In some cases, the more options you have, the better. However, in this case, the more options there are, the more confused you get.
I’m talking about website platforms.
With the different platforms that all offer similar services, it makes it that much more harder to decide which one is best for your brand when you don’t have anyone to give you real advice and/or someone who’s been exactly where you’re at right now - with making this decision.
How intriguing is it see? Free website this and that + all the bells and whistles via Wix? Or, no monthly charge?
As tempting as it sounds, well, someone will take the bait, it still doesn’t make this an easier decision for you.
Let me give you my opinion and help you narrow down what is a better fit for your brand.
I’m going to be blunt and immediately say no to Wix, if you’re looking to build a professional website and a long-term online business, Wix is not an option. Don’t get caught up on what they’re selling. I would never recommend this platform to anyone. The functionalities could not sustain a growing business. Harsh, maybe? But I’m just being honest.
Here are my three that’d I recommend and how they’ll be a good match for you:
I started out on Blogger, simply because, I didn’t do any research on other platforms and back then this was the most popular one to use as blogging began to explode.
This platform has an easy-to-use interface and setup, all you really need to do is select your template, choose your colors, font and layout and you’ll be up running.
Blogger offers very basic and limited functions. And does not allow much room for customization to fit to your brand.
As my blog began to grow and evolve, eventually, I outgrew it. What I wanted to do design wise could not be supported on Blogger.
Also, as my brand began to form, I wanted to “rebrand” myself and was in need of more functions, more options, more room to play.
So, I migrated my website to Wordpress.
Blogger is best if you’re only looking to blog, you only intend on posting here and there and don’t need all the bells and whistles to personalize your website. Yes, it’s a good place to begin and if you’re looking to just get your feet wet to “test out” blogging, begin here. In the same breath, keep in mind if you do decide to move to a different platform later down the line, you’ll then have to move all of your content to your new site.
WordPress is what I use and to me is the best platform to use. While it looks very complicated and intimidating to use, once you’re familiar with it and how to navigate around on the backend, it’s very easy.
Wordpress is my personal fave because (1) it gives you plenty of room to personalize and customize your website without needing to hire a professional or have a background in coding. Whatever you want to implement on your website, design-wise, it’s very likely you’ll have that option to execute it on your own - again, no professional help needed, so you don’t have to worry about constantly spending to make small changes here and there. (2) Layout options and templates for days, you’ll have no problem finding a template that reflects your brand's message and laying out your website to match it. (3) E-commerce function: unlike Blogger, you can run an online store on Wordpress - at no extra charge, repeat, at no extra charge. The setup is simple and you could have your store up and running within an hour. Yup. When I tell you WordPress makes it easy for you, it’s true. When I started blogging, I never had any plans to launch an online store, but with running a website, opportunities come.
If you plan on building your online presence, I’d highly recommend building your website with WordPress. Again, no need for a professional designer to create your website, no experience in coding necessary.
On the customer service side of things, while there is no direct line to reach someone at WordPress if you have a question, your hosting company can assist.
Squarespace is another website that I use, but not for my main website, I use Squarespace for certain product pages.
At one point, I did have everything hosted on Squarespace but that was short-lived. While there are many ways to customize your website, it’s limited, so outside of what they offer, you’ll need to be familiar with CSS coding and/or have a professional designer on hand.
Another reason, as I mentioned, I have an e-commerce store, Squarespace does not have offer half of the options that you can find on another e-commerce platform; such as, WordPress, limited payment options, no option to leave product reviews, abandoned cart automations, etc.
And for these reasons I went running back to WordPress.
This is a decent platform to use and you can build an amazingly beautiful website, but again, if you want to do something outside of what they offer, you’ll need to pay someone to do it.
Also, Squarespace doesn’t seem to have it all together, throughout the weeks every single month I always run into an issue that I have no control over - their servers are down which means your website is down, my site becomes very slow to load at times or sometimes doesn’t even load, due to issues on their end. These issues happen more often than I’d like and have even considered leaving this platform completely because of this ongoing issue. It’s a headache to deal with.
Their customer service is decent, there is a live chat option to receive assistance on the spot, so that’s a bonus. When I first started out on Squarespace, I had no idea what I was doing, but luckily with the live chat, my website was up and running in no time.
In terms of monthly fees, you do have to pay for Squarespace, WordPress you do not. But with WordPress, you do have a hosting charge; however, this is usually a one-time recurring yearly fee vs monthly.
So, if you’d ask me which platform to use, I’d hands down say: WordPress.
Are you ready to begin building your brand and have no idea on the next steps and what you need to do? Let me share two options that:
(1) Build Your Brand mentor program: Teaches you the beginner steps to setting up your blog - defining your brand, identifying your target audience, covering hosting and domain setup to customizing your coming soon page // Read the details: here.
(2) Launch Your Fashion Website online course: in a series of how to video's you'll learn how to work the backend of Wordpress, how to build and design your site step-by-step to creating, monetizing and sharing your content // Read the details: here.