Simplest Website Platform

Let’s say I want to create a very simple website. No e-commerce. No calendar. We already own a URL.

My website experience was with a now-defunct Mac-based tool. Essentially a drag-and-drop creator. That’s all I know. No HTML or any other technology. I feel like I’m about 15 years behind.

What is the easiest way for me to do this? I want to end up with a site that uses our own URL, not a “ other name or number” type of link.

I’ve spent the last 20 minutes trying to find a way to answer this without sounding … mean or flippant or like I’m trying to sell you my services.

There are several folks on this forum (me included) who have spent over 20+ years in the website and software development business and I think they, like me, groan when we see that sentence. Recently a neighbor told me that my services were too expensive because what I do is “easy” (she’s with the County as a clerk) and “all” she wanted was a “simple” ecommerce site for her daughter and it “should only” cost $100. I wept on the inside! :wink:

Website development, done well, even a “simple” one pager, isn’t as easy as any of the hosting and domain registrar companies that offer “free” development make it out to be.

Where did you purchase your domain name? Start there, they may offer the DIY/wizard options you seem to be looking for. Be forewarned, if you’re unhappy with a site like that then you will have a tough time getting even the pictures and text away from them. You won’t own the template. BTW, nine times out of ten, folks end up needing to purchase web development assistance from those registrars and DIY companies. And waiting weeks and months to get in line for sub-par “work.”

Depending upon your needs, it might make sense to get a professional to put up a template you choose on a hosting platform and then you can fill in the blanks.

There are plenty of YouTube videos for WordPress platform development.


For my web site, I used Mobirise, which is free. They have a good variety of CSS templates, and the basic templates are all free, and you edit content with their app that you download. You save the page on your hard drive and then upload it to your host.

Where they make their money is selling all the add-ons they have developed, which you won’t need if you’re like me and just have a page with the domain name and a link to your actual booking page (in my case, I have links to all 3 Air listings).

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There’s always Facebook.

Wordpress. But as @casailinglady says, there’s no such thing as an easy website. Before anything else, it’s important to decide how the site will be marketed and promoted. Only then can you start actually creating the site with marketing in mind from day one.

P.S. Calendars and e-commerce are simple using Wordpress plugins.


:rofl: I call “simple” the $5,000 word! :wink:

I didn’t even want to get into the whole “What’s your site for …” thread.

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I bought my domain name for my dog boarding business via GoDaddy. I paid a former student $250 to set up a simple website and was going to pay another $250 when finished. Things came up on both our ends and I got a site that does what I want for the $250. No payments, no calendar, just information about my business with some pictures and reviews. I pay GoDaddy for hosting but I don’t pay for any extras. Right now I’m so busy that I’ve unpublished the site.

I can go in and edit fairly easily and I think I could have set it up from scratch myself but I hesitated to say so here since I didn’t actually do it. LOL.


I just set up a site with Wix. It was pretty straightforward, and even has a calendar and a way to book. It’s mainly for previous guests, so they can stop texting me, but if a “new” person books, I’m not going to turn them away!


Student pricing!! TBh, though, I’ve set up basic sites for $500 and then given basic instructions and links to YouTube videos for them to add/edit content. We also own our own server at a data center, so we do get the hosting $$ too.

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GoDaddy offers a free website builder in addition to hosting

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I’m thinking of emerging from retirement, maybe.

Maybe we could collaborate and come up with an affordable product for small hosts @casailinglady :rofl: then spam all the STR forums!



I once had a client who had started to create her business website on Wix but then employed us. She wanted us to continue with Wix as she has already put some content on there.

It was a horrible experience. Admittedly this was a few years ago and the product has hopefully improved by now but these even-a-child-can-do-it websites are usually not the same as having a proper website.


Sounds like a plan!! @Rolf can deal with the GoDaddy issues. Because “they said it was easy and there’s on-line documentation…” :rofl:

Wix is the devil incarnate. They haven’t gotten better. They spend all their money on flashy/splashy TV ads and don’t bother to tell people that Wix does f-k all for organic seo and charges for seo work. The devil.

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Such. A. Lie. I’ve been doing this since 1990 and I gotta tell you… it’s a lie. Can you build a site? Sure. Does it meet your marketing needs? Navigation? ADA Compliance? Sell stuff?

I need a drink.

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I hear you. I could struggle along as a non- techie, trying to build a website, and although I’m sure I could eventually come up with something, I prefer to hire people for things they can do far better than I can in at least half the time it would take me.

I’m already hands-on competent with many things, I don’t need to try to do or learn everything myself in this lifetime, especially things that don’t really interest me.

A friend of mine did all my plumbing and electric when I built my house. He kept trying to explain to me how and why and where he was putting everything. Aside from me wanting to decide where I wanted plugs and lights, I had to point out that if I was really interested in electrical wiring, I wouldn’t have hired him to do it, I would have done it myself.

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amen and preach it. It’s one of the things I say to people who say “Well I can do it myself…” OK, is the learning curve alone worth your time? How much money are you losing because you’re not doing your business, instead you’re focusing on an area where, if you worked in a larger company, would be sent to the proper department to be done? Hey if you have the time and inclination, go for it and do your research. Otherwise, hire someone who can do it right the first time.

About ten years ago (or more) I wrote a blog about this. Would you trust him/her to remove your appendix? Or pilot the plane that you’re taking to Europe? Or remove your wisdom teeth? So why trust (the kid next door as I called him/her in the blog) to create the most important part of your online business?

Not getting at you, Dusty. :slight_smile:

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It really depends. When it comes to modern tech, lots of young people are whizzes at that stuff. Of course a host would need to be in charge of content, and a newbie host, or someone who.just doesn’t have a clue about effective marketing might really need the services of a professional for that, but most experienced hosts already know how they want to market their place, who their target market is, which photos are important, etc.

So while building a website is definitely a particular skill, I wouldn’t put it in the same category as open-heart surgery :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Ah I missed the bit about “our own URL” initially, when I noted Facebook. So, if having your own domain is important to you, then I would go with a wordpress site, hosted by If you sign up for 3 years it is dirt cheap. Drive or Turbo boost includes free auto backups. So, that’s only $5 or $10 per month. You CAN do it for $3 per month with the intro plan but auto backup is not included.
Elementor is a good site builder. It’s free, if you don’t need support or additional templates, etc. Or a mere $49 per year with a lot of extra stuff. Other interesting options include: Airbnb Clone: The Best Airbnb WordPress Themes - MotoPress
A big plus with Elementor is true WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), as you build it. So, even if you are new to it, it makes it MUCH easier than many other “block style” page builders (old school traditional stuff). So, it makes it much easier for many.

When I hired her I told her not to give a discount. She lives and works in NYC (also graduated in the aughts) and at the time was a free lancer doing a variety of things including setting up websites. But I didn’t bother to try to determine if she gave me a discount.