YES, YES, YES, a million times YES!! What platform you build your website on decides a whole host of other elements. In fact this single decision is perhaps the most important one you can make, because from that you limit the number of other roads available to you when it comes to elements such as:
- How quick / easy it is to build the website and make changes to it.
- The page load speed and security – which can affect things like eCommerce.
- The ease / difficulty in finding the website on Google.
These decisions are vital to success. To understand what you need from your platform, you need to use the platform that works in your best interests.
How to choose the right path for you
To provide the right information here, the first question you will need to ask yourself will be: What is my honest level of expertise in this field (presuming you are the one who will be building and maintaining the website).
If your experience is low then you will want something which is easy to learn and change. If your experience is good, then you may want to focus more on being found on Google, and if your experience is very good – then perhaps you want to do something completely creative and think outside of the box.
The good news is that there is a perfect website builder for you, whatever your skill level. The bad news is that, realistically speaking, no matter what your level you will have to do some learning if you want to make your website a success.
A (super) brief history lesson in websites
Let’s start from the beginning. Websites, ie. the websites we know and love now, began being possible in around 1998 with the World Wide Web Consortium – otherwise known at W3C. This consortium was setup by the inventor of the internet, a man called Tim Berners-Lee, to help create a framework of standards and practices that protect the network.
All websites that start with www. adhere to this code of practice, and designers and developers use this framework as way to share information and help resolve any issues. There are a set of providers who are approved to create these websites, and they create software which puts user elements into this www. framework. In this sense all website builders are the same – they do the same job.
The things that are different are the interface (what the user has to do), the hosting (where the data is held) and the plugins / themes / integrations which are available (what it can do / how your website looks).
Please choose your level of expertise below and we will help guide your choice of website.
None / Very Little Experience
The hardest thing to do sometimes is to get started in websites. Luckily there are a range of options now which were not available in the past, and that building a website with very little experience is significantly easier than it ever has been.
We would suggest Wix, Squarespace or Weebly. These are designed for people who are brand new to website design. They Combine hosting, domains and web design into one neat little package.
Warning: These offerings cost more than other options. You will always pay a price for ease of use. Additionally they will still require a large amount of time to do USEFUL things such as setup SEO so people can find you on Google.
For those who have a little experience with websites, there are a number of options which can reduce cost. Rather than going for an ‘All-in-one’ solution, you should look to purchase hosting with an approved supplier. This will give you a powerful virtual environment at a much lower cost which will allow you to hold your website.
Once hosting space has purchased, you will need to install an W3C application such as Jooma or WordPress. You do this from the cPanel dashboard. Once you have installed the application, just choose or purchase a theme, add some content and away you go!
We would recommend, if you are looking down the second route, to use Revolution Slider. With a years’ licence only $28 you will save hundreds of hours creating the number of mods and lines of codes needed to produce the same effect.
If you are experienced then you will know that the best way to go about design is to work smart rather than work hard. Working smart means adapting elements that you like into your own style. This option comes complete with templates to create stunning effects which can help you setup a truly incredible website in hours, not days, weeks or even months.
The right road – The one which meets your goals.
The right road for you is the one which helps empower you. If you are seeking a personal website and you plan to drive traffic through Facebook, go with Wix – its easy, cheap and you can setup a store quickly. If you are looking for a corporate site with lots of content and you want it to look professional and be found on Google, go with a WordPress theme and Yoast Premium SEO. If you want to create something that will stun you audience, go with WordPress and a new option like Revolution Slider to create some brilliant designs.
In any case good luck, and if you need any advice then why not email me directly and I can help: firstname.lastname@example.org.