Wednesday, 19 February 2014


You think you need software to build a website? Think again!

#WebDesign #eCommerce #SmallBusiness

Good evening / very early morning, Synapse Circuit Readers! How’s it going? How’s the weather where you are? The weather in the UK has calmed down somewhat, however there are many parts of the UK submerged underwater still! It’s crazy, huh? Who would have thought that a modern country that the UK is has gotten caught out yet again! Last year it was snow and now it’s water! Crazy! Anyway...

This article has come about through a discussion between a former associate that got heated and broke out into a full blown argument. Lol! Yes, right in the middle of my local supermarket! Lol! The nature of the discussion, if you didn’t pick it out, was regarding the rather antiquated idea that in order to create a website for business / promotion you need to employ the services of a professional web designer. You don’t! Here’s why...

So, if you have any desire or are planning to launch a website for the purpose of doing online business and / or looking to create an online presence for your business... Read on!


I told you about my history as a onetime professional graphic and web designer using a WYSIWYG program called Dreamweaver by Adobe. When I bought it the software came from a company called Macromedia. I, like many other web designers, shunned writing code for the immediacy of being able to see what we’re doing. I was a pro for 5 years! Looking back I was very lucky to have been employed for that long!

After I did a 13 week course that covered web design for a couple of days I took myself off to Holland in search of a new life and a new job. I came back 5 years later and tried to stay in the New Media business. My skills were out of date! I was replaced by one man / woman proficient in many fields: HTML (and it’s variants that now includes HTML5), JAVA, Java Script, CGI (Common Gateway Interface), MySQL (databases), CSS (cascading style sheets), Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. Gosh! There was no way I could learn all these skills without shelling out thousands of £’s! Uh-uh!

I found work as a journalist and I also started a couple of online magazines before the word “blog” was widespread. In fact I was one of a few decent online magazines before I lost my domain name. I won’t go into detail, but I learned a valuable lesson in entrusting my business to overseas companies. When things go wrong you need to be able to talk to someone. Anyhoo! I then started to use other web design software when I felt that Dreamweaver was overpriced and a little behind in terms of ease of use.

Over the years I have used many, many alternatives to Dreamweaver and the best of them are:

1. Serif WebPlus X7

2. Magix Xara Web Designer 9 Premium

3. Incomedia WebSite X5

Those are my absolute top 3 at this time! I hope to add to the list in due course. But the above are the very best for ease of use and they cater for designers of all abilities.

You can definitely create professional looking web sites with the aforementioned software.

Today you don’t even need software! You can use online services such as Wix and Moon Fruit to build a site while you are online! Yes, you can add ecommerce and there various cost effective premium paid for options that includes professional hosting.

You can easily build a site by dragging and dropping elements. Once upon a time these online site builders used Flash for the interface and output. In other words you’d be building Flash components that are embedded into a web page (HTML).

It is thanks to the late Steve Jobs’ refusal to allow Flash on the mobile devices (iPhone & iPad) that designers do not concentrate on using Flash based animations / media on websites due to a desire to be compatible with PCs and mobile devices (Android and iOS) across the board. On the one hand it is a shame that people who have invested a great deal of time learning the Flash software can’t really put it into practice as they run the risk of losing a vast audience.

On the other hand the casting out of Flash has made way for the HTML5 standard that features multimedia aspects that can be viewed across the various operating systems: Android, Windows, Mac, iOS and Linux.

There you go! You don’t have to spend a penny on web design software.

Depending on what you are doing you can easily set-up an account with Google Blogger and Word Press. These are the most popular blogging facility / networks going!

So many bloggers have gone on to become journalists, writers, etc. All you need with a blogger site is an audience and you get your audience from signing up to social networks i.e. Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and so on.

So, if writing is your thing you should think about either Google Blogger or Word Press. It is possible to monetise Google Blogger with Google Ads. However, I wouldn’t advise you to think about your blogsite as a business in that you’ll get people in the thousands by the day clicking on these Google Ads! You could be very lucky and you happen to have what the masses want to read and therefore you will attract a great amount of traffic to your site. If you are lucky they would click on the ads! Or you can always add a PayPal donation button! Be prepared to invest in some hard work in attracting an audience. It rarely happens overnight like you see on TV and film.

The advantage of not opting for your own website is that you can avoid hosting costs. Also when you have a dispute with a hosting company and it cannot be resolved you may be forced to walk away from your site or sites that you have built up over a period of time. I tell anyone who wants to find a good host to avoid the company 1 and 1.

1 and 1 are absolutely abominable when it comes to customer service! Put your business there at your own risk! I DO NOT RECOMMEND THE HOSTING COMPANY 1 AND 1!!!!

Just in case you didn’t get the message: 1 and 1, the hosting company are a load of crap! You have been warned if you wanted to go the website and hosting route!

How about your own video channel? What I love about YouTube is that you do not have to worry about hosting if you just wanted to do video blogs or vlogs. It is entirely up to you how you present yourself (within reason) on YouTube!

If your videos become very popular i.e. you’re getting over 1k views per week or more you might want to consider having a website to flesh out your operations in more detail. You might want to place all your videos in one location i.e.

And should you get a great amount of viewers you can monetize your video channel with Google Ads! You can still just stick with the YouTube channel and avoid the responsibility of hosting a site! Mind you, if you are making millions through Google Ads on your YouTube channel you can afford to employ a professional web designer to give you site cutting edge!

Of course, you can use a combination of YouTube and blogging site.

You have scope! I have shown you that you do not need to employ the services of a web designer to start your online business whether you are selling homemade cakes or selling cabbage patch dolls!

Be empowered!

Oh! I forgot to mention that you can use Gmail to receive business mail! Just open up an account with Google – if you haven’t already! You have many ways to get an online presence! Just do it!

If I get the time I may do an article on design. But after the Samsung Galaxy S5 launch and the Mobile World Congress 2014 I will bring you the Serif WebPlus X7 review!

Here’s part one to this series...

Stay tuned...

What do you reckon?

Take good care!

Thank you for watching and reading!

Please check out the Synapse Circuit website for video, i-PDF and more! 

Synapse Circuit Dot Com

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