Hey there and welcome back!
So the good news is that in today’s world there are a lot of great options for how you can create your business’ new website. There are the super simple marketplaces like Etsy. Or you can take a small step up and create a website on Wix or Squarespace.
You can start to sell products online with Shopify or really control your content with WordPress and other open source content management systems. And finally there’s always the custom solution.
So today we’re going to walk through all of those options so that you can figure out which one is the best for your business and situation.
Before we get started, if you want to see more videos on web design, WordPress, ecommerce, digital marketing and other website-related topics, be sure to hit the subscribe button and to ring the bell for notifications.
Now let’s get started.
So the easiest option for you right now if you want to sell online is to use a marketplace, like Etsy or Facebook.
With this option, you don’t need to worry about creating a new website for your business. All you need to do is sign up for an account, start adding in your products. And all of that can happen within minutes. Plus, you’re in a place where people can discover your products in the marketplace.
There are, however, a number of downsides. First, you don’t own the website or really any of the content on it. Also, it’s going to be extremely hard to work on your SEO so that you can get found in Google searches.
Another thing is that since you’re on a marketplace, you’re competing with others on the same exact website. And that’s not a great way to grow your business.
It’s a great option if you’re just creating things as a hobby that you want to sell for a few extra dollars. But if you truly want to grow your business, you need to look elsewhere and create your own dedicated website.
The next step up is a website builder like Wix and Squarespace. And if you want to create a website very quickly, these are really good options.
Both of these options allow you to create a website in just minutes. There are plenty of templates you can choose from where all you have to do is just add in your photos and text and you’re ready to go.
And they are getting a bit better about add ons like blogging and even ecommerce.
But the downside is that there aren’t a lot of other customizations that you can do with your website.
And more importantly, you don’t really own your website. It’s on Wix or Squarespace, and if they go down, so does your website. And migrating your website somewhere else is a headache. I speak from personal experience on this.
But if speed is what you need and you’re just going with a small website to start out with, it’s not a bad option.
The next step up from those website builders is Shopify, which allows you to create your own online store.
Shopify is similar to the website builders in that you pay Shopify for the service of creating your website, and in particular an online store. It’s more of a traditional website over those marketplaces from earlier, so while you’re going through Shopify, you’re not directly competing with others on the same marketplace.
You can add your products, set up the payment gateway and get going within an hour, which makes it a great option for a quick online store.
But you still have the issue of not truly owning your own content, which can be an issue if Shopify were to ever go down.
It’s a great option if you want an online store quickly and don’t want to deal with a marketplace. And it can be a good way to test out selling online on a small scale.
But if you want complete control of your website and what you have on it, you might want something a bit more.
Potentially your best option is to use WordPress for your new website. WordPress is the most popular content management system, powering over 40 percent of the internet, and with good reason to.
WordPress makes it easy to create a website on your own with content that you own. There are tons of themes, both in the free theme directory and third party themes, that you can install on your website to give it a cool and unique look. Plus the site editing tools allow you to customize every part of your website without needing to know any code.
Also, there are also tons of plugins that allow you to turn your website into an online store, boost your SEO, add in forms, hook up analytics and more. Basically, you can customize your website to do whatever you want with your website. And you truly own this website.
This can cost a bit more than the other options since you have to pay for web hosting and a domain name. And it might take a little bit more time for you to set up to get it looking just right, especially since there is a bit of a learning curve with WordPress.
But you will have a website that you truly own and you can really build off of this website in the future, which makes it an appealing option.
Other Open Source CMS
WordPress isn’t the only open source CMS in town. There’s also Drupal and Joomla that you can choose from.
Just like with WordPress, you can create your own website that you truly own with either CMS. There are templates you can install to make your website look amazing. And there are plugins and extensions to allow you to do whatever you want with your website.
They will also take time to get your website looking just right. And there will be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to using Drupal and Joomla.
But you will own your content at the end of the day, which is a big plus for any business.
If you want, you can check out a playlist of videos where I talked about each content management more in depth at a link down in the description below.
Finally, there is the custom website solution.
This is going to involve hiring a web developer or agency to build your website for you. It might be based on React or some other framework.
You will get whatever you want with this option — whether it’s an online store, custom client management or something else. And that makes it a great option for bigger businesses.
But this is going to cost in the tens of thousands of dollars if not more to build. There’s a lot of time and money that will need to go into creating this website. And that makes it a bad choice for small businesses.
But it is an option.
How to figure out which is the best option for your business
So which one is the best option for you?
Well, unfortunately there’s no one right answer that I can give you right through this screen. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here. There is only what’s right for you and your business based on your situation.
So first off figure out what type of website you need for your business. If you need an online store, that’s going to eliminate any marketplace as well as Wix and Squarespace.
Also, determine what you can spend on this website as that will determine what option is best for you. If you don’t have a lot you can spend, then something like Wix, Squarespace and Shopify might be the best option to get something up and running. If you can spend a lot more, you might look into using WordPress with a prebuilt or custom built theme or go with a custom solution.
Another factor will be time. If you need something quick, a do it yourself solution using Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, or WordPress with a prebuilt theme is probably the best way to go for you.
The next factor is control. Do you want to have control over your website and own all of the content on it? If so, using WordPress or an open source CMS or a custom solution is going to be what you want to go with.
Finally, how are you going to manage the website after launch? Sure, creating a website might be easy with a solution, but it can be a challenge to manage afterwards, especially if you really start to grow. So do your research and figure out which one will be easiest for you to use after launch.
But make sure you take some time to think about your options and which one is best for you and your business. This is a pretty important decision.
So that’s it for today. What questions do you have about the options you have for creating a website for your business? Is there any particular option you want to know more about? Be sure to leave all of them down in the comments section below.
If you’re looking to get started on creating a website for your business right now, check out one of the Small Business Website Starter Kits. You’ll get a website built using WordPress with a design to match your business that will give you a great digital foundation that can help your business grow. And your website will be live in less than two weeks and for a price that will fit your budget. Check out the Small Business Website Starter Kit at the link down in the description below.
Next week we’ll dive into what you’re going to need for a website before you start to build it.
To see that video and more videos on web design, WordPress, ecommerce, digital marketing and other website-related topics, be sure to hit the subscribe button and to ring the bell for notifications.
But until then, I wish you and your business the best of luck.
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