Wix vs. Squarespace vs. WordPress vs. Joomla: Which is the best platform for your website?
Nowadays, making a professional looking website for your business is as easy as clicking a button. The days where you had to learn everything about HTML coding are long gone. Now, all you need to do is find a suitable platform online to create your website.
While that sounds great and all, this small step seems to be the hardest and leaves most people scratching their heads, confused. The fact that you are reading this article right now is enough to safely assume that you are also overwhelmed with the many platforms available online.
This article will walk you through some of the best platforms on the market, and help solve your dilemma on which direction to go.
We’re going to break the platforms into two categories and then choose the best two for each.
Ready-made website builders:
These are very popular for its easy to use features. All you have to do is select a template, choose your desired theme, input your content and pages, and you’re good to go! It rarely takes much time at all- a couple of hours max, and the best part is that it does not require you to have any skills regarding web development and design.
The best two platforms in this category are:
Based on the plan you choose, the price can go up to $24.90 per month. If you are not ready to commit yet, there is a free plan for you to get a feel of things before you dive in full-fledged.
You also have the option to choose over 500 responsive designs and easily create your content with their free hosting.
Squarespace plans can range anywhere from $5.00 to $70.00 per month. Unlike Wix, they do not offer a free plan. But in terms of features and functionality, it goes head to head with the other. This contains endless features and has elegant and modern template designs, supports social media, and is perfect to host your e-commerce.
Despite all of its glorified advantages, do keep in mind that these platforms are actually closed source, which basically means that you cannot make your own customization if you do wish to. This is because the website code and its database won’t be accessible to you, as the name implies, it is ‘closed’. The platforms won’t allow you to view the HTML, and it’s highly doubtful that they would let you add your own to your website. Even if you get your own design team, or you want to add some features that are unique to your business, you will not be able to do so.
These drag-and-drop website builders are designed so that you do not have to deal with any of the technical stuff that comes with building a website.
Self-Build website builders: (Open Source)
“I was inspired to write this post after meeting Robert Jacobi Founder of Joomla and Arc Technology Group at the WHD conference in Las Vegas few months back. In my conversation with Robert, we agreed on one common ground; over the rising of self-build platforms vs open source.
Robert indicated that he had this discussion in the past with Matt Mullenweg founder of WordPress and CEO Automattic about the need for WordPress and Joomla opensource community to stand strongly for what the term open source stands for.
Robert and Arc have been developing Mambo and Joomla websites since 2004 and in Robert’s presentation, he specified how no one is a programmer any longer from the vast features and opportunities that WordPress and Joomla presents to end users anyone can easily put a professional website together with themes and applicable plugins.
Think of these website creators as a best of both worlds. Just like the ready-made website builders mentioned above, you get all the amazing features and easy to use design elements to create your content and have your website looking professional within just a few hours. But the reason why it is the most preferred across the globe is that these website platforms are open source CMS.
This essentially means that you have access to all the behind the scenes action going on your site. The source HTML code and your website database are open to you. Hence, you are able to customize your website to your heart’s content.
There are countless of themes, modules, and plugins, all available for free, and since you have access to the code, you can tweak the features to better fit your needs and really make your website geared to your business.
With organizations like CNN, TED and Spotify choosing WordPress.org over all other platforms, you can’t deny that it is the most preferred platform and the most powerful one to date. WordPress is extremely easy to use and has over 4.2k themes and 47k plugins, allowing you to build a website that best caters to your needs and be unique in features and designs that best suit the business. Using such plugins can help boost your SEO and give you the best experience in e-commerce. Finally, all of it is free.
A close alternative is Joomla, although it has some limitations regarding adjustment options.
Just like everything else, open source CMS has some flaws. Learning and operating such platforms can be a steep learning curve and it will take some time before you are used to it. But with tons of online tutorials and how-to articles, managing open source CMS becomes just as easy.
In conclusion, if you want a well-crafted website at little to no cost at all, your best bet is WordPress.org. There are many tutorials specific to WordPress which will walk you through the process. Hosting over 74million websites all over the world, WordPress has impeccable features that will help you create the website of your dreams.