Over the last several weeks, Mailchimp has slowly been rolling out a new tool that allows you to build your website. I know what you are thinking… Another website builder?
Your options nowadays seem endless. There’s WordPress.com, Wix, The Grid (remember that!), Squarespace, Weebly, Shopify… So why introduce a new free website builder tool that limits creativity? A user’s ability to create is inextricably tied to the tools offered in the builder, which are by definition limited by the way those tools are programmed. Some tools are better than others for certain things, but moving beyond what the coding for a tool allows is impossible. In summary, these tools are making the internet uniform, one big giant templated website… Or in other words, boring!
I understand the predicament, but the reality is, these tools help those who don’t have an exorbitant amount of money and technical expertise to accomplish something they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. What it comes down to is digital survival! If you want a home on the internet for whatever purpose you might have in mind (new non-profit your starting, a small business, personal branding, etc.) and you have little to no money to invest in a project, you need a tool like the Mailchimp website builder to have any chance competing online.
With that in mind, I’ve embarked on a project to examine how far the average person can push the new Mailchimp website platform and will document the process here on Medium. If you’re looking for a guide on how to get started creating your home online, then you are in the right place.
The project is simple: Design a website using only tools that are available within the Mailchimp ecosystem, or online for free. Try to minimize the amount of money used to launch the website, or raise funds that are reinvested in the project. If successful, I should have a home for myself on the internet that can grow over time with as little maintenance as possible, which cost me nothing.
So Why Mailchimp, again?
I’ve used many of the website builder tools on the market, and to be honest, at first, I was very skeptical about Mailchimp. But the combination of pricing (again this was all free) and mere curiosity were the deciding factors. I could have picked any of the other tools, but for some odd reason, I feel for Mailchimp ❤
Mailchimp is an awesome platform if you are interested in a mass email system. It’s email tools are impressive and simple to use. The average person with a bit of time can figure out how to use their email tools. Best of all, they have a great plan that costs you nothing and allows you to grow your audience before requiring you to purchase anything at all. In their free plan, you get 7 marketing channels, 1-click automation, basic templates, a marketing CRM, and a survey tool in addition to the website tool I’ll be highlighting.
They almost dare you to try out their product for your business and are betting that you will be successful enough that over time you will buy more of what they have to offer. That same bet was made in their free domain name offering. By opting into their domain name offer, I was provided a domain name of my choice for free with the stipulation that I build a website within the next eleven months. I was required to enter a credit card and would have to pay for my domain name if I failed to build a site within the allotted time.
After obtaining my domain name www.emanuellusca.com, I started building my homepage.
In about 1.5 hours I had my homepage built, the ability to sell products and collect credit card payment, and my domain name already circulating online, and best of all, this was all at no cost. So check it out and leave me a comment below and some of the things you’d like me to try to build using the new tool. And of course, if you want to contribute to the project, buy some inspiration on my new website!