are dedicatedly used by your website only.

Cons:

1: Cost

The dedicated servers and VPS are costlier than the cloud platforms so it depends on your business model, the traffic you are seeing per day to determine if you need your own server or if you are just a startup or small business then definitely you should consider the cloud solutions for your website.

2: Maintenance

With great powers comes great responsibility. This is true when you are operating your eCommerce business with your own server. You will need to hire a dedicated person to handle your all server maintenance tasks like installing security patches keeping up-to-date all the software and plugins troubleshooting the server side issues etc., unless you have a managed server.

Cloud Solutions

Cloud based ecommerce

Cloud solutions are widely used for small eCommerce websites and startup businesses. You can quickly setup and deploy your eCommerce website on a cloud hosting platform without worrying about the technical aspects at cheaper cost compared to a server based solutions.

Pros:

1:   Cost-effective

Cloud solutions are cheaper compared to dedicated server or a VPS. You don’t need to worry about managing the server and maintenance of it. The hosting provider will manage all the technical aspects like server security and other things on cloud solutions. This will save the man power and cost of hiring a system administrator to manage the server.

2:  Usability

On a cloud solution you will get an easy-to-use web-based control panel with user friendly UI to manage and deploy your eCommerce websites. And most of providers offer a managed service on eCommerce hosting plans. So you will get 24/7 support in case anything goes wrong.

3:  Scalability

The major benefit of using cloud service is the scalability. You can opt for increasing the resources such as (disk space, bandwidth, etc.) on demand as per your present requirements.

Cons:

1: Security

On a cloud server there are hundreds of websites that are hosted along with your website. So if one of those website is compromised or infected your website may also be at a risk.

2: Performance

In cloud hosting sometimes you may get slower speed on loading due to heavy load on a cloud server because there are so many other websites are also consuming the bandwidth and other server resources which may affect your website indirectly.

03 Oct

Remove Roadblocks To Plan For 2019 Expansion

As we enter the last quarter of 2018, it’s time to begin planning for the new year. What are your goals? Challenges? Projections? Limitations? Spend the next three months laying the groundwork for your 2019 growth. First on the list? Removing any roadblocks that may stand in your way.

Uncertainty

Uncertainty can be paralyzing and is the biggest roadblock to your company’s growth. If you’re planning to expand in 2019, battle uncertainty with strategy and data. First, analyze the data that you have available to determine where the opportunities are in the market. What regions are underserved in your industry? Where can you provide additional value to your customers? Don’t have a ton of data? Add that to your must-have list for 2019.

Then, develop a strategy that uses the data you’ve analyzed to address any uncertainty you’re feeling about expansion. Visualize any challenges and how you may overcome them. Most importantly, work with experts to ensure that your infrastructure can support your strategy and deliver the data you need in the future.

Technology

Is your existing technology hindering your growth? Have you been putting off a technology upgrade because the risk or pain caused by change seems too high? Now is the time to make infrastructure adjustments that will help you better operate and serve your clients now as well as expand in the coming year.

This is a great time to consider transitioning to fully managed dedicated hosting with a provider that is experienced in helping companies scale. Look for enterprise-class secure infrastructure, comprehensive features, and tech support that you can count on. With the right technology in place, you can be much more agile in the market and scale as you see opportunities arise.

Whether your expansion will be worldwide or just down the street, preparing your systems for the growth will help ensure that your business stays running during the transition. IT & technology should help your business grow & not the other way round. At Softsys Hosting, we specialize in helping you deploy solutions which can grow almost indefinitely with your business growth.

Staff Development

Once you have your technology in place, evaluate your team to ensure you have the right resources to support expansion. Often, companies overwhelm their IT departments with internal system management, customer service support, hosting, data analytics, and more. As you grow, the need to specialize increases.

You have a few options when it comes to staff development – train, hire, or outsource. Depending on your specific needs and goals, it can be costly and time-consuming to hire new talent or train your current team members on a new system. So often, businesses are forced to “make do” with a team that may not have the expertise to fuel their growth.

Not sure whether IT resource constraints are costing your business? Here are 4 signs that it may be time to seek expert help. At Softsys Hosting, we not only provide the IT resources you need to succeed, but we work with your in-house team to make sure that the transition is smooth and everyone can focus on what they do best. The end result? A well-oiled machine that is poised for expansion.

Softsys Hosting Review

With the thousands of web hosting services out there you might think of them more or less as a commodity. That may be true for most, but we have found one that stands ahead of the crowd in just about every way. Every single time we work with the people at https://www.softsyshosting.com/ we have been amazed at just how good these guys are. Every time we submit a support ticket, they respond within a few hours with a detailed solution. They will often even go above and beyond and do the work for us. You can image how refreshing it is to submit a complex support ticket and then get an email from the president of the company less than an hour later saying they went ahead and took care of it for you an no charge and asking how else they can help. FlashDrivePros.com definitely recommends Softsys Hosting for all your hosting needs!

— Ryan Stutzman
Vice President