This will be the first article in Return on Change’s “Startups in the KNOW” series focused on “Resources for Boot Strapped Startups” where each week we’ll share resources that startups can use to get their businesses off the ground and up and running. This week the first topic is on resources that startups can use for website building. With the wide prevalence of internet access today, it isn’t unusual for anyone to visit a company’s website first before anything, and the website becomes so important because it acts as the face of your company and is where the initial interaction between a customer and company occurs. But no worries! We all know that not everyone is blessed with the technical skills to code an entire website by oneself, and that’s exactly why these sites below are here to help those who want to create websites.

The first question a startup should answer before deciding to go with any website builder is: What is it that I want my website to do? Do I want my website to simply inform and/or engage? Or will it be a more advanced site where monetary transactions will be made? Depending on your startup’s needs and your level of technical skills it’ll determine which site builders to go with.

Here we’ll take a look at Weebly.com, Jimdo.com, Webnode.com, and Webs.com  

(1) Weebly.com (http://www.weebly.com/)  @weebly

With its slogan “The easiest way to create a website” this site has been praised for its easy to use, no-hassle approach to website building. Their entire interface is based on advanced dragging and dropping functions.  You can even pick a template and drag images and text elements onto the page.

Overall this is a great site to use if you have no technical skills and are looking to set up a quick, simple page. For e-commerce, Weebly.com can be a restraining as it only accepts payments via PayPal or Google checkout. Storage space is unlimited, but individually files can’t exceed 5 MB each on the free plan, or 100 MB each on the Pro plan.


  • Search-engine optimization (SEO) is good- title, meta & description tags all customizable, as well as your images’ ALT text.
  • You can buy a domain name from Weebly and they only offer .com, .net or .org domains. You can re-direct a domain you’ve bought elsewhere though.
  • Weebly has its own tracking tool for visitor statistics, or you have option of using Google Analytics.
  • Easy to use widgets such as photo galleries, video and music players and more.
  • All the standard features to have blog functionality on the site.
  • Easy to add forums due to direct integration with Tal.ki.


  • Basic package is free, but will include a small Weebly ad in your website’s footer.
  • Pro Plan costs USD $3.99 per month if you sign up for a whole year ($2.99 if you sign up for two years). You will have to pay extra for your own domain name.


(2) Jimdo.com (http://www.jimdo.com/index.php) @jimdo

While Jimdo.com rivals Weebly.com on the simplicity and with an easy to use site, one of Jimdo.com’s greatest differentiators is its online store where it does a great job of displaying products for your startup’s e-commerce site needs (PRO plan allows 15 products to put on site, BUSINESS doesn’t have a limit). The site also allows you to accept payments via a range of methods, and includes inventory tracking and order management. Also good to note that Jimdo.com does not have a preview function so all changes will be saved directly to the live website.


  • SEO- Meta tags, meta descriptions and image ALT tags are all editable on the PRO plan. But title tag and URL editing is unfortunately limited.
  • Lots of template options to pick from
  • Jimdo PRO includes one domain (i.e. .com) while Jimdo BUSINESS includes two. Allows you to re-direct your existing domain.
  • Google Analytics is integrated
  • Storage space: PRO gives you 5 GB, BUSINESS offers unlimited storage
  • No feature to add forums but there is a guestbook.


  • Jimdo.com’s has 3 various plans that startups can choose from. Their most basic website builder is free of course.
  • The Jimdo Business plan (recommended for businesses or online store) will cost you $240 per year.
  • The Jimdo Pro plan (recommended for creative projects, freelancers, and bloggers) will cost you $90 per year.


(3) Webnode.com (http://www.webnode.com/) @webnode 

Webnode.com offers two packages depending on your startup’s needs. It’s broken into a website builder (for both personal and business websites), and an e-commerce online store. This website builder has a top-class drag and drop functionality, and makes it easy for users to create a multilingual website.


  • SEO is great- Page titles, meta tags, URL fields and image ALT tags are all freely editable
  • For e-commerce there are limited options for the personal and business packages. Paid packages for online store offers very sophisticated functionality
  • Storage space: Free version is from 100 MB to 10 MB depending on whether it’s a personal or business website. With paid version you can upgrade to 5 GB and large files can be uploaded using the Upload Manager
  • There is no forum feature- just a commenting feature
  • Register a domain via Webnode or re-direct your existing domain

PRICING: Webnode.com offers both a free and paid version.


(4) Webs.com (http://www.webs.com/) @webs

This is one of the largest website building companies out there as more than 40 million websites have been hosted via webs.com. This site also boasts that it’s easy to use with its drag and drop features, along with other rich features. The templates offered by webs.com have a clean and modern look, and video tools and photo gallery options are included. If your startup is that of an online store, only PayPal and Google Checkout are available.


  • Their SEO is good- meta tags & descriptions, page titles can be edited
  • Mobile sites are included
  • Multiple free sites allowed
  • Sites not as customizable as some of the other competitors


The free plan offers up to 40 MB of free storage space and you can post a maximum of 5 items if you have an e-commerce site. Their paid plans range from the Starter plan (for personal sites), Enhanced Plan (for business), and the Pro Plan (for online stores).


 At the end of the day there will be advantages and disadvantages to using a website builder. Some pros are that it’s easy to use and doesn’t require any programming skills, requires a low cost, and high traffic to your website won’t cause it to crash. On the flip side, some cons are that you will face limited flexibility since you are limited to the website builder’s layouts and the website builders may not be ideal for large and complex web projects. Regardless, setting up a website will be essential for any startup/business, and any one of these website builders is a good starting place to jumpstart your website whether or not you’re a techie!

- @RoCGraceK

QUICK LOOK AT SOME OF THE BEST WEBSITE BUILDERS (borrowed from www.websitetooltester.com)





Jimdo review
Try for free
Free: $0
Pro: $7.50 (£5)
Business: $20 (£15)
+ very easy to use
+ excellent online store
+ wide choice of designs
+ comes with a domain name and email address
Weebly review
Try for free
Free: $0
Pro: $3.99
$39.99 (yearly)
+ flexible
+ good blog feature
+ pricing
+ assign different access levels for editors
Webs review
Try for free
Free: $0
Starter: $4.17
Enhanced: $8.33
Pro: $20.82
+ great number of features
modern designs
+ very flexible
- cluttered backend
Yola review
Try for free
Free: $0
Bronze: $4.17
Silver: $8.33
Gold: $16.67
$11.95 (yearly)
+ easy to use
+ great support
+ excellent e-commerce
- Yola ad in Bronze plan
Webnode review
Try for free
Free: $0
Mini: $2.95
Standard: $9.95
Profi: $24.95
Domain: from
$18.95 (yearly)
+ suited to larger (multilingual) websites
+ range of professional features
+ great for SEO
- designs
1&1 review
Try for free:
US / Canada site
UK site
Basic: $9.99 (£9.99)
Plus: $19.99 (£19.99)
Premium: $29.99 (£29.99)
+ unique sector focus
+ very easy to set up
- relatively expensive
Wix.com review
Try for free
Free: $0
Con. Dom: $4.08
Combo: $8.25
Unlimited: $12.42
eComm.: $16.17
+ impressive-looking designs
+ add animation and multimedia
- Flash format not favored by search engines
- relatively pricey
Homestead review
Try for free
Starter: $4.99
Business: $19.99
Business Plus: $59.99
+ high number of features and templates
- complicated editor that needs to be installed locally
- relatively expensive

Prices are shown in monthly expenses for one-year contracts including domain name (unless stated otherwise)Source: http://www.websitetooltester.com/en/website-builder-reviews/



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Grace Kim
Grace is the Brand Director at Return on Change and a graduate of Villanova University with a degree in Economics and International Business. Previously she worked at Tommy Hilfiger as a buyer. A Gates Millennium Scholar and a Tommy Hilfiger Millennium Promise Ambassador, she has also visited the Millennium Villages in Ruhiira, Uganda, experiencing and learning hands-on how to help create sustainable communities. She is a lover of international economic development and experiencing new cultures, and strives to visit a new country every year.
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One Response to “Startups in the KNOW: “Resources for Bootstrapped Startups – Part I”” Subscribe

  1. Joe laden 11/01/2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Every website builder has pros and cons depending on what the customer wants. Each one focus more on certain facilities that will differentiate it from the rest. Recently i have posted a table where i review and classify them by areas of “expertise” here – http://wbtutorial.com

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