It can be very expensive to hire a professional web designer to create a brand new website for you from scratch, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create a professional website on your own. One of the more powerful website builders available today is from BaseKit and it is designed to be reasonably easy to use, even for those who lack some technical savvy. They offer a comprehensive package that starts with a number of professionally designed templates that can be customized to suit your needs, complemented by a free domain, web hosting, e-commerce support and more.
BaseKit offers a great deal of features in an intuitive and comprehensive package. Some of the highlights include the following:
- Drag and drop website builder
- Easily add images, videos and slideshows
- Search engine optimised designs
- Social media widgets
- E-commerce with PayPal and Google Checkout
- Build your own web forms and menus
- Integrated CSS software without coding
- Mulitple font sizes, styles and colors
- Websites compatible with mobile devices
Powerful Website Builder: Even though the website builder was designed to be easy-to-use with its drag-and-drop functionality, it’s actually an incredibly robust tool. Double-clicking on any of the website elements will “unlock” it, allowing you to edit it as you see fit. In the case of a text box, for instance, the text can be moved to another placement, the font can be changed, and the actual text can be easily edited too. There are many different widgets and other website elements that can be easily added to the page too, including various forms, Google Maps, and more.
Attractive Templates: Only a limited number of the available templates are available in the $10/month Basic plan, but the Business and Professional plans offer over 150 website templates that you can use. There are other all-in-one website service providers out there that have a larger number of templates, but the ones provided by BaseKit look utterly fantastic and can approach a wide range of businesses, niches and industries. Most feature a prominent header image, but all of that can be adjusted, edited and customized in the website builder.
Complete Solution: There is no need to buy a domain from one provider, sign up for hosting with another, and then buy software from yet another to get your website up and running. BaseKit is a comprehensive solution that provides you with everything that you need to have a professional website that you can be proud of. This includes hosting, domains, mobile support, and the website builder. Full customer support is also provided with most questions receiving a response within four hours. There is even a live chat option during certain hours.
Custom Forms: Do you operate a restaurant or a bed and breakfast? Would you like to take reservations in the simplest way possible? You can create your own custom forms with BaseKit, including fields for not only text input, but also drop-down menus (choose from a list), calendars for date-picking, and star ratings.
Shopping Cart: If you want to use BaseKit to power your online store, you can do that too. The full e-commerce engine supports both “add to cart” and “buy now” options for your customers, including the ability to “view cart” before moving on to complete the purchase with Google Checkout or PayPal.
Advanced SEO: In addition to editing the visual style and content of your website, nearly everything in the website editor also contains significant search engine optimization possibilities. These include such features as meta tags and alt tags, for instance, that you can apply to links, pages, images and more. The various built-in SEO options help to improve your chances of getting ranked in search engines like Google and getting found by your clients and customers. This includes integration with Google Analytics, plus the easy ability to add 301 redirects.
- Website editor can be overwhelming for novices
- Basic plan only includes 10 pages and basic templates
- Must upgrade to at least Business plan for e-commerce
- Can be difficult to resize certain website elements
- Smaller number of available site templates
The Bottom Line
BaseKit offers one of the most affordable and most powerful ways to build a professional-looking website. You can choose from dozens of different templates as you starting point, each of which are very visually-appealing, but each of these can just as easily be edited, adapted and altered so that you can have your website look exactly the way you want it to look. The website editor, despite having a drag-and-drop interface, is decidedly more complex than some of the other visual website editors from other providers, but it is also more robust and offers a greater number of features. Being able to build your own custom response forms, for instance, can be infinitely valuable to businesses of all sizes. E-commerce, social media and SEO support are strong and the pricing, while a little on the higher side, is easily affordable by nearly anyone.
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Erez is an experienced web designer and also the founder of website-builder.com. He writes for dizyne.net and IM Now.