I have recently built my own website using the Weebly website builder (free when you register a domain name via Sibername). It was a very pleasant experience, especially for a person with no website building knowledge like myself. I’d like to share my experience about using this basic tool, as well as how I used this tool to build and promote my new website. Sometimes using a basic tool and a good strategy is all you need to bring you closer to your goal. I will be discussing the tool and my “synchronized website marketing strategy” toward the end of this lengthy article.
Here’s the list of what I needed:
- I need a basic website that I can build and maintain myself using free, easy-to-use, web-based website building tools.
- I need a secure, risk-free, affordable website hosting provider with free premium technical support 24/7 from Day 1
- I need to have the tools and support I need to do step-by-step upgrades, if I decide to upgrade my site at some point.
- I need my website to be mobile friendly since that is the current trend.
- I need to find a trustworthy web hosting company with a client referral program to help me pay for my upgrades
- I need an adaptable website marketing strategy to promote my website continually 24/7 from on Day 1 (see below, please scroll down to mid-page below the dividing line)
First I registered a domain name with Sibername. The first decision I had to make was which domain name extension to select since there are now so many options now (.PRO, .CA, .FAMILY, .AUTO …). I selected a .COM after I made sure my specific domain name was available in all other extensions (domain names are actually investments worth protecting). Some competitors had similar domain names so I just peeked to see who owned them using WHOIS Search. I was glad to see that neither I nor my strategic partners had much competition. Once my domain name was registered, accessing my new webmail was immediately important to me, so I created an account and within 5 minutes I was emailing my friends with my new email address. Seeing my new email address based on my new domain name, my contacts kept asking when my website would be up and running so a few weeks later I made the time to build my basic website and satisfied their curiosity. Before building it, however, I toyed with the Weebly site builder to explore all the features that were available in the basic package just to get the feel of it.
Here are some of the basic features of the Weebly website builder tool:
Select professionally pre-designed themes/Change backgrounds, font styles, font sizes, font colors/Add a slide show/Add Youtube videos/Add photo galleries to your pages/Add block quotes/Add customizable contact forms, survey forms, poll forms, RSVP forms/Add documents/Add social media icons/Add a feed reader/Toggle between Desktop or Smartphone views/Embed other applications
The basic website builder had all the features I needed (and still need) for building and updating my website. It’s easy to use and requires no training. Everything is just click and drag. I then built my website and am now in the process of marketing it (my strategy is here, below the dividing line in this article).
The Sibername Web Hosting Company: What warmed me up to the Sibername company was how effective and friendly their technical support department was to me, even when all I did was register a domain name. I once emailed their helpdesk with some questions and was surprised to see that they answered my questions within 30 minutes even though it was late at night. These were the questions I had asked:
- Where do I login to create my webmail?
- Where do I login for my webmail?
- Where do I login to create and update my website?
They responded that the answers to my questions were actually in the welcome email they had sent me after I had registered my domain name. I read it again and followed the instructions in the email and the process was quite simple and quick. At any rate, I’m glad to know that at least one company exists that offers a premium support service even for clients of a basic website building package. That’s something I have never seen before for any kind of company.
About my Website: At any rate, I used this site building tool to build my 4-page website (Sibername offers 5 free web pages with a domain name purchase but I only had enough ideas to fill 4 pages so far. I am thinking of making my 5th page one that is hidden from the navigation bar and just accessible to those who interact with me.). On the “Home Page” I added a slide show gallery of clickable photos of my activities and allies (if visitors of my homepage see a photo they like they simply click on the photo and it links them directly to the website of my allies). On the “About me Page” I just talk about what I do and what I believe in (and I also include a discussion box where people can share what they believe in). On the “Blog Page” I actually invited my allies and strategic partners to contribute blog articles to my Blog Page and added their photo and links to their sites. On the “Contact Me Page”. I added my contact information and my calendar of events (since I organize many public events and my guests like to pre-reserve their seats). On most pages I added social media share buttons. I also added links to my social media profiles.
So, now, for the price of an economical meal I had registered my own domain name, had access to my own webmail address and mailing system, and had my own professional-looking website which I could modify as often as I wish. Before considering investing in the more advanced features of my website, I asked a few fundamental questions to see if it was all worthwhile.
-sylvain (link to the full article)