Best Web Design Software - Online

Finding the best web design software that is easy to use and inexpensive is quite easy for the beginner. There are many web based companies who offer a complete, online website design package. They make creating an online business really easy especially for the beginner. They often provide a package of hosting, domain name registration and other services.

The main drawback is that they can often be limited in terms of their scope and your level of creativity. They are great to begin with and to learn how to have an internet business but you may outgrow them.

How do they work?

Online website companies are basically offering you their templates. All you have to do is add the text and pictures.

When you sign up to one of these companies, you will be given a username and password to access your special web design area. How this exactly works will depend on which company you use.

There are normally some "getting started" instructions. If the package includes a domain name registration, you will register this first. Alternatively, if you have already registered your own domain name, you need to provide some information to allow the domain name to be hosted on the server. This is called the DNS (Domain Name Server). Please see the Help of the company you registered the domain name with and the hosting company to find out how to do this.

The next part will be to choose a template. This can easily be changed later so start with something really simple with everything done for you.

Next, you will be able to enter text and pictures on to the website. How this works will be up to the company you sign with. These companies make it very easy for you to enter your content. It can be as simple as entering text into a Word document.

Finally there will be some kind of "submit" button and Hey Presto! Your website is live for everyone to see.

What should I watch out for?

There can be difficulties with even the best web design software. Here are a couple:

Images - please see the section on images. They can be a bit tricky. Also be aware that you have to upload your images to the website company - this should be easy to do but check their instructions and make sure you use the right format eg jpg.

Limited functions - You will likely find you need to know a little html to enhance your pages.

A great resource is www.w3schools.com.

Another great resource is http://www.hypergurl.com

To understand the basics of html, this tutorial http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/tut/lessons.html will get you started.

How to Choose

I hate to say it, but at the end of the day it is up to you.

The best web design software I have used is the SBI software. I recommend this because everything is included in one package, it has almost everything you need and is well supported. It does not have an integrated shopping cart but does allow you to integrate one.

I have also used www.easily.co.uk.

If you do a search in Google, thousands more will appear.

Look at what exactly is being offered. Most of these companies have a limit on the number of pages you can have - it is better to have something with a high limit or is unlimited.

Check the contract - how long is it for, what flexibility is there, how easy is it to change.

Look for recommendations on forums etc.

Look at other websites designed by the company. Check the templates and look at their flexibility - is there scope to design what you want?

Can you use other files such as powerpoint or pdf files (if you need them)?

Can you bolt on other features such as forums, shopping cart, blog?

Conclusion

Choosing the best web design software for you will be one of the most important and biggest decisions when you build your website. So do some research, ask around and take some time to make the right decision.

Also remember not to make the decision based on price alone - this can be a false economy.