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Which website platform is best for me?

When I started out creating websites over 10 years ago the internet was a very different place. There weren’t so many options for building a website and you had to learn to code in order to create anything half decent.

So I spent months teaching myself to code using HTML and CSS and built my very first graphic design portfolio. It was great (or so I thought).

A couple of years later my website was pretty much obsolete.

Mobile phones and Ipads were gaining popularity and website owners had to adapt pretty quickly to accommodate the new screen sizes and technologies.

Then I heard about WordPress.

I had always thought WordPress was just for blogging, but I soon found out it was so much more than that.

Firstly, it was free to use (open-source) which completely blew my mind as I imagined little internet pixies happily building this stuff for the good of mankind (You are awesome by the way).

And secondly there seemed to be no limits to what WordPress could do – the possibilities were endless. I was sold and I began work on my 2nd kick-ass portfolio.

So should everyone be using WordPress?

Absolutely not.

I will happily admit that WordPress is my platform of choice, however I will always advise a new client if I don’t think WordPress is for them. Some people simple don’t need the level of functionality and complexity that WordPress offers.

 

StruggleFix Website Platforms WordPress

Is WordPress for you?

  • You’re an individual, blogger or solopreneur who wants full control of your website.
  • You want a website that will grow with your business or creative goals.
  • You plan to use your website on a regular basis, refreshing content, writing blog posts etc.
  • You are willing to spend some time learning the basics.

Note: You don’t have to be a tech head to own a WordPress website. You can install plugins that make the process very simple, such as drag-and-drop page builders, website forms and marketing solutions which makes WordPress just as easy to use as some of the DIY options.

Who should not use WordPress?

  • Individuals or businesses that want a very simple website that they can build and forget about.
  • Not-for-profits, clubs & charities on a tight budget and with regularly changing staff might be best suited to a free website through a hosted platform such as Wix or Weebly.

Learn more about WordPress in my post What is WordPress?

A summary of some other website platforms

Weebly & Wix

StruggleFix Website Platforms Wix Weebly

 

These two are pretty similar to each other, but if I had to choose one over the other I would choose Weebly for it’s easy of use and support options.

Both have drag-and-drop functionality which means you can position blocks of content (such as text, images, video etc) anywhere you want on the page.

The reason I prefer Weebly over Wix is that it’s far more intuitive when it comes to positioning your content on the page and your website will come out looking more professional. Wix lets you dump content absolutely anywhere and I find that people who are complete beginners end up with a site that looks like a dogs breakfast – stuff all over the place!

Who would suit Weebly or Wix?

  • Individuals or businesses that want a very simple website that they can build and forget about.
  • Not-for-profits, clubs & charities looking for a free website & multiple staff using the website.

Limitations to Weebly & Wix?

  • Less tools available to optimise your content for search engines.
  • Adding functionality can be pricey. These platforms get you to pay more if you want additional features such as marketing or media integrations.
  • Hard to move your website to another platform down the track.

Squarespace

StruggleFix Website Platforms Squarespace

 

The favourite among photographers and artists due to its clean and simple modern templates. Squarespace is the cool-kid on the internet and many web designers use it as their platform of choice.

Squarespace offers a free 14 day trial allowing you to try out the platform before committing.

Who would suit Squarespace?

  • People who want a simple site with not too much additional functionality.
  • Popular with artists and photographers.
  • For more complex sites you can hire a Squarespace developer to assist.

Limitations to Squarespace?

  • Monthly subscription is quite expensive compared to self-hosted WordPress.
  • Style over substance – Squarespace focus is on pretty design over marketing and functionality.
  • Harder to optimise your content for the search engines.
  • Marketing integrations & additional functionality will cost you more.
  • Not easy to use for beginners without doing some training or hiring a developer.

Shopify

StruggleFix Website Platforms Shopify

 

Shopify is a hosted solution solely intended for online stores and offers ready to go templates to get your e-commerce store online fast. Shopify offers a free trial to try out the platform before committing.

Who is Shopify for?

  • Great for people wanting to set up a store and have a decent amount of products to justify the expensive monthly fees.
  • Security features (SSL Certificates etc) are built in which is vital for secure credit card transactions.
  • Great for beginners who want to leave the all the hard stuff up to the professionals.

Price Comparison of popular website platforms

  • Weebly: $0 – $10 per month (basic plan), $30 per month (business plan).
  • Wix: $10 per month (basic plan), $13 – $26 per month (business plans).
  • Squarespace: $16 per month (basic plan), $25 – $52 per month (business plans).
  • Shopify: $29 per month + fees (basic store), $79 – $299 per month (advanced features).
  • WordPress: $FREE. Website hosting required with average cost $5 – $15 per month.

I hope this post has helped shed some light on some of the website platforms out there.

If you need some more help deciding then feel free to post a comment below.

 

Lucy Jordanoff

Hey! I’m Lucy Jordanoff – the founder of StruggleFix. I’m a freelance WordPress web designer and mother with a passion for helping other mums in business to build their own websites from scratch.

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