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Which Website Platform Should I Use? 4 Platforms & How to Use Them Effectively

When it comes to building a website, you aren’t short ofoptions. From easy-to-use solutions such as Wix, Squarespace and Shopify, tomore complicated but flexible options such as WordPress, you can often getstuck on simply the decision on what CMS (content management system) to choose.Nowadays, they all make web design and web development accessible; though it’sworth looking at their features, as each one has features that suits differenttypes of businesses.

In this article, we’ll guide you through some of the bestwebsite platforms, their pros and cons, and talk about what you need to do toensure you see success.

4 Top Website Platforms for Businesses

1)    WordPress

WordPress is generally considered King when it comes to webdevelopment. It’s estimated that there are over 75million sites built on WordPress, so there’s plenty ofguidance and knowledge out there to help anyone build a site and troubleshootany issues. It’s also easy to bring in other people to work on your site, tooffer you deeper customisation and additional features. This is where WordPressshines – it’s incredibly flexible.

However, it’s not perfect. With all this flexibility comessome difficulties. Every theme is built differently, as is every plugin, andlike kids who go to school together, they don’t always get on swimmingly. It’snot unusual to fall into a rabbit hole trying to fix one little problem, so ifyou’re not experienced, it’s a good idea to have a web development professionalto hand who can answer your questions and help you fix issues that might getthrown up from updates and additions.

Your WordPress site is self-hosted, so you can move it fromhost-to-host (with not too much difficulty) if your fees become too costly orif you need a better server or plan than your current host offers. It is worthnoting that while the free WordPress themes (themes frame your website’sappearance) are good these days, most people will want to buy a templateelsewhere. Themes are usually $39 - $59 on sites like ThemeForest.net.

2)    Wix

Wix is one of the easiest platforms if you’re looking foreasy web design. While WordPress can be fast, you can easily get a Wix websiteup and running within just a few hours. It’s easy and automatic to addmemberships, a store, audio, video, and more.

However, there is a lack of flexibility when it comes tohosting. Their sites are fast, but if you suddenly grow and have a huge amountof traffic, you may have to reach out to them to see what they can do for you.

If you decide to move, you’re going to have to build anentirely new site elsewhere, and manually move over any older content you wantto keep. This essentially means you have to start from scratch, and if you’vebuilt up good SEO over the years, you may see a dip when you move to a newplatform.

3)    Squarespace

Squarespace is essentially the same as Wix – it’s anindependent website builder that makes web design fast and easy. Squarespace’stemplates are generally more geared toward a minimalistic style, and suitsstores and portfolios, but you can do anything with them.

Like Wix, the biggest problems here are the price tag andthe fact that you can’t move a Squarespace website to WordPress – at least, notwithout professional web development and web design professionals to build youa similar website for WordPress. Another con is that if you’re not looking fora minimalist style, you’re probably not going to like their default designs.You can find web design professionals who work exclusively with Squarespace,but obviously it’s not as easy as picking one of the free templates.

4)    Shopify

Shopify is a little like Wix and Squarespace, in that ithandles all the hosting for you. The key difference is that it is gearedentirely toward ecommerce businesses. If you’re not focused on selling physicalor digital products, you don’t need Shopify.

Shopify is easy to use and they have a ton of videos toguide you through how to set up your site and how to run your business moresuccessfully. They have a few free templates included, but they’re not going toknock your customers’ socks off. If you want to have a site that looks trulyprofessional, then you’re going to have to drop some more money for that, andShopify templates aren’t cheap (think £100+).

Like the other website builders, once you build on Shopify,it’s going to be a headache to leave. Shopify pricing starts at around £15 permonth, which is about on par with other ecommerce options on similar platforms.

So how do you choose?

To choose you need to take into account:

  • Yourbudget
  • Whatyou need the website to do now and in the future
  • Whatyou want your site to look like
  • Howmuch control you want over moving your website in the future
  • Howmuch management you want to do (updates, etc)

Although it’s important to select the right platform, youwill need to implement web development best practice in order to gain successover your competitors. By following best practice, you will see an increase inboth SEO performance and converting leads/sales on your website.

3 Best Practices Used on Every Successful Website  

  • Choose a modern and sleek design: A website is the primary place how to show off your brand online. By having a modern design, you are immediately showing your audience that you are a premier player in your industry, and that is before they read your content. Having an effective design that translates through to your other online channels (social media platforms, display ads etc.) will provide your audience with a consistent experience of your company.
  • Clear and well-informed content: Having properly formatted content (headings, short paragraphs, relevant content, grammatically) can be the difference between someone buying your products or going somewhere else. This is particularly true when selling if you’re selling to other businesses – if your content is well researched and structured, then you stand a better chance of them registering an interest or buying your services.
  • Keepthe customer journey short: Having a customer journey that has as fewclicks to convert a lead or a sale will see your online conversion ratesrocket. If you have a piece of content that is gold for your customer or aproduct page with clinching sales information, then make sure the customer isable to register an interest or buy the product on the very next page. This canbe done by having a call to action button that takes them through to thepurchase platform or a contact form on the page itself.

Getting the Right Support Could Prove Crucial

Any of the CMSs we’ve discussed today are great choices, but it is important to get your website right early on as it is the cornerstone of your online presence. Getting the right support to help your website development is crucial to ensure that you are adhering to best practice whilst making sure you have a strategy to make your website a success. If you’re looking for guidance or someone to show you the right path to take, we’re here to help.

Get in touch by filling out the form below or learn more about our digital marketing services.

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