Which Website Platform is the Best Fit for You?

by | Nov 14, 2023 | Web Design

There’s a unique entrepreneurial spirit that drives you — the solopreneur.

You’ve got the fire, the roadmap, and the never-give-up attitude, and your brand is about to make its mark online!

But, there’s a hitch — choosing the right website platform that aligns with your vision can be an stupidly overwhelming decision. With numerous platforms each boasting that they’re the best, while hiding their own quirks and limitations.

Let’s explore, analyze, and settle this by breaking down the top choices for you.

Sidenote: I’ve experienced every platform in this article within the last 4 years working with client sites. In this review, I approached the platform as a solopreneur which average technical skills, looking to create a website that had a blog and sold a few products and services.

WordPress — Full Control but Needs Tech Savvy and Hosting

Unveiling WordPress, it is the most popular website platform out there, owing much to its robust features and scalability.

WordPress is the engine behind a whopping 43.1% of the web! This includes everything from one page websites, personal blogs and business websites to some of the world’s top sites, like those of Fortune 500 companies.

WordPress is so popular because of its versatility. It can be used for a one page website, blog, traditional site, ecommerce, and just about anything else you can imagine. The magic of WordPress lies in its open-source nature, so it’s constantly being improved by a community of passionate

And quoting Uncle Ben in Spiderman “with this great power comes great responsibility.”

Its open-source nature requires regular updates to be done (easy enough with the click of a button) and you’ll also need to handle website hosting (most top hosting providers like Siteground have a one click setup to install WordPress).

However, if you’re willing to navigate the learning curve and manage hosting, WordPress rewards with unmatched customization and control. Plus, you’ve got WordPress plugins as powerful allies.

Ecommerce option:

WooCommerce turns your WordPress website into a fully functional e-commerce platform, making it ideal for your online shop. From product pages to shopping carts to secure payment gateways, it’s got you covered.

Action Step: Learn the basics of WordPress and look into reliable hosting options like Bluehost or SiteGround. Start exploring plugins that can enhance your website’s functionality.

Key Takeaway: If you want absolute control and don’t mind getting your hands slightly dirty, WordPress is your go-to.

Personal note: WordPress is the only platform I setup for client that hire me to take care of everything. WooCommerce is the choice for ecommerce and LearnDash is the choice for a course. I’m not going to lie to you, as much as I love WordPress, it has a learning curve. If you’re planning to handle everything by yourself, make sure to make the most of the documentation and wide range of YouTube video tutorials that are at your disposal.

Drupal — Powerful and Secure, but a Bit Technical

Step into the realm of Drupal — it’s a heavyweight champion in the ring of power and security.

However, Drupal is inherently a bit more complex and requires a fair share of technical knowledge. Plus, like WordPress, it needs self-hosting.

But, if you demand a rock-solid website that can handle large amounts of data and users, Drupal could be your match.

Ecommerce option:

Drupal, by itself, doesn’t come with built-in ecommerce functionality. Instead, it requires the use of modules (akin to plugins in WordPress) to add this capability. The most commonly used module for this purpose is Drupal Commerce.

Action Step: Familiarize yourself with Drupal basics. You might also consider hiring a Drupal developer if your project demands advanced features.

Key Takeaway: If security and scalability are on top of your list, consider Drupal, but be ready for some technical heavy-lifting.

Personal note: Drupal is quite the platform and I’m sure it has it’s place with the right user, but even with my technical knowledge, I still found it challenging to work with.

Wix — Super User-Friendly, Just Drag and Drop

Meet Wix, the superstar of simplicity. They’re all about making your life easier with their intuitive drag-and-drop interface.

But there’s a catch. Once you opt for Wix, you’re locked into their system, trading off flexibility for ease of use.

However, if a hassle-free and rapid site launch is your priority, Wix might just be your best bet.

Ecommerce option:

Wix offers a comprehensive ecommerce solution that includes product pages, inventory management, shopping cart functionality, and various payment options. Wix’s ecommerce capabilities are quite robust, but they are best suited for smaller online stores.

Action Step: Try Wix’s free plan to test the waters. Create a basic website and experience the simplicity first-hand.

Key Takeaway: For quick, easy, but somewhat limited website building, Wix shines.

Personal note: I found Wix too basic for me, plus I’m not a fan of having my website on a proprietary system where I’m locked into their rules and updates. But it is easy to use.

Squarespace — Sleek Designs, Perfect for Creatives

Introducing Squarespace, the fashion icon of the website platform world. Known for its stunning, sleek designs, it’s a favorite among creatives.

The downside? Like Wix, you’re locked into their system. But the tradeoff might be worth it if aesthetics are crucial to your brand.

Ecommerce option:

Squarespace, renowned for its aesthetic appeal, also provides robust ecommerce options. It’s an excellent choice if you’re aiming for a visually stunning online store. It includes features like inventory management, unlimited products, and secure checkout.

Action Step: Browse Squarespace’s theme library. Experiment with a free trial to see if it resonates with your creative vision.

Key Takeaway: If design is a dealbreaker, Squarespace is the runway model you might want to hire.

Personal note: Squarespace has gorgeous themes and honestly, I couldn’t find anything bad to say about them, except, like Wix, I’m not a fan of having my website on a proprietary system.

Shopify — Selling Goods? This is Your Pick

Shopify, the market leader for ecommerce. If you’re planning to sell physical or digital products, Shopify is a top contender.

You’re locked into their system, but considering the ecommerce prowess, it’s a worthy consideration.

Action Step: Set up a free trial store on Shopify. Add some products and test out the purchase flow.

Key Takeaway: If ecommerce is your game, Shopify is your champion player.

Personal note: If I didn’t use WooCommerce with WordPress, I would use Shopify without thinking twice. The only downfall, and it’s my own opinion, is being locked into their proprietary system.

Weebly — Low-Cost, Simple and Effective

Weebly is the champion of cost-effectiveness. Looking to save some cash but still want a snazzy website? Weebly’s the way to go.

Yet again, you’re locked into their system. But for some, the affordability and simplicity could make it a perfect fit.

Ecommerce option:

Weebly, known for its cost-effectiveness, also supports ecommerce, though its capabilities may not be as extensive as Shopify or as aesthetically pleasing as Squarespace. Nevertheless, it’s quite suitable for small to medium-sized online stores, offering features like item listings, shopping cart functionality, and secure checkout.

Action Step: Try building a free site on Weebly. Check if its features align with your requirements and budget.

Key Takeaway: For budget-friendly, basic yet effective web presence, Weebly holds a strong position.

Personal note: this review was based on a lovely lady that DIY’d her website and asked me for a review. The client wanted to migrate to WordPress, but her Weebly site had hundreds of pages and blog posts, and because it’s a proprietary system, it wasn’t feasible for her to make that large of an investment to manually move her site. Since then, migration tools are now available to help with this process.

Wrapping It Up:

The platform you choose should be a match not only to aesthetics, but to your skill level. The key is to discover the platform that suits your unique goals and requirements as close as possible, rather than chasing after the universally acclaimed “king” of platforms. So take a moment, reflect on you you need, try out the platforms that pique your interest, and choose the one that fits like a glove.

After all, your website is more than just a digital address; it’s your brand’s home. So choose wisely, but don’t be afraid to change it up when it doesn’t suit you anymore.

Until next time, stay inspired.



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