Recently, I’ve had several people ask me what the difference is between WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, etc and which of these website builders is best. As I was researching this topic and thinking through why you might choose one over the other, I realized you would probably fall in one of these categories:
DIYers Who Are New to Business:
You’re new to the business world or maybe you just have the desire to design your own website. That is great! Especially at the beginning, when you aren’t quite at the point where you can afford a web designer, DIYing your website may not only be desirable but necessary. In this case, I would recommend Squarespace or Wix. These platforms make it easy for do it yourselfers to figure out and they have a mostly all in one platform. They are also fairly inexpensive and fit in the budgets of newbies.
Ready to Scale, but Still DIY:
If you have a bigger budget, but still enjoy having the control of doing it yourself, I’d recommend Kajabi. This is such a cool platform and is ESPECIALLY great for course creators. Like Wix and Squarspace, it is an all-in-one platform, but it’s got a bit more features like the built-in course platform. It also offers email marketing, ecommerce, and more. The caveat with this platform is the price. It starts at $119/month which is quite a bit higher than most other options. However, if you have a high-ticket course and plan to build your site yourself, you can easily make back that money and make this platform totally worth the investment.
Ready to Scale, but You Don’t Want to Build Your Site Yourself:
Your business is already off the ground, you’re busy supporting your clients and have no interest in building your site. Maybe you already have a site you DIYed or paid a cheap freelancer to build. You’ve tried poking around in there, but you want a real website strategy – one that’s going to grow your business. You’ve heard about SEO, blogging, email marketing, and the like, but don’t know where to start.
This is when I’d recommend hiring a designer. This is also when I’d recommend WordPress. Funny thing, WordPress is actually free. However you have to pay for your domain (I recommend Namecheap) and hosting (My go-to is Siteground). So the initial investment is usually under $300/year. But the wonder of WordPress is the themes and plugins. With WordPress being open source, you have companies that focus solely on their plugin.
A theme is the the overall layout and design of your site. Some are more customizable than others. My go-to theme is Divi from Elegant Themes.
A plugin is software that can be uploaded to your website to extend the functionality. For example, a plugin to enhance the security of your site or a plugin to create forms for your visitors to fill out.
For example, a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugin like Yoast is a highly developed, high quality product. Even their free version is top notch. They have a team of developers that work diligently to keep improving this product. When compared to the all-in-one products above, those platforms usually have the same features, but at a lower to medium quality level. With WordPress, you can find the best of the best for each feature you’re looking for. This is why it’s great for growing businesses.
A great analogy to think about is all inclusive resorts vs pay as you go trips.
All inclusive resorts are great! You literally just have to show up and you are fed, entertained, and put up for the week. However, the entertainment might be mediocre, the food is usually not the best you’ve ever had, but you had a great time and the stress of planning was lower.
Then say you booked a “pay as you go” trip. You stayed in a five star resort, ate at your favorite restaurant, and got to see you favorite band in concert. This trip might cost more and there was probably more planning up front, but the end result was a much higher quality.
This is just like WordPress compared to the all-in-one platforms. And here’s the great thing, neither option is wrong! They are both great and have their place! The trick is finding what result you’re looking for.
If you’re looking to grow your business with a web designer who you can partner with on strategy, I’m here to help. Request a quote now or take a look at my Fit + Pricing Guide to see if we’re a good fit to work together on your web design project.