alogo – Fall From Leadership

For the past 10 years or more has been the GoTo CMS for Small Businesses especially on free hosted website development. No Longer.

This review will look at the what has happened in the past 2-3 years to change the situation such that 3 other hosted Website Builders[ SquareSpace, Weebly, Wix] have now become equal to  or a better than as an option for small businesses looking for economical and  effective Web Presence. But the key point here is that we are comparing free hosted Website Builders. Let us clarify this choice.

The small business Website Building market place is divided into two major camps – free hosted  web services in which users can build attractive and highly effective basic websites for no out of pockets costs but still not insubstantial time , design and maintenance effort.  There are well over 2 dozen free hosted website builders in this market place – with SquareSpace, Weebly, Wix being the leaders. But with over 13million websites worldwide is the market leader

The other side of the small business web market is  premium hosted services which website code dominates the market. Users get a free copy of WordPress[or Concrete or Drupal or Joomla or at least 4 dozen other free CMS code] and upload that copy to their premium hosting services. These hosting services provide the small business with underlying web software, CPU computing power, 10 to 1000GB of diskspace,  WiFi bandwidth, and other services   to run their chosen  CMS software. These premium hosted services can support 10,000++ page and products with 100K to 1000K daily visitors. In contrast, free hosted services report support for 10,000- 20,000 visitors/day.

In sum, free hosted services must switch users to premium hosting plans [at $100-500/year] to achieve 200,000+ daily users – still a fraction of premium hosted services. So the sweet spot for free hosted services is  100 to 10,000 visitors per day with 10 to  15 pages & products before you have to consider switching a premium hosting plan.

The Attraction of Free Hosted Website Services

For the past 10 years has been the “free” version of WordPress. Users could create a website with all the Theme, Blogging, and easy Page and Post creation capabilities of the senior system. With hosting free and 3GB of diskspace available pus over 100 themes it has been possible to create a practical  portfolio or special  event or small business website using

And not only hosted the domain name and website for free but also kept all the components – theme, plugins and WordPress itself updated and secure. This was the best of all possible worlds – a free site until you needed to upgrade to more advanced performance, features and plugins. And then WP had the export/import tools to make an easy transfer to your own premium hosted website. And so of the approximate 27 Million WordPress websites in the World, nearly half at 13 Million are is an example of just such a small scalle website. It id used to communicate with fellow developers about the latest trends in JavaScript development:

This is a perfect example of how has won so many users. WordPress has made hard website development tasks a lot easier with “No coding required”.

  1. Themes make changing the look and feel of a website much easier;
  2. Creating Posts and Pages is done in a Visual Editor that resembles a simple Microsoft Word with Visual and HTML views;
  3. Plugins eliminate the need to know complex Web programming in order to have such features as Image Sliders with layers & animations or Contact Forms with conditional inputs and validation or literally thousands of other components and tasks. The number and breadth of full WP plugins dwarfs all its CMS competitors;
  4. Website maintenance is eased with automated WP installation plus point and click theme plus JetPack plugin updates that has been well ahead of rival CMS systems;
  5. Website operations like backup, security, translations, SEO, transfers , performance statistics are also enabled with Jetpack plugins.

But something happened in the past 2-4 years to change the Cost-Benefit Analysis of First, other free hosted services copieda ll of the winning features of – free themes easily loaded or changed; a Visual Editor with all the features;   a slightly larger set of plugins then that offered by; same easy set of  website operation and maintenance features.

But then the competitors added a set of features that has failed to match. Since 2010-2012 a number of software vendors like Wix, Weebly, JimDo, etc started offering Website Builders that made creating a website faster and easier than anything that offered. Yes, offers some themes  with some pre-built features that can be customized. But dicovering which themes have the features you require is a tedious [and possibly costly]trial and error process.

Here is a Wix PageBuilder video example:

But the bottom line is that still does not have any PageBuilder like in Wix, Weeby and Square, etc. There is no uniform templating system like that available in rival systems.

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