Not too long ago, setting up a professional website would cost a fortune. It simply wasn’t worth the cost for small businesses or even some medium sized businesses to pay a team. Increases in cloud-based technology and the advent of do-it-yourself website builders like Weebly have changed this for the better. A small business or even an individual can draft a website in under an hour and have a professional model online by days end.

With over 40 million websites created to date, Weebly is one of the premier website building platforms. It’s a fantastic solution for individuals or organizations that are looking to get a site up and running quickly but may not have the need or budget for a professional team of web programmers and designers. If you’re interested in how to get started and want a simple starter guide, look no further.

The hardest part is getting started

Luckily for you, the hardest part is made easy. Stop by the Weebly sign and complete the “sign-up” process. It will ask you all the usual name, email etc. questions that you’ve come to expect. After the sign-up, you’ll be asked if you want to sell or not.

If you haven’t prepared the e-commerce section of your planning, all is well. You can come back to that in the future. For now, just click “Not Now” and proceed to the blogging and design section.

You’ll be asked to pick a theme next. Weebly carries an immense variety of themes that can work for almost any purpose you may have. If you aren’t interested in the themes provided by Weebly, sites like http://www.webfirethemes.com/ can provide high-quality alternatives.

When choosing a theme to keep in mind that at any point in time your theme can be changed. Other things to keep in context are what it is you want to convey on your website; (e.g. is it a professional website or does a casual energy work better) and that Weebly offers industry-specific themes to help find what you want.

The next step is choosing the domain name. The domain is basically the address of your website. Weebly provides a free domain option, but if you don’t want “Weebly” in the address it’ll cost you. The options available to you will be buying one through Weebly, purchasing one through a third-party and connecting it and connecting a name you already own. It’s more expensive to use third-party domains but to some, it’s worth it.

Now, the fun part

With the domain, look and foundation set you can finally begin to build your website. This is where the in-house editor really shines. Instead of needing a grasp on HTML, CSS and other necessary programming languages, the editing that most people would need to do is available via a graphic user interface.

Changing text, adding links and creating pages are all made easy. Uploading images is done through drag and drop. There are guides that go into greater detail, but a quick look through the service will have you well on your way.

Let the world see your website

Once you’ve finished editing to your satisfaction, you should publish your website. If you’re on the fence about the look or wording keep in mind that things can be changed through the editor at any time. To publish, just click the “PUBLISH” button on your editor and you’re on your way. The last step will be verifying that you aren’t a bot by putting in a code and your site is up.

As a small business owner or blogger, surely you’ll be able to take advantage of all the options available to use on your platform. From opening up the e-commerce section of your site to continually uploading blog posts to maintain a following, as you and your company develop you’ll be able to stay busy. A good website is a way to reach your customers and/or patrons and show them what it is you do or what services you provide.