WordPress? Squarespace? Wix? Shopify? Discover the right web design platform for you.
Whether you are a DIY'er looking to build your own website, or someone who knows the tech world isn't for them and are ready hire someone, knowing where to begin is the key to getting started. The best starting point once you know what you want to share on the pages of your website is finding the right web design platform for you.
So today I am going to help you make that decision. I've got a free handy tool at the end that is going to seriously jump start your website journey! ("Uhmmm... Teresa I don't have time to read. Can you just take me to the free handy tool?" Of course! Click here!)
Now I know there is a lot of advice out there as to which platform is the best. So I thought I would start off with a few words of wisdom regarding that advice...
If the person giving advice, isn't operating a business in the way you want to, if they don't have a website you love, and if they know little to nothing about the business you are in, take their advice with a grain of salt!
Yes it may be great advice for someone in their shoes, or similar shoes. But if you have nothing in common, what's to say their advice is going to work for you?
With that said, let's talk about the most popular platforms out there to help you can find the one that best for YOU!
I'm starting here because it is the one design platform that I get the most inquiries about. I am going to say this... I don't recommend Wix. I have built many websites on many platforms, including quite a few in Wix. In fact, my first website as a Life Coach was in Wix. So I have a lot love the company. I know the strides they have taken to make things better. (For reals Wix peeps y'all have come aloooooooong way since 2012!!)
But I still don't recommend them, and here is why...
- They just aren't as robust as other design platforms
If you are building a website that is going to be with you for years as you grow your business, I don't feel Wix is the best place to begin. It simply doesn't offer what other platforms offer in terms of growth, and you will be looking at a rebuild of your website much quicker.
- A little too much freedom on design...
You're probably saying, "What? I love the idea of freedom!" and I understand, but there are still rules to follow if you want your website to look and perform fabulously on all devices. Rules that not only make the user experience a pleasant one, but help with your SEO rankings.
Too many of the Wix websites I have consulted on have device issues that hurt their rankings.
"But if offers monthly fees making it easier for me to afford." Yes I have heard that too, and I just want to say that so does Squarespace.
If you are launching an online store, with many products, or quite a bit of your sales are online, this is definitely worth looking into.
Shopify offers 100s of templates both free and for purchase that make online shopping EASY. They also make the store set up super easy, and you can launch your online store relatively quickly.
They have great built in features, like the Abandoned cart follow ups, and even include a blog feature that is easy to use. Plus Shopify sites make up the 3rd largest of online sales behind only Amazon and eBay. 
If you are looking to launch a service based website, or have few sales online, I encourage to look at the other options available before deciding on Shopify.
I have a whole lot of love for Squarespace, and have built quite a few sites on this platform. Some of my favorite sites, in fact! What I love about Squarespace the most is that it is ideal for the business owner who is not very comfortable with technology and yet, wants to be involved in their website through the design work or simply updating it once it has been launched.
It does quite a few things for you without you having to lift finger or click a mouse. Things including the formatting for optimum responsiveness (so it looks great on all devices), SSL certification and domain privacy.
It is also connected directly with Unsplash.com for stock images, making it easy to find gorgeous images for your website without having to look elsewhere.
And if you have a small product offering, there is built in e-commerce options that are easy to set up.
It is great for the service based business and as of July 2020 there are more than 2 million Squarespace websites out there. 
Like Squarespace I have a whole lot of love for WordPress! WordPress is very robust and customizable when you have the right tools in place.
The struggle most people have is finding the right tools! With more than 4000 free licensed themes out there  and over 55,000 different plug-ins it is easy to get lost in a tornado of tech and not know what to do.
So it goes without saying that WordPress is best suited for those who are comfortable with technology and researching, or reaching out to the experts for guidance and assistance.
And let me just say this, the experts I am referring too are the ones producing fabulous WordPress websites, like real web designers, not some random person on Facebook (see my quote above!)
And I know there are some big WordPress haters out there, who say WordPress is a terrible solution (like some of my old colleagues in the corporate world.) So let me just share with you a few things about WordPress that the haters don't often know...
- It is the design platform behind 35% of the internet
- 14.7% of the top websites in the world were built in WordPress including TED, NBC, CNN, TechCrunch, People magazine, the NFL, Best Buy, CBS Radio, and UPS. 
Need help finding the right web design platform? (aka the free handy tool)
Even with all of this information I shared here I know there are still a lot of questions, and confusion as to what direction to go. So now I want to share that free handy tool I mentioned in the beginning...
I have put together a quiz that cuts through the chatter about what is best, and helps you make a decision based on YOU and YOUR BUSINESS needs. Because what YOU need is the most important thing to consider.