As a small business owner, there’s so much to handle. From regular day-to-day tasks to long-term plans (not to mention those unplanned fires you need to put out along the way), your hands are pretty full. One thing that shouldn’t create more unnecessary work for you is your business’s website, which is why it’s important to choose carefully when selecting from the vast array of hosting platform options out there. Each has its own set of strengths—and the features that might work great for your colleague’s business might not mesh well with your own goals, so doing your research is key.
Below we have outlined the basics for some of the most popular website platforms (in no particular order) to get you started.
Great for E-Commerce. If you’re looking for a platform to showcase your online store, Shopify is the strongest choice. Fully customizable, Shopify allows you to create an online shopping experience that perfectly reflects your brand, starting with the ability to use your very own domain name. The platform allows you the flexibility to sell from virtually anywhere, including web, mobile, social media and even physical brick-and-mortar stores and pop-up shops. You'll also have access to a variety of pre-made templates that are user-friendly to customize. And if you're ready to go the extra mile, you can create your own template too!
Another aspect we love about Shopify is that you not only have control over the look, but you have complete control over your products, inventory, shipping and more. In what seems like seconds, you can have a new product added without any complicated coding structure. Not to mention, they also have a great tool for SEO purposes too!
In addition, Shopify uses cloud-based technology, so you won’t be tied down to software upgrades or server maintenance issues. Pricing plans start at $29/month.
Build your brand while looking beautiful. Squarespace has a lot of stellar features, but one of the big ones is its library of gorgeous, trendy template designs that are certain to help your brand put its best foot forward. This is perfect when you are first starting out and need to get something up quick.
But Squarespace isn’t just about aesthetics. This all-in-one platform has everything you need as your business grows, including domains, e-commerce, appointment scheduling, blogging, SEO and social media tools, email marketing, video making and so much more. And the plus side? They are listening to what is needed and always adding more to offer! Pricing plans start at $12/month.
Get your website up quick with a user-friendly builder. If you’re just beginning to dip your toe into creating an online presence for your brand, or need to get something up yesterday, Wix is definitely worth taking a look at. It’s known for being easy to use and is great for small businesses, personal brands, start-ups and more.
Wix’s drag-and-drop design feature is consistently listed as a customer favorite, along with its extensive customization options—even if you have zero experience building a website, you’ll be able to confidently create just what you need on Wix. Not to mention, they are constantly adding new development tools to allow you to truly customize your site exactly how you want it to look. From the simple editor to viewing the site in desktop vs mobile, Wix is always on the top of our list for partners who want their website now. Pricing plans start at about $12/month.
The classic option that's great if you know about coding. With Wordpress, the sky is pretty much the limit when it comes to creating the perfect custom site for your business. You can do just about anything—if you know how. In a nutshell, the best way for you to get the most out of your Wordpress site is if you or one of your employees has some experience with coding. Or, of course, partnering with a Wordpress developer who can bring your vision to life.
The platform has a ton of templates to get you started at a low cost, and while it’s not exactly the most user-friendly option on this list, Wordpress definitely allows you the freedom to create whatever it is that you want. It's important to mention that you can use simple builders such as Elementor or Fusion to assist in the structure of your site. But, 99% of the time, we'd recommend outsourcing a site built on Wordpress to a pro so you can ensure your site is perfect. Pricing plans start at $4/month.
Choose What's Best for You
Bottom line, no matter the size of your business, the amount of website-building experience you may have, or how unique your needs may be, there is definitely an online platform option out there that will work for you. What’s more, you don’t have to do it alone—the Careiginal Designs team is experienced in putting together the perfect website for your business on the platform that we know will best suit your needs.
If you aren’t quite sure where to begin, if you need some extra support, or if you’re looking to do a total overhaul, get in touch and let us help your brand shine online!