The best 4 website builders for your small business in 2019 (in-depth video included)

The best 4 website builders for your small business in 2019 (in-depth video included)

SMALL BUSINESS

The best 4 website builders for your small business in 2019 (in-depth video included)

Victoria Islas, Founder & Digital Marketing

10 February 2018

At Creative Two we believe in helping out all our clients but we also believe in helping our Yuma community’s small businesses that don’t have a big budget and need help deciding what route to take when it comes to building their own website. And before we get started we want to let you and everyone else know that there is NOTHING wrong with building your very first website.

Keep in mind that It won’t be easy if you’ve never built a website before and it’s going to take some time to do so but it is so very possible to have a good turnout. We truly believe you can do it! Today we are going to discuss the best website builders you can use to build your small business website, take our word for it! Some are cheaper in cost, others have more feature, some are easier to use etc.  I would like to note that I will not be showing you “how to use the website builders” today but I do plan to in the future.

Within this article and video I try to put myself in your shoes. It’s meant to get you started down a good path but note that at some point you might need a professional website and that is where we come in! If you ever feel like you are pulling your hair out and grinding your teeth from building your own website and maintaining it. We can build you a better one. Now let us move on to the best 4 website builders for your small business this year of 2019.

1) WIX

I know you’ve seen the WIX ads through YouTube and Facebook. They spend a lot of money to get in front of you and it’s almost creepy that they stalk you online but the truth is that they do have a pretty solid website builder that you can use to build your first small business website. Now let me go into the pros on WIX and then the cons.

 

THE PROS OF WIX WEBSITE BUILDER

The App Marketplace is full of awesome extra features

Did you want a special feature on your website? Well you’ve got it! One of the powerful features of WIX website builder is it’s App Marketplace where you can integrate extra features on your website that you might be looking for such as live chat, store,  events, analytics, Facebook messenger etc.

 

You’ll have creative freedom

If this is your first time building a website this might not be something you are interested in now but you might be in the future so I am adding this in the list of pros for now. WIX allows you a lot of creative freedom if you ever wanted to take it up a notch with customization.

 

Support

As your building your new website you will find that you will need support and WIX seems to have a good support team to help you but be aware that they do have “premium support” for extra bucks without it you get the slower support team. Which I do put in the CONS below.

 

THE CONS OF WIX WEBSITE BUILDER

 

You’re going to have to put some time to learn the builder

It seems to me that WIX is one of the website builders that is a little trickier to use. You will have to read support articles and videos to learn how to use the website builder to its full potential and I am sure you’re going to end up contacting support a few times to get your website nice and tidy. But if you have the dedicated time to do so, you are solid. My suggestion is that you play around with it and then read any material to help  you get around the places you might get stuck on to beat time.

 

The Apps in the App Marketplace will cost you extra

The App Marketplace is awesome but it comes with its con.  Apps can cost extra on a per month basis depending on the app (or service provider) and this can add up every year for as long as your using WIX as your website provider. Also consider that you most likely have to take extra steps in order for these apps to work on your website.

 

You gotta pay for faster priority support

Like stated above, you have to upgrade your plan if you want a more prioritized support team as you building your new website. Keep that in mind!

Visit WIX.com

 

2) SQUARESPACE

Squarespace is another great option for those just starting up a business. They have beautiful templates that you can choose from on the more “minimal and clean” side of design. A great choice for artists, musicians, yoga studios, fitness gyms, massage, and so on. Although any type of business can use it! It’s affordable and easier to use than WIX which we can go into below.

 

THE PROS OF SQUARESPACE WEBSITE BUILDER

It’s easy to use

In my opinion, Squarespace is much easier to use than WIX from a user experience and usability perspective. Unlike WIX, I think you will have a much easier time building a website with this website builder in general (as shown in the video). It doesn’t have a layout like WIX where it almost feels like a photo editor and it’s much easier to find tools and so forth within the builder. The learning phase is cut short with Squarespace.

 

SSL included

Something I found pretty cool with Squarespace is that they include SSL with each plan. That is something that I don’t see featured for any of the other website builders and if they do have it, they charge extra for it. SSL is great to create trustworthiness online because it lets people know that your site is secured and encrypted. If you are taking online payments or are setting up a store on your website this is not an option. You must have SSL installed. With so many people getting information stolen online, people are becoming educated about website security and may be looking for a website with the little green lock and address bar (an indicator that your website is secure). Although, it’s not necessary for sites that are not taking payment through their websites it’s still great to install if it’s included with Squarespace. No hurt, just gain.

 

THE CONS OF SQUARESPACE WEBSITE BUILDER

 

No Extra Features (Apps, widgets, plug-ins etc)

Unlike WIX and WordPress (as you will come to see) Squarespace doesn’t seem to have extra apps/widgets/plug ins to make customize your website with the right features you are looking for. Squarespace is great if you’d like to build a good looking basic website with basic features but that’s about as far as it will go.

 

Some knowledge of CSS

You can customize your website just as you can with all the other website builders but if you’d like to get even more creative you will need to add custom css. This might require you to hire a website designer/developer or you will have to learn the language (more time learning).

Visit Squarespace.com

 

3) WORDPRESS.COM (not wordpress.org)

WordPress.com is another great website builder for beginners and new small businesses. This is one of my personal favorites and one that I would recommend if you plan on hiring someone in the future which I will go into below along with other things I find good and bad about using this website builder. Please note that I am not talking about WordPress.org which is WordPress.com’s parent company. WordPress.org requires a lot more technical knowhow or a professional to set it up for you in order to get started. It’s not easy. WordPress.Com is the one you’d want to use and the one I discuss here and through the accompanying YouTube video.

 

THE PROS OF WORDPRESS.COM WEBSITE BUILDER

 

It will grow with you

WordPress.com is great to start off with but down the line when you start to grow and you need to take your website to another level you will see that this website builder is your best bet. If you start by using WordPress.com, later you can hire someone to build you a WordPress.org website. We (as in website designers) can literally export and import all your content from WordPress.com to WordPress.org if you needed that.  With WordPress anything is possible! It’s the most trusted platform on the web, it’s open source (it’s not going anywhere) and finally to prove it I am going to throw a static at you, 32% of the web is uing WordPress.org for professional website design and development.  Big companies and businesses are using this platform such as Vogue, Sony Music, Bloomberg professional,ETC.

 

Happiness Engineers

WordPress.com is pretty easy to use but if you ever get stuck they provide you “happiness engineers” to help you 24/7 and this is without having to purchase premium plans and so forth. Customer service is important and I know that this is what you will find with WordPress.com.

 

The Plug ins

Like WIX with its apps, WordPress.com has plug ins. This is the second platform that rocks on that part! You want to have extra features at a click, you can do that with WordPress. Some plug ins examples is Yoast SEO, JetPack and so on.

 

THE CONS OF WORDPRES.COM WEBSITE BUILDER

 

You have to upgrade for Plug ins

Just like WIX you will have to upgrade your plan to  install the plug ins you’d like and some plug ins (depending on what you want to do with each)  will require extra fees.

 

The template demos are nice but…….

The templates look great as your sorting through all the endless choices BUT one thing I don’t like about WordPress.com is that as soon as you select one, it’s almost bare bone and blank with no visual guidance. Which can almost be a bit confusing for anyone just getting started.

Visit WordPress.com

4 ) GODADDY

GoDaddy is one of Americas favorite but not my favorite personally BUT I will add it in this list because I know we all must start somewhere and if Godaddy’s web builder resonates with you, then so shall it be and I must give you my opinion. It’s not bad but it’s not great either.

 

THE PROS OF GODADDY WEBSITE BUILDER

 

Everything will most likely be included

Need premium hosting, a domain and a web builder? Well GoDaddy will be the place to go to! It has everything in one place which will make it easier for you if you ever need to expand or have new business ideas and would like the ability to keep everything tidy under one dashboard.

 

Customer Service

GoDaddy’s customer service is great and fast. You can call them, email them, or even chat with them live when they are available. Again, a necessary element if you’ve never built a website and you feel stuck.

 

THE CONS OF GODADY WEBSITE BUILDER

 

Not a very sophisticated web builder

Although their web builder is easy to use, it’s not the most sophisticated one and is limited in what you can do within it. But it works!

 

Need extra features? You gotta pay for it!

Nothing new, almost all website builders mentioned within this article will have extra fees, for extra features. Godaddy is the same. And it’s like that even for me as a website designer and developer. You can’t expect to have a great website without paying for it. If you don’t want to pay for it, stay basic in your website vision. It’s just not possible to have it all if you don’t have the budget at this moment.

 

Marketing tools are nothing new

They claim that they have a whole batch of marketing tools which they do! BUT it’s nothing new. You can do all of it on your own, it’s not like it’s a premium thing that only Godaddy can do for you.

 

Godaddy sells a lot

One of my least favorite things is interrupted sales. I don’t like being sold to all the time and Godaddy will try to upgrade you or upsell you on almost everything! Don’t be fooled, depending on your business goals you might not need some things that Godaddy claims you need. Getting a quick consultation from a local website designer would be great so that you don’t go in blind in the process of building your own website. We can help you if you ever need consultation for your marketing or website.

Visit Godaddy.com

 

SUMMARY

WIX, Squarespace, WordPress.com and Godaddy all have something unique to offer. One is not better than the other but they do have their pros and cons which I mentioned above. I will let you decide wichi one works for you! But overall I feel like any of the website builders will work if you take the time to learn and you take the time to build some passion for the website design process. Without your full intention, the website will fail. It won’t be easy (as easy at the website builders are) if you don’t have any previous experience with building websites but I do believe anyone can build a website with the help of a good website builder and some good customer support. I wish you the best on your journey and don’t forget to contact us for a professional website or to get consultation for your DIY website. We can help at any stage of your small business journey whether that is a website or marketing.

Now that you’ve read the article and watched the video, what website builder resonated with you? And why? Comment below!

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4 Ways To Improve Your Local Business Website

4 Ways To Improve Your Local Business Website

BUSINESS

4 Ways To Improve Your Local Business Website

Victoria Islas, Founder & Digital Marketing

09 September 2018

Is your business website set up to create a great online experience for your visitors? Today we are going to share 4 ways you can improve your local business website! Watch our 5 min. YouTube video below.

 

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How to use Instagram for your local business

How to use Instagram for your local business

DIGITAL MARKETING
How to use Instagram for your local business
Victoria Islas, Founder & Digital Marketing
10 February 2018
We love Instagram! Instagram is a great platform to use as a small local business BUT we also have seen businesses fail to use it to the best of its potential. It’s not your fault! Today I am going to discuss who would benefit the best from this app, why I’d even recommend it to you and finally how to best use the app for your business. So that is the who, why and how. Let’s get started.

Setting up your Social Media Profiles

First off, let’s discuss social media in general. Let’s say you are a flower shop and you don’t know where to start with social media but you have heard how important it is to set it up for online marketing purposes. I am here to tell you that it is very important especially in these modern days to set your social media platforms up. Your competitors are online and you should be too. These platforms will allow you to get out there and be seen. You need to tell the story, you need to show who you are, and you need to show that you care about your community and your people (customers and employees). And let’s hope you are genuine about it too! I am not here to tell you to pretend to care because if you don’t care that can be seen a mile away, even through social media.

Not every platform is for you

The second thing I want to discuss is how NOT every platform will be for you. I don’t want you to set up every single social media profile out there. That is going to be hard to manage and your market or personas are NOT on every social media app out there. The two that I always recommend you set up, to begin with, is Facebook and Instagram (if your business will allow it and your photos are worthy enough). This is more easily manageable and they are the two most popular with a variety of people within them.

So let’s continue with the flower shop example, and now let’s give it a name just to make this more realistic, Maria’s Flower Shop. There! Okay so let me tell you why Instagram would work for Maria’s Flower Shop, Flowers are beautiful to look at in person, now imagine those flowers on the most VISUAL social media app on the planet. Get it? Instagram is all about visual photography. People go on there to see photos and if you can create some amazing content, you will kick ass on Instagram.

Now, this leads me to discuss how you can pretty much waste your time on Instagram as well. If you aren’t creating worthy enough content on a weekly basis than this app is not for you. I want you to look at profiles that inspire you on Instagram. Most likely they have a lot of followers and amazing content. There is a reason for that! If you can’t deliver, hire someone to help you or don’t do it at all. The worse thing I hate to see is a business setting up an Instagram account and seeing ONE really uninspiring photo on your account from ages ago.

Who should be using Instagram
IF you think you can create amazing content for your Instagram then Instagram is the platform for you. You can be a flower shop or an auto mechanic for all I care, you just have to blow away non-followers and keep your followers engaged. It’s all about engagement and interaction. But you must have the drive to do this, be disciplined and consistent to stay on top of your social media strategy. It’s not for those that are lazy or that “don’t have time”. Again, hire someone if you really don’t have time. Social media is FREE and social media management isn’t as expensive as you think it would be.

Social Media Branding
Okay, so I never said that creating amazing content for Instagram was easy and I am not here to tell you that. Everyone that I have seen that is successful with social media sit down and think about their strategy, plan it out and execute! Social media branding is another subject you must consider when thinking about Instagram or Facebook or any other social media platform you plan to use for your local business. What is branding? The brand will keep you cohesive throughout all the platforms and it’s like a visual cue for your people. They will recognize your content or posts a mile away. That’s what you want to create. You want them to know it’s you and you want to look fucking awesome online. Your online presence is as important as your local experience and both are considered branding. Match everything up, let it be cohesive no matter where people go to find you. Create an amazing experience both online and offline. Now, this small paragraph is not meant to tell you all there is about branding, I am only making it simple for you to understand as a local business. You must think of these things too if you want to thrive as a business. I have seen way too many awesome businesses close down because they didn’t work on their online marketing and branding. We’re all online! Remember that. Don’t lose sight of that.

Why should you be on Instagram?
Well, there isn’t one specific reason WHY you should be on Instagram but I am going to give you my honest opinion. Why not? If it makes your business thrive and grow, wouldn’t you opt in for it? And did I mention it’s FREE? I think I did. Also, I want you to go look up your competitors. Are they on Instagram? Most likely if they are, they are way ahead of you (even if they suck at it). But what if they aren’t?! Then you can beat them to it and start creating an amazing following online which will help increase your leads and sales as a business. But honestly, I think the best part of being on social media is being able to get to know your people and being able to somehow communicate with them! I know I am starting to sound really competitive, in reality, I am not as competitive as you think I am but it’s reality! If you aren’t doing what you’re supposed to be doing online, someone else will. Period. And then you are left behind and probably not doing as much as you should be doing for your business.

The Instagram platform will allow people to get to know your business, your story, your products and services and best of all gives you a place to communicate with your people and your community. But for god’s sake inspire them too! Give them something truly awesome to look at, to share and to be felt. SAY NO to an ugly image with no caption.

How to kick ass on Instagram
Now that I got all of those important details out of the way, I think we can now start to discuss how you can truly kick ass on Instagram. It won’t be easy but I have faith that as a small business you can do a magnificence job at it, no matter who you are or what skill level you have.

Get Creative
Learn to get a little more creative with your ideas. It’s fine to want to take a photo of your flowers but what if you can stage it a bit to make it look more appealing? Getting creative isn’t as hard as you think and I even recommend you go out on Instagram and take a look around to get inspired! Check out this photo as an example by @instagram:

Always use your own content
Don’t use someone else photos. For example: google images or stock images. This is not going to tell people your story. It’s going to tell someone else story or worse of all, NO STORY at all. Always use your own content. That means, always use the photos you took. Images that you find online are being used by everyone else, this is not going to help you and it will make you look like everyone else. Create your own content, please! If not you will just be a clone and your posts won’t be as engaging.

Utilize all the formats available on the Instagram App
Did you know you can do more than just post one photo as a part of your feed? You can now select up to 10 images, tile your images and even use the Boomerang, a free app that allows you to share really interesting mini videos (hint: an awesome way to get creative).

Master taking photos with your iPhone or DSLR
I recommend you master taking photos. Okay, you don’t have to be a “master” but I would recommend you follow some basic photography skills. Linda and Skillshare are great places to learn how to take photos better. In the end, Instagram is about photos so learning a little more about taking some really good ones will help you stand out from the crowd. I will create another post soon with some tips on how to accomplish this but for now, consider it and check out the websites I mentioned above.

Tagging and Mentions
Make sure you use the tag and mentions with every post that allows you to.
Keep in mind that tagging only works with photos, not videos. But if you have a great photo and someone is in it, tag em!
Another awesome thing to do is to give mentions. Mentioning someone happens within the caption area and all you have to do is this: @username. So you put the @ symbol and then the username of the Instagram user.
So why tag and mention? It’s a great way to connect people with your brand and business and is also an awesome networking tactic at a business level.

Use Stories and Live Video
I don’t see businesses using these Instagram features enough! Did you know that there is a “stories” and “live video” feature you can use? Yes, there is! And these will make you stand out because not everyone is doing it. I dare you to! And I dare you to think of an awesome way of using these features.
Stories are sorta like SnapChat but for Instagram and Live Video is sorta like Facebook Live. If you haven’t used any of those apps or features now would be a good time to start learning more about it if it interests you at all.
Here are some great articles to read besides mine on using these specific features that I know will help you on your Instagram journey:

How to use Instagram Stories like a pro
https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/1/15889750/instagram-stories-how-to-tips-features-tricks
How to Use Instagram Live
https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-use-instagram-live/

I hope you found this blog article useful enough to get you started on Instagram. Remember our team is here to help you out when things get tough. We understand Social Media and understand you as the business owner. Sometimes as much as we would like to jump on social media, we really don’t have time when we are busy running our business every day. But overall we hope to see you kicking ass online especially on Instagram! Social media is sure to amp up your business.

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4 Online Tools Your Business Should Be Using For 2018

4 Online Tools Your Business Should Be Using For 2018

BUSINESS

4 online tools your business should be using for 2018

Victoria Islas, Founder & Digital Marketing
10 February 2018
Your business should be running smoothly unfortunately like a lot of us, including our creative agency, life and business can get a little hectic. Today I am going to share with you 4 tools that your business can start using this year of 2018 and did I mention they are free? Now let’s get your business high throttled!
1) Get tasks and to-do lists in check with Trello

Don’t get overwhelmed by your tasks instead use Trello! And it isn’t just for tasks but also a great collaboration tool for your entire team. It’s fun and helps you prioritize projects. You can use it on every device and even take it with you on your mobile phone. We mentioned Asana before, but if the Asana platform is a little too boring or complicated for you we recommend Trello with its simple boards and information about tasks “in a glance” as they describe it on their own website. They do have a free version but also have great plans with extra business features you could use.

Visit Trello.com

 

2) It’s time to take your social media seriously with Buffer

Buffer isn’t a new player in the game; actually, Buffer has been around for quite some time. Overall, taking your social media seriously can change the game for you! Making sacrifices to improve your social media engagement and brand presence is important for any business but even more important for locals. Think about it, if you are the most engaging and professional looking in your industry don’t you think that would help reach your business goals? No doubt, that is 10-4.

Buffer allows you to manage your social media and to cut down and save time for yourself. How? Well, you can schedule your posts, get a birds-eye view of what’s working and what is not with tracking analytics and best of all you can manage all your social media platforms in one place. No more logging into several accounts.

Visit Buffer.com

Overall, taking your social media seriously can change the game for you!
3) Reduce the madness of Payroll, Benefits, and HR with Gusto

If you are a growing business with a few or maybe many employees you’re going to need a tool that keeps the madness in control of payroll, benefits, and HR. Lucky for you GUSTO is around to save the day. Gusto is one of the easiest payroll platforms around, provides fewer payroll errors, and allows you to have more vacation time (or maybe I am exaggerating ). We also think that as a small local business sometimes we think it’s difficult to give employees good benefits but with Gusto as your partner tool, you won’t ever think that again. They have awesome full-licensed brokers to help you choose the perfect benefits. And of course, it’s HR feature will create a great workplace for you as well.

Visit Gusto.com

4) Sales got amazing with Hubspot CRM

We love Hubspot! That’s why we saved the best for last. Hubspot’s free CRM Platform is a must to integrate into your 2018 toolbox. This CRM keeps your sales in order and did we mention for 100% free? There are so many great features that allow you to track, manage and organize your sales in one place. So many successful companies are already using it, what is stopping you?

Visit Hubspot.com

 

Are there any tools you’ve been using or will start to use this year? Tell us about it below! We would love to know what you are using for your local Yuma business.

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Facebook will penalize your unfriendly mobile website

Facebook will penalize your unfriendly mobile website

Facebook just got serious about mobile websites. Did you know they will no longer take your ugly mobile experience? It seems that the more we advance forward, the more important user experience is with mobile and tablet websites. 

 

Why Facebook cares

Just like Google, Facebook is really taking into consideration their users. They care about you and me and what we have to say. One thing that has been reported to Facebook over and over again by its users is that they hate “clicking on links within the news feed that lead to very slow mobile websites”. So isn’t that speed then? Yes! Speed, believe it or not, is considered part of a users experience when they visit your website. If it’s slow, i will have a “poor user experience” on your website. Make sense?

 

What does this all mean?

If your website has a poor experience within mobile or tablet devices Facebook will take this into account for its news feed section. They are going to work hard on only providing the best sources for their users. So if you are not on track and taking this seriously you will fall behind as a business or organization IF you are heavily using Facebook for your promotional / online marketing efforts.

 

What we can expect now

Over the next several months (as reported by facebook) you can expect Facebook to slowly implement this idea /algorithm. Websites that are “too slow” and have a “poor user experience” will slowly start to lose traffic over time and might not even appear within in any users news feed.

 

How do i start working on my user experience?

We advice you to start working on your user experience immediately if you are using Facebook on a daily basis for your business or organization.

Here are a few of our recommendations to start today:

 

 

  • Head over to your web hosting company – Are you on shared hosting or VPS? Switch over to VPS servers to get your website faster. Sharing a server slows down your website.

 

Article Author

Victoria Islas – Founder of Creative Two / Omni Online Marketer & Designer

She is inbound marketing certified, loves creating amazing projects for her clients and enjoys reading a great book on marketing or music. On other days, she is spending time with her kettlebells and playing guitar.

How to turn your facebook personal page into a business page

How to turn your facebook personal page into a business page

Did you know that according to facebook terms you can get your personal facebook page deleted if you are using it for business? Why even go through that when you can just convert or migrate your personal page into a business page? I will show you how to do that through this video.

Here are the links i mention in the video:

Article Author

Victoria Islas – Founder of Creative Two / Omni Online Marketer & Designer

She is inbound marketing certified, loves creating amazing projects for her clients and enjoys reading a great book on marketing or music. On other days, she is spending time with her kettlebells and playing guitar.