Simple Websites

There is a lack of understanding of what websites should and should not do for small aspiring entrepreneurs, small home businesses, and most non-technology centric small business professionals.  For most businesses, the website will NOT make your business.  It should just be an online business card and an online resource that can help you communicate with those who find out about you the old fashioned way... via a personal meeting, word of mouth, or traditional advertising.    Any business that finds you through a web search should be considered a "bonus" (and obviously this is generalizing).

If configured properly, simple websites can help set expectations, minimize ambiguity, minimize duplicate conversation, and increase your day to day efficiency, all of which are benefits for those engaged in worthy business ventures.
As the rest of this website details, I've been building custom websites the old fashioned way since 1995, but I was forced to explore the world of web-based website building tools for some business issues I was dealing with where that was a better solution for various strategic reasons.  For my needs and those of others I was working with, I reviewed the likes of WordPress, Wix, Weebly and SquareSpace and others.  I decided for the most basic and straight forward tool, Weebly was the way to go for me and most others with similar needs. 

Weebly is NOT the best choice for someone who wants to invest a lot of time and energy into something they can really grow into and/or someone that wants to do major commerce via their websites.  That might be WordPress or other e-commerce systems supported by online communities, or a custom system if the funds and needs are there, BUT Weebly is a GOOD solution for getting a very simple web presence very fast.  It is the most straight forward of the options I found for getting going with the smallest learning curve, and it's one where I could get the basics set up and then turn the entire site over to others to manage and grow.

Below is more relevant info on this topic, as well as services I'm willing to provide related to this topic.
The most popular website building/hosting services with web design interfaces given my research are:
  1. Wordpress -- The most powerful but by far the most complex and not intuitive.
  2. Wix -- Very artsy in nature. I'm still confused as to how the templated system works...
  3. Weebly -- Very simple and straightforward. Almost like building a power point presentation. A little buggy, but once you know where the bugs are and how to protect yourself, a nice, reasonable tool to use, and ultimately the tool I've used for myself and for a few of my clients.
  4. That said, there are literally 100's of these businesses out there...
To host a website will cost:
  1. About $15/year for your custom domain name. This fee is non-existent if you are willing to do something like . These costs are paid directly to your domain registrar of choice (and I recommend Godaddy even though they are the gorilla in the industry).
  2. About $6 - $9 /month to weebly if you are using your custom domain name. Free if you are using something like . These costs are paid directly to weebly.
The things I like about weebly:
  1. Relatively simple design interface
  2. Ability to change design templates after the website is built.  This is the only one I found that allows this (I'm sure others do but none of the others listed above do), and this is what allows me to get content quickly built and worry about some design choices second.
  3. Ability to do custom CSS although minimal is suggested.
  1. Weebly does have a blog feature. it's not great, but not bad
  2. Weebly has links for ecommerce and such, but I would NOT use them
  3. Weebly has a contact us page, but I would NOT use it, I would simply post an email address
  4. I have figured out how to incorporate google docs and google sheets into their webpages with the use of iframes.  This is a very, very powerful tool / setup once you understand more about the nature of web publishing for content purposes.
My Fees for a Simple Website:
  1. My baseline fee for getting a site from nothing to something similar to the first two sites listed below is  $600.  That includes setting up a weebly account and godaddy account if needed, compiling information for the website, editing the info,  and creating the initial information layout (which you can then change if you don't like it).
  2. My goal is not to build a "perfect website" nor a website that "makes you money".  No one should expect to "make money" on a website like I provide of this nature. This is what I call an "online business card" on steroids.  It is meant for sharing basic, fairly static info with others. Once completed, I will provide a 15 to 30 minute lesson in how to update the site and backup the site yourself and what to do and not to do with your website editor. The site will have basic search registration, and everything about the site can be updated by the site owner. I will provide on going support and/or updates for $60-150/hour depending on nature of updates, customer's ability to pay, and customer's hourly rate for successful service businesses.  Please note, my help is NOT a requirement once these sites are launched.  Any additional services are strictly because you want my help or input for one reason or another. 
Examples of websites I've built for others and my own interests on weebly include: 
Ric Valentine Acupuncture
Chiro By the Bay
Karmic Tsunami - A Banker's Nightmare

This is NOT a simple website as mentioned above. Hundreds of hours generating text and documentation and logical menu groups, but it started as a simple website. This site shows how Google Docs can be integrated into weebly websites via iframes. 
BofA Bunker Buster - A Banker's Nightmare

BofA Racketeering 2015

This is NOT a simple website as mentioned above. Hundreds of hours generating text and documentation and logical menu groups, but it started as a simple website.  This site shows how Google Docs can be integrated into weebly websites via iframes.