Choosing the Right Website Builder

Sep 9, 2023 | Web Design

Hey guys, it’s your girl Adrian M White aka Brand with AMW and I’m here today for another weekly Brand & Convert Chat and Chew. This is your chance to take a quick snack or lunch break and learn about all things branding and web design with a marketing spin. Get your notebooks out because I have some juicy content to share.

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Website builders are a perfect solution for individuals and small businesses to start a website without hiring a developer. However, finding the best website builder can be tricky for beginners. There are so many website builders on the market, how do you know which one is the right solution for you?

Today I’m going to be talking about my top 4 favorite website builders, the pros and cons of each, and how to choose the best one for you.

So there are a lot of different website builders out. Honestly, any of them could get the job done to help you launch a site but we don’t just want any site. We want a professional and attention-getting site that brings in leads. So it’s important that whichever site builder you use gets you that.

Before you begin searching for your perfect builder make sure you have your website navigation already written out, your brand style guide completed including your logo, color scheme, and fonts, great imagery that follows your brand standards, and conversion-focused copywriting. Check out my copywriting and brand style guide videos to get started with this.

Ok, so now you have all those other pieces in place. It’s time to pick a website builder. Generally, you will pay anywhere from $100-30 per year on a website builder and hosting. Both of these tools are required for you to launch a site and many sites include them both in your subscription. I am going to talk about 4 platforms today, Squarespace, Wix, Shopify, and WordPress.org. For the first 3, you can go directly to their site and get the builder and hosting in one. For the last one, WordPress.org, you will need to go to a hosting provider like Siteground.com to purchase your WordPress hosting subscription. I’ll include a link in the description for you to purchase all 4.

So let’s get into these platforms. The first one is Squarespace.

Pros:

  • Their website templates are dope
  • The sites are fairly easy to create and customize
  • They have an e-commerce plan which allows you to add an online store to your site

Cons

  • Limited integrations with third-party services can be a hurdle in growing your business.
  • Their e-commerce plans only allow Stripe, Apple Pay, and PayPal for payment processing. You cannot add additional payment gateways.

Wix

Pros:

  • Tons of templates
  • dozens of free and paid apps that you can install on your website. These apps allow you to add new features and functionality to your website
  • They have free plans if you want to try them before you buy, don’t use this as your main site because you can’t customize your domain

Cons:

  • Free and Connect Domain plans will show Wix branded ads on your website. You’ll need to upgrade to their Combo or Unlimited plan to remove those ads.
  • If you ever decide to move your website away from Wix, then you will find it quite complicated to do so.

Shopify

 Pros:

  • Built primary for online stores and e-commerce websites
  • It offers an integrated payment solution called Shopify Payments which lets you accept credit cards. You can also add third-party payment gateways to accept payments.
  • As an e-commerce website builder, Shopify comes with full inventory management, unlimited products, powerful stats, and easy marketing solutions, all neatly wrapped under one roof.
  • They also offer in-store POS, which allows you to sell products at your location while accepting all credit cards and taking advantage of Shopify’s inventory, shipping, marketing, and stats management tools.

Cons:

  • If you are just starting out, then you may find Shopify’s pricing a bit higher than some other website builders on this list.
  • If you ever want to move your website away from Shopify, you will find it quite difficult to do so.

WordPress.org

WordPress.org (also known as self-hosted WordPress) is the world’s most popular website building platform. Over 39% of all websites on the internet are powered by WordPress. There are two versions of WordPress available. There is self-hosted WordPress.org and WordPress.com. We do not recommend WordPress.com due to its limited functionality and will be talking about WordPress.com only.

Pros:

  • WordPress gives you complete control over every aspect of your website and online presence. It can be used to build any kind of website. For example, an eCommerce storecommunity forums, a social network, a membership website, a simple website, a landing page, and more.
  • There are thousands of high-quality pre-made WordPress themes that you can use for your website’s design. It also has amazing drag and drops page builders like SeedProdBeaver Builder, and Divi which allow you to easily create your own page layouts using a drag-and-drop editor.
  • You’ll also get access to more than 58,000 free WordPress plugins. These are like apps for WordPress that add additional features and functionality to your website such as a shopping cart, contact forms, google analytics, photo gallery, social media tools, live chat, CSS customization, etc.
  • It also comes with powerful SEO tools that search engines love, and this ensures your website will always get the highest rankings in search engines.

Cons:

  • You will have to manage your own website, which means you will need to familiarize yourself with a new system. This slight learning curve is easily overcome by most users, but it does feel a bit difficult in the beginning.
  • Some of the plugins (third-party apps) require a fee to receive the full functionality
  • You will also have to keep up with WordPress updates, plugin updates, and create backups.

Our Pick

WordPress.org – For all the reasons above, WordPress is the #1 website builder and content management system for business owners, bloggers, web developers, and web designers and you get a great bang for your buck!

If you need help building a website or need some advice on the direction to take, feel free to book a complimentary brand strategy session with me at www.uniquebrandsthatconvert.com.

That’s it for today, I hope you found this information helpful. Comment below with any questions and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at Brandwithamw for more entrepreneur advice and a look into my everyday life.

Wishing you much success and good juju.

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We are a boutique branding, web design and marketing consulting firm in the Washington, DC Area, specializing in beautiful brands and websites that convert for female service-based business owners. Learn More