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Updated by Sarkis Hakopdjanian on May 21, 2019
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5 Website Building Options

Are you wondering how to build a business website?

We wrote this article to help you learn your 5 options for building a website.

To learn more, please read Website Design: How to Build a Business Website

Source: https://business-clinic.ca/build-business-website-design/

Custom Built Website

Pros

  • Streamlined: custom created website coding allows you to avoid unnecessary functionality that comes with most website builders, which slows down your site.
  • Customized: since the back-end infrastructure is custom created, every aspect of the website can be modified and customized, including databases and functions.
  • Unique: your custom website is completely unique, as everything was created from scratch for you.

Cons

  • Technical: custom building a back-end platform for a website requires technical knowledge of computer programming and coding.
  • Cost: most basic business websites that are completely custom-built in Alberta start at about $20,000.
  • Maintenance: every time you want to make a change to any aspect of your website, you have to contact your web developer and ask them to make the change for you.
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Wix

Wix

Pros

  • Customization: although the back-end platform is already created, you can fully customize the front-end designs with drag and drop tools.
  • Cost: for a small monthly fee, they will provide website hosting and their front-end website builder for you to use. Your cost is the amount of time that you spend doing it yourself.
  • Usability: they provide templates to use to make your website building process faster, and offer additional tools in their App Market for more features.

Cons

  • Time-consuming: complete customization of the front-end results in a time-consuming and tedious process of designing each web page, including a separate mobile version.
  • Overwhelming: having full control of every option can feel overwhelming, as there are many features, elements, apps, and options to choose from.
  • Rigid: once your website is online, you can’t switch your template, and changing one element in one area can have unintended consequences in other areas.
Squarespace

Pros

  • Design: their modern template designs are popular with creative professionals, as many are designed to showcase photography.
  • Features: compared to other do-it-yourself website builders, they have better features, including blogging, podcasts, restaurant menus, donation systems, etc.
  • Ecommerce: compared to other do-it-yourself website builders, they have better ecommerce functionality to display products, customize the checkout form, email receipts, etc.

Cons

  • Usability: many beginners find using their website builder challenging and rigid. Unlike Wix, you can’t place anything anywhere, it has to be placed within their confined sections.
  • Marketing: their search engine optimization (SEO) is relatively basic and lacks advanced features to help your website get easily found online in search engine rankings with Google.
  • Integration: unlike Wix and Weebly, you can’t integrate third-party tools from other developers to add any additional functionality; all tools are developed by Squarespace.
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Weebly

Weebly

Pros

  • Easy: their website builder is straightforward, as you can drag and drop elements into place easier than Squarespace. They also don’t overwhelm you with too many options, like Wix.
  • Integration: they offer an App Centre to add additional functionality to their basic tools, including forms, social media, memberships, etc.
  • Ecommerce: their online shopping platform is comparable to Squarespace, as you can customize the product and email editors.

Cons

  • Basic: their easy to use website builder is relatively basic in its design customization options and overall functionality, such as having limited options to customize buttons, forms, the navigation bar and footer.
  • Performance: the basic tools offered are too simple for most business websites without integrating third-party developer apps, which slows down your page load speed and hurts your search engine rankings in Google.
  • Rigid: unlike Wix, you can’t drag and drop elements anywhere, as they have to be placed within structured sections. Also, if you make a mistake, there’s no “undo” button. They also don’t integrate with email marketing tools, like MailChimp.
WordPress

Pros

  • Open: being a completely open-source platform, you can customize any aspect of your website similar to a custom-built website by having access to the programming code. This also makes it easy for you to move your website to a new website hosting server.
  • Functionality: since it’s the most popular website building tool, there are over 50,000 plugins, which are third-party apps that add additional functionality to your website. You can integrate almost any other software program, such as ecommerce, email marketing, social media, online appointment booking, etc.
  • Control: since your website is self-hosted with a website hosting server, you have complete control of your hosting options to improve your website speed, performance, search engine rankings (SEO), integration with other tools, etc.

Cons

  • Technical: unlike do-it-yourself website builders, using WordPress requires basic understanding of buying a domain, setting up a website hosting service, and installing WordPress.
  • Maintenance: do-it-yourself website builders maintain the website for you, including the security, backups, software updates, etc. With WordPress, you have to manage your website yourself, giving you more control over your options.
  • Coding: in the past, one of the biggest obstacles to using WordPress was having to custom create programming code to design the front-end web pages. Today, there are many third-party tools and plug-ins that offer easy to use page builders, similar to Wix, Squarespace or Weebly.
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Conclusion