DIY Websites Website Design

DIY Websites – What Platform?

In Marketing, Web Design by Kristen

As a business owner, marketing our businesses and starting to generate revenue is one of key goals from day one. There are many different strategies that you can employ to get your business found by your ideal client. Your starting point should be to create an online presence.

A website can be used as one of your employees – one that is 24/7, 365 days a year that is available to help your potential client even when you can’t. Depending on your budget, you have two avenues to get your business started – you can hire a website designer or do it yourself if you have the time and expertise. This post focuses on ways that you can do it yourself. There are many platforms on the internet that can assist you in building a website. The most known open-source software platforms for creating a website are WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace and Wix.  Each of them has pros and cons, but which one is the best?

WordPress

This is a free platform that is mostly preferred for simple websites, such as daily blogging and news websites. It comes with a five minutes installation. WordPress interface is easy to use, this makes it easy for a new user to get started with their websites. It allows users to change their site’s appearance using themes. There are more than 3,000 free themes and more than 36,000 free plugins.

Advantages:

  • User-Friendly – Technical experience is not necessary to use WordPress;
  • SEO Integration – It contains plenty of SEO plugins that help you to optimise your content;
  • Responsive Site – When you use WordPress to create your website your content will consistent and usable on all devices;
  • Great support – WordPress has every solution to every problem that you may encounter when using it.
  • E-commerce – WordPress can be equipped with the WooCommerce platform which is free.

Disadvantages:

  • Update – WordPress release updates that are good for itself, but these updates may harm your website rather than improve; Backing up your site is very important and there are plugins out there to remedy this issue.
  • Security – WordPress is not good it is a target for hackers and prone to attacks; Security measures can be put in place to prevent this if you do your research.
Shopify

Is one of the most popular e-commerce website builders currently on the market. This platform is primarily used if you are selling online only and not for traditional and information based sites. Like most websites builders, they have theme and plugin customizes that allow you to just about anything with.

Advantages: 

  • Hosting – You no longer have to worry about sourcing and playing a hosting company to make sure your website is on the web, this is including in your monthly fee.
  • E-Commerce Functionality – Your store ready almost instantly after you’ve added your products. It required for doing physical and downloadable content, gift cards etc. When set up properly,  it also has the ability to take care of your shipping and transactions for you.
  • In Store – If you also have a physical location in addition to your online store, you can take advantage of Shopify’s point of sale system for real-time inventory.
  • Cart Recovery – You no longer have to worry about sending abandon cart emails yourself, Shopify can take care of that for you.
  • Support – They offer 24/7 support via phone, email and live chat.

Disadvantages:

  • Cost – Shopify has a monthly fee based on the amount of products you have, this can be anywhere between $29-$299/month.
  • Transaction Fees – The system is equipped to handle the credit card transaction fees but this also comes at a cost. This can be anywhere between 2.7% -3.5% + 0.30. You are given a little break depending on your monthly plan.
Squarespace

Advantages:

  • All inclusive – You have a website builder that has 24/7 support, hosting and a free domain for the first year.
  • Templates and Responsiveness – Currently has upwards of 100 templates to choose from to get your website up and running. While you are creating your site, it takes care of creating the look of your site across all devices.
  • Apps – Squarespace several apps that you can download to your phone that allows you to add content to your site without logging in on a desktop – blog posts, images and tracking your website’s performance.

Disadvantages: 

  • Template Restrictions – The templates available are what’s available. If you want to add a little coding to make your site unique, you have no abilities to add custom code to make it yours. This also limits you ability to make any changes to a responsive look if it doesn’t look quite right on a tablet or mobile device.
  • Site Speed – Squarespace sites can sometimes be slow. Google is now using site loading speed as an algorithm for page ranking. Because you don’t have access to the underlying code to your site you can’t make any of the necessary speed optimizations you would find with other builders.
  • Plugins – If you are wanting your site to do any special functionality that is outside of Squarespace platform, this one definitely isn’t for you. Squarespace doesn’t allow any 3rd party plugins like WordPress in order to get you a the functionality you need.
Wix

Wix is one of the premier website builders for someone that doesn’t have a lot of technical knowledge of websites. Wix is another free online platform that allows you to create flash websites using drag and drop tools. The result is a flashy, professional looking website with little time and no cost.

Advantages

  • Ease Of Use – Wix enables you to create very basic pages fast and easily.
  • Flexibility And Choice – Wix offers an array of stylish selections. You have the option of customizing existing templates. Wix is also excellent for helping any social media marketing campaigns you have because it allows you to create welcome pages and banners on Facebook and a website that is friendly to mobile users.

Disadvantages

  • Domain Integration – You get a free domain name with Wix but it is quite long. Changing it will cost you. Direct any existing domain name to Wix instead.
  • Social and Analytics – You need a Facebook account to enable comments on your blog and there is no Google Analytics tracking tool unless you take one of the paid plans.

 

To answer the question of ‘which one is best’, all depends on your business and future plans for growth. We encourage you to read as much about each platform as you can before jumping in.

Not sure if you can do it yourself? Feel free to get in touch with us to discuss potential options to get your business online.