This is maybe one of the most talked about topics for tech-savvy entrepreneurs when it comes to building a website. If I NEED a website then should I use WordPress, Shopify, or Squarespace? The fact of the matter is, if you are going to be in business, anywhere, you NEED a website. Or else, you are simply leaving attention on the table and a boatload of opportunity. With a properly built website, most of the easy or simple questions are answered. And, with the power of Google, those answers are repeated, multiple times to anyone simply looking to ask. It also comes down to the type of business you run. Are you a detailed oriented, then go WordPress. Are you looking to set up shop quick, go Shopify.
The list is absolutely massive of what a website can do. With things constantly being added to that list daily. With regards to your business, a website can become your lead saleswoman. Or, an extraordinary place to encapsulate your full art collection. Maybe even host a forum for kittens playing on video for cat lovers to go watch and comment. No matter what you use your website for, you need it to work. It must become a reliable tool that your business can lean on. So let us take a look at 3 of the most popular options available to build on.
WordPress, literally, is responsible for close to 30% of THE WHOLE INTERNET. I want you to wrap your brain around that fact. That means that 3 out of every 10 websites on the internet. (Currently 1,898,902,120 as of July 30, 2018 4:15 pm PSD) Which means at that moment just described, 569,670,636 sites were reported to be running WordPress. That’s a lot of people and comes with the most popular and powerful plugin store. WordPress is probably best known for its customization. You really can add or subtract anything from the little window of your website you desire. Whether it is an E-commerce site or a full-fledged news blog you run, WordPress has a theme and a host of plug-ins that, if utilized correctly, could take your “THING” to the next level.
E-commerce Rating: 9/10
When it comes to E-commerce, WordPress has all of your wants and needs covered. From product showcasing to pop-ups that chase your customer before exiting, WordPress has it all. If you are looking to fully customize your customer’s buying experience, then WordPress has all you need. Running an E-commerce site on WordPress most likely means that you will be running the plug-in WooCommerce. It is feature rich and comes fully loaded with everything a professional shop owner could dream of. In practice, you will find that Woo is fairly easy to pick up and start working with. Things like bulk product editing and product analytics are the cornerstones of their software making. They a true goliath in the E-Commerce space.
This website is developed on WordPress, as well as all of the other brands managed under “Our Little Green Adventure”. We prefer to develop our client’s dream sites on WordPress and are very pleased to be partnered together.
Disclaimer: WordPress has both the highest potential but the longest learning curve. So, when it comes to getting the most out of your site, hiring a professional like Little Green Development can really put your site on the fast track to success.
Blog Rating: 9/10
For bloggers of all shapes and sizes and their blogs to match, WordPress still reigns king. Utilizing a special tag layout design of the PHP language; WordPress allows for a blogger to both captivate readers and non-evasively keep them guessing. By showing off snippets of other “featured articles”, readers’ attention can be tactically kept. Overall, the idea of blogging on a specific topic really comes down to, 1. how you can catch readers attention with a witty article, and 2., once they have entered your site, was it fluidly and intuitively laid out as to keep as much of those eyeballs here as possible.
~I will let you in on a little hint: each of the next two options gives you a single option within a specific theme. WordPress = More Customization.~
Overall Rating for WordPress: 9/10
I rate this specifically A- or a 90% because of the above and specialization someone would need to really customize your site to a “T”. With the trial and error approach, you can have a fully functional site that can be cranking in sales for your business in about 72 total hours worth of work. If you outsource your SEO, Content Creation, Web Development, and Design, then you can expect a “functional site” in about 4 and a member of your sales team in about 20 hours.
If Shopify were a person, you might think of the person in your group of friends who are always promoting their business. In my case, I am most reminded of my uncle Bob who runs an embroidery shop. He asks literally employee of any business “if you like the uniforms you wear?” Why? because the man is a HUSTLER, he is constantly looking for the next sale and has no shame in going to ask for it. Shopify is like my dear uncle Bob because it has so many “E-commerce based app-integrations” it would take a lifetime to read out all of the services and add-ons. Shopify has also worked out deals with tech giant Facebook to be the only E-commerce solution allowed to sell natively within the Facebook ecosystem.
E-Commerce Rating: 9/10
This is Cut and Dry E-commerce. Many sites are being created on Shopify, purely because, they have the Facebook affiliation. Shopify ranks #1 for me for businesses with tangible or digital products. They can really build a clean and polished salesman with all of the app-integrations and then set them to hyper speed selling with some facebook mastery. I also highly recommend Shopify for anyone looking to sell to the 20-35 age bracket. Knowing that a single ad can be beautifully presented, in just a couple clicks of your site, to BILLIONS of people is truly awesome. Not even including the fact that Facebook also owns Instagram so naturally, if you are selling anything millennials or younger, you would be pretty well off to choose Shopify. The only bone I have to pick with Shopify is the idea that some really abstract just doesn’t function well here. Great at selling but lacking elsewhere…
Blog Rating: 6/10
From my experience, if you are blogging your way through a topic, you just don’t get the full suite of everything that a Blog on full tilt would need. You are stuck to simple, single column, right sidebar designs (unless you create your own theme, which normally isn’t done) that tend to look more and more like everything else on the web. I find it very cookie cutter and only really see a benefit if your blog and brand building efforts are in line. With a simple readable design you can certainly display your wants, hope, and dreams about whatever topic you fancy, but it will just look like every other blog out there.
Shopify is great at selling which is what it does best. As far as blogging is concerned, you will be given a working cookie cutter blog with just about every theme and that will be the alright. It will be functional but nothing special. The other ~BIG POINT~ not mentioned above is the popularity Shopify has in DropShipping industry. I have tried to understand the trends like a drop shipper and just found I didn’t want to start from scratch over and over. So, not for me, but I see the allure: quickly and cheaply create a cookie cutter E-commerce site. Push and promote the fidget-spinner of tomorrow to people who are unaware that they could source all the same stuff from China themselves for pennies on the dollar. Shopify is king in the Drop Ship land, so if that’s your thing, your next site will fit right in.
Squarespace is known for being the designer’s portfolio site. “Create Something Beautiful” was even once their slogan. They go after the creator and have a very elegant but simple way of displaying all of your Artwork in a very rudimentary grid design. I love Squarespace for its vague but narrowly object-oriented design. Squarespace will get everything “most of the way there” just to leave your developer wanting more. Its usability is top notch and can be easily edited by any level of developer.
E-Commerce Rating: 8/10
For Squarespace, you can really have a simple, sales funnel dominating, lead page and check out within just a couple of hours. As far a usability goes, Squarespace is where I would go to make a very polite sale in an elegant store. I am only really downgrading their rating because of their lack of integration with Facebook and their lack of customizable SEO. (I will speak more on this below in the SEO paragraphs). Otherwise, Squarespace is relatively easy and it won’t take forever to get selling.
Blog Rating: 9/10
I love blogging on the Squarespace platform, the missing piece is the lack of SEO customization allowed within, more on that later. Blogging on Squarespace is clean and intuitive. Your readers will naturally cascade down your sites articles, you will be restricted with just how much you can customize, but I am a believer that the base Squarespace Box that the blog comes it works just fine. Users of Squarespace will enjoy an elegant array of tools to use but only those within the, very limited, store.
If you have a lot of stuff to show off then the plug and play model that is Squarespace will get you going quickly and easily with very little fuss. Squarespace loses points for real customizability but will otherwise do the job with very little input. Expect to spend a good 4 days of solid work getting all of your ducks in a row before your Squarespace site can be really rocking and rolling as a real member of your sales team.
So what’s the verdict?
Well when it comes to building websites, each one needs to be different because each story our products need to tell is different. If you are blogging to just blog then we recommend Squarespace to get you running right now, and WordPress if you are simply looking to blog for free and maybe someday turn your love of writing into a career. Shopify is in the lead with their Facebook integration, making Facebook and Instagram marketing a breeze. The others will only associate with Facebook as any other site would: no back-stage passes. If you are in the business of developing and building one of a kind web designs then WordPress is #1 and as we will explain shortly.
I love to blog and Tinker with WordPress. If you are an engineer or have any other science background then you know that everything is always moving and changing. Therefore we must test different site designs constantly. New customers, new readers, new followers all are just a little tweak in your SEO or site design away from flooding your site. Of course, your content is King and must hold your reader’s attention, but you have to have the plumbing in the right place to funnel every new lead to a sale. Because of all of that, I choose WordPress.
~Note On SEO~
When it comes to the optimization of each link, keyword, and alt tag a trained developer is key. For each piece of media above, you can only truly optimize for long-term stability with WordPress. Shopify and Squarespace claim to “Have your site’s SEO covered”. I personally don’t trust it. Especially with the thought of multiple companies in the same industry all using Squarespace. If Squarespace is taking ownership of the whole industries SEO then which do they put first? If you are not writing with keywords and long-term SEO in mind, you are wasting time. Literally, half the battle of SEO is getting Google to understand your jibberish.