What platform should you choose to build your website & what should you ask?
Updated: Feb 11, 2020
This seems like a simple question but it isn't easy to answer. Why is that? - you ask. Because there's more to this than meets the eye for what is right for you. And it is not purely based on platform's popularity or expert's opinion.
For the past few years as a business owner, I've joined many (more than I can remember) Facebook groups where new and veteran business owners and online entrepreneurs hang out. Some of the most frequent questions and posts are "what platform is best?" and "where should I build my website?"
You could be even more overwhelmed with answers from fellow business owners or web designers throwing all kinds of honest answers or sometimes bias/promotional opinions to the mix
BUT I noticed that no one really asks or tries to understand what that person tries to achieve with his/her website or what his/her technical background is.
For most DIYers, they aren't tech-savvy. Some may feel more comfortable with tech stuff than another and are willing to learn some coding while some have zero interest or time and feel intimidated. This second group of people want to avoid touching the tech side of the website as much as possible.
This is a very critical question that you should consider asking yourself even before deciding on Wordpress/Wix/SqureSpace/Weebly/Shopify or etc:
1. How comfortable am I with tech/website?
2. Does learning tech stuff get me excited or make me feel scared?
3. Do I enjoy learning and overcoming challenges? Am I easily overwhelmed or do I tend to want to give up easily if I hit roadblocks? Am I good at figuring things out?
4. How much time do I have to commit to learning in addition to operating other parts of my business?
5. What exactly I want my website to have and my business goal? Will the platform be able to grow and evolve with me?
Most people go with what others recommend without asking these initial questions or further research.
While some have great success, many end up feeling frustrated and wasting time/money in the process. Many people get bogged down and can't successfully bring their project to life.
Wordpress, Wix, SqureSpace, Weebly and Shopify are popular choices for modern business owners.
Wordpress has great reputation and is powerful when it comes to its long standing blogging features and full flexibility for customization.
Due to its flexibility, it's important that you do research because there are plethora of options from hosting company, domain name provider, theme, plugins, security backup and etc that you have to select.
Shopify is well known for eCommerce and could be perfect for people who sell physical products (or even digital).
Wix, Squrespace and Weebly are all known to be friendly to non-tech savvy people who want to get things up and running.
I can't speak for two other platforms as I am more familiar with Wix. Wix advertises itself as a drag-and-drop website builder but offers a more advanced feature that allows you to fully customize your site with coding. This is very little known to public (Wix Corvid). This helps eliminate many limitations in the drag-and-drop feature and open up more endless possibilities.
For an in-depth review/analysis of these platforms, I highly recommend these resources:
Now, don't forget to ask those 5 questions and have fun building. If you decide to go with Wix and need help, don't hesitate to contact me :)
Have a great day!