A website is necessary for any small business that wants to be taken seriously, but getting it out there can be a problem, especially for the technologically challenged small business owner. With easy-to-use online tools combined with domain name registration and web hosting, Yola provides a solution for anyone who can’t build their own site and can’t afford to hire someone to do it for them.
When Yola says their online website builder is easy to use, they aren’t kidding. Simply create an account and choose a free website template to start building your website. You don’t even have to decide yet whether you want to use their free service or pay for a little bit better service — for now you can just focus on building your website.
Yola allows you to build web pages with no more knowledge than how to put together a Word document. When you choose a template in Yola, you are given several standard pages, such as a home page, an about page, and a contact page, already laid out for you — all you have to do is fill in the text and image boxes with whatever you want. You can also add pages, add text boxes and images, and change how each page looks with easy drop-down menus and drag-and-drop widgets. You won’t need to know any HTML at all in order to build a website using Yola!
Up until this point, you won’t have had to pay a dime, and depending on what you decide next, you may never have to, either. Once you have built your website, you will need to publish it to the Internet before anyone else can see it. Yola offers a few different options to choose from at this point. You can have them host your website completely free, but your site won’t have its own domain name — instead of being something like “yoursite.com” your site URL will look like “yoursite.yola.com”. Every page on your website will also feature Yola’s brand name and a link visitors can click to build their own website.
If you want a slightly more professional look, you can spring for one of Yola’s a la carte features. For instance, you can choose to buy your own domain name (e.g., http://www.yoursite.com) from Yola for $19.99. Also, in addition to their free website templates, Yola has a number of nicer templates that you can pay for, most of them ranging from $9.99 to $49.95.
Think twice before buying any of those separately, though. Yola also offers a silver package for $49.95 per year. This price includes a custom domain name (usually $19.95 with free hosting) and a premium website template (normally as much as $49.95), plus the removal of the Yola brand name from all of your pages. Other features, such as custom logo design and stock photography you can use on your website, make the package deal a much more economical choice.
Yola Silver also offers improved web hosting. Just like Yola Free, you’ll get unlimited bandwidth (traffic to your site), but you’ll also benefit from having more space on the server to store your website’s files — 5GB instead of 1GB. You’ll also be able to store large files — a maximum of 100MB per file, instead of just 15MB — which will allow you to store larger pictures and other files that require a lot of memory. That $49.95 per year covers more than just one website, too — you can design and publish as many as 25 sites with your Yola Silver account.
And yes, in case you are wondering, just the hosting alone is more than most web hosts give you for fifty bucks a year. When you add the value of Yola’s easy-to-use website builder , it’s hard to see why anyone wouldn’t choose Yola.
As if Yola Silver isn’t enough, there is also Yola Premier, which allows you to build a custom website instead of building your site from a template that looks just like what others are using. With this package, you get a consultation with a web designer, who will design a custom website that will work in Yola’s online website builder . You can then take your custom website and add text, pictures, and even additional pages as needed. Yola Premier costs $349 for the first year, which includes the custom web design as well as all the features of Yola Silver, and $49.95 for every year after that.
As you can see, Yola has something to offer for virtually everyone. Whether you want free hosting or prefer the expanded services that Yola Silver and Yola Premier have to offer, the bottom line is that Yola is easy — if you can use a simple word processing program, you can build a website with Yola.