Website Building for the Rest of Us
This story appears in the June 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
Building a website for your business is too expensive and too complicated to tackle on your own, right? As a busy, cash-strapped entrepreneur, you've had other things to worry about--until now.
allows you to quickly and simply create a functional, good-looking website--free. With an extensive library of site layouts, users can choose a basic design and then customize it to match the style of their business. To unlock even more styles and loads of extended features--and to get rid of that "Made on Yola" link at the bottom of each page--members can purchase Yola Pro for $49.95 a year.
Since the site's launch in 2007, membership has grown steadily and now tops 3 million. New customers are coming primarily from buzz created on Twitter and Facebook, says Vinny Lingham, founder and CEO.
Yola also offers hosting, so users can publish their customized site to the web virtually instantly with the click of a button. And through strategic partnerships, Yola members can edit photos using Picnik, import Flickr photos and YouTube videos, create custom Wufoo forms and add features from Widgetbox.
"We look for partnerships that add value to our user base." Lingham says. "The key is to leverage the thousands of hours that have gone into developing those products."
Simple drag-and-drop toolbars make adding Google Maps, photos, links and even an online store a breeze. For the more tech-inclined, HTML code is also an option.
Pro Site Design
In case users are still not convinced they can do it on their own, Yola has teamed up with Logoworks to offer professional design services. For a one-time fee of $499, the designers at Logoworks will create a custom website using the Yola website builder. Once completed, the site can be easily maintained by the user.
If members run into problems, assistance is easy to find. With 24/7 online customer support, a knowledgeable community and online tutorials, videos and webinars, Yola's customer service is top-notch.
Yola staffers use the blog to keep the community abreast of company news and new features. To inspire members, an interesting Yola-designed site is featured each week. "The blog reinforces our values and lets our visitors know they've made the right choice," Lingham says.