Which Website Platform Is Right For You?
The first thing to consider before even thinking about how a website will look is which website platform will be best for you and your company. A website platform is simply the company you use to create your website with. Before you choose a website platform, do your research and think of your long-term goals for your business.
Will you primarily be blogging? Will you be designing your website yourself? How much are you willing to pay for your website per month? What type of growth are you hoping to achieve in the next three years? These are all questions worth asking and researching.
WordPress is one of the largest hosting companies and has many great features and uses. WordPress is great for experienced web developers who speak the language of coding and are looking to customize their website with HTML and CSS scripts. Because WordPress is so large, there are thousands of coders creating plug-ins and programs for their sites. WordPress is great for blogs because it has many templates to choose from and has a fairly easy user experience.
Because of its size, however, many hackers and viruses seek out WordPress sites because most sites are run by individuals who are unexperienced in internet security. It is also difficult to customize details outside of templates unless you can code, so beginners might be frustrated with their options. In addition, WordPress has a very basic E-Commerce limitation, so clients looking to create and grow a store to huge proportions are better off with another web platform in the long run.
Prices can be cheap, ranging from free to $8 per month for basic sites. But prices skyrocket to $25 per month for most of the features that make a website shine, such as access to third party themes and plug-ins, SEO tools, and Google Analytics.
Blogger tends to be a favorite of bloggers for the simple reason that it is a website created for blogs. While many websites have expanded their services to more than blogs to attract a wide variety of clients, Blogger has stuck to the basics through the years. Blogger is a part of the Google family of companies and integrates with all other Google products. This is ideal for many Gmail, Google Drive, and G Suite customers. If you have purchased a domain from a domain company, Blogger will host it for free, unlike many platforms which require payment to host a domain.
Although sticking to the basics is often appreciated, this comes with its own set of drawbacks, such as slow customer support, limited customization (unless you can know coding), and hiccups that come with an outdated site.
Blogger is a free Google service. Any prices that come are usually from third parties, like domain companies.
SquareSpace is relatively new to the web platform game. Although created in 2004, it became a competitor in 2010. Following its slogan, Build it Beautiful, SquareSpace is easy to use and customer friendly. Its sleek and chic design is perfect for those wanting to create their own website. It provides many templates to choose from and has excellent web security and customer service. It is based on a drag and drop style of editing.
While SquareSpace excels in many visual areas, clients looking to have granular control over their sites will be disappointed. It offers little in the way of help with SEO and is not back end friendly. If a client wants to add in their own codes, they are better off looking elsewhere.
SquareSpace is one of the more expensive website options. They offer a 14-day free trial without taking any credit card information. Once the trial is over, the plans range from $12 per month to $40 per month.
Wix is our final platform on the list. Wix is based in Israel but serves a worldwide market. Wix is the frontrunner of drag and drop technology in their editors, making them a number one choice for new developers and people who want to create their website themselves. Wix’s sleek design and editor are simple to use and easy to customize. Wix offers two editing experiences. Wix editor allows users to choose a template to start from and change it as needed. Wix’s second editor is the Wix Artificial Design Intelligence, which does all the heavy lifting of designing a website for you. By taking you through a few simple questions and asking questions through the design process, the algorithm creates a website for you; all you do is answer questions. Wix also offers their App Market, where apps are vetted and curated to ensure quality and functionality. You won’t find a homemade app that doesn’t work. Wix creates many of its own programs and apps with excellent customer service to help along the way.
Like most all-inclusive sites, Wix is limited in its back-end capabilities such as coding and data transfer. Many of its marketing tools are sufficient for small to medium size businesses looking for a local market. However, many of its tools have limitations to work around.
Wix offers plans that range from free to $25 per month. Customers can add apps for various prices on top of the premium plans.
While it doesn’t take a degree to create a website, sometimes having a professional can be helpful. The Courseware Group has created sites for small businesses, health professionals, and more. We can create a layout and pass it back to you for content or we can add in all the bells and whistles until a website is complete. Visit our Website Development page for more information and contact us to see how we can help you.