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Old 08-19-2012
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Default What is your favorite free site builder?
I would like to build a website for my sister n law's business and take a snap shot of her site for advertising on my site. Please give suggestions about your favorite free website builder.
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Old 08-20-2012
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Default Re: Your favorite free site builder
What type of business does she have. For my regular business sites I use Wordpress. It is one of the most versatile and easy to use. I have used Joomla as well but WP still tops for me. There may be a learning curve there there are many free templates and resources.
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Old 08-20-2012
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Default Re: Your favorite free site builder
Hi April,

I don't have a favorite free site builder. When I first started out in 2006, I did use a free site builder which was Office Live. It was very limiting what could be done to the site and my SEO was not very good at all.

I moved to WordPress after learning about its benefits to flexibility, SEO and customization. And while the foundation for WP is free, hosting is not. However, for the inexpensive price to pay for hosting (I use Hostgator) it is all well-worth the investment. A good website is an investment in the business. From there, you can find free WP templates to use however, be wary because they can have hidden malware in the freebies.

So my suggestion is to think about hosting a WP site and buy an inexpensive template page such as Elegant Themes or Themeforest to start. Eventually you can offer WP as a service which is often in client demand.

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Old 08-20-2012
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Default Re: Your favorite free site builder
Mari,
She is thinking of starting an event planning business and has limited start up funds. I am trying to help her spend as less as possible (while gaining experience of site building) until business picks up and she's able to invest more into the company. I was thinking of using Wix and thought that I would ask for preferences.

Thanks for the reply
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Old 08-20-2012
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Default Re: Your favorite free site builder
Hello Janine,

Thanks for the advice. I found starter packages that are fairly reasonable, just as you said, that I will talk to my sis-n-law about. I will browse WP themes also.

Thanks again
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Old 08-20-2012
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Default Re: Your favorite free site builder
You can try out Coffeecup.com and look at using their software. It's reasonably priced and they have several different types of software for downloads.
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Old 08-20-2012
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Default Re: Your favorite free site builder
April,

If you search 'free WordPress themes' in google you will find thousands. Again, my only concern is that there may be malware contained in the theme and the companies stick in coding which links back to their sites. But there are good, free WP themes that can be used as starters. If you use a free WP theme, you only have to pay for hosting. There is no contract for hosting so no need to commit to long-term.

There are free sitebuilders as you mentioned such as Weebly but I personally think they often look 'stiff' and they look like sitebuilders as opposed to a more flowing, creative flair that paid WP themes offer.

But I understand starting out and wanting to get something 'up'. I think if you are going to spend the time creating a site, it may be worth the few dollars to host and use a paid theme.

Janine
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Old 08-21-2012
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Default Re: Your favorite free site builder
I have also used the Wordpress.com sites and tumbler to create a movie site until I could move to my own webhost. That is another option. Most free themes from Wordpress are located right on the wordpress.org site. Yes, some want a link back but some do not. You can read the terms to see if they do. I don't personally mind. If not there are places that offer themes for as low as $10 that you can customize and remove the link back. Research around and see what works best for her.
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Old 08-21-2012
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Default Re: Your favorite free site builder
Has anyone taken a look at:
* Joomla?
* Weebly?

Thanks,
Anne
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Old 08-21-2012
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Default Re: Your favorite free site builder
I second Janine on the free site builders. They have limitations on growing and what you can include.

I am a WP gal. I find it inexpensive, easy to use and grow. There are many themes out there that are inexpensive however the two that are included, Twenty Ten and Twenty Eleven, have versatility to as to how you can make it your own.

There are many premium themes that are inexpensive as well including Elegent Themes and Theme Forest (which offers a free file of the month).

I have clients who use Weebly, straight HTML, and Wix that are all having issues growing them into what they need. In the short term you may need to invest a little but in the long run it will save you time and money.
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