It seems like every day there’s a new website platform being unveiled! In this crowded space, it’s often difficult to decide which platform is right for your business.
In this post, we’re breaking down four of our favorites along with a simple guide to choosing the best website platform for your specific business needs.
For starters, you need to figure out what you need in a website platform.
If you’re a freelance copywriter looking to build your online presence, you might opt for Squarespace. But, if you also want amazing blogging capabilities, Showit could be a better choice.
For larger e-commerce brands, Shopify is the ultimate website platform for you. But if you’re a smaller boutique with less than 1,000 products for sale, Squarespace or Showit can also work. Online courses are blowing up recently and if you’re ready to launch your first productivity course, definitely check out Kajabi.
Squarespace is one of my personal faves and one that I often recommend to service-based solopreneurs and boutique owners.
It makes sense that Squarespace is one of the most popular website platforms available. It’s easy to use, has tons of built-in features, and it’s affordable for most businesses, no matter how small.
The only downsides are that its blogging capabilities are limited and its SEO isn’t as robust as it could be — although they’re working on it! Overall, Squarespace is an amazing website platform to start from.
– Easy to edit
– Built-in email CRM system
– Provides Acuity for appointment scheduling
– Reasonably priced
– New annual subscriptions include a free domain name and Gsuite account with a branded email address
– Blog functionality not as robust as WordPress (wouldn’t recommend for heavy bloggers)
– SEO not as robust although improving
Service-based entrepreneurs and boutique owners with under 1,000 products
If you love design and aesthetics, I highly recommend Showit!
Showit provides tons of design flexibility that template-based website builders like Kajabi and Wix often don’t allow for. Showit comes highly recommended for service-based entrepreneurs in creative industries or people unapologetically obsessed with design.
– Easy to edit, assuming you have some basic graphic design skills
– Ability to create dynamic designs without coding ability
– Integrates with WordPress, amazing for blogs
– Allows you to add Shopify Lite giving you the best of both worlds for e-commerce businesses
– Added features like a WordPress blog or Shopify raise the monthly hosting cost significantly
– Mobile must be designed separately which often makes Showit more time consuming to use
Creative industries like art, design, music, and event planning, small business owners obsessed with design, and solopreneurs that do extensive blogging or podcasting
Shopify is the holy grail for any serious e-commerce business. If you have a business with over 1,000 products you definitely should be using Shopify.
When it comes to selling products online, Shopify is superior to any other website platform. It’s used by all the big brands and has earned itself a glowing reputation.
However, Shopify can be difficult to update and lacks some key functionality. So, we recommend Squarespace Commerce for smaller stores looking to prioritize design. But, Shopify is truly a must for larger e-commerce businesses.
– Superior to any other website platform for e-commerce
– Reputable and used by all the big brands
– A multitude of plug-ins can be added to improve the functionality of your Shopify site
– Can be hard to update as you need to know Shopify’s liquid coding language
– You’ll definitely need to invest in a website maintenance plan for updates unless you plan on learning some code
– Shopify lacks some of the design functionality available on other websites
E-commerce businesses with over 1,000 products or monthly subscription “box-of-the-month” businesses
Kajabi is a little newer to the web design game but if you’re a course creator, Kajabi is where it’s at.
More of a one-stop shop that allows you to integrate lead magnets, sales pages, email CRM lists, and digital courses, Kajabi is perfect for course creators who are looking for an all-in-one solution.
Still, the template-based functionality is lacking in flexibility and a lot of the integrations are relatively basic. Plus, it’s super pricey. Overall, it depends on your priorities and whether it’s worth it to have all your website needs in one place.
– All-in-one platform
– Lead magnet integrations
– Sales pages
– Email CRM lists
– Create digital courses
– Design is template-based and flexibility is lacking
– Email integration only allows you to import basic data like first and last name
– Pricey with a monthly sticker of $119 per month for the basic package
Course creators that want an all-in-one solution
Next, you’ll want to consider your budget.
Although it’s always a good idea to invest in your digital presence, knowing how much you’re able to spend is an important consideration. Squarespace is likely going to be your most affordable option but incorporating helpful add-ons can rack up the prices.
At the end of the day, you get what you pay for and sometimes it’s well worth it for an all-in-one solution. However, if you have any coding skills or an eye for design, you can save a bit of money here and there by opting for a more DIY approach.
Finally, you’re ready to build your website.
In truth, you might choose a website platform that you thought was best, but you end up really not vibing with the workflow or functionality. Stick to your original choice for at least a year but, the beauty is, you can always change your mind and try a new website platform in the future.
Again, every website platform has pros and cons and it sometimes takes trying it out to really figure out what you need for your business. You might even consider working with a professional to help you navigate your options will be your best bet.
Still confused about which website platform to choose?
Picking the right website platform is a big decision. Which is why I typically will not recommend a website platform until I have an understanding of the specific functionality needed for a website. If you’re in the market for a new website or looking to redesign your current website, book your free discovery call and let’s discuss!