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Which is the best website builder for my business? As a new business you are no doubt eager to get yourself online. You want to be seen by your customers and clients, start selling and making an impact. With so many options and platforms it’s important to ask the following. Which is the best website builder for my business?

 

At Ame Social we manage clients across a whole range of platforms, from Wix and WordPress to less common website platforms like Lodgify. We’ve broken down our top platforms so you can decide which is best suited for your needs.

 

Self hosted or third party hosted?

 

Third party hosting is included with platforms like Wix and Squarespace. They provide an all in one solution and the companies take care of storage and maintenance for you. These often include simple software to build your site with drop and drag functionality. This can make getting your site up and running quick and easy with little ongoing management needed, however there are some drawbacks.

 

Third party hosted sites offer a lot less functionality than self hosted websites. Visually you often have to use pre built templates and it’s often impossible to access the code your site is built on to make any extensive changes. This is how these companies keep their costs low. If you decide you want to use a different platform you’ll have to abandon your site completely and any problems with the provider affecting your site are completely out of your control.

 

Self hosted websites give you a lot more freedom in your website design and functionality. You or your web designer will design your site for you on software such as WordPress. If you can’t manage the site yourself, costs can be a little higher and you may need an external company to do this for you.

What website builders are out there?

WordPress

The king of self hosted websites and our top choice! Over 29% of the online world is built on this platform. WordPress is free and open source and this means maximum customisation for your site. There are thousands of plugins to help you achieve exactly what you want. WordPress can be used for blogs, online shops, membership websites and forums to name but a few.

The downside as a new business is you will have to keep your site and plugins up to date and a little more technical knowledge is required to get rocking and rolling.

Wix

We’ve all heard of Wix, in most part due to their relentless advertising offering a simple web solution to new businesses. This platform is fully hosted so keeps things nice and simple for you. Wix uses easy drag and drop functionality with templates and offers a range of free and paid for apps to add functionality to your site. However functionality and design options are limited compared to that of WordPress.

Wix offers a free plan that can be used to test their website builder but this does not include a domain name which you will need to upgrade for. Their free and cheaper plans add Wix branding to your website which can make it seem less professional. Also, if you ever want to move away from Wix it can be incredibly hard to do so without losing your site and content.

Shopify

Shopify is designed specifically for ecommerce and online stores. If you are looking to sell products online, you’ve probably considered Shopify. Shopify is a fully hosted platform, meaning all of you hosting and updates are managed for you.

Designed as an all in one solution for managing your shop it includes its own payment portal or can be linked to third party payment gateways like Worldpay. It has built in tools for managing your inventory with powerful reporting and marketing tools. Like Wix it has loads of templates so it’s easy to get your site looking great and you’ll never need to code anything!

For a new business shopify can be expensive starting at $29 a month for a basic package, one of the most expensive on the list. If you ever want to move away from Shopify, it can also be hard to keep your site and content and you may have to start from scratch.

Squarespace

Squarespace is another platform worth mentioning. As a self hosted site it takes away the hassle of managing your own site.

This platform allows you to combine multiple templates with a point, click and type approach for easy to build, great looking sites.

As a hosted site Squarespace stands out from the crowd as it offers an ecommerce plan which you can add on to your basic site. This gives you all the tools for managing stock, orders, payments and more. The downside is you are limited to Stripe, Paypal and Apple Pay for your payment gateway. Squarespace is also limited in terms of integrations with third party services.

 

GoDaddy

Godaddy is known for being one of the largest providers of domain dames in the world. Their sites are fully hosted so save you the hassle of having to keep on top of the techy stuff.

One of the stand out features of GoDaddy is that it’s great for creating beautiful image galleries! It’s integrated with Getty which means you have access to beautiful stock images to use on your site.

Go Daddy comes with templates which you can use to design your website and it’s layout, but compared to the others it is the most limited. It has set features and fewer design options.

 

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a fierce competitor to Shopify and there’s some good reasons why! This platform is fully hosted so you know your site is going to stay in tip-top condition with speed, updates and the techy stuff taken care of.

Big Commerce integrates with WordPress. This means you can add loads of rich e-commerce features without compromising on the flexibility and customisation that WordPress offers you. Or, you can use their build in website builder.

Unlike Shopify, Bigcommerce do not charge you for your transactions through payment gateways and integrates with Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, Square, Amazon Pay, Visa Checkout, Chase Pay, Ayden and others.

E-Commerce features includes the standard stuff like inventory management and shipping but has lots of extra features including a dashboard so you can track your sales performance, cart abandonment management and review management tools.

The best website builder – our verdict

Without getting hands on with these platforms it can be hard to know what to go for. One thing is clear, as your business grows you will need more customisation and flexibility for your site. This points to our favourite website platform – WordPress! It can be hard to move your site from a self hosted platform across to WordPress at a later date, so if you’re planning for growth we recommend getting it right the first time. If can take a little longer to get the hang of but there are loads of tutorials and plugins that make your life easier. If your at e-commerce then WordPress will also allows you to integrate BigCommerce – another winner in our books!

Need a hand?

As WordPress experts we are always happy to lend a hand. Whether you need to find a domain name, host a site, or want a beautiful bespoke website built for your business, our friendly team are always on hand to help. Contact us today.

Or, take a look at our Web Design and SEO services. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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