THERE'S NO EXCUSE FOR A BAD WEBSITE DESIGN

I have no programming skills at all. I can't tell HTML from a Hat Melon. It all looks like translating English into Spanish into Farsi into Aramaic to Hieroglyphics, running it all through a cheese grater and then having your cat reassemble it. That being said. I designed and built this website.

And this one.

And this one.

And a few dozen more over the course of my life. I built a photography website, and my production company's website, websites for each of my comics, and many others that no longer exist. And I did it without writing one line of code. I created them by modifying pre-designed template on "what you see is what you get" website builders. I've used them for YEARS, and they've only gotten better with age. Let me say it again. I am a crappy web programmer. I'm an average designer. Website builders do most of the work for me. And they make me look good. Below I've ranked all the ones I've ever used. Some are expensive and lovely (like squarespace) others are cheap and utilitarian (likehomestead). Either way, I suggest you host multiple domains through somewhere like mediatemple which will give you free emails and such, but only if you plan on having many different websites which point many different places all with several email addresses a piece.

GODADDY - 2008

I don't have much good to say about godaddy, except that it was very cheap. I got my $5.00 domain and an email address, but their templates were garbage and you had to know HTML in order to make any changes. Who has the time to learn that jive. I quickly transferred my domain away from there.

SCORE: 2.5/10

HOMESTEAD - 2008 - PRESENT

I still host my personal website www.russell-nohelty.com through Homestead, but I've moved everything else off their site. There was a time I was hosting 10+ sites through their service complete with domains and email addresses. Homestead is okay at best, but for a while it was the only WYSIWYG builder that didn't suck (or use flash which to me is the same thing). Their websites are simple and offers full customization, but it's not easy to do advanced functionality on them, nor link them together, nor create multiple subdomains (though it is possible). I found it incredibly hard to host a web comic on their site, and multiple web comics was impossible without paying more. Homestead will make you pay more for more pages, more domains, or more bandwidth. Still, if you only need 5 pages and <25 MB storage without web store functionality $6.95/mo isn't a bad deal.

SCORE: 6/10

WIX/WEEBLY/SQUARESPACE - 2013

For a while in 2013 I was trying out lots of website companies. It was when I was initially fed up with the simple design of Homestead and wanted more. I tried Wix and Weebly, along others. I'm linking the original Squarespace in here too, as I tried it during the same time and hated it. My opinion has changed though. All three site melded together for me as they both had clunky interfaces and insisted on moving between pages with fancy wipes and other bull. I don't need that. I need simple, elegant and effective. These three were nothing I wanted. Combined I was only with them for about a week before I transferred back to Homestead.

SCORE: 1/10

SQUARESPACE - 2015

Squarespace should buy Gimlet Media a big old pizza (or maybe a drink. I suggest a gimlet). It's only because of listening to their podcasts that I tried Squarespace out again. I hated them so much the first time, but their new sites and developer mode convinced me to give it another shot. Thank God I did. I love it now, which lends so credence to not listening to a word I've said so far in this blog, I know. Aside from being on the expensive side, it has everything that I want. ecommerce included in the price of admission, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited pages, custom templates which allow multiple web comics. I built out this template for Wannabe Press using developer mode, but 90% of it is just plug and play. My other website is about 99.9% plug and play. I can't tell you how thrilled I am with them both. They make me look like a genius.

SCORE: 9.5/10

BONUS: MEDIATEMPLE - 2015

So Mediatemple isn't a website builder as much as a girdserver to collect all your domains and email addresses. They do link to Virb, which I haven't tried but looks like a very good cheap alternative to Squarespace. Mediatemple takes a little more advanced hand and more patience. It meant for people who manually update DNS settings, change nameservers, and create email addresses. It probably took me a good week or two to get this one down, but when you're managing 5-10 websites this is a great solution. It's again very expensive ($20/mo), but it gives you unlimited email addresses for that price, which is great.

SCORE: 8/10

Unfortunately, I've never used the big boy on the blog when it comes to web comics Wordpress.org(NOT wordpress.com). I looked into it several times and almost all my friends use it to host their websites...I just didn't like it enough to even try it. I kept downloading their builder and it never loaded right on my PC. I figured if it was that complicated just to set up, it must be 10x more complicated to use. So I opted for other things. And that's it. Those are all the ones I've tried. Any of them would help a crappy website look professional. It would help your website too. There's no excuse.

Hope it helps. Make sure to check out freekickstartercourse.com too in order to start your journey on the right foot.