Website builders are tools that allow the construction of websites without the need for manual code development. Today these tools are user friendly enough that even casual computer users will feel comfortable using them. They fall into two broad categories:
Online: These are web-based tools offered by web hosting companies that allow design, editing and hosting all in one package (Squarespace, GoCentral, Namecheap).
Offline: These are tools that install and run on the client's computer (Mobirise, etc). Design and editing is done locally and when complete, the website files are uploaded to a hosting provider.
Squarespace is an example of a provider that offers an online Website Builder and is also a Hosting Provider (see below). The Website Builder offers a rich set of functions including online sales, scheduling, blogging, and a large library of templates to chose from. It's image editor provides access to customer and stock photos and an image editor with lighting adjustments, custom cropping, and enhancement filters.
GoDaddy's online GoCentral product comes from a company, GoDaddy, that is better known for domain and web hosting (see below). It is very easy to use but that must be balanced against a less sophisticated feature set. Website design involves selecting from one of 20 templates, adding pages, selecting photos, and filling in the blanks. The resulting sites are clean, crisp, and desktop and mobile ready.
Mobirise is a free offline tool with a growing feature set and developer community. Installation on Windows or macOS takes 3 minutes. Mobirise uses a drag-and-drop interface allowing very rapid prototyping. The default Mobirise theme is highly customizable but a growing list of themes are available for purchase. Once a website is ready for testing a single button-click uploads it to your choice of hosting provider.
A hosting provider is a business that provides the technologies and services to securely store your website and for it to be accessed from throughout the Internet. Websites are hosted, or stored, on special computers called servers.
If you do not already have a domain name (e.g.; www.abc.com) most hosting providers can also provide registration of your unique domain name for you.
Hosting proviers typically charge monthly or annual fees for hosting a website and registered domain name. EduMethods will identify the hosting provider and services you should select to use in combination with our design services.
As mentioned above, Squarespace is an integrated Website Builder and Hosting Provider. They combine rich design templates and features with sophisticated commerce and an ever expanding set of integrations (Scheduling, Email Marketing, OpenTable) and an active developer community. They offer four hosting plans with per month and annual billing. According to Datanyze, Sqaurespace is the 2nd largest Website Builder hosting over 750,000 websites.
GoDaddy is the grandDaddy of the Internet marketplace with over 65 million domains registered and over 18 million customers. Their maturity in the marketpalce means they offer a rich suite of options for domains, hosting, email and other add-ons. While some of their interfaces and terminology can seem inconsistent, when combined with their GoCentral product, the result is a clean, simple, moderately priced, medium-featured, all-in-one solution for website building and hosting.
After GoDaddy, the next most well-known domain and hosting provider is Namecheap, founded in 2000 and rated one of fastest-growing companies in 2018 by Inc 5000. Namecheap is on our list of partners as the simple and least costly hosting provider alternative to GoDaddy and as a hosting companion for Mobirise websites. Advantages include an inexpensive secure https offering and their user interface menus are simple yet rich. They have well written "How to" articles and excellent live chat support.
Graphic and photographic design tools allow the creation, import, manipulation, combining and exporting of various digital forms of artwork and photgraphic products. They are useful for high-quality website development and in the deveopment of brand schemes, logos and hardcopy materials.
The tools we use for these functions may not even be seen by our customers but the flexibility and results will be. They allow us to import and adjust various customer photos and artwork into the new digital landscape. We explain them here so you are aware of our capabilites and the options available for your web and printed results.
Photoshop is Adobe's photo editing, image creation and graphic design software. The software provides many image editing features. It can be used to crop, adjust, layer, and combine customer photos, stock photos, artwork, logos, and graphics. It supports dozens of input and output formats ensuring we can handle any digital photo or illustration needed.
EduMethods subscribes to Adobe Stock photo and illustration library. It provides creatives access a huge high-quality library of searchable professional photos, illustrations, graphics, icons and various user interface widgets. During development we can use this library with customers to present and select image choices.
Vistaprint is a web-based company that produces physical and digital marketing products for small and micro businesses. While most famous for business cards, they also offer postcards, bookmarks, pens, mugs, mousepads, and T-shirts. EduMethods customers can take our design results and easily upload them to Vistaprint.
Frame It Easy provides custom picture frames and matts that are easy, affordable, and fast. Use their frame designer to create and preview your matting and frame online. Upload your EduMethods results to Frame It Easy for low volume, high quality, framed photos and artwork. Results arrive at your doorstep ready for hanging.