How to: Choose a Website Platform

With an increasing amount of website options – small business owners can get lost in the land of misinformation and misdirection. There are:

Squarespace, WordPress, WIX, Go Daddy Web Builder,
Webnode, Host Gator

Just to name a few. So how do you choose which platform is the best for your business? Here are the main questions to ask yourself to get started or revamp your existing site.

How customized do you need it?
Who is going to be maintaining it / adding most of the content?
Will it need to grow with you?

How customized do you need it?

When creating your website from scratch or investing in a big update – you want to think about how customized you need it to be. This can be simple customization such as backgrounds, patterns, interactive video elements all the way to – GIF buttons, custom IG feeds, expansive menus… etc.

If you haven’t already noticed – a lot of websites have a common theme. And that isn’t a bad thing. Visitors are intuitive when it comes to navigating websites, and using a popular theme and layout can help the visitor know where to go and how to work your site. For this type of website you can get away with Squarespace and WIX.

If your brand is outside the box or you know you’re looking for extra fancy features like calendars that you can update from your smart phone, e-commerce stores that sync to your existing POS and super custom font packages – you really need to have more options available at your fingertips. WordPress can deliver high customization as there are an endless amount of add-on plugins that can transform your website from ordinary to 100% you.

Who is going to be maintaining it?

The next question you want to consider is – who is going to be maintaining your website? When talking about maintenance there are a few elements to consider. This could be manually maintaining all updates on your site and hosting to swapping out photos, placing new offers, and adding in your blog posts.

Depending on the phase of your business (launch, 1-3 years, 3+) you may have different priorities.

For those who simply do not have the time or energy to spend on their website and are looking to delegate this maintenance out. You can hire a company to provide monthly updates for as low as $300. One of the main benefits to this is that you’ll be able to have a more customized website because you can rest assured that you know that you don’t have to know the ins and outs of the site because someone will be doing it for you!

For those who simply do not have the extra cushion in their budget to afford a website team. This will highly impact the kind of website that you should create. We would recommend staying with the DIY platforms like Squarespace, WIX or Go Daddy Web Builder. All of which are drag and drop friendly.

Will your website need to grow with you?

The last question to ask yourself is – will your website need to grow with you? This can get a little dreamy – but I want you to stop and think of where your business is right now and where it’s going to be in five years. The truth is that you really need room to grow.

A lot of small business owners that we’ve worked with, started their website very simple and small and then ended up having to pay even more to transfer their site and essentially build it over again from scratch.

This is particularly true if you’re going to have heavy blog content on your website.

So just ask yourself, what will my website be in 5 years and then work backwards to see how close you can get to it today while staying within your skill set and budget.

If you still have questions about your site or where to get started – contact us and we’d love to take a look.

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