Deciding to set up a website is a solid first step into starting your online presence. Now, the next big question is: what platform should you use to build your website?
This part can be tricky since the options are endless. But don’t let this overwhelm stop you from making this decision. In this post I will talk about the 3 most popular platforms for building websites, their pros and cons, and who are they best for. Then, to wrap things up you can get a personalized recommendation by taking this free quiz.
To sum up, you’ll feel more confident to choose the right platform to build your website. 😎
Keep scrolling to read all the details! 👇
What are the 3 most popular platforms for website building?
As of 2020, WordPress, Squarespace and Shopify are the 3 most popular website builders. Many successful websites have been built on them.
Keep in mind that if you’re looking to DIY, there’s going to be a learning curve. There will be a lot of things that you have to learn by yourself or to hire someone to help you out. The good news is that you can find online a lot of easy to use tools to help you set up a professional-looking website.
That said, before choosing a website builder make a careful assessment of your goals, budget, time and willingness to learn. Next, get informed on the pros and cons of each platform you’re considering.
To help you get started, I’ve prepared a list with all the details of the 3 most popular website builders mentioned here.
Let’s get started!
WordPress is the industry standard for website platforms. Nowadays 36% of all the websites in the world are made with WordPress. Its user-friendly interface allows you to grow and customize your website however you’d like.
WordPress itself is free, but you will have to pay a third party for hosting. See What’s the key difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org
It is my #1 recommendation to my clients because it offers the most flexibility for both design and functionality.
- Easy to install and upgrade;
- highly customizable with endless options for themes;
- flexible to start a blog;
- in constant development;
- supported by a global community who publishes online free documentation. This is very helpful for solving technical issues;
- thousands of available plugins (free and paid) for more functionality;
- good for showing up on Google’s search results through SEO;
- has specific themes available for podcasters and/or Youtubers.
- Not an all-in-one option, which means you have to shop around for hosting and premium plugins;
- requires more technical skills than either Squarespace or Shopify.
- if you feel comfortable enough with technology to figure things out yourself;
- if you want the ability to customize your design;
- for bloggers, podcasters and freelancers.
Squarespace is a sleek all-in-one option for building and hosting your website. Its user-friendly platform allows you to create nice landing pages, a clear customer “journey map” and a professional, yet easy to maintain site.
You can take a look at their Business plan for all pro users of Squarespace, which gives you unlimited (ish) pages and all of the features of Squarespace.
- Easy to use;
- has beautiful templates;
- all-in-one option for domain, hosting, and design, allowing you to get up and running quickly;
- includes options for eCommerce.
- More expensive than WordPress;
- not fully customizable;
- most templates are for setting up websites, not blogs;
- not ideal for setting up podcasts.
- for brochure or information style websites.
- if you want to go online as quickly as possible, and don’t want to be overwhelmed by options;
- for beginners or anyone who feels intimidated by technology.
If your main goal is to sell goods online, you can’t go wrong with Shopify. It is an easy-to-use eCommerce platform designed foremost to help you sell products and manage your inventory. It offers thousands of themes, most of them including the ability to add a blog.
There are a number of apps you can add to the system to improve the shopping experience for your customers. Many of Shopify’s features (such as auto-categorization of new items) can make large inventories easier to manage.
- Easy to use;
- has lots of beautiful themes to choose from;
- designed to showcase and sell your products (both physical and digital);
ecommerce options already built-in.
- more focused on eCommerce than blogging;
- extra paid apps & plugins used to add functionality can add up costs quickly.
- if you already have an inventory of products to sell.
What platform should you use to build your website?
Now that you have the details for the 3 most popular website builders, you’re prepared to make a better decision.
Would you like to get a FREE personalized recommendation?
To your success!
Deciding to set up a website is a smart first step into building your online credibility. But when you’re in front of so many options, things can get tricky.
As I pointed out in this post, just remember to make:
- a careful assessment of your goals, budget, willingness to learn ;
- and a comparison of the top platforms for building websites. There are for sure many other options (free and paid) that you can check out in this guide.
You might also like: How to choose the best website builder by considering 5 key factors.
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