How to Choose the Best Platform for your personal Website.
The first step in establishing a solid web presence is by having a personal website. There are several platforms where you can build your website without the help of a developer. Choosing a platform that best suits your needs and that of the business can be tricky. With so many options out there, how do you know which platform will serve you better?
What to look for?
Before choosing a website platform, you need to write down your reasons for building the website, what is the purpose of the site? what you want to do with it? and what features do you want your website to have?
Before you start, you need to write down the features that are critical and also features that are just nice to have, like an Image slider, photo gallery, online store, contact forms, blog section, etc. In order to make things simpler, you can check each platforms website and check out site examples, each site will have a list of features that they can do and also the pricing. Many website platforms work with integrated drag and drop interfaces where you can easily build your website. If you intend to have sections like an online store, a blog, etc. on your store, then it is smart to choose a platform that is flexible and has the features you need.
Grab you a seat and relax if you haven’t already because we’re going to jump right into comparing some of this platforms. Hopefully, this will make the whole choosing process easy.
One of the most popular website platforms in the world that provides its users maximum control over their website. There are two versions of WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com lets you host your website right there on the platform, while WordPress.org is a self-hosted version. As a beginner, it is highly recommended you choose wordpress.com because unlike wordpress.org, you don’t have to worry about hosting and writing codes. If you just want a blog you can go on the entry level wordpress plan which is free but has minimum functionality.
- It is a basic website platform that is easy to use.
- WordPress has unique websites themes and design.
- You can create multiple pages which are totally free.
- You can create your website easily by using drag and drop page builders.
- WordPress gives you control over your website.
- It can be used to build any type of site; eCommerce store, a forum, a social network, a blog, and lots more.
- Lots of third party apps and sites can be integrated with WordPress
- Getting familiar with the platform needs some practice and hence takes time.
- It’s domain name and hosting plans can be costly unless self hosted
- It requires regular plugin updates and overall (general) backups
- High end themes and plugins can be expensive and the costs can add up quick
Wix is a cloud base web development platform that is popular for its drag and drop website builder. It allows its user to create and customise their website with no coding whatsoever. If you want to create a website that does not require a lot of sections, then you should consider Wix. Wix has also recently been more updated to give more control to its users.
- It offers its own hosting service, so you do not need to pay for web hosting.
- You have full access to different templates for your website design.
- It allows you to install free and paid apps on your website.
- It works with google adsense.
- It offers a free plan with limited storage and bandwidth.
- It can be used to build an eCommerce store, blog and etc.
- Wix websites load slow
- Websites built on Wix do not always look highly professional.
- Their free plan comes with Wix branded ads.
- Their premium packages are expensive but can be scaled up and down.
Weebly is an online drag and drop website development platform with tons of great designs. It lets users create stunning websites and eCommerce stores. Weebly offers its users a free plan and an option of purchasing domain names there on the platform.
- Weebly offers its own hosting service.
- You do not need to work on the backend, they manage all that side.
- Weebly comes with inbuilt features like photo galleries, contact forms, sliders, etc.
- It comes with an inbuilt support for eCommerce.
- Weebly is a hosted platform that has limited features.
- You cannot add new functionalities to your website.
- It charges 3% on every store purchase – doesnt sound like a lot but does quickly ad up
- Their free plan comes with Ads.
GoDaddy is popularly known for their domain name and web hosting service. They also have a website builder which provides users with simple and elegant templates for their websites. If you’re looking for a reputable website development platform which will save multiples version/copies of your website, then you should consider using Godaddy.
- You can work on your website on the go using your tablet or mobile phone.
- GoDaddy offers a create backup point and restore function.
- They offer their users a 24/7 live chat, phone, and email support.
- It is simple and easy to use in creating professional looking websites.
- It doesn’t support eCommerce
- Once you pick a theme, you can’t change it without losing your content.
- It is difficult to move your website to another platform.
Squarespace is a website development platform that supports templates which offer mobile-responsive web designs. It is known for its unique and simple designs, and professional website appearance.
- It is easy to use and is known for its great design.
- You can use multiple templates at once.
- You can drag and drop items on pages to create your own layouts in minutes
- It supports eCommerce, blogs, forums, and more.
- Their payment gateway for eCommerce only allows Stripe, Apple Pay, and PayPal.
- They don’t accept several third-party services.
- It doesn’t offer a free plan.
- Its plans are very expensive. You either pay $8, $16 or $24 per month.
Each website development platform has its own unique style. No one platform can have all the feature you need for you personal website. Considering your major needs and website features/functionalities should guide your decision.
To also complicate matters further, and if you or a member of your team is quite technically savvy then you can combine what I would describe as a the best of both worlds like we do here. We have our hosting and domain with Godaddy but this site actually uses WordPress with The7 Theme.
It’s also worth noticing that all the above sites are constantly updating their offering and as time goes on they are getting more and more comprehensive in their offering.
Now the above doesn’t cover everything and we’d always recommend you conduct your own research but if you do need some advice feel free to get in touch!
Something we missed? let us know.