Do you need to establish a custom social network? Do you want to nurture an extensive online community? If you’ve been wondering how to create your own blog site for free, use NING the blog website builder.
From monetizing content to email broadcasting; NING offers a wide variety of services wrapped up in a neat little package.
Today we’ll be finding out exactly
(1) what NING is?
(2) why you should use NING to handle your community website building needs? and
(3) what makes NING stand out from a sea of competitors?
So, let’s jump right into it and review NING.
What is NING?
Founded by Marc Andreessen and Gina Bianchini in California back in 2004, NING has come a long way from its free-form platform days and has taken its 21 000 customers along with it.
Today NING has a presence in over 180 countries and is known worldwide as an industry leader. Presently, NING is the largest SaaS platform aimed at helping brand-minded users develop websites that operate as a social network.
NING guides users through every step of the journey to creating their very own social network —from picking the perfect domain name for their site to providing in-depth analytics.
Why Should you Use NING?
What makes NING stand out from the rest of the crowd is that it offers so much more than a standard website builder.
By using NING, you’re essentially transforming your website from a static site into a thriving social hub. Where your followers, customers, and partners can virtually gather to share content and ideas.
There are many features owing to NING’s worldwide success and rising popularity.
Here are some of them, which we feel are worthy enough to mention in this NING review.
NING Review – A Feature Rich Online Community Website Builder
#1. Website Design Made Easy
One of the reasons owing to the ever-growing popularity of NING is that it’s so easy to get started.
You don’t need to be a tech whizz or professional developer to build a website with NING.
Start by picking a template from the options available and start customizing it with the Design Studio tool.
Modify the template elements, adjust layouts, select your color scheme, and personalize your site by including your own images & logos.
#2. Preview Your Website Before Going Live
While NING doesn’t offer drag-and-drop builder functionality, its user-friendly dashboard eases this slight inconvenience.
You can see your changes as they’re applied and give them all a final inspection in a website preview before taking your site live.
#3. Create Your Own Social Network
Once your site has been created and filled with content, you can invite new members to join your network.
Utilize NING’s social networking capabilities to create forums, polls, live chats, broadcast emails. Along with both private & group messages to initiate optimal engagement within your community.
#4. Seamless Sharing
Thanks to some clever integration capabilities, your members can log in or signup to your community through their social media accounts.
Once logged in, your community can effortlessly share your content through the social networks they are linked to, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Vimeo.
You can also achieve multichannel communication by pulling in content from other social media channels, and RSS feeds into your Activity Feed.
#5. Publishing Tools
Utilize the SEO tools that NING provides to make your content comment-worthy. Enable comments your way, and organize events for your community. The in-built SEO tools also help you to improve the search engine rankings of your site.
You can share videos, images or photos, and audio content like music or podcasts to keep your community engaged and involved.
#6. Monetization of Blog, Website, and Social Media
NING offers built-in eCommerce functionality that has been developed specifically for content creators, another point to highlight in this NING review.
While you can’t turn your site into an online store just yet. The available eCommerce feature allows you to monetize your site by enabling the option of paid access to your most valuable content.
You can also set up a paid membership for your community. Additionally, the NING monetization platform facilitates the acceptance of payments in exchange for content and the collection of donations.
The monetization aspect of NING is perfectly suited toward content creators, bloggers, businesses, and non-profit organizations. With multiple payment options, multi-factor authentication, and fraud prevention measures, handling your payments is a breeze.
#7. Mobile Optimization
Thanks to its responsive design, you can access your social network from mobile devices. You can even add new features or edit your navigation while you’re on the go.
When you set up your community, you can choose to be a public, private, or exclusive members-only club.
On top of that, you can set up different permissions across your site—meaning one page could be viewed by the public while another is strictly for members’ eyes only.
Every user has total control over their own level of privacy. Every piece of content or data found in your community belongs to you, whether it was created by you or your members.
#9. Email Broadcasting
One of the worst things you can do is allow your community to feel stagnant after you’ve worked so hard to get them to your site in the first place.
With an integrated email broadcasting service, this is no longer a concern because you can keep in touch with your community regularly via email.
Plus, because NING offers this service, you don’t need to worry about the time or money spent setting up and managing other email services.
What Makes NING Different from its Competitors?
You might be wondering what makes NING different from competitor website building platforms like Wix or Weebly?
While reviewing the NING, we find out that the main difference is that NING websites are actually custom social networks that allow you to build engagement and foster relationships with your members.
In case you’re asking ‘well, why not just use social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter?’ The answer is simple: customization and control.
For starters, you don’t have to abide by the strict rules and regulations these networks have in place.
With NING, you have a high level of control over your network, and you’re provided with all the tools you need to help it flourish.
These include anti-spam tools, built-in SEO features, and adjustable permission levels for users.
You can even promote your most active users to special positions like admins or moderators. How’s that for an incentive to engage?
Unlike competitors, NING provides a built-in email broadcast service that makes it easy to create newsletters and promote your posts within your community.
Another factor that needs to be mentioned is the level of support that NING provides should you ever need any help or advice.
NING offers support by providing access to a network of expert creators, 24/7 customer support, live chat, and a help center. And if you opt for the monthly Ultimate plan, you even get your own personal account manager.
NING is the perfect marketing tool for brand builders and people who’re looking to foster engagement and cultivate meaningful relationships with their followers.
With monthly plans ranging from $25 all the way up to $99, you can easily find a plan that works for your budget.
But before you are ready to pay for the service. Take a 14-day free trial to see whether NING meets your requirements and expectations.
Picking a website builder for your specific needs is an ongoing process, so take your time.
Hope you find the review of NING useful, do share your thoughts in the comments section below.