Choosing Your Website Platform

So you want to choose the best website platform for your business without losing your sanity? I got you. I am the biggest overthinker and over-overanalyser if there ever was one so believe me when I tell you this list has been thoroughly thought out and the pros and cons lists have been compared like, a lot.

Navigating countless of platform options can be exhausting, especially when everyone seems to know best and you’re flooded with opinions left right and center. So what should you do next? Well, I recommend reading my honest thoughts below – picking two that you feel most gravitated to, do some more research on both and then just simply pick one.

Why? Because well, as much as I love sharing my opinions with you, they don’t matter. Yes, I’m a web designer and I have used all of these platforms at some point (I didn’t include any that I haven’t tested myself) but honestly? You know your business best and that’s what matters the most. The worst thing to do is putting off your website launch because you’re stuck in analysis paralysis so let’s get this thing going, mmkay?

Showit: The Wonderland of Design

When it comes to flexibility and design freedom, Showit is in my opinion the number one choice. Imagine having a blank canvas where the sky’s the limit and you can create something that completely brings your brand vision to life. (without needing to know how to code!) But it’s not just about aesthetics; Showit integrates seamlessly with WordPress, allowing you to couple its design capabilities with WordPress’s incredible blogging features.

In terms of templates, no other platform compares. Showit templates are some of the best I have seen in the industry. (ahem, check out our bestselling templates in the shop) They’re not just stylish; they’re completely customizable which is necessary to stand out in your industry. I’m also not just referring to our own templates (though they will always be my no. 1 – for obvious reasons), I have worked closely with other top designers in their game who all offer website templates exclusively on Showit.

However, this level of creative freedom comes at a price. Showit is an investment of both time and money. It’s not the most affordable one in this list and it takes a little more time to get the hang of it. You might want to plan a few days of pure template customisation to launch your site. But when you do, it’s so so worth it.

And if you want to hand over the set up and design process completely, you can book one of our VIP Days and continue to work on your business instead. (orrr sip some cocktails and rewatch Gilmore Girls – I don’t judge)

  • Flexibility: Showit shines brightly in its unique blend of user-friendliness and design flexibility. You get creative freedom without the need for complex coding.
  • Integration: Built with creative businesses in mind, Showit beautifully integrates with WordPress for blogging. You get the best of both design and content creation. (and alllll the WordPress plugins on the advanced tier)

Squarespace: A Beginner’s Dream

Squarespace is an incredible starting point for those completely new to the website-building world. It’s an all-in-one platform that simplifies the entire process by offering domain, hosting, and website services under one roof. (perfect for launching fast!) There are a million stylish templates available to choose from. In my opinion though, customizing them can be challenging unless you have some coding skills as the platform offers less design freedom.

On a very positive note, Squarespace offers great value for money, making it accessible for businesses on a budget. Its user interface is designed with simplicity in mind, making it easy for all you non-tech-savvies to create a functional and attractive website.

  • All-in-One: Squarespace is a one-stop-shop offering domain, hosting, and platform services, making it straightforward for beginners.
  • Templates: It offers a range of stylish templates, though I personally find these somewhat restrictive in design alterations without knowing how to code.

Shopify: The E-Commerce Empire

If your business revolves around selling products, Shopify is hard to beat. It lives and breathes e-commerce, offering a suite of insanely powerful tools to help you build an online store. Shopify also has an extensive app ecosystem, allowing you to add a wide range of functionalities to your site as and when your business grows.

When it comes to templates, Shopify doesn’t disappoint. They’re designed to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing, ensuring that your online store not only looks good but also converts well. However, this robustness comes at a cost. Shopify’s pricing reflects its comprehensive feature set, making it a more expensive option. (Though their free trial is well worth testing for yourself!) While it is user-friendly, there’s definitely a learning curve, especially if you want to take full advantage of its capabilities. I recommend working with a skilled designer who knows the platform inside and out. (to save you multiple headaches)

  • E-commerce King: If you’re aiming to open an online store with many products, Shopify might be your go-to. Its powerful tools are tailored for e-commerce.
  • App Ecosystem: Shopify’s massive app store allows for countless extensions, though it might be overkill if you’re not focused on selling products. Plus, costs add up quickly so even though it might seem like a budget platform at first, after all the integrations you will have a much bigger monthly bill to take care of.

WordPress: Perfect for blogging. (Showit also works with WordPress for blogging so it’s a win-win)

WordPress is a powerhouse platform that excels in content management. If your blog is your entire business, look no further than a self-hosted WordPress site – I promise. Its flexibility allows you to create a website that can evolve and grow with your business. The platform offers an extensive range of plugins, enabling you to add almost any functionality you can think of.

WordPress also provides a wide variety of themes, both free and premium, giving you plenty of options to choose from. Though custom designing for your brand to truly reflect its magnetism is not for the faint of heart; it offers immense power but can be complicated if you need more than the basics.

I’d say if you plan to make your blog your business, go with a WordPress site and get a template from 17th Avenue to start blogging away. If you’re looking to expand with services, a shop, paid offers or digital products and want a more custom robust site, grab one of our Showit templates, they all come with a WordPress blog so you get the best of both worlds.

  • Powerhouse: WordPress, especially its self-hosted version, is a powerhouse. It’s incredibly flexible but might have a steeper learning curve for non-techies.
  • Extensibility: The high volume of plugins available for WordPress means you can achieve almost any functionality you can dream of.

Wix: Best Budget Find

You probably recognise Wix from the many creative adverts online, it’s a well-balanced platform that offers almost everything in one. They also have a drag-and-drop interface which makes it easy to create a website without the need for coding. However, I personally find it less intuitive and harder to work with than other platforms. Just like Shopify, Wix also has its own app market, allowing you to add various features to your site easily.

The website templates by other designers for Wix are a lot cheaper to start with than most competing platforms since they’re often less robust. But a great starting point if you want to save some money and test the waters with your business first. Overall, Wix is designed for ease of use, making it a solid choice for those who want a straightforward yet versatile platform.

  • All-in-One: Wix has a lot going for them in terms of offering an all round solution to running your business. Where you will likely need extra backend software such as scheduling tools with other platforms, this is all included within Wix itself.
  • Budget Friendly: Because of the above and the many extra features of Wix, it’s an amazing budget friendly platform to start your website on since you get so much for the low monthly fees.

The final verdict?

Here at Studio Designs, we are head over heels for Showit because of its incredible design freedom. All the while having WordPress as our powerhouse for blogging, it’s the best of both worlds. We recommend it for all our clients and design our website templates exclusively on there. They have different tiers for subscriptions and you can get your first month on us with our Showit coupon code ‘studiodesigns’. Always remember though, the best platform for you aligns with both your present goals and future aspirations. For robust e-commerce businesses we will always recommend going with Shopify, and if you’re just starting out in business and want something all-in-one, go with Wix or Squarespace.

Related Articles on Website Tips you might enjoy;

👉🏼 How to Launch a Website in 5 Days
👉🏼 Is Showit Worth it? Our Ultimate Review

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