So you want to build your own website? Gone are the days when you needed to outsource this process (although there are definite pros to utilising an expert!), and you don’t have to be a coding expert to get set up with a website with the appearance and function that suits you or your business.
When it comes to choosing who to build with, it can be tricky to decide which provider is right for you. One thing is for sure, it’s always better to choose wisely the first time rather than needing to transfer your host and builder later down the line.
Let’s take a look at the leading players in the website building space so you can get the 411 on the pros and cons.
Even if you’re new to websites, you’ve probably heard of WordPress – known for many years (it launched in 2003!) as the “bloggers platform”, nowadays it’s an absolute go-to for those who want to maintain complete control over their website.
To make the most of WordPress, it does help to feel more confident in tweaking your website layouts within the code.
That’s not to say you can’t get a clean website up on WordPress quickly, but planning ahead is key, and it can be more complicated to plan for the overall cost of your website until you’ve got in there.
To add to the complexity, keep an eye out for WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The latter is the total DIY side of things, where WordPress.com has a more streamlined process to get your website to launch and hosting included.
Look at it this way – many expert web designers LOVE WordPress and choose it over other platforms – if flexibility is key and complete customisation, this is the one for you (especially if you have someone dedicated to managing it on your team), but if you need something that holds your hand a little more, read on.
When we’re talking Wix, it’s all about ease of use! Its “drag and drop” functionality empowers you to make it your own with base layouts that are contemporary and clean to help you get started. It is so easy that if you brought someone into Wix having never built a website before, they wouldn’t take too long to get to grips with moving the building blocks around and getting great results.
Wix is a dedicated website builder with clear and relatively low costs (from $14.50 AUD a month – and even less if you purchase the entire year upfront). Furthermore, it isn’t unreasonable to expect a website to be up and looking great within a day or two.
There aren’t a lot of cons to Wix aside from so many options to try, which could be overwhelming, and you would need to start from scratch if you wanted to change your layout after publishing.
The S in Squarespace (or technically, the 2) stands for slick! Squarespace is clean, fresh and always aesthetically pleasing. On the complexity side, it’s a step up from Wix but very intuitive and price-wise, only a few dollars up from Wix at $16/month for a base level subscription.
There are some cons with Squarespace, such as lack of autosave and some sections that aren’t totally customisable, but overall, Squarespace and Wix won’t lead you astray. If you’re tossing up between the two, it could be worth trialling both for free to see what feels best to your web design eye.
So, ultra-customisable and feeling advanced? Go WordPress (it has some serious website builder kudos too!). Ready to just go live with something fresh? Wix or Squarespace, the choice is yours (and this isn’t a Montague V Capulet thing – you can always try both!).