A website serves many purposes in a business. It is a tool for your customers to find you online, a hub for them to connect to your products and services, a tool for content marketing, and it can even serve as a membership site to build loyal customers in your business.
There are a variety of software options available to serve your business needs at whatever stage you are at with your business. And the top two that I recommend are Squarespace and WordPress. So how do you know which software will best meet your business needs?
I have spent ten years designing websites for my own business and the businesses of my clients, and there are three top questions I have my clients consider when choosing a website software.
My Top 3 Questions to Choose Your Software
- Do you want to DIY, hire a web designer, or do a combo (meaning you have someone set it up for you and then show you how to use it)?
- How much upkeep are you willing to do or pay someone to do?
- Is it essential for you to have maximum flexibility of design and options for scaling your business website and are you want to get set up for the long game? Meaning…
-Do you want to build out your blog content to gain long term organic search traffic?
-Do you want to have unlimited design possibilities to utilize as you grow?
-Do you want to branch into e-commerce and membership sites without switching to a second platform?
-Do you want to be able to have more than one website without paying for more hosting?
If you are a DIYer and want minimal upkeep and want to get moving with a website without considering potential future needs, you can get started simply with a Squarespace site. Squarespace charges a monthly hosting fee (usually around $20/mo) but gives you ready-made templates to get up and running quickly. You can use Squarespace to get started with blogging and even get started with password-protected pages to use for client resources. The limitations of Squarespace are in the options for developing your design choices, creating a membership site, selling products or services (they charge a fee), and creating multiple sites (you have to pay for hosting for every site).
Long Game Growth….
For those who want more long term design options and growth possibilities, WordPress is one of my top choices. WordPress is an open-source software and has endless possibilities for design and growth. With WordPress, you pay for hosting and your domain name and the theme you would like to use, and the software is free. Your hosting account you can be used for more than one website installation, so as your business grows, you can add sites or even hosted pages for specific domain names that you use. With WordPress, you can add e-commerce, membership sites, and it is the best software for optimizing your organic search optimization on your blog.
The negatives with WordPress are that it can have a higher learning curve to get started using it, the software needs to be regularly updated, and you need to make sure you have the right hosting services to protect your site. I have heard a lot of comments over the years on negative experiences with WordPress security. These issues can usually be solved with the right hosting plan, making sure the software is updated and security services.
For WordPress, you want a hosting plan that provides a free SSL for your site, automatic WordPress updates, regular backups, security, and site optimization. My top two choices are Siteground and WPMU. Siteground has some great deals for getting started, and they offer add on services to make sure you monitor your site for security. WPMU service comes with a suite of plugins that keep your site running well and updated automatically! And you can host up to three websites.
If you are going to the WordPress route, I recommend using the Divi theme. It is an easy to use visual builder that you can quickly learn to use yourself. Similar to Squarespace, it comes with hundreds of templates that you can use to get started with a beautiful design quickly.
I have personally used WordPress and the Divi Theme for over ten years, and it has served me well as my business has grown. Using WordPress has provided me unlimited possibilities for design, hosting multiple sites without paying more for hosting, and even starting a membership site.
But if you are looking for a quick way to get started with minimal upkeep, Squarespace is your best bet!
To learn more about getting started online with your business, download my FREE Guide below or schedule a strategy session below to pinpoint your top opportunity to start growing your business online.
All the best,