Decoding the mystery of website build

You’re a small business owner and you need a website. You’d like to have a go… BUT WHERE DO YOU START?

Building a website can be a lot like putting together a jigsaw puzzle–sometimes the picture looks good, but when you look closely, pieces are in the wrong places.

A website might function, but as soon as you make a change or an update, the picture falls apart.

So here are a few pointers to help decode the mystery behind building a quick, easy, cost effective website.

 

Where do I start?

There are many different website builders available on the market, all offering a range of features from responsive themes and hosting space to eCommerce features. The best one really depends on what you’re looking for and whether or not the platform can meet your needs. Some of the most highly regarded website builders include WordPress, Squarespace, Wix and Weebly.

 

So which one do I go for?

Before you start searching for your website builder, stop and think about what your website building needs are. If you’re planning a personal blog, then you could settle for a more basic website builder. If, on the other hand, you are looking to create a more complex website such as an eCommerce website, you may be better suited with a more sophisticated website builder, one that features advanced design and encoding tools, for example.

What are the key differences between the various website builders?

WordPress

Ticks

  • Nearly unlimited options.
  • The CMS of choice for bloggers and website creators for years.
  • Supported by a large user base and developer community.
  • Plug-ins for most ‘gaps’.
  • More flexibility and highly customizable.

Crosses

  • You will need to read up on the basics of coding to create your own design.
  • Popular with hackers, so security & maintenance is imperative.
  • Some tools are mediocre or useless.

Key Features

  • Responsive design
  • Social sharing features
  • Multiple page styles
  • Auto upgrade and support
  • Plenty of widgets
  • Theme customisation
  • SEO
  • Standards compliant coding

Our Rating!

Top Marks

SquareSpace

Ticks

  • Tops the rankings for ease of use.
  • Best when applied to large websites with multiple pages.
  • Their team has a commitment to answer all questions within 1 hour.
  • Beautiful templates and image management options are extensive.

Crosses

  • Can be costly.
  • Not suitable for small static sites.
  • Doesn’t keep a history of changes to your site.
  • SEO is handled in an odd way, with negative implications for blog articles in particular.
  • File management is messy.

Key Features

  • Designs
  • Image manager
  • Galleries
  • Audio collection
  • Connected services
  • Layout Engine 2
  • User data collection
  • Site control
  • Multiple contributors
  • Cover pages
  • Blogging
  • Commenting system
  • Commerce
  • SEO
  • Apps
  • Analytics

Our Rating!

A good choice for running a portfolio site, e.g. artist, photographer, musician or a one-off event like a wedding.

Wix

Ticks

  • The most popular free website builder in the market at the moment.
  • Don’t need to understand code.
  • Neat and easy to use.

Crosses

  • Long term pricing issues.
  • The drag and drop layout system has a few key functions missing.
  • No true apps or extensions.
  • Templates can appear to be dated.
  • Technical limitations.

Key Features

  • Has an advanced drag & drop website editor
  • Very large collection of professional looking website templates
  • Search engine friendly HTML5 websites
  • Quality support
  • Free web hosting
  • Up to 500 MB storage space
  • Up to 500 MB bandwidth

Our Rating!

A popular choice.

Weebly

Ticks

  • Designed with the first-time business owner in mind.
  • Offers a range of pricing options from free to premium consumer plans.
  • Drag and drop website builder.

Crosses

  • Design templates are basic.
  • Blog features need improvement.
  • No click, click install apps for Weebly.
  • Doesn’t have an efficient CMS.
  • Moving to a new platform is hard.

Key Features

  • Free domain name on sub-domain
  • Free hosting without limitations
  • An unlimited number of pages
  • You can create a very basic online store but with a small 3% transaction fee
  • New modern website templates that can easily be customized using a drag & drop editor
  • Access to HTML/CSS editors for you to modify the website design
  • Offers mobile version of your website

Our Rating!

Good for the basics.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are a start-up or a small business on a tight budget, always weigh up your options very carefully. Free plans and free hosting might suit your pocket today, but can prove more costly down the line. Some free plans come with the providers’ ads at the bottom of your site. Whilst this might be okay for a blogging site, it will look unprofessional for a business site. Not to mention, you are not doing yourself any favours in terms of search engine rankings.

At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. A website designed with your business in mind, will always yield the best results. Contact our web design team on 9307 1579 or click here to book an appointment. We would love to chat to you.

View our full scope of web design services here