There are so many website building options to build your website on including WordPress, Joomla, Squarespace, and Wix to name a few. It gets very confusing on which one you should use, so below I’m going to outline the best platforms for website development below.
Below is a list of the best website platforms for small businesses.
WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
When it comes to WordPress, many users only know there is a single platform. Most users don’t realise that there are two WordPress solutions and both of these are meant for different purposes.
This is self-hosted WordPress and is the original open source platform that can be used by anyone. The only thing you will have to buy is the web hosting service and domain name. It provides you with total control over all the other aspects of your website.
This is a website as a service implementation developed on the WordPress.org platform. You can use it to get a basic free website and upgrade with more space and functions. However, it doesn’t provide you with the level of flexibility that comes with the .org platform.
WordPress.org is self-hosted and very customizable. WordPress.com is not self-hosted and there are lots of limitations on customization. You will own the content when you use the .org platform (as long as you back it up) whereas if you stop paying or managing your .com website then your content will disappear.
WordPress.org vs Wix vs Joomla vs Squarespace
The key features of these different CMS platforms or in simple terms known as website builders are as follows:
- Wix Website: This CMS provides industry-specific themes and advanced customisation options. It features templates for website and sub-pages, SEO tools, maps, contact forms, and photo galleries. Its own Wix App Market offers hundreds of apps to create fully-featured websites.
- Joomla: This is also a popular open-source CMS that features an intuitive website management UI. You can get access to hundreds of extensions to customise and enhance the platform’s functionalities. Similar to WordPress, it has a large community where you can seek all the assistance you may require.
- Squarespace: This SaaS site builder provides all the tools and features required to build and maintain a website. It features CMS, templates, hosting, domain, support, e-commerce solutions, and much more. The Standard version is meant for the vast majority that doesn’t have expertise in web development. Then there is the developer version for advanced users. WordPress is still the more flexible and powerful platform compared to Squarespace. However, Squarespace has its quirks. You will find it easier to set up a website using Squarespace. Just make sure to update your website and you will not have to worry about security and maintenance. If you need a simple website without any hassles, Squarespace can be an excellent choice.
- org: WordPress.org gives you the advantage of self-hosting for a small annual fee with unlimited domains. You can choose premium themes that keep getting updated when the WP versions receive an update. You can easily integrate it with social media. There is no need for customisation and you have access to a vast community for support.
WordPress.org Vs Wix
Both WordPress and Wix are excellent platforms for building your site. But they have many differences.
- Ease of Use: WordPress offers simplicity for beginners, but if you want to take advantage of its true power, you should gain advanced knowledge. Wix is designed for beginners. It offers a drag-and-drop site builder and all the tools and features are available on a click. However, it does have an advanced web application development solution in the form of Wix Code.
- Flexibility: WP is highly flexible and customisable, but there can be issues if custom plugins and tools have issues. Wix offers limited customisation, but all the tools and features are controlled and monitored to ensure proper working.
- Maintenance: With WP, you will have to update and maintain your website on a regular basis. Wix manages its platform and you will not have to worry about maintenance and updates.
WordPress.org vs Joomla
Ease of use is one of the fortes of WP. It is easy and quick to setup and installation take a few minutes. Many hosting services provide one-click install option to make it even simpler. It has a simple user interface and most functions can be completed with a click. Content creation is also easy. Embed content from a wide range of external sources using simple copy/paste function.
Joomla is slightly more complex than WordPress. It is more suited for someone who is moderately tech-savvy. Installation is simple and quick like WP and you can also find hosting services offering single-click installs. There are page builders that allow beginners to create more complex layouts without coding. This CMS provides more functionality than WP but is more complex.
WordPress.org vs Squarespace
There are areas where WordPress is better than Squarespace and other areas where the latter outperforms the former.
The WordPress.org Advantage
- The CMS is more sophisticated and allows content versioning
- You can create any type of website with WP
- WordPress offers more number and variety of templates
- Create websites with deeper levels of navigation. Squarespace requires custom coding for this.
- Add more functionality to your WP site using a vast collection of plugins. This is made possible through code blocks and widgets in Squarespace
WP also has the edge when it comes to creating multilingual websites, advanced data capture, advanced SEO, and control over content.
The Squarespace Advantage
- Squarespace doesn’t have the steep learning curve as WP has
- Many of the features accessible through plugins in WP are accessible out of the box in Squarespace
- Web hosting and domain names come as part of the solution
- Squarespace addresses a significant part of your site’s security
If you require a simple and beautiful website, Squarespace may be a better option.
Thus, in my opinion WordPress.org may be the most popular and best free website builder due to its versatility, vastness, open-source form, and many other factors. There are still areas where other platforms can excel. So make sure to evaluate all the different options before choosing the right CMS for your web applications as it really does come down to personal choice.
If you are a current user of WordPress.org come and join me in my FREE WP Community Group.