Let's talk all things Wordpress, Wix, Squarespace and Shopify!
The age old debate - which web design platform is best? Let's get started!
In 2022, there are a huge range of options when it comes to building your own website. Every man and their dog has created a DIY website builder and whilst there's certainly some great ones, there's also a few we'd avoid.
So you're thinking of building your website and you've seen the glossy ads from Squarespace flashing across YouTube ads. You've probably also seen Wix on your social timeline with both their classic 'Editor' and the new 'Editor X'. Then there's Shopify who have somewhat reduced their advertising post-pandemic and of course the OG web platform, WordPress.
You're probably wondering how to even begin choosing a platform, right? Here's a tip - each and every one of the platforms mentioned will enable you to create a similar end result, for example an online shop. However, they will each go about it in very different ways.
If you didn't know, our Suffolk web design team are actually Wix Partners. That means we are chosen by Wix as professionals who know their way aroudn the platform and produce great websites. However, we should say that in no way is this blog post endorsed or affiliated with Wix. That means you'll get our honest feedback!
Wix is quickly becoming one of the largest online platforms for businesses as they not only offer a great website design platform but a huge range of bolt ons such as e-mail marketing, social media scheduling, logo creator and more. It's essentially a 'one stop shop' for small businesses.
The Wix website builder is called the 'Editor'. They're also rolling out their new 'Editor X' which features more CSS and design control for incredibly responsive websites.
The Wix Editor is a great way to build you own website as they have 100s of beautiful templates ready to roll. You can use apps such as Wix Stores, Wix Booking and even Wix Hotels to build a site that suits your needs. Once your website is built, you can use tools such as Wix SEO Wiz which will help you to optimise your pages for search engines and even submit your new site directly to Google for crawling.
Whilst Wix has some fantastic out-of-the-box templates, they very quickly start to fall apart when an novice user starts adding their logo, text and other content. Because the Wix Editor allows for complete drag and drop ability, it can leave sites in a real mess as elements are shifted outside of gridlines and placed incorrectly.
If you need to get a basic site up and running quickly, Wix has all the tools you need. However, we'd recommend getting a web designer to build your site on the platform first and then make use of all the add-ons and apps after.
If you're in need of a web design team in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, or anywhere in the U.K. - contact us today.
The marketing team at Squarespace certainly spend money like it's running out of fashion! All jokes aside, you'll almost certainly have seen their glossy ads on TV and YouTube, often featuring internet influencers and celebrities as they talk of how easy it was to setup their online shop and how much they love the platform.
Similar to Wix, the platform is branching out to offer social media integration and more e-commerce options and they tend to evolve rather than revolutionise their offering as the years go by.
The Squarespace editor is possibly the easiest product to use out of all the one's we will mention today. It's really intuitive and works in blocks - you drag the element you'd like into the container and Squarespace takes care of the responsive nature of the website, making sure everything looks as it should across all devices.
Sure, it's the easiest to get the hang of if you're a novice. However, our MD at Dimension Creative, Kieran, often refers to Squarespace as the 'control freaks' of the web builders. Here's why - whilst the use of containers and grids is useful when you're trying to create a professional website that translates across various screen sizes, it becomes incredibly frustrating when you're an advanced user and want to change simple things such as the footer blocks. It's just a little too restrictive if you want to get creative.
If you're looking to build a website that stands out from the crowd, we would personally recommend Wix as it allows for complete creative control with minimal coding. Check out our work here.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses were forced to re-think their sales methods with many launching online stores to supplement their trading and open up new ways of working. Shopify invested heavily during this period when it came to their marketing spend as small businesses were desperate to get online quickly.
Shopify is primarily aimed at e-commerce websites and does the best job out of all the platforms mentioned at it. The clue is in the name - their goal is to enable businesses to launch and maintain an online shop with ease whilst also providing the best suite of e-commerce tools available, if they should be needed.
As mentioned, Shopify really is the best suited to online commerce. By no means does that mean that Wix and Squarespace can't compete, it just means that Shopify's range of tools and features make it the best for selling digitally, whether you're a boutique or multi-national corporation.
Their templates and themes are well thought out and enable you to get up and running relatively quickly with little knowledge of the platform.
Similar to Squarespace, Shopify isn't too keen on users messing around with its beautiful templates. Whilst that's good for novice users, you'll need some coding knowledge if you want to get creative. Their pricing plans are a little stingey too - other website building software allows for trials but Shopify limits you more than other builders.
It wouldn't be an article on web design if we didn't mention WordPress!
In years gone by, WordPress was the only solution if you wanted a professional, fully-loaded website. It's not strictly a website builder but rather a web platform that allows a developer to build from the ground up. In recent years though, platforms such as Wix and Squarespace are gaining popularity due to their lower cost of entry and maintenance.
WordPress is the only solution if you want complete control over every aspect of your website. From design to development to hosting, the platform is completely adaptable and you own every inch of your creation. With add-ons such as Elementor now in the mix, WordPress is becoming more accessible for designed-focussed professionals and prosumers.
Let's be honest - there's a LOT that can go wrong with WordPress. As it's an open-source platform that relies upon various 3rd party components (such as hosting and security), things can very quickly become challenging to manage and costly too. In our experience, 95% of website projects can easily be created on a platform such as Wix which takes care of all the patching, updates and security for you. Sure, you may not have complete control over things such as HTML editing and 3rd party hosting but that also means there's less room for error.
In conclusion, it really depends on what your goals are as to which website building platform is best. We've tried to keep our opinions non-bias in this article but ultimately it's up to user preference and skillset that will shape your views on each.