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Choose a Tool

Choose a Tool to build your website

As with choosing a hosting provider you need to determine how critical support will be to your site, when selecting software that you use to build your site.   The type and level of support that you require will be based partially on your technical abilities. You should also consider if your site is mission critical. If your site is mission critical you may want to consider having the construction of your site outsourced and supported by a professional.  Choose a vendor that can provide 24/7 support with a guaranteed turnaround time.

There are two types of tools for building your own website that will be discussed in this article. Tools that are free and tools that are available for purchase.

Free Tools

When it is free start looking for the hidden cost!

Support offered with free tools will primarily be FAQs on their site and associated online forums. You should also evaluate if the tool is really free.  Some tools are free to use but there is still a cost to use them. Some free tools come with advertising that may not be appealing to you and could annoy your customers. You should also determine if the free tool has limitations or restrictions for the free version and you must pay a fee for the full set of features and/or to remove the restriction. For example the free e-commerce tool may be restricted to 10 items that you may sell.  In order to sell more that 10 items you must purchase the full featured product. This may be acceptable but you should determine these costs prior to making the decision to use these types of tools.

There are a number of free tools available that are widely used and over time have become robust enough to support commercial websites. Tools like WordPress and Drupal have been around for awhile with a good track record and offer an inexpensive option to building your own website. Most website hosting providers will automatically install the more common free tools for you. See the link below for a list and description of some more popular applications available at Keystone which can be installed with a single click.

See a list of the more popular Free Tools you can use to build your website.

Tools for Purchase

If you require the level of support offered by tools that you purchase, you will find that you can spend about any price your are willing to pay for a tool. Here are a few options that range in price and offer good support.

Microsoft Expression

Create beautiful standards-based Web sites with the best technologies for the job at hand: HTML5, CSS3, PHP 5.3, JavaScript, ASP.NET, ASP.NET AJAX or Silverlight. The advanced design surface and streamlined code editor help you to develop web sites without compromise while SuperPreview ensures your site is debugged, tested and compatible across different browsers.

Expression Studio Web Professional provides all the tools you need to build high quality dynamic interactive sites, create vector or bitmap graphics, encode high-quality video or easily add Silverlight, Flash, Deep Zoom elements for enhanced interactivity.

Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver available from Adobe is one of the more popular tools available for purchase. Using this tool does require some technical skills.  It is a very powerful tool and will support creating highly customized websites.

Website Tonight

With WebSite Tonight, everything works just like you'd expect. Need to move a section? Just drag and drop it. Want to add some text? Just click and type. Need help getting started? Choose from over 2,000 design and color combinations in our template library, including 120 pre-built websites customized to fit your business or style – just replace the text and images and you're ready to go!