With so many website platforms in the market, choosing the right website platform for your business can be confusing and time-consuming. This article will help you get clear on what you need and what to look for when picking the right one for you.
I won’t be putting you to sleep by comparing the platforms (WordPress, Joomla, Shopify and Squarespace (just to name a few)) but rather looking at things to consider, working out your requirements and factoring in the cost.
1. What do you want from your website
Don’t just look at what you need right now (e.g. three pages of content). Take into consideration, where you want to be in five years’ time and what functionality you might need.
Think about whether you will need an online store, integration with your systems, how many products and pages you might need, if you want people to subscribe to your newsletter and whether you want to have different languages of content.
You don’t want to be moving from one platform to another in 12 months time because that can be costly, time consuming and may require some down time.
2. Email marketing
If you want to email your potential and current clients you need to consider which email marketing options are compatible with your website platform. You want them to be able to subscribe from your website and be piped through to your email marketing software so you can email them.
Some website platforms may limit you to one or two options, or it may be an extra cost to pipe them through or have email marketing. So check it out and factor in the cost. All the extras add up and if you are sticking to a budget you should factor these things in.
Email automation and nurturing your email list by sharing content, news and special offers are important for growing your business. It’ll also save you time.
3. Analytics tools
You need analytics tools, full stop. Analytics reports will show you how many people visit, what countries they visit from, how they found your website, what pages they visit and how long they spend on your website.
All this information is important when looking at who your potential and actual clients are and how they interact with your website. It tells you what interests them and if your content is working.
Google Analytics is a free, and great tool available for some platforms like WordPress. Shopify and Wix may have their own tools but check for fees and its capability.
4. SEO capability
Look at what SEO capabilities the platform has, or is this an add-on that costs extra too? All the add-ons can add up. With WordPress, you can add free plug-ins (like Yoast SEO & All In One SEO) and it can also connect to Google Search Console so you can track things.
You want to be able to add keywords in your website/plugin to boost your ranking for example in the:
- website description
- image descriptions (also known as Alt Text)
- page descriptions and much more…
And to submit a sitemap to Google. Some simple and effective SEO things to tick off the list but that can cost extra.
5. Hosting vs managed hosting
Shopify, Wix and Weebly look after your hosting for you, which some people love, but it comes at a cost. You don’t want to be moving your website from one platform to another, so chose wisely and do your research.
If you are considering using WordPress, you will need a web hosting company, like SiteGround and VentraIP, you can purchase your domain (web address) and host your website with them. Some web developers will set all this up for you and maintain it at a cost.
Tips when picking a web hosting provider:
– ensure your website has an SSL certificate (it’s a security certificate) – this can be an extra charge with some providers
– your website is backed up regularly (in case it crashes)
– you have free email (so you have a professional email address), for example, firstname.lastname@example.org. Some domain and web hosting companies consider this an extra.
That’s all for now.
As you have guessed, to pick a website platform you have a few things to consider, and some costs to factor in. And if you don’t consider these things to being with then you might find you have to move your website from one platform to another which can cost you time, money and you will have some downtime.
If you have any questions about which platform suits your needs, feel free to contact me. I may not build websites but I have been involved with lots of website builds. manage my own websites and have experience in this area. It can feel daunting so reach out and we can talk about your options.