When it comes to website building, there are a lot of tools available to the everyday consumer and professional site builders alike. In fact, there are so many different website platforms it can feel confusing to navigate. What are the advantages and disadvantages and how do you know which one is right for you? In this blog, we’re going to breakdown a few and assess each one’s strengths and weaknesses.
Before we get into the different platforms specifically, it’s helpful to know that WordPress, Square Space, Wix, and other website builders like them are “Content Management Systems” or CMS for short. These websites are designed with the user in mind, meaning you don’t have to contact a developer every time you want to make a small change.
While the idea of making changes to a website can sound overwhelming, the truth is if you can create something in Word, Excel or PowerPoint, you can use one of these CMS systems. You just need the proper training. As you’re learning a new system it’s important to give yourself grace until you get the hang of it. If you don’t understand the first time, that’s perfectly understandable, and you can always give us a call if you have questions.
Keeping this in mind, here’s the four most popular CMS website platforms, and each’s strengths and weaknesses.
WordPress is the website builder I primarily work in, and I believe the benefits to WordPress far outweigh the negative s. Almost 70% of websites run on it, and there’s a good reason for its high popularity.
For one thing, you have a lot more control over the look and feel of your website if you use WordPress. Branding is easy because of the robust features the platform offers. As websites continue to advance, new tools come to the market that can solve problems, help with SEO and give you more creativity. Typically, these tools go to WordPress first, and because of that you can always stay on the cutting edge of website building. You’re going to have a lot more support on WordPress and you’ll never have to worry about not being able to do something because you don’t have the right equipment.
The downside to having a site that runs WordPress is that it’s prone to malware attacks. You have to constantly make software updates, plugin updates and theme updates. While these updates aren’t difficult, you do have to stay on top of them.
2. Square Space
Square Space is one of those tools that’s very easy for the individual to make their own website. Basically, you go, you pick a template, you create a website. The drag and drop feature is what makes it so appealing because it’s so intuitive. It has some built in tool s to help with adding content as well.
When looking at Square Space on the front end, you might not see some of the downsides. However, Square Space is difficult to customize if one of their templates isn’t exactly what you have in mind. Updating Square Space can be clunky, and surprisingly, is more expensive to host over time.
Wix is a lot of fun. They have some good templates and it’s very easy to do yourself. Wix has a really good relationship with Google, which isn’t particularly well known, but can help with your SEO. The templates are limited, but they are still diverse. It’s a very “paint by numbers” system which you can customize colors and pictures. If you aren’t going to use WordPress to build your website, Wix is definitely the place to go. Web Pages That Sell can help you setup Wix or answer any questions you may have if you’re having trouble getting started.
The downside to Wix is its limited ability to share blog posts and the plug in’s you can use. For instance, Wix doesn’t even have a plug in for MailChimp. If you want to use an eNewsletter service, the only option is for you to use their version. Hosting Wix can be more expensive overtime than WordPress as well.
Weebly is like Square Space and Wix in that it’s very drag and drop. People can feel really comfortable using Weebly right away, because all the skills they’ve acquired surfing the internet are employed when you build with Weebly. However, you don’t have a ton of control over the look and feel of your website. Weebly is best for people who are starting up a business or you need a way to get information up there. When I have a lot of people coming in from out of town for a party or another organized gathering, I make a Weebly website. It’s good for the newcomer, and though the templates might be plain, they’re not ugly.
5. Joomla and Drupal
Joomla and Drupal are two websites that I personally do not have a lot of experience working with, but I’d love to refer you to this article which explains the platforms really well.
Each of these Website platforms have strengths and weaknesses, and every website will still need a mix of great content, SEO and easy navigation for its visitors. In the world of website building, there is no such thing as. “if you build it, they will come”. If you want to see results from your efforts to get your voice out there, then the work must be put in.
If you’re wondering what kinds of solutions Web Pages that Sell can offer you, we’d love for you to fill out our contact form and schedule a time with. Even if you have some basic questions about being trained to use websites, we’re looking forward to hear what you’re dreaming up.