How does Bevelsmith stack up against the competition?

While many independent businesses recognize the need for a modern, functional website, we know it can be difficult to find time in a busy day (week/month/year) to deal with reseraching different website providers and deciding which is the best for your picture frame business. There are quite a few website builders out there, but one that claims to offer a product specifically for picture frame businesses is called Website2Go. I'll do a side-by-side comparison of Bevelsmith and Website2Go and let you decide which is the better choice. First I'll run through the general information covered in both of our basic pricing information, using Website2Go's 'Express' option as they have labelled this the most popular option.
 
Many things look similar on initial inspection in terms of what comes with the basic options - our prices (both $20/month) both include hosting, page editors, links, password protection, works on both PC/mac, no software to download, works in your browser, visitor reports, analytics, etc.  When you dig into the details though, there are some important distinctions.

Templates

Bevelsmith's websites (I know I'm biased) look much more professional and modern then the picture framing website offered by Website2Go - see for yourself:
 
Bevelsmith Website Demo Website2Go Demo

 
Also, Bevelsmith offers 3 different templates, each in many different color and font options, so you can set yourself apart from your competitors. So in essence Bevelsmith offers hundreds of possible looks for our websites, while Website2Go seem to offer just one. I think this is because Bevelsmith was ONLY built for picture framers - Website2Go's product was built for many different industries. See for yourself - here are 6 possible examples of beautiful Bevelsmith websites (or see the full gallery)
 
picture frame store website

Free trial

Website2Go technically offers a 10 day free trial, while our free trial is unlimited. We don't want any of our clients to feel any rush to make a decision about their website. This is an important decision every small business owner must make, so we want you to have as much time as needed to work with your website. That way you can be sure that the website is everything you need before committing any money.

Signing up

Here's why I qualified Website2Go's trial as 'technically' free. First, I must say they do ask for a lot of personal information before a website. We ask for almost nothing so you can build your site quickly and with minimal hassle. They also ask for your credit card information so they can charge $120 just to get started. I stopped here, but I imagine they will refund your money within the first 10 days if you ask to cancel your account. We don't ask for any credit card information until you are ready to upgrade to a Pro account. With the Bevelsmith Free account, you can build your website, customize it to your shop, and try out almost all of Bevelsmith's features, with no limit to the Free account. When you upgrade to Pro with Bevelsmith, you can then use your business' domain name and a few other tools are unlocked, but we feel that the Free account can give you an accurate idea of whether or not the Bevelsmith product is for you. 

Editing your website

This is one of the many places where I think Bevelsmith really puts Website2Go to shame.  Bevelsmith was built to make website editing as simple, intuitive, and straightforward as possible. This screenshot below demonstrates how a user would edit their Bevelsmith site. Clearly labeled buttons appear above various parts of the website you may want to change to personalize the site to your business. Want to upload new slideshow images? Edit the store name? Upload a logo? Edit the text? Simply click on the button above the area you would like to edit, make your changes, and save. We think this is pretty intuitive. 
 
 
The story is a bit different for Website2Go. What you are editing doesn't look anything like the page you have built, so it is hard to understand what exactly you would need to change. The page editing functionality as also quite complicated - with Bevelsmith, click Edit to edit a page. With Website2Go, Headlines, Text, Bullets, Captions, Links are all separated out. 
 

Domain registration

Website2Go says the domain name is 'free'. However, they also say in their fine print "We will waive the first year's fee for both new registrations and transfers of existing domains for all website2Go customers who complete the initial subscription period. If you cancel your subscription, we will reduce your refund by $30 to cover domain registration costs. Your second and subsequent domain registration fee will be $30 per year, which will be added to your automatic subscription renewal as each one-year domain registration expires." 
 
In our opinion, $30/year is not a good price for domain registration. We would recommend that Bevelsmith's clients (if they don't own a domain already) go with a service like GoDaddy, which is $10/year (or less if you register your domain for longer than a year). That way YOU are in control of your domain name, not a third party (like Website2Go) so if you ever do decide to switch website providers, there is no problem with transferring your domain. With Bevelsmith, all you have to do to use your domain name is send a simple request (we provide the necessary information) to your domain registrar to point the domain at your Bevelsmith site. That way you maintain control of your domain, even when using Bevelsmith as your website provider.

Forms

Website2Go offers a 'form builder' - Bevelsmith comes out-of-the-box with a contact form. We've already done the hard work for you. 

Visitor Reports and Analytics

We use Google Analytics for visitor reports and analytics. Rather than building our own analytics software, we're using the powerful systems that Google has spent years and untold $s to develop and optimize, I doubt anyone can compete with what Google has built over the years in terms of analytics. 

Emails

We will set up however many emails you need (within reason - so far we haven't needed to set a limit). Currently many of our customers don't use domain specific emails, but prefer to use their yahoo, gmail, or msn accounts. If you would like us to set up emails using your domain, we're happy to do that - either as a simple email forwarder (for example, contact@fancyframes.com would forward to fancyframes@yahoo.com) or as a separate email address that you can check with whatever email client you would like to use. Many clients prefer the simple forwarder, as it doesn't require any email client set up on their end. 
 
So, have we convinced you yet? If so, sign up for a free account and create a beautiful, modern website for your picture frame business today. If you have any more questions about our product, contact us. We're here to help! We're also happy to provider referrals from some of our already satisfied picture frame store customers. 
 

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