You know what I know for sure? If you don’t build websites that get results, you’d rather not build websites at all.
If your website just sits there with a few pages of information (about page, contact page, and what not) and if it doesn’t get your business what it needs (leads and sales), then there’s no point in having a website for your business at all.
There’s just really no need to spend on website design, hosting, or anything else that you’d think you need to spend on if your website doesn’t generate the results it was meant to be.
What results should websites get? It depends on the kind of website you have and what it was designed for. For instance:
Blog – a single author, content-heavy, personalized website that gets traffic which has to be monetized accordingly.
Online Magazine — usually a blog with a multi-author or a multi-site site (preferably with WordPress Multisite)
Business website – built to help promote your business, to provide you with a start for your business branding, and to get your business leads and sales
Of course, you could have several variations for your website in the three categories alone.
For instance, a blog or an online magazine could very well be a way to promote affiliate programs. Or you could have specialist websites such as a classified site, a real estate listings site, a job board, etc.
First, we need to take a few things off the table (because I still see several small business owners requesting quotes for this).
You don’t need to hire developers or designers for websites of most kinds (unless you want to build another Facebook or TikTok). One option is to just pick WordPress as your CMS and use a combination of tools such as Elementor + Crocoblock or Divi to develop any kind of website you need. Or use Webflow and create any kind of website visually.
If that’s not the route you want to take, you have website builders that you can use. Some of the popular ones are Mozello, Weebly, Wix, and more.
Websites are websites. Landing pages and sales funnels are different — landing pages and sales funnels are high-performance pages (without clutter) built for conversions (such as leads and sales). They are built separately and then integrated with your website. For landing pages and sales funnels, you have options such as Unbounce, LeadPages, Simvoly,Instapage, Kartra, and several others. Just make a decision depending on your needs, your budget, and what you intend to achieve.
Once these are off the table, let’s look at a few things to ensure that your websites work for you.
Note: Most of the functions you need are either readily available (with any of the options you choose) or will require a little bit of arm twisting, tweaking, integrating, or working with various plugins (or apps) to make things work.
It’s your brand, so don’t be cheap
You don’t give out your name, title, and phone number on a tissue paper at a business meeting now, would you?
You wouldn’t want your customers or partners to think that you are cheap, that you don’t care about them or your own business.
That’s why it’s important to invest in the right platforms, the right hosting solutions, and the right ways to create your website in the first place.
Your website, your business, the results you get from your marketing, and the fate of your business — your decisions will impact how it all turns out to be.
Think strategy first, execution follows next
Most websites are built without a purpose — have a business? Get a website. That’s good as long as you don’t care about what your website achieves for you.
You’d be surprised to know that even pure offline business models can benefit from well-managed websites and a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
Before you even think of creating websites, think about strategy. Think long and hard about what it is that you want your website to achieve over a period of time.
Is it meant for content consumption (read blogs or articles, watch videos, listen to podcasts)?
Is your blog or online magazine a way for you to grow your affiliate income? To become an affiliate partner? A way to help you make money online?
Is your website a special purpose website — such as an online course catalog? A membership site? A listings site? A Classified site?
Results needed = Clutch of plugins & apps
Let’s say you had a WordPress website and a well-managed blog. You just wanted a way to generate leads by using content marketing or inbound marketing.
For this, apart from your website on WordPress itself, you’ll need pop-ups, slide-ins, exit-intent forms, and more.
Use any of the powerful lead generation plugins available to you such as OptinMonster, ConvertPro, and others.
If you were using Webflow, you can use OptinMonster or you could create “modals”, “Calls to Action”, “forms”, “pop-ups”, and pretty much anything else with Webflow itself.
As for Do-it-Yourself website builders, it’s a case of “to each, its own”. Ascend By Wix is a set of features to help you create forms, pop-ups, marketing messages, emails, and several other things you need.
However, Wix has its own ecosystem and it’s incredibly hard (or near impossible) to connect with your favorite marketing apps. If you wanted to use MailChimp or Drip with Wix, for instance, it’s not possible.
You already know that developing websites is a painful process. The options are bewildering, indeed.
On top of that, you also have to develop sales funnels, landing pages and integrate them with all sorts of other tools to make your marketing work.
Normally, you have excellent tools available to help build landing pages and sales funnels. more often than not, most of these tools are specialized and built for a single purpose in mind.
For instance, Unbounce is used for building landing pages in sales funnels only. Leadpages, meanwhile, is also used to build landing pages and sales funnels with the addition of being able to build websites with the LeadPages Site Builder.
To develop websites, sales funnels, or landing pages with Simvoly, all you have to do is to pick a template depending on the kind of website or page that you want to develop. Then, make changes to your template using the visual drag-and-drop feature and you have your pages ready.
Given the huge set of templates for each category (websites, funnels, landing pages, blocks, and pop-ups), you’ll never find the lack of a template you want to use, of course.
Simvoly is best for you if you want to develop websites, sales funnels, and landing pages fast without the need for integrations with email service providers ( at least, not yet).
Simvoly is also great for you if you are a developer, marketer, or a designer who wants to provide value-added or white-labeled services to your clients (why just build them websites when you can create complete sales funnels directly integrated with the websites you create to help clients get leads or make sales happen?).
Simvoly: What It Doesn’t Have Yet?
As mentioned before, Simvoly is not on WordPress nor is it a fully functional HTML / CSS builder like Webflow.
Although it’s easy and simple to develop websites, sales funnels, landing pages, other pages with Simvoly, it doesn’t come with the expansive integration set that WordPress comes with. Even Webflow has several integrations (including being an official partner with Facebook Advertising).
At the moment, Simvoly doesn’t come with Zapier integration (not yet). I see no way of collecting all the leads that sign up on a particular popup inside Simvoly and push them to your usual email service platform.
Why do you need the Leadpages Site Builder, you ask?
Most websites are built like crap — they aren’t designed properly, they aren’t ready for marketing, and no one would trust you with a website that doesn’t load fast, is confusing to use, or simply just reeks of bad design (along with useless fancy elements).
The focus is not on servers, CMS, infrastructure stacks, and hosting (although you get all of that with LeadPages site builder).
With LeadPages Site Builder, you get to:
Start with a high-performance template (professionally-designed, mobile-responsive templates). Use templates that are designed from a marketing stand-point — no fancy elements that hurt conversions (such as those sliders, animations at wrong places, etc.)
Use Pre-built web pages: Don’t sit there hoping to design every single page of your website (such as about, consultation page, contact, etc). After you pick a template, just swap elements out using pre-built web pages.
Utilize the Complete Conversion Toolkit: LeadPages, if you remember, is a tool for helping you to create Landing Pages, pop-ups, and everything else you need to get conversions. Get the complete conversion toolkit (opt-in forms, more landing pages, alert bars, and pop-ups) that you can deploy to the website you just created with the LeadPages Site builder without having to use other third-party tools.
So when you design websites with the Leadpages Site Builder, you don’t worry whether you should use WordPress or not, or the WordPress theme you should pick, or where you should host your WordPress site.
With The LeadPages Site Builder, the only thing you’d have to do it is to:
Design the site (use pop-ups, landing pages, and alert bars that LeadPages provides)
Get into the groove of marketing — blog regularly, share or distribute on social media, build your email marketing list, etc.
See how your website performs (also use LeadPages analytics available inside).
So, they say that WordPress is free ( this Webflow review is going to show how WordPress isn’t free. Nothing ever is). Or WordPress powers around 32% of the web so you should use it. Maybe your website is on WordPress right now (and this website is on WordPress, by the way).
But is it really “free” as in “free”? No, it’s not.
The real cost of WordPress is far from free. In fact, it quickly gets real expensive and fast (depending on how you host, create, run, and manage your website).
For non-Wordpress users — but aficionados nonetheless (like me) — I can’t go beyond a certain degree of customization regardless of the WordPress theme I am using.
I really don’t need to customize we website so much but when there are situations when I need to customize pages, create new pages, or style my blog posts, I don’t want to go looking for help.
There are several situations, almost on a daily basis, where you’d need to make changes to your website or design new pages. Especially when:
At the time of writing this, Webflow is the best alternative for WordPress. Before you read any further, you should know this: Webflow is another experience altogether. It doesn’t have themes, plugins, or bloated code. There’s no need to look for managed hosting as you’d have to when you use WordPress.
Webflow allows you to drag-and-drop elements and it allows you to create websites without messing with code. Webflow has templates available that you could base your website design on.
However, unlike WordPress themes, Webflow doesn’t restrict your design potential.
Your website design itch gets complete freedom. Make use of Webflow’s Flexbox or the New CSS Grid — on top of all the features, Webflow already has available — to build your websites exactly the way you like them.
Webflow — along with its CMS feature — makes for a great alternative for WordPress. Webflow gives you everything you need to build just the kind of website you could have built with WordPress.
Except that Webflow sites are on HTML and CSS only while the database functions of WordPress are delivered by Webflow CMS.
TL; DR: Compared to Webflow, WordPress websites are expensive. Period.
With WordPress, there’s the question of just how expensive WordPress websites can get when you finally add up all the recurring and one-time costs that you’ll put up just to get the site up and keep it there.
We aren’t even factoring in the costs (or time and other resources) you’ll spend on digital marketing.
Here’s a comparative breakdown of WordPress, when compared to Webflow (and for a few assumed plugins, extensions, themes, hosting options, etc.)
WordPress is a CMS by itself. The theme you choose dictates how your blog posts, pages, and everything else is going to look like.
Webflow CMS is where CMS meets visual design. With Webflow CMS, you’ll develop the content structure you need. Then, you’ll link content with your design so that Webflow CMS pulls data to fit into the design you created (you can do this one CMS item at a time or bulk import using CSV or API.
Webflow CMS, just as everything with Webflow, doesn’t require you to work with HTML or CSS. It’s more like tying things together.
“Don’t lock yourself into inflexible templates, blog-centric content structures, or complex code languages. Just build the schema you need and connect it to any design you want.”
Webflow CMS allows you to:
Build collections of anything — colors, images, text, numbers, videos, audio, or a combination of any of these — and pull them into your CMS design.
Use Dynamic HTML embeds and dynamically change HTML elements by changing relevant parameters with CMS fields.
Mix and Match collections once you create them (with any type of content), you can also create powerful relationships between each type of content, displayed together in a design you specify.
Collaboration & Management With Webflow
Webflow has already put in the thought about making it easy for multiple people (teams, contractors, designers with clients, etc.) to collaborate. You can invite others to work with you on your websites.
For instance, you can invite clients to check out their website in real time while still restrict usage or certain features. If you love to prototype and show your designs for your team’s input, you can do that as well.
Planning an all-out organic marketing strategy or build a website with multiple collaborators, writers, or designers? You can invite collaborators, contributors, and designers to help work together.
Thanks to the way Webflow is designed, make site-wide edits (changing colors, headlines, etc.) one time and it’ll reflect across the website (or not, depending on how you work).
Webflow’s Hosting is lighting fast as far as I’ve seen and it’s optional. I’d not see why you wouldn’t use Webflow’s hosting though considering that Webflow uses an infinitely scalable server fleet (as compared to a typical shared hosting solution that uses a single, low-scalability configuration).
Apart from lightning-fast speeds thanks to 100+ data centers worldwide (powered by Fastly and CloudFront), you also get access to CDN, SSL certificates for all sites, http/2, compliance, guaranteed 99.99% uptime, and page loads in milliseconds.
Cost of hosting on Webflow starts from $12 per month going as high as $36 per month, per website.
Upkeep & Management
WordPress is WordPress.
You’d then let WordPress sit on hosting, add plugins for functionality, use themes and/or customization (DIY or paid) to make it all work.
Unlike WordPress, Webflow is a managed system (including hosting, SSL, collaboration, CMS, content, and more) and everything you need sits together, in one cohesive system.
Apart from your content and design, there’s nothing else for you to manage. You’d need to upgrade anything, add (and upgrade plugins), or worry about compatibility of themes and plugins.
Need to make changes to the design itself? Build new pages? Need to create landing pages? Want to make changes to content? How about a complete redesign? Just hop inside the Webflow editor and make your changes.
Once your website goes live, you’d normally not need any help at all given how proficiently tools like Webflow are managed.
For that matter, even SquareSpace, Wix, and Weebly are managed without you ever having to worry about technology, Infrastructure, servers, upkeep, maintenance, etc.
Webflow has a very active forum along with manned customer support management.
I had to reach out to them a couple of times with questions about hosting and collaboration and I get instant replies or at least 12 hrs before a response comes in (blame my time zone, if you will).
Is Webflow truly an alternative to WordPress?
WordPress renders itself vulnerable to users ending up using terrible shared hosting, bloated WordPress themes, or outdated plugins. Most users also cannot really put up with the demands of having to upgrade and maintain their websites.
Add the varying costs of using several tools to make your WordPress website get results for your business and it only becomes a nightmare to manage (unless you can manage, that is).
Meanwhile, Webflow does have a slight learning curve.
For designers, developers, and teams that have a lot of website design or landing page design (or both), Webflow is truly a no-brainer.
For savvy business owners, freelancers, and agencies, Webflow is again an awesome fit.
If you are totally a non-techie, Webflow might not be for you if you want a website quick and easy just to host five to six pages or if you don’t want to get your hands dirty (even with that drag and drop builder).
Webflow comes in as a refreshing alternative to WordPress. It has everything WordPress has (and maybe even better) without the need for extra costs, themes, plugins, and hosting.
Thanks to some fantastic WordPress Website Builders, website development or design (unless you are creating something that’s like Facebook) for most businesses shouldn’t take more than a day. In fact, from a marketing standpoint, any small business website that takes more than a day to create is an opportunity cost.
If you take 4 weeks, 6 months, or even one year to create websites and launch them, you are wasting all the time that you could have used for marketing such as blogging, growing your social media presence, or building your email list.
Websites should not have to take that long given that there are so many options available to you, thanks to the DIY Website builders, WordPress itself, and several other options.
So, if you wanted a website in a day, what are your best options? Let’s see:
WordPress powers 26% of the entire web, and it’ll be a dishonor not to mention WordPress approach to building websites in a day. It’s possible, if the perfectionist in you and web developers may please excuse?
The best way to build a website in a day using WordPress is as follows:
So, what are the best WordPress Website Builders or WordPress page builders available for you? Dig in
Important Note:WPEngine recently acquired Studiopress, the Genesis Framework, and Studiopress Themes. With any paid plan on WPEngine, you now get access to all the Studiopress goodness at no cost to you. Plus, you’ll be able to use advanced staging options within WPEngine, super-fast hosting by WPEngine, and the ability to grow at scale when you need to.
If you want to bypass the WordPress hunting shopping part, go to Studiopress, pick a theme, and launch your site.
Studiopress lets you run (and use) the Genesis Framework which is the best framework in the entire world of WordPress themes. Sharp designs, solid reliability, fantastic themes, bloat-free code, and SEO-friendly are some of the hallmarks of Studiopress.
StudioPress Sites also allows you to just pick one of their themes and get started immediately.
You don’t even need to bother with hosting if you pick Studiopress sites since the product falls back on their own Synthesis Hosting product.
Off late, Divi builder has been growing in terms of community, resources, and popularity. The latest version of Divi is powered by React.js and is now a much-improved version of what it used to be.
With the Divi Builder, it’s no more a simple WordPress page builder plugin; it’s a complete WordPress website builder plugin with the added benefit of picking from a slew of completely build layouts for various categories of businesses (thanks to their awesome Divi layout packs)
With the Divi builder, you can use the Divi theme (if you are just getting started) or the Divi Builder plugin (if you are using some other theme) and quickly create pages, layouts, modules, or even complete websites just by importing layout packs.
Beaver Builder directly competes with the Divi Builder (among others such as elementor pro) is another popular, well-documented, and reliable WordPress page builder that you could use to construct each page of your website exactly the way you’d want.
Beaver Builder also comes with a native theme on top of which you could use the Beaver builder plugin to craft your website the way you want to.
For the marketing hearted among you, Beaver builder also allows you to create unlimited Landing pages and special content pages.
Elementor Plugin or Elementor Pro is slick, easy-to-use, and a fast WordPress website builder that you could opt for. Elementor Plugin is fast and has both free and paid versions available for you.
Armed with a full library of plugins, an ever-growing repository of pre-made templates that you can work right off of, and great support, Elementor Pro is certainly worth your consideration.
Oxygen is the latest among the many WordPress website builders or WordPress page builders.
Featuring a complete website building solution, Oxygen comes with a vast variety of pre-built blocks in addition the regular modules and website building elements made available to you.
When you use Oxygen, you don’t need themes to begin with (you only need hosting). Build pixel-perfect, responsive, good-looking, and completely custom WordPress websites in style, quickly, and maybe within a day.
Layers is actually theme — with a point-and-click builder — has been around for a while is a great alternative for any of the others listed here.
Along with a Layers Builder, the plugin is a great way to build fluid, easy, and solid websites using WordPress. With layers, you get extensions, themes, and plugins that you can use to build a WordPress website easily for your business.
Want to create simple or complex layouts on your WordPress site? Want to be sure of razor-sharp design while being completely responsive? Tailor WP is a great way to bring in extensibility and attractiveness to your WordPress site while letting you get started with customization of your WordPress website in no time.
You get one-click edits, create reusable templates, and Tailor WP is completely free to use.
Cloudpress is another awesome option to create beautiful, pixel-perfect WordPress websites. You’d just pick a theme, use the WordPress builder app, and host the website on a server.
Choose from a host of design-focused themes and then make changes to your theme the way you’d like.
You also get access to over 80+ pre-built layouts to speed up your design process even more. You can also control absolutely all aspects of your design including elements, typography, boxes, layouts, colors, and more.
Make By Themefoundry
Make is a free, open-source WordPress website builder that’s built by reiterating over 5650 times and with over 10 years of experience with WordPress. It’s built with love by top developers and power users to shame even some of the best paid WordPress Drag-and-Drop builders out there in the market.
The Make Layout Engine™allows you to work from within the familiar WordPress editor, allows you to customize absolutely everything, built multiple sites, or create a foundation for your WordPress development business.
Make is all yours, completely, always free.
Which of these WordPress website builders do you use?
Copy is everywhere — on every website you visit, every landing page you land on, every ad you see, and on every product you touch.
You see copy in those ads on the newspaper you sat down with this morning, on the outdoor hoardings you saw on your way to work, and everyone else you see advertising spreading its tentacles.
Effective copywriting bring in trillions of dollars and counting to businesses that know how to use it.
But then, the most powerful copywriting in the world is often the simplest: You’d never find fancy word play, manipulative gimmicks, or lines shrouded in secrecy. It’s because simplicity in copy is so rare (and effective), it’s also hard to find.
We went out looking for some of the simplest copywriting on website home pages and this is what we found:
Litmus App Home Page
Litmus is a tool that helps you test your emails for compatibility across email clients and browsers. It allows for simple automated checks to see if critical elements of your email — links, campaign load time, images, and more — remain intact on all email clients (such as Outlook, Gmail, etc).
Their homepage has no fancy jargon, though. They get right to the point in the simplest possible way and very quickly at that.
A headline and a paragraph underneath it already tells you what Litmus app is all about.
A typical web hosting companies normally have a lot going on their website homepages — traditionally, it’s always been a busy place, that home page. Further, with most hosting companies, the deciding factors are usually supported.
Kinsta is a WordPress hosting solution that places your websites on Google Cloud platform and is a little paranoid when it comes to support. As far as WordPress managed hosting is concerned, Kinsta has the simplest of all homepages ever, maybe only comparable to Flywheel
Think about this: I don’t know about you but I get enraged if someone steals my time, in any way possible.
Enraged isn’t even the word. I could kill if someone were to make me wait for anything. True that sometimes time slips away. Most times, others just take time right from underneath your feet.
That’s why this line:
“Ever feel like someone else is stealing your time?”
…got my attention. It evoked those emotions. I couldn’t help but nod my head in agreement.
That’s powerful shit, by itself.
It’s another thing that Toggl uses this line on their homepage, and the tool helps you track your time well.
Note: I love those animated illustrations on the homepage, too. I wish I could get someone to do that for us.
You know what? Given just how big Shopify is, they could get away with anything. But, they don’t.
Simplicity comes to rule again with some of the simplest language ever used on a major eCommerce platform’s homepage.
Shopify is the world’s best, easiest, and the most robust eCommerce platform that enables to set up your e-commerce real fast.
First, there’s that “you” in the heading. Do we have a winner here?
Next, the sub-heading helps you understand what Shopify can do (including help you sell from the trunk of your car).
Apologies for another time tracker making its way to this list, but here’s not only an example of really simple copywriting but also an excellent product which makes its value evident instantly.
Beautiful use of colors, illustrations, copy, and an enticing Call to action are all winners on an already minimalistic layout.
If there could be elevator pitches for copywriting headlines, this would be it:
“Fully Automated Time Tracking”
Yup, that does it for the Timely App which now comes with Artificial Intelligence.
Py For Work
If you were a technology company looking for talent, how easy is it for you to understand this:
Here’s an amazing example of an app that caters to a very particular audience (technology companies) who are looking for something very specific (suite of tools to source and hire engineers and tech talent).
What happens when you use a simple headline, a paragraph below that headline that packs a punch, a call to action (or a form), and social proof all above the fold on a website?
You get unimaginable conversions, that’s what.
The headline goes: Design and Develop at the same time.
Webflow is a new-age tool used to build and develop websites without using code. While it’s not exactly like Weebly or Wix — where those are pure DIY website builders — Webflow is more like “you can drag and drop whilethe code is automatically produced”.
Webflow is incredibly flexible, powerful, and allows you to create the kind of websites you don’t ever get with WordPress or other DIY website builders.
The homepage on Monsterinsights goes something like “The Best Google Analytics Plugin for WordPress”.
Can it get any simpler than that? Plus, there’s that counter and some social proof thrown in for good measure.
MonsterInsights is a WordPress plugin that helps you make sense of your analytics. While Google Analytics is certainly a must, using Google analytics directly calls for a bit of technical savvy. Plus, most of the data in there goes above the head of most business owners.
For that reason, MonsterInsights makes it easy for you to make sense of only those numbers that matter.
You cannot “not” talk about copywriting, leads, conversions, and results without mentioning what the folks at Sumo do.
Sumo is an excellent and a must-have tool to start generating leads for your business. Regardless of the volume of traffic you get, you’ll be able to start generating leads with their famous welcome mat, pop-ups, forms in blog posts (like the one below), autoresponders, and more.
Their homepage is a fantastic example that employs brevity, clarity, simplicity, and communicates a solution to a problem every business has: generating leads.
Add power words like “free” and “automate” and Sumo has a winner.
What some of those examples of great copy on websites? Show them to me.