Launching your business is an exciting time with lots of decision to be made. What is your name going to be? What will your brand look like? And ultimately, how will you build your website?
Each decision is important because poor decisions can be costly down the road. Due to their short learning curve, and minimal upfront costs, all-inclusive website builders such as Squarespace and Wix are increasing in popularity. While WordPress is a fairly easy platform to build on, it can be intimidating in the beginning because there are more choices and flexibility. In addition to building a website, or having one built, you'll have to choose a hosting company and integrate outside plugins and themes. But, as with most things in life though, you really do get what you pay for and a bit more effort can result in significantly increased results.
It’s no secret that I love WordPress. All the websites I build and design are in WordPress. I’m not a WordPress groupie, I swear. In fact, I’ve seen some wonderful websites that were built in Squarespace and Wix. If you’re not planning on growing your business and want a simple, temporary landing page, then an all-inclusive builder is a great choice. For business branding, growth, and scaling, here are the reasons I recommend WordPress:
#1 Design Flexibility
Squarespace and Wix have a limited number of templates to choose from. Same thing for plugins. This makes your design choices limited. WordPress is a crowd sourced platform that has over 27,000 free templates and 33,000 free plugins. In addition, you can find online tutorials for any feature or function you desire making your design choices limited only by your imagination.
As mentioned above, WordPress has over 33,000 free plugin options and countless paid plugin options. Maybe you’ll want to add affiliate marketing or online courses in the future. Maybe you’ll franchise in the future and have a need for a directory on your website. With WordPress, you simply find the right plugin and you’ve added a new revenue stream or a new feature.
#3 Content Portability
Creating a website takes time. It’s not just a matter of cutting and pasting content onto a page. You have to build and design each page. Anyone who has ever built a website or a blog knows the amount of time it takes to get a page to look just the way you like it. Once it looks good, you need to optimize the content so you can be found on search engines.
Squarespace and Wix have limits on what content you can download for use on another URL. Even then, the tools that are available to migrate a site are unreliable and in most cases, websites have to be migrated manually. That means if you have 50 blog posts on Wix or Squarespace, you'll need to redo them if you decide to upgrade to Wordpress later on.
With WordPress, if you outgrow your hosting company or just want to make a change, you simply make a copy of your website and upload it to the new hosting company. You can literally move an entire website to a new server in less than 20 minutes.
Are you going to sell something online? A product or a service? Then you’ll eventually need an online store. With all-inclusive website builders, eCommerce is limited. For instance, Squarespace only allows you to integrate with Stripe or PayPal for payment processing. Since Strip is only available in select countries, this limits your prospective customer base. PayPal has a $5,000 transfer limit, so once you hit the big time, PayPal will hold onto your money for 10-21 days.
Wix has more payment options, but the other issues surrounding their platform still makes WordPress the better choice.
WordPress allows you to integrate and use any payment processor or platform you want. Paypal, Stripe, Square, eChecks. You name it, and there’s a plugin to integrate with your online store.
Additionally, Squarespace has a limit on how many products you can sell within the plans that are offered. With Wordpress, the sky’s the limit. Want to sell 2,000 products? You got it.
SEO is my passion. I want to shout from the rooftops and educate the masses on why SEO is sooooo important and why ignoring it will cost you significantly. What good is a beautiful website if your customers can’t find you?
SEO with all-inclusive platforms is extremely limited. You’re using their servers so you will never have the ability to optimize your website’s load time. The only improvement you’ll be able to make for speed optimization is image optimization. Other than that, you have no control.
A great source for SEO is image optimization. The name you give your images is important for keyword ranking. Squarespace renames every image you upload. That means if you upload an image that has a search engine optimized file name Squarespace renamed it to something not friendly to search engines in any way shape or form
If you’re publishing your blog on Wix, you won’t be able to set your own titles and descriptions for your post. They are auto-generated, which means they may not be optimized for your niche. Other concerns include the use of “#” in the URL. You can’t change this according to Web Enso, the use of the # affects your indexability on search engines.
Once again, WordPress has countless SEO tutorials and options for optimal on page optimization.
I’m a visual person, so I like to use visual images when explaining things. In the case of what makes WordPress different than an all-inclusive website builder, I’m reminded of a story that I learned in church as a small child. I don't remember the entire story, but I remember the line "A wise man builds his house upon a rock and a foolish man builds his house upon the sand."
While building your website in an all-inclusive builder is quicker and initially cheaper, it is not the stable choice and in the end will end up costing you more time and money than if you take the time to invest in a more solid choice for a website platform.
If you’re goal is to grow, to scale and you want flexibility, searchability, and portability, then WordPress is the best choice, the solid choice.
What about platforms such as Etsy, LeadPages and ClickFunnels?
Again, it comes back to your brand. Your website is your brand and with these platforms you do not own the URL, they do. One piece of the “Google Puzzle” for ranking is the age and authority of your domain. When you’re building your reputation using someone else’s URL, you are building their brand, not yours. Any links that you get to your website, increases their online presence, not yours. Putting a bit more time and energy into building the features you want with your own URL/domain on the right platform will pay off tenfold the long run.
I hope you found this post helpful. If there is a topic that you'd like more information on or would like to see me write about, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking to hire a website designer?
Be sure to read the “Checklist of Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Website Designer.”