Featured Author

Carrie Snyder Director of Marketing Leslie E. Robertson Associates

Carrie Snyder
  • Director, SMPSNY Coordinators Club
  • Co-chair, Communications Committee
Many online platforms now exist that make designing and updating a new website easy even for the novice. There are many advantages for selecting to handle your website design in-house, these include flexibility of edits, efficiency of staff utilization and considerable cost savings. If you choose to use an online software service, do your research carefully as you will not be able to transfer your designs from one service to another. Also make sure to save all of your content separately from the service. Most of these sites have numerous plug-ins and apps available that can add tools such as searches, polls, and shopping functions onto your site. For the overall design, you can choose a pre-existing template or completely customize what is available, so that your brand and firm message shine through.

[expand title=”Click here to read more…”] Here is a breakdown of some of the available services: 1. Wix.com | Wix is an online website development platform . They engage a user friendly drag and drop set of tools. They offer a range of beautiful templates, some are fee based. Hosting platforms are available monthly at a variety of low fees. These can be customized but this requires some design expertise to accomplish. There are some limitations to what they support but Wix is making a big push into the market – you may have seen their ad during the Superbowl, and they are constantly adding and refining the services they offer. Many designs give you the option of editing a separate mobile site. Wix also allows you to try out templates and designs before making a purchase. As a bonus, Wix offers a free Co-Working Space and networking events to their community in New York City. (The author has just launched the brand new LERA.com, using Wix.com) 2. WordPress.com | WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool. WordPress is free and has a huge online community of available resources. You will need to be more savvy and knowledgeable with coding in order to accomplish anything special or customized on your site. WordPress started out as a blogging software and is now commonly used on firm intranets. 3. Squarespace.com | Squarespace is a content management web-publishing platform service that allows users to change templates easily without having to redo design. Users are charged a monthly fee from a selection of options. They specialize in responsive designs that function across multiple platforms and mobile devices. Subway riders will be familiar with their prolific ads, and they have a fan base who speaks to their popularity. 4. TheGrid.io | Marketing itself as Artificial Intelligence: The Website That Builds Itself, this service is very new. While the idea is certainly compelling and the company has raised over $4 M to launch their services, there are many bugs reported. Perhaps some of the errors will be worked out, until then nothing can replace thoughtful design and marketing. Overall many of these sites can be fun to use, offer inspiration, and can streamline the tremendous task of launching a new website so that marketers can let fresh content be the focus.[/expand]