Growing a Doula Business Online

  • A Domain Name: You are reading this article on medium.com. Medium.com is the domain name for the website.
  • Content Management System(CMS)/Website Builder: This is the platform that is used to organize and piece together the different aspects that will make up your website
  • Website Hosting: The location where all of the files and documents that make up your website are stored.

Choose a Website Development Platform

When choosing a platform to use to build your website, there are a few main things to consider. This includes:

  • Initial Investment: How much will this cost you to get started
  • Ongoing Fees: Are there ongoing fees? What do they include and how much are they?
  • Ease of Use: How user friendly is the platform? Will someone with your level of experience with design and development be able to build a site in a reasonable amount of time?
  • Available Features: Can you add the desired features to a website built on this platform? Will there be extra fees associated with adding a desired feature?
  • Customizability: What degree of customizability is available in terms of layout, design, and functionality?
  • SEO friendliness: Are websites made on this platform easily found online? How easy is it to optimize a website to be found on search engines?
  • Ownership Rights: Who owns the rights to the website? Will you be able to move the website to another hosting provider if you desire?

3 CMS Platforms to Consider

Now I will take you through 3of the most common options for building a website and where they fall in terms of the factors listed above.

Wix.com

Wix.com provides a drag and drop solution that is advertised to be extremely user-friendly. Although it is easy to use, I have heard from novices that it is not the easiest option on the market. It is customizable for basic functionality but is limited if you want to add some more advanced functionalities. It is also not the most SEO friendly platform, but it has come a long way in recent years and is not horrible either. As far as cost, the fees start at $14 per month, paid yearly. One benefit is that this includes hosting and an SSL certificate (a security feature that adds the little padlock you see to the left of the URL bar). This cost is reasonable considering all that it includes. One major drawback is that you do not own the rights to this website. There is no ability to export your website and launch it on another platform. It would have to be rebuilt from scratch if you choose to move to another website platform. The biggest downside to this is that if Wix changes something that makes you want to leave or if you cannot afford to pay the fees one year, then you will lose all of your work indefinitely.

Squarespace.com

Squarespace is very similar to Wix in that it is a user-friendly website builder that you pay monthly for. It also includes features such as an SSL certificate and website hosting. Some of the points in which Squarespace is better are in that the base price is only $12 per month and many people find the platform to be much more intuitive to utilize. One drawback is that many of the features are offered as add-ons that you must pay additional fees for. Additionally, Squarespace also owns the rights to your website and it will be lost if you do not continue to pay their fees.

Wordpress

Wordpress is the most widely used website content management system available. One of the greatest features of this platform is that it is open-source, meaning anyone can use and optimize the program to their needs for free. Wordpress does offer a managed option like Wix and Squarespace where you pay a monthly fee and they will take care of hosting and so forth, but as a free source option, you can also upload Wordpress on almost any hosting environment, make backups for your storage, and move hosting accounts anytime you desire. Wordpress is essentially free and what you build, you own. There are countless tools and plugins (free and paid) that are available to meet the needs of people of all levels of website development. Wordpress is by far the most malleable and customizable option here. The downside is that you will have to purchase hosting separate, but is that really a downside when options like siteground.com offer hosting for as little as $7 per month?

Coming Soon

With all of this in mind, it would be great for Wordpress websites to be more accessible to those with less marketing knowledge. Stay tuned to find out what awesome options I have brewing to make Wordpress websites accessible for doulas and other small business owners.

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Serene

Serene

Just a girl writing about her own thoughts.