Challenge #3-The Wonderful World of Web Building

My third challenge was to write a review.  I haven’t read a book or watched a movie I really like in a while, so I decided to review websites.writing challenge-3

If you are a business owner there is no better marketing tool that a website. Not only does it allow your customers to find you, but when it’s used with social media and blogs, it’s the most affordable and effective means of advertising available today.

I didn’t learn a lot about websites in college. I tried my hand at creating a website, which wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t that great, either.

I learned how to write html code in my web class, but my teacher candidly told us that if we could get someone do it for us, you might as well take advantage of it.

He was right. I tried building my own through Adobe Dreamweaver, but got so frustrated with it, I threw the book in the back of my closet, where it’s still buried.

I purchased a site from Go Daddy. The site’s tools weren’t very user-friendly and my website ended up looking like crap. I talked to someone who tried to walk me through it, but I couldn’t really understand what he wanted me to do.

Someone suggested I transfer my domain to Google sites. It was easier to use than the Go Daddy site and had several perks, including Google Analytics, but it wasn’t very flashy. I checked into hiring someone to build a custom design, but the price tag nearly floored me.

I stayed with Google sites, mostly because that was my best option. Until I discovered other options.

Once I started checking into affordable sites that were user-friendly and had a variety of templates, I found a couple I liked right away, mostly because they let you try them out before you decide whether or not you want to purchase it.

Wix and Weebly are two sites I would highly recommend. Both are fairly easy to use and depending on your business’ needs, are about as affordable as you can get for a website.

At $49 a year for a starter site (this doesn’t have many perks, but it gets you online and searchable) and a few dollars for a domain name (you can purchase one most anywhere and have it transferred) Weebly is the most affordable out of all the ones I found.

Wix is a little more pricey ($149  a year and includes the domain name) but it has a few perks that Weebly doesn’t. Wix has a newsletter or “Shout Outs” that are easily generated and can be sent out to your email list. (This is great for specials, sales, or events.) It also offers a variety of applications you can integrate into your site.

You can also move the text boxes wherever you want on the page in Wix, while Weebly is a bit tougher to navigate. You can still add text boxes and images boxes, and there are spacers and dividers you can use, but it’s not as easy to do.

While Wix is great for some businesses, I would recommend Weebly for the first-time user or for a business owner who really just wants to get their business online. Weebly is fairly easy to use and has a variety of attractive templates to choose from.

However, both web builders offer other packages and explain the differences very well, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

NOTE**Be sure to read the fine print; some companies make false promises about what you’ll receive for a special or introductory price. Once they have you hooked, they jack up the price.

(For more information on building a website visit






Week 15–expecting the unexpected

Out of all the things I have learned up to this point, one thing stands out among the rest; expect the unexpected.

I have been working for months on business plans and marketing strategies and newspaper templates. But there is something that has been weighing heavy on my mind. Though I have the experience of being the editor of a paper, I have never actually owned a newspaper. I’ve never even owned a business. Do I have what it takes?

Hiawatha Advocate

I’m taking an entrepreneur class and a marketing class, but I wonder if that will be enough.  My dream of publishing a newspaper never included being a business owner, but it kind of has to. The two have to somehow come together in order for the whole thing to work. The idea of having to sell advertising and make important business decisions is something that I know I’ll have to work at, but I know it’s possible.

I took an entrepreneur assessment test last week and found out that I am highly developed in many business skills, including problem-solving and remaining calm in a crisis. It also said that I am lacking in team-playing and balance. That explains a lot.

Knowing that I have many business skills already does ease my fears a bit, but I can’t help but wonder what obstacles are still ahead for me. I guess I will just have to expect that the unexpected could arise at any time, and I have to be ready to deal with those issues, the same way I have dealt with them before; head-on.

Week 15 has been finalizing my advertising brochure and flyers, and getting ready to talk to local businesses. The obstacles are minimal at this point and helping me to see those things I need to work on. All I can do is just keep taking the next step and continue in the right direction.

The Hiawatha Advocate