It can be quite daunting to have to learn how to build a website from scratch, which means that it is often a better idea to use some kind of website builder. Most people have absolutely no knowledge of programming with HTML, and a ready-made solution will always offer the highest amount of convenience. Modern website providers (such as 1&1) offer a website builder that can provide a professional looking site, without the hassle, time and aggravation of programming and coding.
The main benefit of a website builder will be that it is ‘WYSIWYG.' This term means ‘What You See Is What You Get', and it is pretty much self-explanatory. When using one of these applications, the version that is displayed on the screen will be an exact representation of the final product once it has been published. This avoids the traditional pitfall of web design, where creators and editors spend many hours trying to get everything in alignment, with the correct fonts and sizes.
Every individual and business will have a unique set of needs, and while a single page may be suitable for some, many websites need to have a large number of pages, sections and sub-sections. Website builders allow the creator to specify an exact layout and structure, with many products even offering an unlimited amount of pages. When starting a website with a lower hosting package, most companies offer a product that is completely scaleable – meaning that the level of service can be upgraded in the future to allow a greater number of pages.
Alongside the number of pages, traffic may also be something that needs to be considered carefully. Modern hosting solutions will usually offer unlimited traffic (i.e. visitors), but many users could benefit from a lower-cost service level with a fixed amount of traffic. In any case, this is also something that is saleable, and it can be upgraded as the site's popularity increases. If the website is going to be rich in media (videos, music and images), it may be worth considering an unlimited package due to the data transfers that are involved.
Although video content can usually be hosted within the main website, many site creators now opt to host content on YouTube or similar video sharing services. These media networks offer a set of simple tools that allow web authors to insert content directly into their pages, but the actual content is hosted on the original network's server. This means that when a visitor plays a video, the site creator benefits from the multi-billion dollar infrastructure of the network. Hosting YouTube videos is particularly popular, and high-traffic websites can also benefit from monetization programmes – these give the author a percentage of advertising revenues from all views. Overall, it is very straightforward to integrate a YouTube video into a website builder – it is often a case of ‘drag and drop.'
It is extremely rare to find a company's website that doesn't have Facebook, Twitter and other social media buttons that can be clicked. Website builders make it very easy to integrate social media networks into a site, and there are many options that are available. While some users will prefer a simple link, other apps and widgets can often be installed that automatically display the latest posts and tweets. These can also be customized by a ‘#hashtag' on Twitter, and this will show website visitors a clearly defined set of tweets from a variety of users.
Apps and Widgets
These ‘plug ins' are about a lot more than social media, and they provide a great way to generate content without having to put in a lot of effort. News tickers are a popular example of this, and they are offered by most of the major news agencies. They can usually be customized, for example offering business websites the chance to only display economics news stories. Many widgets are also ‘media rich', giving visitors a selection of videos and audio content that is created by a professional source.
Earning money from advertising
To make a website self-financing, website builders make it very easy to integrate services such as Google Adwords. This is a particularly popular example, as Google's servers will automatically generate advertisements that are relevant to the content of the website. There are other similar solutions available, and the best websites will often find themselves returning a healthy profit.