We’ve said it time and time again, the website is the foundation of any business in today’s mobile world. One of the most critical questions a new business owner is faced with is How To Choose The Best Platform To Build Your Website On From WordPress to Shopify and More. Each platform offers different functionality and benefits from design to SEO to functionality to user experience, and so much more. Choosing the wrong platform can cost a new business time and money if it is not an informed, well thought out decision.
In this episode we have grouped content management system (CMS) candidates into three groups and discuss the strengths of each.
1. Weebly, Wix, & Squarespace – These CMS platforms don’t require the need to code meaning anyone can go in and start creating a website for their new business. They have very large code bases to support their robust drag and drop editors, meaning they are clunky and difficult for major search engines to navigate. SEO options are limited on these platforms. Although advances have been made to include the ability to edit critical SEO components, many remain unavailable and the code base is not accessible to add them, meaning your competitors who are running on WordPress or Shopify will already have an advantage. These platforms have made an effort to integrate commerce systems into their websites which is great for users who are just starting out, however the platforms are limited in their organic reach potential, not capable of being customized, and not very scalable to grow as your demand grows. These platforms provide free themes, but customization to improve overall user experience (UX) is limited to the visual editors capabilities as the code base cannot be fully accessed on this type of CMS.
2. WordPress – This platform provides full-access to the code base and is used by many Fortune 500 companies to present their brand to consumers on the web. Minor coding knowledge is required to maximize the overall design that the free and paid themes have to offer when first starting. A theme can be built completely custom from the ground up on this platform which is why many marketing & web development companies provide designs to their customers before building the site (if they do not, they are probably utilizing a generic theme). With the Yoast and similar plugins, businesses can leverage full SEO implementation when building their site. Outside of the coast plugin, Meta data, hierarchy, internal linking, Schema markup, and much more can be generated to maximize visibility and improve positioning in major search engine results pages. With a proper initial build, WordPress websites can be fully scalable by developing post types and posts to dynamically display in various locations across the website. This allows for efficient coding, minimizing the base, and making the website more navigable by major search engines in addition to promoting a more consistent design.
3. Shopify – Shopify is the world’s number 1 commerce platform and is used by both enterprise level and small businesses alike. Shopify provides full access to the code base. They provide free themes are the option to create a theme completely from scratch as does WordPress. Minor coding knowledge is a plus to maximize the website’s usability and aesthetic appeal, but is not required. SEO is slightly more limited than that of WordPress when using the platform out-of-the-box, but with the help of a developer or marketing agency, full SEO is achievable. Shopify is the world’s favorite CMS to integrate with for marketing, meaning there are thousands of marketing tools at your disposal making it a developer and marketing company favorite. Shopify does not allow the ability to use global components across multiple templates, meaning the content within the component is local to the component itself and not the template making it difficult to scale the informational side of the website.
If you are a small business establishing a proof of concept and are willing to build a website yourself, and are not worried about its organic online presence, using a DIY builder like Weebly, Wix, & Squarespace may be in the cards for you. If you are looking to build a foundation for your business to drive traffic and promote more leads/conversions, get in touch with a developer or marketing agency and see how a WordPress or Shopify website can be built and customized to your goals!