In my previous blog post I listed all the essential ingredients to make your business or non-profit operate. And although the pyramid I show has websites listed second from the top I am starting with it for one simple reason, it's the easiest. When it come's to making websites there are really 3 ways to go about this; 
(1) pay someone to make it(2) make it yourself, or (3) pay someone to make it and then you maintain it after they hand it over to you.

Typically if you want a site you go find a web design firm and you tell them that you want them to build you a site. They are normally going to charge you somewhere in the area of $5000 for a site of about 10 pages or less. From there the price usually goes up depending on how fancy you want them to get. I'm sure that there are people that do it for less than this but this is typically what I have run across and I used to be at a start-up that built websites. All of the examples I am going to cover today are under the "making it yourself" umbrella. Never before has it been so easy to make a website. The tools below are literally drag and drop. There is no coding involved, no crazy configurations. Just plug and play. 
 


 

Website: http://www.weebly.com What do they do: Weekly is a free online tool where you can easily create and manage basic wordpress sites. I first heard about this site while reading Start Something that Matters, by Blake Mycoskie. Inside the book he gives a great list of online tools that any price conscience start-up should have in their toolbox. I am a big fan of Weebly and the only downside is that they don't have a very big selection of themes for you to pick from. That is by no means a show stopper but it is worth noting. One of the big advantages that I did see is that Weebly will allow you to have sub menus for each of the pages on your site menu bar. Other sites like yola do not allow you to this without upgrading. 
Price Tag:  $0.00. Weebly is completely free.
 


 
 
Website:  http://www.apple.com/ilife/iweb/  What do they do: iWeb is an website making application that comes included in iLife; which is what most people get when they purchase an Apple PC. The application is probably the easiest thing to use to make a website if you have never done it before. It is literally drag and drop. The way they designed it is so intuitive that most of the pages have the basic layout already done for you. If you want to do an "about me" page, iWeb will have fake pics in the exact spot where you should put your picture. They will also have pre-populated fields suggesting that you just replace the text with your info. iWeb is so user friendly that I once saw a guy get fired from my old job, and literally the next week he had created a new business and launched his website using iWeb. Pretty cool (except the whole getting fired part). Another example is the church that I go to. They don't have a huge IT budget so the pastor literally made their website on his Mac and updates it every week from his sofa. Surely if he can do it anyone can!
Price Tag: If you go to apple's website you can purchase iLife for $49.00 one time fee. For this price it includes iWeb plus some other cool software.
 
 


 

Website: http://www.yola.com/  What do they do: Yola is a very cool tool that you can use to make a website. I first heard about this tool from the executive director of a non-profit I work with. Along with wearing 5 different hats this one man show was also the guy that made their website and he used Yola to do it. Please keep in mind that this guy has a finance background so he is not a programmer or web designer. He found this tool online and it is so easy to use that he was able to make an entire site that included, shopping carts, Facebook links, etc. In fact, the tool is so easy that it is what I choose to make the website you are looking at right now (I feel obligated to tell you that Yola is not paying me anything to have this on my site, I have it because it's good). 
Price Tag: To use the site for yourself it is absolutely free ($0.00). How cool is that! If you want to start selling stuff and make it official you can upgrade to their next level package which runs $99.95 a year