When you have your own company, you’re always looking out for the next “thing” that could make running the business simpler, more efficient, and (better yet) less costly. So naturally, Yun and I are always excited whenever we discover a new technology or company that is doing something to make some aspect of our work easier. I, in particular, am a sucker for trying new consumer technologies. Sometimes what I discover is flat-out terrific (think: Google Business Apps) and sometimes it’s not quite as good as it sounds (think: Google Voice). On the KandY Shoppe, we’ll be sharing some of our discoveries and experiences with these products and services that have made running our business just a little easier.  *A quick disclaimer, we are by no means spending a lot of time testing all of the different products that are in a category to figure out the very best one (or cheapest one) and are not claiming to be to be experts. Rather, we enjoy trying new things and when we find something we really like, we’ll share with you in the hopes that you will find it helpful too.  

For today’s post, I’d like to tell you about a web-based resource - Weebly - that has been extremely useful to us (Yun has used it to build the KandyShoppe blog, our new Letter Buddies website, and our new Cavallo Media website). The company has been around for several years, but we only stumbled across it in the last few months. Weebly (a Y-Combinator funded company) is a service that allows anyone to create their own website. I know it doesn’t sound like a revolutionary concept, but it’s not just what they’re letting you do, but how they’re letting you do it that is important. We've built sites in the past on several other platforms and some of have been good while others not so good. Here are some of the reasons I like Weebly and recommend it to anyone wanting to build a website whether it be for something fun or something more serious (like my fantasy football league):
  1. FREE - as any frugal business owner will tell you, the best price to pay is almost always FREE!  On Weebly, all you need to do is register a name and you can have a free Weebly sub-domain (ie kandyshoppe.weebly.com) or you can host your own domain on Weebly (ie www.kandyshoppe.com). In either case, the hosting is completely free. There are some premium options you can pay a few dollars for, but 99% of what most of us need or want is absolutely free; for the other 1%, you’re paying a monthly fee that’s less than the "Million Dollar Burger" at Carl’s Jr.
  2. NO Ads - even though it’s free, they don’t put any annoying banner ads on your website. You can maintain the integrity of your design and have a clean look with a site that is free from advertising (unless you want to have ads).
  3. EASY - Yun can build websites; she's good at it. She knows how to work some HTML and use Flash to create cool sites, but I’m a little challenged in this category. So, I was thrilled to discover Weebly and learn how really simple they make it for someone like me to create a website. Essentially, if you know how to drag and drop, you can use Weebly to build your own site, and include some cool features to boot like embedding video, audio, forms, and photos, to name a few. For those of us who only need a website that has most of the bells and whistles, Weebly is a great solution that is very accessible to the non-hacker.

For a comprehensive list of the features Weebly offers, click here.  - Kevin

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