There's not a day that goes by where I don't see or speak to someone wanting to know what website platform is right for their business.
We live in a day & age where we are spoilt for choice. Which is super exciting however having so many options can also make it super confusing for many starting their own business & wanting to get it right the first time. (Well, at least attempt to!)
If this sounds like you, together, lets take the guess work out of it!
Regardless of if you have a product/e-commerce business or a service business, below you will read a summary of the platforms I have researched & personally for both my own businesses as well as recommend & help my clients set up to get their business started!
Shopify for Your E-Commerce Business
Based on research & personal experience, if your Start-Up sells a product, it would be my recommendation to use 'Shopify'.
"Shopify is an all-in-one e-commerce platform to start, run & grow a business" - https://www.shopify.co.nz/about
This platform is user friendly, intuitive & in my opinion, I one stop shop to not only launch your e-commerce business with ease, but also discover & invest in cutting edge tools & apps to ensure your business stands out from the rest.
Available at your finger tips is an award winning customer service team, experts to not only help you set up your store but also assist with more complex challenges such as marketing advice & SEO implementation; & a simple, easy to use dashboard so you can manage your business 'on the run'.
As a business strategy expert & digital marketing coach, one of my favourite features & what sets Shopify apart from a more cheaper option such as Etsy, is that once your E-Commerce Store is launched, you have complete ownership over your analytics to ensure you can focus on what matters.
Marketing to attract potential customers & strategies to convert with ease.
Like many platforms, Shopify offers a range of plans to suit your budget & needs. After a two week trial you can choose from their 'Basic' plan (starting at 29USD p/m), their 'Shopify' plan ($79USD p/m) or their 'Advanced' Plan ($299USD p/m)
Having personally used this platform & now help many of my clients choose & set up their e-commerce site, I believe you can't go wrong with this option!
WIX for Your E-Commerce Business
Wix is one of the most popular website platforms available today, simply because of it's ease to create a quick & easy to use website for both the business owner & front end user.
How this platform varies from Shopify is that Shopify was specifically created for e-commerce businesses.
Although WIX does give e-commerce businesses an option to use them, based on my experience, Shopify is much easier to use!
Shopify provides you with more apps & tools to use & it's much more suitable for larger businesses & those that ship outside of their home country.
Even if right now you only have a handful of products or your only shipping within your home country, I encourage you to consider the long term vision of your business & select your website platform for that business (opposed to your start up).
Having to transition from one site to the next can cause frustrations for both you & your customer. So to avoid hiccups, choose Shopify & leave WIX to our service based business owners.
WIX for Your Service Business
Above you've read some of the reasons why WIX isn't as suited to an E-Commerce business like Shopify is, but what about if your business is delivering a service?
Well my friend, this platform is for YOU!
WIX is by far my standout choice when it comes to launching a business that delivers a service.
Like Shopify, it is super easy to use & an incredibly intuitive platform to design your website from.
Unlike it's competitor Word Press, you don't need any knowledge in code or dos based programming systems. It's simply, 'point, click & drag' feature makes this website developer a hit to the beginner or experienced website developer.
Again, like Shopify, WIX offers a range of pricing plans starting with a FREE version.
As you continue your start up journey you may want to 'upgrade' your site by linking your domain name & adding additional tools to enhance the 'visitor' experience.
Along with this, as you continue to add paid apps, you (the business owner) can gain further understanding into your website 'visitor' through a range of analytic tools including their newest feature that records the time spent on your website & what pages the visitor spent their time on.
If you are looking for a quick, easy to use platform to design your website on, then this is my recommendation.
I personally use this platform, it look me less than 24 hours to design & launch my website & I love the range of analytics & tools a business owner has to convert the website visitor into a paying client.
Square Space For Your Service Business
I think I've made it pretty clear from the above why I choose WIX for my business & why you should too.
But just in case you've stumbled across Square Space & curious to know why you should choose WIX over this platform, here's a few reasons for you to consider.
1) WIX has a larger variety of templates to select from
2) WIX has a larger variety of apps to choose from, as a result making their platforms functionality much greater & easier to use
3) WIX has a larger range of 3rd party & native integrations to select from. Again making their platforms much easier to use for both the developer & front end user
4) You can launch a website with WIX for free, only having to pay as you continue to upgrade your site or add some of their more popular apps. This differs from Square Space as they offer a 14 day free trial, following this you will roll over onto your chosen plan (starting at $16USD per month.
WordPress For Your Product or Service Business
Something you may find in the world of website developers is, you are either a fan or Word Press or you are not.
Me, I am not! But this doesn't mean that you don't have to be.
WordPress is a great choice if you are patient & have an understanding of how code based computer systems work.
As I mentioned above, WIX & Square Space provide you with templates to get started & are 'click, drag & drop' platforms, WordPress do not. The pro of this is that you can create everything totally from scratch, which really sets up apart from other website holders.
Just like WIX & Square Space, WordPress has a range of additional adds on & features to ensure you create the website of your dreams.
If you're not savvy with code based systems, creating your website on this platform may be a challenge for you!
If you're not up for the challenge & want to save yourself a few gray hairs + investing in an expert to create your website for you, then I of course suggest my fave as per above.
If you are launching a product business that requires an e-commerce platform then you can't go wrong with Shopify
And, if you are launching a service business then I am a huge fan of WIX.
But.. the decision is with you!
After reading the above, you will hopefully have an understanding of how each platform differs & which one is going to be suitable to you (based on your business & experience in website design.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to reach out!
Although I don't consider myself a web developer, I have certainly created & maintained a few in my time & would love nothing more than to ensure you make the right decision for not only now but your future business too!