A wide variety of user-friendly web building platforms make the process of starting a website quite easy and fast. However, before you start you need to choose the right one. This will depend on the type of website you are going to have and your requirements to the design and functionality. In this article we will talk about 5 web building platforms that will help you create any type of website.
Squarespace – one of the most creative website builders
Initially Squarespace gained its popularity as a website builder for creativeness. However, gradually it became a solid all-purpose web building platform. It offers versatile templates, pre-built page sections and an ability to drag-and-drop elements.
Squarespace can now serve a wider range of users by offering features for ecommerce, appointments booking, blogging and email marketing. It can be either used for running a personal blog or for creating a business website with an online store. You can easily integrate live chat with Squarespace website, import content from another website and develop custom elements.
With Squarespace you will have a chance to choose from more than 140 website themes optimized for mobile devices. The design is the main advantage of Squarespace web building platform. All websites built on it have a perfect look. In addition, you can integrate a blog with your website and use it to talk about your products or services and provide your customers valuable and useful recommendations.
Squarespace pricing is very affordable and annual plans contain considerable discounts compared to monthly ones. In addition, it is possible to register a domain for free for the first year. This offer is applicable only to annual subscriptions. All their payment plans provide the ability to select from beautiful website templates to fit your business needs. During the 14-day free trial you can test the system, select the template for your website and decide whether this website building platform meets your requirements. Even a beginner can do this with Squarespace as no special technical skills are required to use it.
WordPress – free and versatile
WordPress is a free website building platform with a great variety of affordable or free themes and plugins. With WordPress you can build your website from scratch, add a shopping cart and a blog to it. Everything can be managed from one dashboard.
Thousands of developers offer their services for customizing WordPress websites. It is possible to build any type of website on WordPress engine, integrate third party tools with it, select and customize the theme to fit your business needs. However, when using several plugins, there may happen content loading delays or compatibility issues. The popularity of WordPress makes it one of the most affordable content management systems with a wide range of customization possibilities.
You can create your online store, personal blog or just a website for your company on WordPress. With help of plugins you can add a live chat tool to your WordPress website, inegrate analytics or additional functionality to make your website more powerful and user friendly. Though WordPress is very popular and has a lot of users all over the globe, it will not be easy for a beginner without special skills to build a website for an online store. However, if you have time and desire to learn, you will be able to find the right solution with WordPress.
Shopify – everything for your store in one place
Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce web building platforms. It allows selling products both online and via social and messaging apps. It's a single web building platform with a wide range of integration opportunities with other apps or services which can be easily activated through Shopify app store. If you need to add live chat to your Shopify store or integrate a delivery app, you can select the needed one in Shopify app store.
Shopify is the leader in lowering barriers for entrepreneurs to start their online stores. First of all, it offers payment plans for any budget and allows you to start with a small amount of investment. Secondly, Shopify has a very detailed admin panel where you can easily create and customize your online store. If you cannot afford to purchase a theme for your store, you can customize the free one which is provided by Shopify when you register an account in it.
Prior to purchasing you can see how everything works with free trial and play around to decide what exactly you need for your online store and choose the apps in the Shopify app store. Another advantage of Shopify is that your website is hosted on a cloud network instead of a server, like WordPress. This reduces the odds of the server being down and makes one thing less to worry about.
Regardless all Shopify advantages, it cannot guarantee the success of your online store. You need to stay creative, promote your business and be one step ahead of competition to succeed.
Weebly – a wide range of website building opportunities
With Weebly you have everything you need to create a functional website without spending much money. However, after Weebly had been acquired by Square in 2018, the development of ecommerce and marketing was reserved and now many features look outdated. There are also complaints about the compatibility with mobile devices.
Still, Weebly is very affordable and offers a free plan. While it can be used by beginners and those who aren't tech-savvy to create a personal website, blog or CV, we will not recommend using this web building platform to start an online business.
AmeriCommerce – enterprise-ready ecommerce platform
When you scale to an enterprise level you need robust features which are not available with online stores where you can easily customize everything with drag-and-drop. AmeriCommerce web building platform has a rich set of features including CRM, handling abandoned cart, discounts, email marketing and many more. You can easily add live chat your AmeriCommerce store with a couple of clicks and manage several stores from one admin.
Before you decide to migrate to AmeriCommerce or start using it for your online store, you can register a free trial and play around. This web building platform is not limited to one online store, you can manage several stores and create multi-vendor marketplaces which definitely bring your ecommerce business to a new level which requires enterprise features.
The pricing depends on the number of products you are going to sell and the size of your store. In addition, AmeriCommerce offers for additional cost such services as platform migration, web and graphic design and marketing services.
The choice of the web building platform will depend on your business needs and expectations. If you are a beginner and do not have technical skills to design a website, it is recommended to start with Squarespace or Weebly. With Shopify you can start with minimal plan and grow to an enterprise level and migrate to Shopify plus.
If you are tech-savvy and want to host your website yourself, then WordPress is a good solution which will offer a wide range of opportunities for your online store development.
For companies that want to grow and are seeking to take their business to the next level by building a marketplace, AmeriCommerce will be a perfect solution with a rich set of features, flexible customizations and business development opportunities.