Too often we see jarring changes between building awareness and increasing consideration. This disunity in an ecommerce strategy can hurt your conversion rates, but by creating marketing strategies with your sales funnel in mind, you can create a seamless journey that works to propel your potential customer into not only an existing customer but a returning customer.
A hostname is a word label used to identify a device connected to a computer network on the world wide web. They are part of the DNS system separated from a host-label by a “dot” or period. Hostnames are sent to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, which are the numerical value of the device. These two work together to serve up and manage all websites online.
Many web hosting services offer so-called unlimited or unmetered service for whatever amount of bandwidth, disk storage and sites you use. It's important to understand that most terms of service actually do limit the definition of "unlimited" to what's considered reasonable use. The bottom line is simple: if you're building a pretty basic website, unlimited bandwidth means you don't need to worry. But if you're trying to do something excessive (or illegal, immoral or fattening), the fine print in the hosting platform's terms of service will trigger, and you'll either be asked to spend more or go elsewhere.
That said, there are some elements that you should pay close attention to when deciding on which free website builder you choose – which is exactly what we do To create this ranking of the best free website builders, we drew upon our extensive research and user testing for each website builder as a whole, and combined this with a specific focus on their free plans, paying close attention to whether or not the builder ticked these boxes:
I have personally built two different sites using WordPress and found it very easy to use, setup and configure. Once it is initially setup, maintaining the site is as easy as logging into the WordPress admin site and adding your content. I was initially very surprised by the ease of the setup to get my sites up and running. I was able to get the site online and running on a customer domain within 15 minutes. This was a welcome surprise to me the fist time I used WordPress. While WordPress sites are not as simple as drag and drop configuration for the novice computer user, average users will find it easy to edit text and add content using the built in templates. The price is possibly the most attractive feature of WordPress. The word free will often attract users but the usability and ease of the software is what will make users stick with the platform. After building two sites on WordPress, I would strongly recommend it and will surely use it for my future website building projects.
FuFu: Follow up Funnel sales funnels are for repeat customers. These funnels maximize the value of each customer over the lifetime of the relationship. To do this, you will follow-up and send customers to other sales funnels that offer more expensive products. For example, customers already purchased your $37 product in sales funnel #1. So in sales funnel #2, you can offer a $297 product. In sales funnel #3, you can offer a $997 product.
This ‘free plus shipping’ type approach has been empirically proven in a variety Psychology of Marketing studies and has been recently popularized by researchers such as Dr. Dan Ariely, the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University and author of the hugely influential book Predictably Irrational. We’ve seen this approach drive increases in sales of an upsell product 3-4-fold.
I should highlight here that, much like all website builders, SITE123 is not without cons. It’s a simple and intuitive website builder, but it is more suited to building basic websites. If you use only the free options, you won’t be able to create anything but a simple personal website with SITE123. Meanwhile, its free plan has no duration constraints, but limits storage space to 500MB and bandwidth to 1GB.
A free online store made using Jimdo will enable you to sell up to five products, and that’s why it’s a mistake to call it a comprehensive e-commerce store builder. But you should remember that you get all this without having to spend a dime. Moreover, Jimdo doesn’t charge any sales commission like most traditional e-commerce store builder software (for example, Shopify).
GoDaddy Website Builder can act as your hub, the place where your friends and contacts can see your posts, photos, videos and more. With the option to link to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube on your website, your visitors can be everywhere you are on the web. Being able to cover multiple platforms gives you the opportunity to reach more people, while creating appropriate content for each of your socials (like posting all of your photos on Instagram, and tweeting about your most recent business venture on Twitter). By centrally locating all the links in one place – your new website – you are giving your website visitors a seamless experience. Linking to your social media in your website gives you an advantage in communicating with your visitors; the more they can connect with you and do so in the forum that’s most comfortable to them, the more they’ll engage with your site, and thus you or your business.
Migration or transfer services are often free or offered at a reasonable fee at web hosting companies. These services help move your existing site to the new hosting provider. They can save a huge amount of hassle. Just remember that the migration process is often automated, and may fit in with the host's processes and needs rather than yours. Not everything may migrate, and you may find the organization of the newly migrated site makes for harder maintenance in the long run.
This review covers WordPress.com, which is a simplified version of WordPress that functions like a website builder. WordPress.org, on the other hand, is a content management system (CMS) that can organize and store a lot more content, but demands a bit more technical know-how. We’ve written a full comparison of these two WordPress platforms if you’d like to learn more! If not, then read on for our review of WordPress.com.
The five data centers GreenGeeks uses is more than some of the heavier-hitting hosting companies; so, the fact that you can choose which one you’re connected to is a nice bonus. This definitely contributes to the fast 493ms response times. Despite this, the recorded uptime could be a little better at 99.95%, but this isn’t a deal-breaker for some, even though the best providers among the competition have 99.9% or better.
With more than 11 million sites built on IM Creator, it's a popular option for a few reasons: there's an easy point-and-click interface, an extensive range of templates and images, and unlimited web hosting and domain services. Plus, the platform is scalable, and you can have either single or multipage layouts. This builder is unique for its built-in ecommerce tools, and offers SEO and Google Analytics to fully optimize your site for search engines.
Arguably one of the most flexible and easy-to-use builders, Site123 lets you customize anything and offers a one-click installation wizard with graphics and templates. Site123 stands out as particularly helpful with its free images library, professional fonts to add visual elements to your site, and creative DIY plans for creating multiple pages (which are unlimited). Plus, since it offers web hosting domain registration, 500 MB storage space, Google Analytics, and is ad-free, you won't feel pressured to switch to a paid plan.
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One thing that stands out about them is that they live up to their promise of handling all the technical aspects of your site, unlike other hosting services. They take care of software updates, setups and security patches, leaving your website running optimally. Their support has tremendously improved and will help if you are having problems with anything.
BigCommerce is a bit different from our other hosting plans in that it's a SaaS (software-as-a-service) provider instead of an IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) provider. In other words, rather than renting space on a virtual machine where you setup and configure your own site, BigCommerce provides you with an app you login to that creates and online store.
Alexandra Leslie’s interest in website administration was sparked in her teens, priming her for a fast-paced career in managing, building, and contributing to online brands, including HostingAdvice, Forbes, and the blogs of prominent hosting providers. She brings to the table firsthand experience in reviewing web hosts, perfecting website design, optimizing content, and walking site owners through the steps that add up to a successful online presence. Today, she combines her extensive writing experience with technical understanding to unpack some of the most complex topics that daunt novice website owners, as well as the subjects that excite veteran technologists within the HostingAdvice readership.
5 Best Web Hosting Services in 2020