Can you imagine running your business without creating an online presence for it? Not having a website can cost you dearly! According to Google, 83% of US customers will visit a store only after looking it up online. This just shows how vital it is to build a website if you want your business to succeed.
However, with so many website platforms available in the market, choosing the right one can be challenging. Do you go with the reliability of WordPress or the sleek design templates of Squarespace? Each platform offers competing features and benefits, making it difficult to determine which one is best suited for your needs.
In this article, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when choosing a website platform, such as ease of use, customization options, scalability, security, and more. We will guide you to making the right choice and hopefully get you one step closer to having your own website!
How to Choose the Best Website Platform?
Don’t let the number of options available to choose from confuse you. Eventually, it all comes down to the unique features a website platform can offer you. Prioritizing your specific needs and looking for a platform that fits your budget is the first step to narrowing down your options.
Here are the key factors to keep in mind when making your decision:
- Ease of use: Look for a platform that is easy to use and requires minimal technical knowledge. This is especially important if you are a beginner or do not have a dedicated IT team. The platform’s user interface and features should be convenient and easy to navigate. For example, an easy to use platform would have intuitive tools that make it simple for laypersons to design their own website. Such tools could include drag-and-drop interfaces, ready-to-use templates, and a clear, concise dashboard.
- Customization options: Go for a platform that lets you customize your website to meet your specific needs. This may include custom themes and templates, design features, custom domain names, SEO tools, e-commerce tools, and third-party integrations.
- Scalability: Choose a platform that can grow with your business. Look for features such as the ability to add new pages or products, expand your user base, and integrate with other tools and services. The website should be able to accommodate higher volumes of traffic without a drop in performance. A poor quality website will be more likely to experience slow load times, errors, and glitches.
- SEO friendliness: Ensuring that your website platform is SEO-friendly and allows you to optimize your website for search engines is crucial. This could include features such as meta tags, sitemaps, image optimization, integration with Google Analytics, and the ability to customize URLs.
- Mobile responsiveness: Choose a platform that is optimized for mobile devices. This is especially important as mobile usage continues to grow and more people access websites from phones and tablets.
- Integration with other tools: Choose a platform that allows easy integration with other tools and services that you use, such as email marketing software, social media platforms, and payment gateways. This is especially important if you plan to build an e-commerce store where your customers may want to make online payments and go through your social media platforms.
Keep these key factors in mind while making a final decision about which website platform to choose. To help make that decision easier, here are our top 5 picks for best website platforms in 2023:
Webflow is an innovative website builder that allows users to design, develop, and launch websites without coding skills. With a variety of powerful features, Webflow has become a popular tool for web designers, developers, and business owners alike. Here are some of its top features,
- Visual editor: One of the most amazing features of Webflow is its visual editor, which allows users to design websites visually without needing to write any code. This makes the website creation process more accessible to beginners and allows them to create websites more efficiently.
- CSS grids: Webflow allows users to build CSS grid-powered layouts visually or by writing code. This can help you create unique two-dimensional layouts on your website.
- CMS: Webflow's CMS (content management system) enables users to write, edit, and organize their website content with ease. The CMS stores and maintains all dynamic content on the website and automatically updates content changes on every page where that specific content is referenced.
- Templates: Webflow also has an extensive library of pre-built templates and components that can be customized to fit users' specific needs. This feature saves time, making it an excellent choice for businesses that want to create a professional website quickly.
- E-commerce platform: In addition, Webflow has a unique e-commerce platform and integration with various third-party tools. Using it you can create custom interactions and animations, access an order management dashboard, create pages for sales, launches, and seasonal campaigns, and customize your landing and product pages based on your aesthetic style.
- Mobile responsiveness: Websites created using Webflow are optimized for viewing on different devices including smartphones and tablets without the need for additional coding. This feature ensures that a user’s website is accessible to a wider audience, which is a priority in today's mobile-first world.
- Customer service: Facing a problem with your design? Worry not, since Webflow provides excellent customer support with a dedicated team of experts available to help you troubleshoot issues and answer any questions you may have.
- Scalability: Most importantly, Webflow websites are highly scalable, making the platform an excellent choice for businesses that are looking to grow. As your website traffic increases, you can easily upgrade your hosting plan or add new plugins to accommodate your needs.
- Integrations: Webflow offers integrations with Google Analytics, Google Domains, MailChimp, Zaipier, Slack, and Asana.
Basic- $14 per month
CMS- $23 per month
Business- $39 per month
Enterprise- Contact sales
This one’s an oldie but a goodie! WordPress is one of the most popular website platforms available, hosting over 43% of all websites on the internet. A few key features behind the widespread popularity of WordPress include,
- Flexibility: The platform offers thousands of customizable themes and plugins that let you create the website you need. Whether you're looking to build a simple blog or a complex e-commerce site, WordPress has the tools you need to get the job done.
- Ease-of-use: WordPress is also fairly easy to use, with an interface that makes adding new pages, blog posts, and other content a breeze. WordPress has one of the simplest interfaces out there and makes creating posts and pages, adding text, photos or videos and formatting content online really easy.
- SEO friendly: It offers powerful SEO plugins that can help you optimize your website for search engines and attract more traffic to your site. These include Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, Ahrefs SEO, Semrush SEO Writing Assistant and more.
- Community support: An advantage of using WordPress is its thriving community of developers and users. This is a wealth of resources like forums, tutorials, and plugins that can help you get the most out of your website.
Personal- $4 per month
Premium- $8 per month
Business- $25 per month
eCommerce- $45 per month
Wix is a popular website builder that offers an array of amazing features to help individuals and businesses create professional and stunning online presences.
- Drag-drop interface: One of its key strengths is the user-friendly drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy for users to customize their websites. For those without coding skills, drag and drop is the easiest way to create the layout of a page and design it effectively.
- Templates: Wix offers a wide selection of customizable templates for different types of websites, including business, e-commerce, blogs, and portfolios. Each template comes with pre-designed pages and elements that can be easily modified to suit your needs.
- Wix ADI: Within just a few minutes, the Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) can create a website fully suited to your needs and based on your design aesthetic. All you have to do is supply the ADI with your design preferences and ideas and it will create a website tailor made for your needs!
- SEO tools: Wix provides users with powerful SEO tools to help improve their website's ranking on search engines. This includes meta descriptions, alt tags, and header tags that make it easy for search engines to understand your content.
Combo- $16 per month
Unlimited- $22 per month
Pro- $27 per month
Business Basic- $27 per month
Business Unlimited- $32 per month
VIP- $45 per month
Business VIP- $59 per month
Enterprise- $500+ per month
Squarespace is another website builder that is known for its aesthetics and unique design features that are ideally suited for blogs, individual professional websites, portfolios, and eCommerce websites. Here are some of its most important features,
- Templates: One of the standout features of Squarespace is its award-winning design templates, which are all customizable and can be easily adapted to fit a variety of different purposes. Whether you're creating a personal blog or setting up a website for your restaurant, you can be sure of finding a Squarespace template that will suit your needs.
- Drag-drop editor: Squarespace features a drag-and-drop editor which lets users create their website layouts easily and efficiently. Images can be uploaded with a simple drag and drop action and then organized on the page with ease.
- Design tools: Editing a template and customizing it for your brand is quite easy with Squarespace. All elements and options are clearly visible and tweaking your website’s look is uncomplicated. You can make changes to the font, color, layout, line spacing, images, animation, banners and more.
- Marketing tools: You don’t need any external plugins for marketing with Squarespace. The website provides a range of built-in marketing tools including SEO optimization, email campaigns, and social media integration.
Personal- $23 per month
Business- $33 per month
Commerce Basic- $36 per month
Commerce Advanced- $65 per month
Weebly is a website builder that allows you to create simple and unique websites using its drag-and-drop feature. While the website does offer coding customizations these can prove to be quite limiting. Weebly is typically far more suited to those who have limited technical skills. Here are its important features,
- Plugins: Content widgets like photos, videos, text, and Google Maps can be placed anywhere on the page based on your design sensibilities and template of choice. The platform offers a variety of customizable templates that are designed to be mobile-responsive.
- Marketing tools: Weebly provides a range of built-in marketing tools, including SEO optimization, email campaigns, and social media integration.
- E-commerce store: Weebly hosts and helps design e-commerce stores, allowing users to sell products directly from their websites. As an e-commerce store, Weebly gives you access to sales, analytics, and marketing capabilities.
Personal- $10 per month
Professional- $12 per month
Performance- $26 per month
6. Other notable mentions
Choose a Website Platform That Works for You
Choosing the right website platform is important because it determines how good your website looks and efficiently it functions. Whether you choose Webflow, Squarespace, Weebly, or any other website builder, what's important to keep in mind is that your website is a reflection of your brand and your business. By investing in a platform that provides you with the right tools, you can establish a strong online presence and connect with your audience in a meaningful way.
So take the time to research your options, test different platforms, and choose the one that aligns with your vision. The right website platform should enable you to create a website that stands out from the crowd and helps succeed.
Lastly, It is worth mentioning that Dossier Labs was built on Webflow!