If you’re in the business of making websites, it is a question you hear frequently. The fact is, there is no ‘best’, there is only what is best for you and your particular needs and circumstances.
It is astonishing how many people have been sold a website platform that is not fit for purpose. Sure, a business can outgrow their website with the number of products and services they want to offer, or they may need to add an online store or a booking platform. However, more often than not, it is the other way around; they have been sold a platform that is far too expensive and complex for their needs.
Unfortunately, there are some web developers who convince clients they need a custom-built website that ends up being far too difficult for them to manage themselves. So, for even the smallest change or update, the client is forced to go back to the developer and pay a (often hefty) support fee.
Some would say this is good business, we think it’s unscrupulous.
In the past few years popular website building platforms like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, Webflow and Shopify have all made significant advances in the quality of their templates and themes. These can be customized to suit your individual brand, without needing to be built from scratch. And all of them have a user -friendly back end, that you can learn with minimal training.
The fact is, unless you are a very large enterprise, or you require a site with extraordinary functions, or you feel like giving a lot of money away, there is no reason from a design or function perspective, to not use one of the excellent website builders available.
Here is an overview of three of the platforms Create & Co uses most often. If you are looking to get a new website or online store, or replace and existing one, it’s a good starting point for thinking about what is important to your brand.
If you’d like more information, drop us a line. We’re always happy to talk you through the various options.
Squarespace (Beginner to Intermediate)
- Simple and easy to build
- No coding required – drag and drop editor
- You can do it yourself
- Beautiful templates
- Easy to add e-commerce – great for smaller inventory – I would put a max of 20 products as filtering can get messy past this point
- Min cost $25usd for a business plan per month which is reasonable, but costs can build quickly if you want to customise and grow. https://www.squarespace.com/
Shopify (Intermediate to Advanced)
- Our first choice for any serious online store
- Easy to scale with your business
- Really simple functionality on front and back end
- Can manage a large range of products
- Basic templates and paid templates for intermediate users
- Custom design is possible for Advanced users. Best of both worlds– get the power of Shopify with your own front end.
- Pricing can grow quickly with the use of plugins and functionality, basic package is $29usd per month but I would budget for between $50 and $100 as there will be things you’ll want to add or do to improve your sites performance and marketing capabilities. https://www.shopify.com.au/
WordPress (Beginner to Advanced)
- An open source platform where the limitation is really time and budget.
- We love WordPress for the fact that anyone can learn it. It’s one of the largest used platforms for building websites and there are great resources out there.
- Ability to use free templates and buy templates to suit your needs.
- We build custom–designed websites on top of WordPress backends.
- You can change and edit any part of your site
- Add eCommerce, SEO tools, drag and drop editors you are only limited by your imagination and ideas
- It can get overwhelming quickly for early users – stick with it
- Cost is minimal, you can get a site online for the cost of hosting and a domain. Of course, this will scale based on level of use.
- Major costs are upfront and then scale down as you use the site. https://www.wordpress.com/