I am quite certain all of you have by now heard of online website builders like Square Space, Wix and Weebly. With all the advertising that they do, how can you not know they exist.
I have built websites using these three resources for customers to run their small business.
A few businesses had an account, and asked me to assemble their site for them.
For others, I suggested these platforms based on their needs. Yes, as a small business myself, I could have tried and convince them to used a CMS such as WordPress, where I could have charged much more. But WordPress as good and full featured as it is, may not be the best option for all businesses.
Here is my reasons of why Online Website Builders may be best for some:
- Everything at one place: hosting, domain name, security, maintenance, fast server, all the basic tools available.
- Provide beautiful templates.themes and are responsive.
- Plugins all work, no testing necessary, just install and use.
- Shopping cart easy to setup
- Easy to use, no coding skill necessary.
- Provide basic SEO and web analytics.
- With the exception of Wix, SquareSpace and Weebly have unlimited storage space for the paid platforms.
Disadvantages of Online Website Builders:
- Minimum control of your layouts, basically locked in to the theme or template that you choose.
- If you decide to change a theme on some builders, you will need to rebuild your website from scratch (Wix), because the theme is “locked in.”
- Can get pricey if you have a huge ecommerce store (more products = higher rates). As they limit the amount of pages and products you can have.
- Cost example: WordPress is free, you pay for the hosting service of your choice. No limits to amount of pages or products.
- If setting up a full fledge ecommerce store is your goal, I would suggest either using WordPress with WooCommerce extensions, or using online stores like Shopify, Bigcommerce, or Lemondstand.
- Although the 3rd party plugins/extensions all work, they are limited to a few in number. WordPress currently has over 48,000 plugins that cover everything anyone would need (calendar, ecommerce, email, slideshows, galleries, etc.).
- SEO can get cumbersome to setup.
- Web analytics are very basic. You can install the code for Google Analytics, just need to find location to do so.
- With the exception of Weebly, you cannot backup your site with SquareSpace and Weebly.
- With the exception of SquareSpace and Wix, you cannot create a email service with Weebly unless you purchase an extension.
These are just some of the criteria you can look at to help decide what’s best for your website needs. As I mentioned earlier, I do recommend online website builders for certain individuals and businesses.
I hope this post helps you in understanding what SquareSpace and it’s counterparts are about.
Feel free to contact me or leave a comment.
Helping the medium to small business, non-profits, and organizations.