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Choosing the right platform for your website can be a difficult task. With so many options available, it can be hard to know which one is the best for you. In this article, I will compare five of the most popular platforms and help you decide which one is right for you.

Shopify

Shopify is easier to use than WordPress. You don’t need to have an understanding of code, nor do you need to install extra software that allows you to sell online. All the necessary ecommerce features are built-in with Shopify.

PROS

Completely hosted and provides 24/7 technical support for its Shopify themes and templates.

There are numerous stylish, interactive contemporary themes to choose from as well as the ability to tailor-make your own theme.

The easy-to-navigate backend facilitates adding products and other variants while also providing easy tracking of order and fulfillment status, notes and comments. Offers a variety of payment options including PayPal Credit, Stripe, Apple Pay, Visa etc., with a unique shipping and tax calculator included.

A vibrant third-party app store helps you extend your store’s functionality with additional apps such as Shopify Order Assistant (which automates order processing), Shopify Custom Shipping & Tax Calculator (to calculate taxes) etc.

CONS

AMP is only available if you install a paid app on your store.

Other extended SEO features (e.g., adding customer reviews and ratings) can mostly only be used when you pay for the additional plugins.

The cost for Shopify when you include apps is very expensive

Pricing

  • Basic Shopify – $29 per month
  • Shopify – $79 per month
  • Advanced Shopify – $299 per month

Squarespace

Squarespace offers an all-in-one platform for creating nearly any type of website. It’s a fully managed website builder with templates suited for creative people, and you can create a stunning website in just minutes.

If you’re looking for a wide range of features to help build any website, AMP-compatible pages right from the start, and free hosting with no limits on website storage space or bandwidth, then Customize is the perfect platform for you. With dozens of integrations to apps/services and customizing by dragging and dropping entire sections, Customize has everything you need to make your website look professional.

PROS

There are many premade templates available on Squarespace. If you prefer, you can upload your own design. The main appeal of Squarespace is the large selection of premade templates that will make your site look professional in no time at all.

Most Squarespace templates rely on stock photography. This makes it easy to give your template a customized makeover by replacing the stock photographs with your own. The coding is such that most templates will keep your colorization, typography, and responsiveness aligned even if you switch out the photography.

Squarespace’s backend is easy to use. If you’re familiar with WordPress, Blogger, or a similar platform, then you’ll be able to use Squarespace without any difficulty. The admin section is laid out in a way that’s easy to understand even if you’ve never used the builder before – every builder has its own set of learning curves, but Squarespace is one that most people will be able to get grips on relatively easily.

This platform has everything built in, so you don’t have to worry about plugins, widgets, or apps. Everything is included with this builder, including website analytics. That means there are fewer issues troubleshooting a site because something added to it has suddenly become incompatible with a recent update.

When you choose Squarespace, we give you backups and redundancy for your site. We always optimize our hosting so that it’s the best possible fit for your template and site, and our monthly subscription price includes everything you need – a site, hosting, security, and redundancies. So whether things go wrong or your business grows, we have you covered.

CONS

Squarespace is more expensive when paying monthly. Their plans are also limited to one website, and the lower-tier plans may even cap the number of pages or products you’re allowed to have. The annual fee drops the cost to $18 per month if paid upfront.

There are few advanced marketing tools available to website owners. Squarespace provides some basic tools for marketing, but lacks more advanced options. URL redirects are available, but SEO is limited and does not include A/B testing.

Squarespace does not allow third-party apps, plugins, or extensions to be used on its website builder. This makes it difficult for beginners who are unfamiliar with Squarespace to customize their sites the way they want. In addition, any features which do become available for the website builder must be released by Squarespace, which means you have less control over your site’s functionality than on other platforms.

Squarespace is easy to use, but the process of adding or editing content can be time-consuming.

Pricing

  • Personal – $12 per month
  • Business – $18 per month
  • Basic Commerce – $26 per month
  • Advanced Commerce – $40 per month

WIX

Wix is an intuitive website builder that contains most elements required for website-building. You just need to select and drag them around, choose between a few options and you’re almost there.

Wix is a drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor that helps you build personalized websites. It has 500+ design templates to cover any and every type of website, built-in tools to customize design and layout, hassle-free coding for advanced functionality, mobile-friendly and SEO-friendly.

PROS

If you run into an issue with your website, all you need to do is contact Wix and they will provide a solution. There is no time spent hunting down issues or trying to deal with plugins or widgets that may have malfunctioned. You can contact their customer service department via email, phone, or their interactive FAQ page.

Wix takes care of your site security while still keeping the speed high. Their servers are designed to handle sites quickly, so you don’t have to worry about protecting your site’s security.

You can cancel your Wix contract at any time, without penalty. If you want to upgrade from the free option, you only need to pay $5 per month.

The interface is easy to use and looks good. It has all the tools you need right at your fingertips, and you can even customize templates if you upgrade to a premium account.

CONS

The starter plan does not remove ads from your site. To remove the ads, you will need to upgrade to a different monthly plan that costs more than most of the website building competitors out there.

Wix websites must be kept within certain bandwidth and storage limits, even for plans that cost more than regular Wix website plans.

Although the website builder has improved significantly in recent years, there are still limitations to creativity. You can drag and drop items anywhere instead of into locked boxes, but this can be a time-consuming process. It actually takes more time in reality to design a site on Wix than most people think it does.

The App store on Wix doesn’t offer a lot of apps, but adding functionality to your website is easy with the App store that is offered. The only problem is that most of the apps there are I-frames instead of real apps. These are easy to install and they work okay, but it’s not the ideal solution many may want to see.

SEO is difficult with Wix, as the tools offered do not take into account modern SEO techniques. Most of the focus is on targeting keywords, grouping content, and ranking without considering other aspects of website optimization. This may be a disadvantage for those who are looking to create a long-term website effort.

PRICING

  • Combo – $8.50 per month
  • Unlimited – $12.50 per month
  • VIP – $24.50 per month