There are thousands of available website platforms out there to make an online marketing, ecommerce, small business or hobby website. Anything from free "hosted" services that require no programming knowledge of any kind to millions of freely available website templates that can be used with programs such as front page and the like. My suggestion to anyone looking to make just about any kind of website, small business owners included, is to use a self-hosted WordPress application. There are a hundred reasons for this and here is what I consider the top three:
1) It's amazingly flexible. With a self-hosted WordPress website you have the ability to quickly and easily make a good looking and operational simple website with basically no knowledge of any programming languages (like HTML or PHP). In addition, as you get more comfortable with the program, there are thousands of what are called "plugins" that allow you to vastly expand the features and functions your website provides to your users. These included, but are in no way limited to ecommerce solutions, slideshows, RSS feeds, photo gallery features, newsletter applications, inventory databases, connection though Facebook and Twitter accounts and just about anything you can think of. The program itself is very search engine friendly which means you'll have good luck with ranking with some of the big sites like Google or Yahoo.
2) It's constantly being updated. As online technology and trends continue to change keeping up with the latest and greatest new thing can be very difficult if you are doing your own thing when it comes to websites. The beauty of the WordPress software is the team of developers and users alike that keep it up to date, provide a never ending flow of new themes and plugins, and help prevent malicious attacks from the unfortunate reality of hackers. I'm sure you've come across websites that look, even to the novice, to be hopelessly out of date. This won't happen with WordPress as it is stunningly simple to change the look and feel of your site whenever you feel the urge.
3) It's free. That's right, free. The WordPress software is available at no charge to anyone who would like it. It's Open Source software that is being used by millions and millions of people worldwide. To have your own self-hosted website the only real costs you incur are that of a domain name, maybe $10 a year, and a small hosting account which might cost $10-$15 a month. That's it.
If you are looking to start a hobby site, an online marketing site or any sort of small business website I encourage you to look seriously at a self-hosted WordPress website! Get to it!
Visit [http://www.billyirish.com] for tips and tricks on website development and social media. Bill Kelly is on a mission to empower novice webmasters, small business owners and non-profit organizations with the ability to create and maintain their websites using WordPress and assist with their online marketing and promotion efforts.