Top website platforms explained, so you know what your web developer is talking about
If you aren’t much of a tech guru and know very little about website coding and configuration, then a great deal of what your web developer is talking about will seem like a foreign language to you. It is important to educate yourself on the top platforms and terminology in order to be more involved in the process and better guide the developer on your needs and goals. Knowledge is power, and you cannot afford to not be in control when it comes to the creation of your website.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may be better suited to work with varying website platforms. Check out the ranked lists below and determine which will work best for you. We’ve also included some of the most noteworthy pros and cons for each platform suggested.
Shopify: With the highest SEO ratings in comparison – which will help drive more traffic to your site – you are guaranteed to get the most bang for your buck. It is an all-in-one fully hosted website – or in other words, it manages the software, updates and backups for you. It also has a simple POS system, a drag and drop interface option, and can integrate with WordPress!
BigCommerce: Their site claims to be the #1 ecommerce site with the ability to list your store’s products on Amazon, Ebay and Facebook. Many developers and business owners find them to be a more affordable option, and they require zero updating, hosting, or maintenance fees.
BigCartel: For startups, this is a great option – it has a low monthly cost and is easy to use as opposed to some competitors. It also is great for building a small business brand. On the downside, it’s not scalable and only allows a limited number of integrations.
Magento: Built with open source technology, this platforms gives business owners a great deal of flexibility when it comes to setting up their shopping cart options. The platform was built with non-tech folks in mind – and offers them easy updating with many scalable options.
Volusion: While other platforms provide shared, built-in SSL (Secure Socket Layers – a security precaution that establishes encrypted links between web servers and a web browser), Volusion makes SSLs unique. This carries a small added fee but allows users to checkout through your site plugin as opposed to their site. One con that many users complain about is bandwidth – Volusion caps bandwidth and then begins to charge overage fees which can add up really quick.
WordPress: This isn’t your average drag-and-drop web platform. It comes with higher setup costs and calls for more technical knowledge than its competitors. The software is 100% free and can be downloaded, however hosting and plugins are going to cost you. The maintenance and security is also a sore point because if not updated, it can be simple for your site to be compromised. Piggy backing off of that, there are not strong customer service support resources for WordPress – support members are all volunteers so someone isn’t available at all times.
Wix: Paid versions give you more flexibility, but if you opt for the free version, you will be stuck with using a www.yourcompany.wix.com weblink, and will be forced to display Wix acquired ads. In recent years, they have moved away from the Flash platform which has increased usability for small business owners, so that is a plus. Additionally, the site rarely crashes, their customer service is on point, and have pre-built template options for varying business markets (hotel & travel, business, design, events, blogs, etc.). SEO capabilities are a downfall which of course, is a big problem in today’s growing digital world.
Weebly: If you have HTML or CSS experience, that’s great, but if you’re a non-techie, that’s fine too! This platforms offers a built-in coding tool that makes use easy regardless of your experience level. While there are neat themes and premade layouts, the drag-and-drop features leave a bit to be desired and the blogging features (such as highlighting popular posts) need improvement.
Squarespace: The most basic version has a 20 page limit, so if you’re looking for something more robust, the $12 option won’t work for you. Its inline editing feature is a big hit with users, but there is not a backup or restore feature which can be very problematic.
Sitey: If you’re looking for something easy to use with several template options, Sitey could work for you. However, many people find it sketchy that Sitey offers the same exact host of services under various domain names including WebBuilder.com and Sitebuilder.com. There is also a history of complaints on billing and customer service issues, so be cautious.
We hope this overview of the top pros and cons for each platform will help in your decision making process. Should you still find yourself stumped, always remember that ZSocial Expert is always here to meet all of your digital needs!