I am biased towards WordPress, just FYI. I train new bloggers and website owners (non-profits and small businesses, etc) in setting up WordPress.org with an SSL and I do it in an 8-hour class. My point being I recommend you setup: 1) WordPress.org NOT WordPress.com; 2) Go with 1and1.com “Unlimited” + SSL (costs about $62 for 12 months, includes: domain name, SSL Certificate + web hosting). This will get you a web hosting account with a domain name, SSL and 1-year of web hosting for the cost of a SSL Certificate (most are $60+). Why SSL? because your site will display https and you can process online payments using Stripe.com (Payment processor similar to PayPal, Authorize.net, etc). I have setup at least 6 of these accounts exactly like this for attendees and clients. This will work for you and it will not have any ads popping up unless you put them there. Any questions just reply.
Amongst most of the website builders, another name that comes to mind is Squarespace. The versatile builder for blogs, portfolio sites as well as online stores, has managed to rise in its popularity in the recent years. Despite the huge difference, this being a closed source software while WordPress is an open source; it certainly is a great alternative to WordPress Page builder. That’s right, for the casual users the overall functionality and the flexibility is the main aspect.
Although not so popular among the users, Craft CMS is an effective content management system. Some major examples of this are Netflix and Salesforce websites. It is a much more complex and developer friendly CMS platform that provides exclusive back-ends for your websites. Unlike WordPress, it does not provide front-end themes that you can use. Instead, you can use their templating system that is powered by Twig to design it yourself.
When you’re ready to sign up for a web hosting account, make sure you use this Bluehost link. Going through it will result in two things: (1) it is an affiliate link, which means that we receive a small commission if you buy through it, (2) it will unlock a $2.95 vs $3.95 discounted price for you. You won’t get this discount if you visit the Bluehost site in any other way.
Another big name when it comes to eCommerce platforms after Shopify is BigComerce. It is a hosted e-commerce solution that allows the users to set up their own online store and sell their stuff. It is flexible allowing anyone from beginners to experts to use the services and create the ideal platform. Compared to WordPress however, it is not ideal for other types of sites.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, giving you access to all of its world class sales tools and features before you spend a cent. To keep using the platform, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the three plans available, which cost between $29 and $299 per month. The highest plan is only recommended for companies with monthly revenues of more than $10,000.
Comparatively not so advanced, Squarespace is ideal with the simplest method to build a basic website. Unlike traditional Page Builder, you do not need to sign up for hosting, purchase a domain or go through the extra hassle. Instead, you simply create an account on Squarespace and that’s about it. After answering a few more questions on your preference you end up with a working website in a matter of minutes. While it includes a drag and drop builder that you can use to add and customize the elements of the site, it does not provide much control to the users.
Video backgrounds and animations are no problems whatsoever. This website builder gets SEO right, too. Portfolio pages, in particular, turn out really good, and most importantly, without being difficult to create. They have many business-focused apps (e.g. for hotels or restaurants) that can make your life easier if you are in one of these industries.
We generally advise to stick to more conservative TLDs like .com, .net., or similar. However, I have seen endings like .pizza, etc. used more commonly so I think you can give it a go. As for which ending, I think that depends a little on the rest of your domain but, in general, I would prefer .cafe because it’s shorter and looks more pleasant in my opinion.
Although the tool’s name suggests it’s just for generating business names, Shopify’s Business Name Generator actually delivers available domain name ideas. Start by choosing a keyword that you want your domain to include, and you’ll get hundreds of suggestions. Although the site encourages you to create a Shopify shop using the domain name they’ve suggested, you can go elsewhere to purchase the web address. Suggestions use the .com extension.
How to Choose the Perfect Domain Name for your Local Business
Joomla is one of the more popular WordPress alternatives, and it’s easy to see why. The platform gives you a great deal of control over content workflows and template layouts, which dictate the appearance of your Joomla site in a similar fashion to WordPress themes. Another popular feature of Joomla is its built-in Access Control List (ACL), which makes site administration and granting contributor access an easy process.
If Wix does not make to your cut, then Weebly is also an awesome WordPress alternative for you. It is a fully hosted online site builder that enables the users to easily create and build the ideal site. Much like WordPress, Weebly also has a selection of tools built-in that helps with various features. However, where it differs is that while WordPress has a huge range of third-party software and plugins, Weebly is not as competent. However, it does make up for it with the stunning and excellent design structure. The Drag and Drop Page builder makes the process as easy as a breeze.
Bonus Tip: Make sure your name doesn't accidentally spell out anything embarrassing when the words are smushed together. For example, if you wanted to make a blog all about things you and your girlfriends say, Girls Talking is a short memorable name that fits most of our advice here very well. However, you probably don't want to rush out and buy girlstalking.com, right?
After Joomla, another name that pops up as a great WordPress alternative is Drupal! It is also an open-source CMS that you can use to deliver a more ambitious digital experience. Although it is suitable for almost everyone, it is not as beginner-friendly as users would prefer. Mostly recommended for experts, Drupal lets you create blogs, personal websites, forums and even social networking sites.