Build Your Site Review
If you can click a mouse, you can build a website. That is the bold claim being put forward by BuildYourSite.com, an all-inclusive service that is designed to help even the least experienced of online entrepreneurs design, build and publish their very own websites. For a single monthly price, you are provided with not only the tools to do the actual design of the website, but also the monthly web hosting and a free domain name, among several other features. Prices start at $9.95 per month and there is no contract.
Building a website doesn’t have to be difficult, but it is also not the complete picture. Thankfully, BuildYourSite provides the necessary tools for both the front-end and the back-end of your website. Some of the features include the following:
- Free domain name
- Point and click website builder
- Over 4,000 website designs
- Monthly web hosting service
- Free website apps
- Live technical support via toll-free number
- Professional email accounts
- Web traffic statistics
- Advanced shopping cart
- Several additional wizards and editors
Large Selection of Website Templates: With over 4,000 website design templates at your disposal, you will surely find a design that is suitable for personal or business website. The designs are organized into a wide range of categories, including love & dating, religion, computers & technology, education, real estate, financial services, and cars & bikes. What’s interesting is that many of the templates are available in more than one color scheme, giving you even more choices as far as the look and feel of your website. Changing the color scheme really is as easy as clicking a mouse.
Website Wizard: There are other providers out there that also provide “point-and-click” visual website editors, but the one offered by BuildYourSite is decidedly even more simple. After choosing one of the website templates described above, you are offered four basic options as a toolbar in the website wizard. One of these is to change the design, opting for a different template. The next one is to change the color. Then, there is the ability to change the images. And finally, you can change the title and text. This is all very simple, simply clicking on the portion that you would like to change. One downside is that there appears to be minimal customization as far as layout, as you cannot click and drag website elements from one part of the page to another.
Free Test Drive: Before you go out and buy a car, you likely want to drive it first. Before you buy a home, you probably want to have a look around and take a brief tour. The same can be said about where you’re going to call “home” on the web. BuildYourSite has a free “test drive” tool that lets you browse through the over 4,000 website templates and try out the website wizard to see if you like how it works. There are also free test drives for several of the other utilities that come with BuildYourSite too.
E-Commerce Support: BuildYourSite offers an advanced shopping cart that makes it easy for you to sell your products online. This includes not only listing your different products, but it also lets you manage your customers, promote on Facebook, manage your inventory and more. There is an automatic calculator for both tax and shipping, and all transactions are 100% secure and verified. You can accept payments online by way of PayPal, Google Checkout, Visa, Mastercard and Discover. This shopping cart utility can also be used to sell digital products, like e-books and software. Customers are sent a temporary link to download the item upon purchase.
Blogging Support: BlogZone is the tool offered by BuildYourSite for blogging. This simple utility lets you post to a blog in just one step, including rich text blog posts with images. You can moderate blogs posted by members and the utility will automatically archive your posts for quick and effective retrieval.
Online Image Editor: You have pictures that you would like to include on your website or blog, but they’re not quite right. Yes, you could use a simple image editor on your computer, but having the free online image editor from BuildYourSite might be an easier option. The user interface is similar to the website wizard, offering you a limited number of possibilities like cropping and rotating. You can also add borders and 3D effects for added punch and style.
USA-Based Technical Support: If you are frustrated with waiting for email responses from technical support, you’ll be happy to hear that BuildYourSite has a toll-free phone number that you can call at any time to get free technical support. Better still, the call center is based in the United States, so you’re less likely to have any issues when it comes to accents and understanding what the technician is trying to tell you. They can help you with any problems or questions you may have.
- Cannot change layout of templates
- Difficult to export design to other providers
- Restricted number of color schemes per design
- Starter plan only includes up to 10 pages
- Need to upgrade to Professional plan for spam and virus filtering
The Bottom Line
With a 100% money back guarantee, BuildYourSite offers a comprehensive package that will have your site up and running in a matter of minutes. The website wizard is one of the easiest ones on the Internet today, making it very easy to swap images and write new website copy. At the same time, this also means the the wizard is one of the more restricted ones, because it does not allow you to choose custom color themes or to re-arrange the layout. Thankfully, there are literally thousands of templates to choose from, so there should be at least a few that will suit your particular needs. Comprehensive support for forms, Flash, e-commerce and more round out a package that is both a good value and easy to approach, even for the technically-apprehensive.
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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.