Are you starting a blog or business? If so, will you also be opening an online store? Your website will be one of the keys to reeling people in and keeping them engaged with you and your products/content. If you’re just starting out, it’s tough to set aside a lump sum of money to get a web developer to make your landing page dreams come true. Luckily, we live in the future and have tons of easy services where you can create your own website! We’ve put together a list of the 4 best website platforms you can use to create your very own site.
Wordpress is inarguably the most popular website builder of them all. They are home to 28.9% of websites around the world. With two different versions available, (Wordpress.org and Wordpress.com) you have the option to create a self-hosted site or use their hosted service.
All you need to create a self-hosted site on Wordpress.org is a domain name and web hosting. We’ve listed the pros here:
1. It’s FREE!
2. You can customize your site (brand colors, fonts, etc.) to look exactly how you’d like.
3. There are several free and paid themes you can choose from to enhance the aesthetic of your page.
4. Free plug-ins and add-ons are available for use.
5. You can run your own ads to gain revenue!
6. There’s an option to create an online store!
7. Google analytics are available to track your site’s analytics.
8. You have the ability to create membership pages/sites and sell them for exclusive content.
The only cons here are that you’re responsible for any updates and backups. All it takes to make a great website through Wordpress.org is $50! This is a huge difference from the website builder’s counterpart, Wordpress.com.
The website you build is free for up to 3GB of space. You will have to switch to a paid plan once that is up. The upside is, you won’t have to worry about any updates or backups once you switch to your paid plan. The con is that you aren’t offered nearly as many free services as you are with Wordpress.org. The paid plans are also fairly pricey. We recommend to use these services if you’re too busy to keep a close eye on any updates and backups (i.e. large businesses).
Wix has quickly become a fan favorite. You don’t have to pay for hosting here and are provided with hundreds of free templates, countless apps and detailed features. These options give you the ability to make your site as aesthetically pleasing and interactive as you would like it to be. Wix also allows you to go in and edit the template and cater it to your liking. You can get a free plan with limited bandwidth and storage, or sign up for their premium plan which includes a domain name and special features.
If you do decide on the free plan, Wix branded ads will appear on your website. To get rid of them you have to purchase a paid plan. Luckily, Wix’s pricing is fairly reasonable. It ranges between $9.16 per month to connect a domain, combo plans starting at $14.95/month with a free domain name, and $26.25 per month for an ecommerce plan.
Sitebuilder.com is a great alternative to Wix. You do not have to pay separately to host your website. The best part? They offer a domain name, branded email address AND hosting. With thousands of templates to choose from, you can tailor your page to align with your company or personal blog’s branding. Sitebuilder.com allows you to go in and edit each template as you see fit. There are limited tools and ads that make us stray from the free plan, but luckily their paid plans are highly affordable. The paid plans begin at $8.99/month, while their ecommerce plans start at $11.99/month.
Shopify is ideal if you’re looking to set up an online store! They’ve sold over 40 billion dollars worth of products through the platform alone. With this platform, you don’t have to manage keeping backups, managing software or updates. They do it all for you! But wait, there’s more. It’s also fully equipped with inventory management, stats, marketing solutions, and a vast amount of products. The only setback here is that it is pricey for someone who’s just starting out. The basic plan is $29/month. The Shopify plan is $79/month and the advanced Shopify plan is $299/month. If you can afford it, this is the best way to sell your products and build a hub for them simultaneously.