Which Website Platform Should You Use?


So you decided it’s time to update your website…. 

And now you’re looking around trying to find a platform & a designer that specializes in it – and have no idea what you’re looking at. 

I get it. & I’m going to talk you through it:

01. Showit

Originally created for photographers, it is one of the most user-friendly and creative platforms for building a responsive website. This is what many of your favorite service-provider sites are built in- because it is easy to update, has immense flexibility for designers, and requires no code (meaning no additional coding hours to bill).  Also integrates beautifully with Shopity Lite (Great for small shops) and WordPress (for Blogging).

Cons: Somewhat limited in responsive design, can not be used for extensive shopping interfaces

Pros: easy to maintain, great for creative layouts/effects

02. Squarespace

I used to hate this platform for how rigid it is (if you’ve used it, you know), but their new update is amazing.  Now you can float elements on a grid, overlap things as needed, and there is so much more flexibility in the way elements are arranged in general.

I think this is perfect for someone who just needs a website NOW – and needs to be able to log in, place elements and be done in a day without waiting for a designer. 

Cons: Less of a custom feel unless you get into coding – many “standard” looking elements and constraints. 

Pros: Quick and easy to build and maintain

03. Webflow

Is a pioneer in the web space.  Our web developer, Sydney, is a huge fan of this platform.  We recently designed and developed her site in Webflow, and you can see how the site is able to come to life in a different way than the ShowIt websites we’ve done together.  

Cons: very dissimilar to other visual design softwares, meaning a large learning curve & some difficulty adding pages/maintaining independently

Pros: highly responsive and customizable

04. WordPress

Is the biggest platform on the internet but not my personal favorite.  It is a bit overkill for most businesses and is difficult for non-coders to edit and maintain. 

If you are someone who is creative and wants to be able to upkeep your website (and isn’t running a massive corporation), this probably isn’t for you. 

The backend is incredibly complex, requires a lot of extra coding (that you will have to pay for and then be unable to edit on your own), and doesn’t usually lend itself to the beautiful, unique, layered sites we all know and love in the entrepreneurial space today. 

Cons: unnecessarily dense for a small business or service provider – difficult to maintain, update, and freely design

Pros: can handle corporate systems, integrations, is a great platform for use of complex code. 

05. Shopify

The go-to for e-commerce brands.  If you have a shop with 20+ products, this is where you will want to build your site.  Shopify does often require professional coding (not easy to DIY in a way that looks professional), but our developer is well-versed and specializes in this platform. She actually develops more in Shopify than anywhere else.

Cons: difficult to update design elements independently, more expensive monthly than other platforms

Pros: the only robust shop platform we’d recommend, amazing for managing and updating products, adding e-commerce plug-ins & integrations, can be highly customized using code for a unique customer experience. 

06. ReadyMag 

A new platform with immense visual effects, including draggable items, scroll animations, etc. that were previously only possible through a Webflow or custom-coded site.  This one is new to us but definitely on our radar for one-page websites, and other smaller applications. 

Cons: not as robust in terms of potential plug-ins, integrations, etc.

Pros: incredibly intuitive UX, unique non-code effects and animations

If you are still unsure, please schedule a consultation with us and we’ll walk you through the best options for your business.

Hi, I'm Amelia.  Brand Designer, Biz Strategist, & CEO of Alia Design Studio

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