Paul Sheng, CEO of FoundHere freely admits that there are plenty of website building and Web hosting companies. Yet few offer small businesses the tools that they need for feature-rich websites until they pony up some serious cash.
Sheng drew from this team's experience in "building websites for the real estate industry" via iHOUSEweb—where he also serves as CEO—and parlayed it into a service that combines the drag-and-drop simplicity of crafting Web pages with today's must-have features, like mobile-responsive designs and social media integration.
"We built hundreds of templates that allow people to have a great starting point," Sheng told Small Business Computing.
FoundHere's engineers agonized over how to make it possible for small business owners that don't know a lick of HTML code or CSS to create appealing, professional-looking websites. Shen said his company spent "two-thirds of the time making the steps of how to build a website as insanely as easy possible."
"No coding required is the new mantra," said Sheng.
Upon signing up, you can select from several expertly designed templates, customize the content and rearrange elements to suit your needs. Sheng assured that coders with prior Web design experience can dive into the code if they prefer.
Build a Mobile-friendly Website
FoundHere templates are mobile responsive from the start. "Whatever screen size you use, the website just adapts appropriately," said Sheng. The service also features integration with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+, allowing small businesses to engage with followers and customers on social media.
Built-in SEO features help search engines take notice. Every FoundHere account includes search engine-friendly URLs, along with blogging, keyword and reporting tools. It also automatically submits a Google SiteMap.
For photographers and shop owners that rely on strong visuals to attract business, FoundHere supports galleries and slideshows. PayPal integration allows shops to accept online payments.
Finally, Sheng takes the most pride in how much FoundHere offers for so little. A scroll down the company's pricing chart displays a refreshing amount of checked-off features in the "Free" column. "The main reason to pay for a Plus or Premium package is to set up a custom domain and email address for your website or to expand the size of your File Manager," states the company.
And, in a departure from a popular industry tactic, FoundHere does not foist ads on site visitors—even those that go to a free site. Though a business man, Sheng said his company is driven by "a big open source philosophy."
"If a million people are using it, we're happy," said Sheng.
In company remarks, Sheng said, "Our long history on the Web has taught us that if you eliminate the barriers, users will embrace the offering. A Web presence is a must–have for anyone doing business today. We make it free and easy."
FoundHere is available now. The free package version includes all of the features listed above, plus hosting. Paid plans start at $10 per month or $100 per year, and include email addresses, more storage (2 GB and 10 GB), email support and free custom domain names.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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