How to Select a Website Platform

With all the website platforms out there, how do you choose? Well, we’ve  tested them all out, here’s our two cents.

Many clients come to us unsure which website platform they should build their site on. While we certainly have our favorites, today we want to share with you the pros and cons of some of the major platforms (or CMS, content management systems) so that you can choose what’s best for you and your business.

WordPress

With over 18 million installations (as of 8/2019), WordPress is the most popular and the most robust CMS platform out there. 

Pros

  • It has the most features of any platform
  • You can continually add new functionality to your site through the use of plugins, many of which are FREE
  • SEO-friendly
  • Free themes available and many low-cost options

Cons

  • Not the most user-friendly, however, page builders like Beaver Builder and Divi make it easier
  • Hosting is purchased separately (some what of a pro, because that means you can move to a different one )
  • You are responsible for website updates

Squarespace

A favorite with small business owners, Squarespace is an all-in-one CMS platform.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Drag and drop interface
  • Beautiful, clean themes
  • All-in-one solution
  • Built-in integration with MailChimp, Acuity Scheduling, and Pinterest.

Cons

  • Few third party integrations limit the functionality you can add
  • Difficult to make advanced customizations without a developer
  • E-Commerce plans can get pricey

Shopify

One of the few e-Commerce specific platforms, Shopify is a great choice for product based businesses.

Pros

  • All-in-one e-Commerce solution
  • Great for large stores
  • Advanced shopper analytics
  • Great technical support

Cons

  • Very few free themes
  • Premium plans are expensive
  • Most apps charge monthly fees, which can either limit functionality or make it expensive
  • No longer offering integration with MailChimp

Showit

The newest of the CMS platforms, Showit is making a name for itself with photographers and other creatives.

Pros

  • Interface similar to Adobe Creative Suite, so anyone with experience with it will love this
  • Edit desktop and mobile side-by-side
  • Elements can be placed anywhere, no coding necessary

Cons

  • Blog  and E-commerce are only available through integration with other platforms
  • Interface can be intimidating to users

Wix

Around since 2006, Wix is often used by first time DIY website builders. It’s one of the better options when you need to get a site up quickly.

Pros

  • Large number of themes to choose from
  • Drag and drop interface
  • Great for novices because you just replace the sample content that comes with your theme

Cons

  • Frustrating for more savvy developers because of coding limitations
  • Has it’s own App Store to provide additional functionality, but many are hosted off-site through iFrames

Weebly 

Like Wix, Weebly is a platform designed with beginners in mind, as it requires no coding experience or knowledge.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Drag and drop design
  • Low cost (if you keep their branding)

Cons

    • Virtually no app/plugin integration
    • Design options can be limiting 

Whether you DIY your website or hire a developer, start with making a list of all the things you want on your website, then compare that list to what we’ve shared above. Still not sure? Contact us today and schedule a consultation!