Which website platform is right for you?
Almost daily I’m running into the question from small business owners—which website platform is right for me? There isn’t one right answer. The answer depends on how large your business is, what type of business you are running, and what you plan to do with your site and offers over time. I personally work in WordPress and Shopify. Do I recommend WordPress or Shopify to everyone? Absolutely not. I wholeheartedly believe in guiding people to the best platform for them. That means that I have questions for them. I look for the best answer based on their unique needs. All that said, let’s dive into the different platforms I’m most familiar with—who they are for and what are some of the positives for each. And just because you might not see a platform on this list doesn’t mean it’s not a good fit. Just be sure to understand who the platform is best serving, what the limitations might be based on your unique needs, and what the investment will be from (considering design, development, and hosting) in order to assess whether a website platform is right for you and your business.
Who is WordPress for?
WordPress is an excellent option for anyone who is blogging long-form content to grow their audience. It works well for service providers who aren’t selling products on their site. It’s an excellent option for anyone looking to build a static website to promote their business. It can also work as an educational platform by integrating a plugin. If you have a multi-faceted business with multiple streams and offers, WordPress may be a solution for you.
- As an open-source platform, anyone can contribute to the platform making it flexible and compatible with most integrations.
- There is always a plugin solution for almost anything you can imagine with WordPress.
- The platform started out heavy in the blogging arena and therefore is one of the best blogging solutions out there.
- It’s also a desirable option if you are looking to optimize your content for organic searches—SEO.
- It can be fully customized by your designer/developer to match your brand exactly as you wish.
- With the latest page builder interface—Gutenberg—it is something you can maintain on your own vs. hiring a web designer/developer to continue editing over time.
Who is ShowIt for?
ShowIt is also an excellent solution for bloggers, service providers, and anyone looking for mostly static websites. They have an extremely attractive theme library, making it a desirable option for someone how wants a beautiful blogging site without a ton of work. ShowIt is gaining more traction online these days due to influencers who have marketed the platform. It actually utilizes the WordPress platform—meaning that it’s building off of WordPress. That said, depending on your specific needs and your budget you might consider using WordPress instead.
- Showit offers a drag-and-drop website builder that makes it easy to create a professional-looking website without any coding skills.
- It has a wide range of customizable templates and design options to choose from, making it easy to create a unique and attractive website.
- Showit offers seamless integration with WordPress, making it a good option for bloggers who want to combine the flexibility of WordPress with the ease of use of Showit.
- It offers excellent customer support and resources, including a helpful community forum and chat support.
Who is Shopify for?
Shopify is for small to medium-sized businesses that want to create an online store to sell products or services (e-commerce).
- Shopify is a user-friendly platform that allows you to set up an online store quickly and easily.
- The platform offers a range of templates and customization options, which makes it easy to create a professional-looking website.
- Shopify provides a range of features, including payment processing, inventory management, and shipping integration.
- The platform has a large app store that allows you to add extra functionality to your store.
Who is Squarespace for?
Squarespace is for small businesses, freelancers, and individuals who want to create a professional-looking website without the need for coding or technical skills.
- Squarespace provides a range of beautiful templates that are easy to customize, making it easy to create a professional-looking website.
- The platform offers a range of features, including e-commerce functionality, blogging, and social media integration.
- Squarespace provides good support and resources to help users create and manage their websites.
- The platform is mobile-responsive, which means that your website will look good on all devices.
Who is Kajabi for?
Kajabi is designed specifically for entrepreneurs, coaches, and online course creators who want to create and sell digital products and courses.
- Kajabi offers an all-in-one platform that includes website hosting, email marketing, landing pages, and sales funnel tools, making it easy to manage all aspects of your online business in one place.
- It has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to create and customize your website, even if you don’t have any coding experience.
- Kajabi offers advanced marketing and analytics tools, including the ability to track customer behavior and create targeted marketing campaigns.
- It has excellent customer support, including live chat and email support.
Who is Thinkific for?
Thinkific is designed specifically for online course creators who want to create and sell digital courses.
- Thinkific offers a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to create and customize your online course, even if you don’t have any coding experience.
- It has a wide range of customizable templates and design options to choose from, making it easy to create a unique and attractive online course.
- Thinkific offers advanced marketing and analytics tools, including the ability to track customer behavior and create targeted marketing campaigns.
- It has excellent customer support, including live chat and email support.
Who is Circle for?
Circle is an online community platform that can be used by businesses, creators, and organizations to build a community around their brand. It’s an excellent option for those who want to create a private community or membership site where members can interact with each other and access exclusive content.
- Circle provides a user-friendly interface that allows you to create a community and membership site quickly and easily.
- You can customize the design of your community to match your brand and create a personalized experience for your members.
- Circle integrates with various payment gateways, making it easy to charge for membership or access to exclusive content.
- You can create multiple membership levels, each with its own pricing, content, and access.
- You can also create automated email sequences to engage with your members and keep them up to date on new content or community events.
Who is Mighty Networks for?
Mighty Networks is for creators, entrepreneurs, and organizations who want to build their own community or membership site to connect with like-minded people, share content, and sell products or services.
- Mighty Networks provides a simple and easy-to-use platform for building online communities and membership sites.
- It offers features like discussion forums, event management, and course creation tools, which are useful for creators and entrepreneurs.
- Mighty Networks allows you to monetize your community by selling courses, digital products, and subscriptions.
- The platform provides a white-label option, which allows you to customize the look and feel of your community to match your brand.
In closing, choosing the right website platform is an important decision for any small business owner. The best platform depends on the size of the business, the type of business, and the website’s intended purpose. When considering which platform to choose, it is important to consider the investment, including design, development, and hosting costs. While each platform has its positives and negatives, it is essential to assess which platform best serves a business’s unique needs.
Please note: website platforms are changing and growing everyday. The information above may change overtime. This is a short and inconclusive list to help guide you and point you in the right direction. Thorough research is needed on your part in order to determine the best platform for you.