Which platform should you build your website on?

Your website is the digital face of your business. It can be tricky to find out which platform suits you best. Should you go for a quick and easy constructor option? Or should you go for more customization and code your website?

In our time working in digital marketing, we have come across a wide variety of questions from business owners about the websites. Which platform suits best for a simple e-commerce website? What about ease of use? Or customization?

We hope to make this decision a bit easier for you and review several popular platforms, their benefits, and disadvantages. Based on our experience, we came up with some recommendations for you.

WordPress

The most popular CMS system out there - out of 10 million top websites, 43% use it. This is the most popular website constructor out there. It allows for a great deal of flexibility. Through its plugins, you get access to almost infinite customization. For a small business owner, chances are that it will have all the functionality you may need. The con of the platform is that while it’s quite easy to do the basics, things can get pretty complicated with more customization.

Here is an example of the website we built on WordPress.

Who is WordPress suited for?

  • Ecommerce
  • Blogs
  • Businesses requiring a sufficiently high level of customization

Who is WordPress not suited for?

  • People who don’t have support for the website or are not willing to get their hands dirty with all the nitty-gritty details of the platform. Otherwise, your website, even if it was built well in the beginning, can and will crash eventually.

Webflow

This is the platform we chose to build our website on. Webflow is a great platform for design-minded individuals among us, it supports a wide array of visually stunning effects and tools to make your design stand out. Further, it operates as a SaaS - meaning that, unlike with WordPress, your website hosting, security, and website performance are taken care of. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about plugin updates, making it easier to maintain the website.

EDGEncy website was built on Webflow.

Who is Webflow suited for?

  • Users for whom design is of utmost importance.
  • Users who don’t have a lot of resources for the website support

Who is Webflow not suited for?

  • Although Webflow does offer e-commerce solutions, they are not as strong as WooCommerce from WordPress.
  • If you have zero experience with web design, the platform's interface can be quite difficult.

Shopify

This easy-to-use platform is made specifically for e-commerce. It has an intuitive interface which makes it easy to set up your store without much technical expertise. The system is well optimized for e-commerce purposes, taking care of your payment, shipments, and delivery terms all in one place. However, if you require a more specific design, it will be challenging to implement.

This website is built on Shopify.

Who is Shopify suited for?

  • E-commerce brands
  • Less tech-savvy people

Who is Shopify not suited for?

  • Users who require a lot of customization

Squarespace

This platform is certainly the easiest one to use on the list. It requires neither design nor web development experience - you simply pick a theme and adjust to your needs very easily. This is also a con of the platform - once you have picked a platform, you cannot deviate much from it. In addition, you cannot build sites with complicated navigation and will have to deal with a low load speed. And the biggest issue in our opinion - there is no preview for your changes. Speaking about unnecessary stress using a simple platform!

Who is Squarespace suited for?

  • Simple, clear websites
  • Users who intend to maintain the website themselves

Who is Squarespace not suited for?

  • Complicated websites

Custom code

If after reading about the platforms above you still feel like none of them is the right solution for your business, perhaps you should opt for a custom-coded website. This way, the only sky's the limit for your creativity. The most complicated technical solutions can be implemented with the help of custom code. However, this will also bring up the costs of development substantially. Hence, it may not be the best-suited option for a new business.

Who is a custom-coded website suited for?

  • Technically sophisticated websites with a large traffic
  • Free (and technically sophisticated) spirits who don’t want to be constrained by the limitations of any platform

Who is a custom-coded website not suited for?

  • Users on a budget
  • Businesses that don’t have a designated developer for website maintenance and regular updates

Conclusion

No one platform is fundamentally better than the other. Choosing the right one depends on your business needs and goals. Before selecting the platform for your website, it’s important to evaluate your business goals. What is the main goal of your website? Do you intend to use it mainly as a business card? Then a simple editor such as Squarespace would do. Or do you intend to showcase your expertise in the form of blog posts? Then WordPress or Webflow would be a better fit. Or maybe your main goal is online sales? Then it’s best to opt for an e-commerce focused platform, such as Shopify or WooCommerce for WordPress.

Thinking about your requirements first will help you to identify which platforms suit your specific needs the best. If you still feel lost about which solution is the right fit for you, we would be happy to help you with that. Our team has vast experience developing beautiful and well-functioning websites on each of these platforms, so we will be happy to help you make a decision!