Whether you are a young professional, a busy mum or an entrepreneur trying to take your business to the next level, a website is a great place to start. In this article, we’ll dive into the strengths and weaknesses of the most popular development platforms so you can decide… which one works for you?
Wix is great for beginner users wanting to host a personal site, or set up a front page for a smaller business.
- Technical knowledge is not required: simply drag and drop elements onto the website without preset parameters.
- Wix offers over 500 templates for different types of businesses.
- With Wix you get a free 14 day trial, to get your site up and running before you commit.
- Since Wix is a website builder and not a content management system, flexibility is limited. As a business grows it typically “graduates” from Wix to another platform like WordPress or Shopify.
- Anything beyond the most basic level of SEO is not possible on Wix. A Wix site won’t do well in a search against any competition.
- Your content lives on Wix and you don’t have the ability to keep a copy of your website.
Wix pricing for a basic website ranges from €4.50 per month up to €24.50 per month. If you want E-commerce, that starts at €17 per month up to €35 per month.
- WordPress has an intuitive interface that allows you to easily manage content and navigate your website. If you can edit a Word document, you can edit on WordPress.
- The code behind WordPress is very clean and simple, making it easy for search engines to read and index the site’s content. In addition to this, WordPress has built in features for SEO.
- WordPress is stable and innovative, staying up-to-date with the latest technology, trends and user needs. Regular updates keep the CMS relevant and nip any problems in the bud.
- WordPress is responsive and adjusts to the device it is accessed from.
- In order to keep your site running smoothly, you have to always have the most current version of WordPress. While you won’t need to install updates every day, it happens often enough that you may find it to be a bit of a nuisance. Just make sure you backup your data each time.
- In terms of security, WordPress can be vulnerable. As the most widely used CMS it is a prime target for potential hackers. In order to mitigate this risk, choosing quality themes and plugins is crucial.
WordPress is free to download however themes and plugins that extend the functionality and design can be purchased from third party developers.
E-commerce is available as a free plugin called WooCommerce.
Squarespace is increasingly popular with small businesses due to its streamlined interface and integrated web hosting.
- Most of the “dirty work” is handled for you. All you need to do is select a theme and publish your content!
- Domain name registration, hosting, website analytics, social media – it all comes as a package and doesn’t require third-party plugins to operate.
- Squarespace is much more expensive than its competitors. A personal plan costs €15 a month, while a business plan costs €24.
- Squarespace sites mostly rely on their underlying templates, which will be shared with tens of thousands of other websites. This makes it difficult for businesses to craft a truly distinctive online presence for their brand.
- This could be a deal-breaker for many business owners: you don’t actually own your website. The company is just granting you a license to use their platform, and that can be revoked at any time.
For a basic website pricing starts at €15 per month up to €24 per month. For E-Commerce pricing starts at €28 per month up to €48 per month.
Shopify is built specifically for e-commerce. Shopify is a software as a service (saas) tool – this means you don’t own a copy of the software, but pay a monthly fee to use it instead.
- Shopify is one of the most user-friendly e-commerce platforms available for beginners. You don’t need to code, and it’s fully hosted from the start.
- Shopify is a very secure platform, with the option to opt in for secure payments for credit cards without having technical knowledge of data sensitivity.
- Shopify has an app store featuring add-ons which allow you to expand the site’s features. Some are free, while a few require a subscription.
- Shopify may not be ideal if you need functionality. It’s common to find a theme you love, only to realise it’s missing an aspect you need. Shopify is much less flexible in terms of the tasks it can perform, compared to its competitors.
- Shopify has free features but if you want a properly functioning site, it comes with a price. The cheapest plan is USD$29, but it can reach upwards of USD$299 including app subscriptions.
- You’re locked into their terms for a long time. If pricing or subscription models change, there isn’t much that can be done about it in the short-term. You can cancel your subscription, but you will lose your website.
- Shopify includes a POS system also which is a major bonus for some business. It’s also has a “pro” version of it’s POS system available free of charge until October.
Pricing starts at USD$29 and goes up to USD$299
The more functionality you need out of a platform, the more time and money you’ll have to put in. Ultimately it is up to you to decide what is best for your brand and what you envision. But if you are unsure of which to pick, give us a call; sometimes a professional opinion can go a long way. We would love to help you choose the best platform for your next site.