First, a bit of background. Over just the past few years, website costs have plummeted and technology to get a website from idea to reality has blossomed. Whether you are using a text editor and uploading to the Amazon cloud; hosting your own site powered by WordPress or using a drag and drop website builder, there’s never been an easier time to create a website.
On the wide spectrum of website building solutions, they lives on the end that is all-inclusive and provides everything you need to get started and grow your website. It’s in contrast to solutions where you buy, install, and manage all the “pieces” of your website separately. That’s not a good or bad thing. But it is something to be aware of when you’re choosing one of them as a solution since it affects your website both long and short term.
In the long-term, it affects your versatility, functionality, and, of course, your brand. In the short term it can certainly add/take away a lot of headaches. That said, just like choosing a physical house or office, there is no such thing as an absolute “best” or “top” choice. There’s only a such thing as the right choice relative to your goals, experience, and circumstances.
Using a website builder is sort of like leasing and customizing an apartment in a really classy development instead buying and owning your own house. You’re still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise – but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is key because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.
Squarespace, Weebly and Wix as a group compete with options like WordPress (which provides the free software to build a website that you own & control – see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing actual HTML code into a text file. Make sense? Awesome, let’s dive in to the comparison.
Side note – if you want this comparison in a BuzzFeed-style quiz, you can take my website builder quiz here…
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Otherwise, we’ll look specifically at pricing, onboarding/user experience, design features, technical features, marketing features, and customer support.[Continue Reading]