I’ll include PHP or ASP custom websites in this category if they custom built and are not pre-built scripts.
A custom website with HTML has every opportunity to be search engine optimized. However, if algorithms change and you need to tweak the website, you will have to go back to the company that built it for you to make the changes.
Hey, if it’s custom, then you can create a very fancy website. The sky is the limit here. That does not mean that all custom website are fabulous works of art.
In most cases, these websites don’t have a back end that has a publicly facing login screen. That means the only way that they website can be defaced or compromised is by someone hacking in to your cpanel or ftp account. That gives custom websites an average score on the security scale.
Since it is custom, it is likely that any changes to the site will have to be made by the designer. If you are a nitpicker, it could get expensive for you.
Costs could go from cheap to very expensive. Add in the cost of changes, if you don’t have access to the website.
WordPress is a blogging platform, but you can build a nifty website with it. There are other blogging platforms like WordPress, but WordPress is the most popular. WordPress is open source software, which means that it’s free to use. Your look and feel are determined by your Theme. Many Themes can also be downloaded for free, but you can also pay $100 or more for a premium Theme. You can build in functionality by adding Plug-ins. Plug-ins allow you to have sophisticated functionality on your website, like ecommerce. The price of Plug-ins varies, depending on what they do and how well they are supported. Learn more at WordPress.org.
As good as any. Better if you get SEO addons that allow you to edit meta tags and titles.
Acceptable, but it depends on how heavily you load your website with gadgets.
Here’s the hard part with WordPress. It has a back end login so that you can maintain your own website. It’s this entry that can be compromised if you don’t have a good password. Better if you get a caching addon.
Very good for the aforementioned reason. Create a new page or post in minutes without having to know HTML.
Inexpensive, unless you want to really customized the look and feel. Even then, it never reaches the expensive range.
Many shared hosting company offer a website builder that can create a competent website. These are typically menu driven websites that do not require that you know how to program. You pick a look and feel (style), and then populate pages with words and content.
Can be good. Most builders allow you to customize all on page elements.
Good, but with all methods, good passwords are your only defense.
Very good. You can be up and running quickly.
Low. But if you ever want to leave the webhost that provides the tool, you likely won’t be able to take the website with you.
Google Apps or Office365
If you use Google Apps or Microsoft’s Office 365, you have the ability to create a simple website very easily. This service is very much like the website builders offered by hosting companies (see above), so it probably won’t win a style competition. It will, at best, be adequate.
Gotta be good, right? I don’t think building your website on these services will enhance your search visibility, but it won’t hurt.
Speed should be very good in both cases.
These websites are protected in the same way that your email is protected – by password. It is possible to share webmaster duties on these websites
Very easy, like a word processor.
Very low, but this won’t be a fancy website.
Ecommerce Software or Service
There are a number of good ecommerce service providers on the market. They provide everything you need for an ecommerce website, including the program, hosting, and plugins that provide tax and delivery functionality.
Good, based on my experience.
Above average. Still, your website is one guessed password away from compromise. These sites tend to be strict on the strength of your passwords.
OK, but you may need to know some HTML to enhance your pages.
If you have 100 products or more, you will pay over $1000 per year, but you won’t have to worry about security and hosting, which are major concerns with an ecommerce website.
Facebook or other Social Media Pages
You don’t really need to have your own dedicated website. If you are a small business in a competitive space, you may want to save the money and opt for a Facebook page or a Google+ page. If customers find you mostly through local search, then you could save a lot of money by NOT having a dedicated website.
Good and getting better. Given their visibility, it is a good idea to have these pages AND a website.
As good as your password. Oh, and the passwords of the people that you nominate to be your page managers. These services also provide for dual authentication, which means that you enter your password and they send you a code to login. If you have that, then you can’t easily get better security.
Very easy to use.
These pages are free, but they won’t measure up to a regular website.