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Which Website Builder is Best for Your Business

You need a website for your business, but what kind of website do you need? What do you need it to do? Whether you want a simple online business card, a blog, or an online store, choosing the right website builder is the first (and most important) step. Pick the right builder and your website always will be able to grow as your business does.

So with all the options out there, how do you choose the best website builder for your business?

 

Note: In this post we focus on WordPress and Shopify, two of the most popular website builders out there. Each option has different strengths to suit particular website projects. Both are powerful, easy to use, and can be customised with extra functionality to grow with your business.

 

In this post we’ll be covering a few main questions:

What is a Website Builder?

A website builder (also known as a Content Management System) is a tool that helps you design websites visually. Website builders such as WordPress and Shopify provide the framework for building your site and hold all the code that determines how it looks and behaves. For most people, this is a much easier way to build a website than trying to design in code like HTML, CSS, PHP and Javascript. It can also save a lot of time.

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What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free, open-source website builder. It’s easy to use and extremely customisable, and currently powers around a third of websites across the internet. Open-source means it’s not only free, but anyone in the know can use or modify the software code, or assist developers to make improvements. Friendly web developers across the world help contribute to the growing collection of free and pain plugins you can use to add extra functionality to your site.

WordPress Pros:

  • Easy to customise – take advantage of countless plugins and useful pre-made code to customise your site or add extra functionality.
  • Optimise for search engines (SEO) – use free plugins like Yoast SEO to tweak your posts, pages and images and gain extra traffic from search engines.
  • Responsive design – WordPress themes are designed to look great across any device, from mobile phones and tablets through to large desktop screens.
  • Visual page builder apps – WordPress’ native page builder ‘Gutenberg’ focuses on visual design through drag-and-drop content blocks. There are also some great third party page builders such as WP Bakery, Elementor or Astra that allow you to display your content beautifully with flexible design.

Check out our other guides to learn how to setup a WordPress site and how to create your first WordPress blog post.

WordPress Cons:

  • Learning curve – it can take time to familiarise yourself with the WordPress dashboard and learn what makes your website tick. The good news is there are plenty of resources out there to help you upskill fast (for free).
  • Complicated ecommerce – WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce solution for WordPress. At first glance it can seem pretty complicated – especially compared to Shopify’s more intuitive dashboards and reports.
  • Vulnerability – WordPress plugins can occasionally be at risk of hacking or other security vulnerabilities. You can minimise this risk by making sure to have daily backups in place, and always keep your WordPress core, theme and plugin files up to date.
  • No free trial – unlike some other website builders, WordPress.org doesn’t offer a free trial, so you’ll need to have a hosting account active in order to install WordPress.

WordPress is perfect for:

Pretty much anything! From simple sites such as business / brand websites, blogs, product landing pages, through to more complex sites that require a database (think real estate listings, car sales, job boards or forums).

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What is Shopify?

Shopify is a purpose-built ecommerce solution that’s perfect for online shops, no matter if they’re small businesses or large enterprises. Shopify is renowned for its simple interface and awesome financial reporting. You can even integrate it with an in-store POS system – perfect for stores with a brick-and-mortar location or for selling stock at events such as festivals or markets.

Shopify Pros:

  • Easy user experience – Even if you’re new to tinkering with websites, you should be able to quickly and easily understand the back end system. The Shopify theme editor makes it really easy to customise your theme, change colours, add images or logos, build homepage sections based on pre-built layouts for products or categories, etc.
  • Build products fast – Create all kinds of products from single items to variable products with multiple options such as colour or size. Sort products into ‘Collections’ and add them to your navigation menu for a quick and easy shopping experience.
  • Quality apps – There are soooo many Shopify apps out there, some free, others with a monthly subscription fee. Most are high quality with great support (though we highly recommend you do your research and read reviews).
  • Free trials – Shopify (as well as most of its themes and plugins) offers a free trial period so you can install and play around with its features before you commit.

Shopify Cons:

  • Expense – Shopify plans start at $29AU/month for basic plans through to to $299AU/month for advanced. If you want to add extra functionality to your site, you’ll most likely also need to install an app or two from the Shopify app store, often adding onto your monthly subscription fee anywhere from $5 to $50+ per month!
  • Limited ability to customise your page layouts – apart from theme-specific layout options, there’s not much you can do to create custom page layouts without getting into Shopify’s native liquid code. It’s best to start with a good theme that looks and does alllmost everything you need, then customise from there.

Shopify is perfect for:

Online stores – take orders, process payments and ship your products with ease!


Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you’re more familiar with the strengths and benefits of WordPress and Shopify, which one will you choose for your project? These FAQ’s may help you decide. If you’re still unsure or want to chat through the options further, feel free to reach out to us. 🙂

Which website builder is the easiest to use?

We usually say if you’re familiar with Microsoft Word, you should have no problems working your way around the basic text editors in WordPress and Shopify. Navigating your way around the different dashboards and theme options also becomes quicker and easier with time. If you’re keen to check out some online tutorials, we highly recommend Lynda.com (free with a public library card!).

Which website builder is best for SEO?

Both WordPress and Shopify can be optimised for SEO. For WordPress, you can also install a free SEO plugin called Yoast SEO, which will help you optimise for specific keywords on each and every post or page.

Which website builder is best for small business?

This really depends on your business’ goals. If you’ll be selling products, we recommend Shopify. If you’ll be hosting forums, adding courses, writing a blog, or need any custom features or functionality, WordPress will have you covered.

Which website builder is best for ecommerce?

Shopify – hands-down (in our opinion). Shopify makes the whole process from creating your store to adding and sorting products a breeze. Just watch out for those recurring subscription fees…

What website builders should I avoid and why?

While every website builder has something good to offer in the beginning, not all will have the ease of customisation and ability to grow with your business. We’ve found that most of our clients who started a site on Wix, Weebly or Squarespace tend to outgrow these website builders fairly quickly, due to needing custom functionality that’s not included as standard, or not available via a custom app or plugin.

 

If you have any questions or want to chat through your website project, we’re here to help!

 

 

Hey there, we're a creative duo based in Adelaide with a passion for all things food. We provide photography, graphic and web design for small to medium businesses in Adelaide and beyond. In our spare time, we enjoy hiking, exploring, reading, writing and brewing each other ridiculously good coffees.

sarahlauradesign@gmail.com

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