So, it’s time to invest in a website, but with so many different options available, which should you choose?
If you don’t have much time at your disposal and you don’t have technical or design knowledge, you may want to invest in professional web design. Unfortunately, some business owners have had bad experiences with developers.
Whether an unscrupulous designer deliberately set out to break a client’s trust, or whether there was a miscommunication over the terms of the agreement or simply undue expectations, these things happen.
That’s why it is important to consider your options carefully, ask all the questions you need answered, and deal with a professional with excellent references.
Here Are The Pros & Cons of Popular Website Design Platforms & How to Choose
It’s impossible to cover all the different design platforms and website builders available today, so we will just look at a few of the most popular options.
Arguably the most popular option at the moment, Wix is a free platform which hosts more than 109 million websites and almost 3 million paying subscribers. The platform offers 500+ professional looking templates and a drag and drop interface and helpful tutorials.
The free plan does show visible advertising to your visitors, but you can pay to upgrade.Upgraded plans range from $5-$25 a month. If you want to change your template, you will have to rebuild your content, which can become a hassle for a new business owner settling into their brand. Although the sites are indexable and crawlable by search engines, the page URL structure is not attractive.
Weebly has more than forty million users, and the website builder is minimalistic and easy to use. They regularly add new mobile responsive templates and offer 40+ pre-designed web page layouts. Although their designs have not been as sophisticated as Wix, they are certainly improving. If you have coding experience, you can modify the code to enable more styling options.
Plans start from $8 a month to $49 a month.
If you’re a confident coder/designer, you can host your own site using WordPress.org software. All you need is to buy a domain (approximately $10) and hosting (from $3 a month). You can use one of the dozens of free themes provided, or buy a premium theme. You will also have access to thousands of different free and premium plugins to customize your site to suit your exact requirements.
WordPress.com offers a range of options that must not be confused with WordPress.org.
You can get a free website (yourdomain.wordpress.com) with free limited templates, or you can opt for one of the paid options ranging from $4-$24.92 a month, billed annually. The free package is fine for a personal blog, but if you run a business, you should definitely opt for a paid option instead.
The paid packages offer a range of benefits, such as custom domain names, essential Jetpack features, support, different levels of themes and customization options, storage, and the ability to remove ads. The two bigger packages allow you to monetize your site, which is crucial for any serious business owner.
The Business package is ideal for business sites, as it allows you to:
- Install third-party themes and plugins.
- Integrate Google Analytics.
- Attend live courses.
- Access SEO tools.
In addition, you can remove all WordPress.com branding.
Yes, you can get a decent-looking site for cheap or even free. But there’s more to a website than just a beautiful design.
- Quality content
- Premium features
All of these are crucial elements of a quality, functional website.
If you want a professional business website, we highly recommend that you opt for one of the premium WordPress.com options that allow for maximum customization and design flexibility. Working with a professional will ensure that you receive a site that meets current best practices, and it will give you peace of mind, knowing that you have a secure site.
Need help choosing a web design platform? Get in touch with us today.