So, I’ve actually discussed this topic already in the linked blog post below but wanted to do a quick update with some information on the different website platforms out there. P.S. This is based on research since I’ve only ever used WP, Showit, Shopify, and attempted Squarspace myself. So, if you would change or add anything to a platform to share with others, drop a comment!
Below I will list the Pros & Cons of each platform, simply because it all depends on your needs, your business, your priorities & your future growth. So, although they are definitely not all created equal, each one has an over-arching purpose for specific businesses. This is why I think it helps to see what exactly makes them different from one another!
01 / Free Plugins (E-Commerce)
02 / Great SEO capabilities
03 / Lower Cost for hosting
04 / Can be completely custom
05 / Powerful Blog Platform
01 / Hard to customize w/out code
02 / Intimidating Backend
03 / Domain/Hosting Not Included
04 / Responsive Design Limited
05 / No real Support
you want a completely custom design (with the help of a developer) with unlimited free plugins & future growth capabilities (memberships, e-commerce, etc)
you don’t understand code or have a developer, you want complete design control, easy customizations, and a seamless platform for updating
01 / Easy to setup & use backend
02 / Great E-Commerce capabilities
03 / Unlimited add-on apps
04 / Great for larger shops
05 / Linkable to sell on social media
01 / Function over Design
02 / Limited templates & code needed
03 / Higher cost plans
04 / Limited Support (depends on plan)
05 / Blog is limited
you want an easy to use backend, analytics and a have a higher quantity of products to manage
you care more about design, have less products and want more control of the template look/feel
01 / Drag & Drop (just limited)
02 / E-Commerce Built In
03 / Domain/Hosting/Email Included
04 / Great Support Team
05 / Lower Monthly cost all-in
01 / Design & Customization is limited
02 / Can’t customize mobile view
03 / Need Some CSS Knowledge for edits
04 / SEO capabilities can be limited
05 / Not made for large e-comm sites
you have a Smaller Product based business and care more about the all-in-one capabilities and less about design & customization.
you want more design control to look/feel custom. If you have a lot of products and different kinds (bundles, etc). Or if you want to build your blog presence.
01 / Drag & drop w/some limitations
02/ Has mobile customize options
03 / Has app options (sell online/etc)
04 / Quick to create & launch
05 / Has hosting, email, etc built-in
01 / Limited for seo
02 / Can get expensive w/pro plans
03 / Design limiations & customization
04 / Can’t switch templates easily
05 / Can’t export blog or subscribers
you want a quick to learn platform and your website launched quickly
you want more design control, have a lot of products to sell or want a more powerful SEO blog platform like WordPress
01 / Limitless Drag & Drop platform
02 / Customizable Mobile & Desktop
03 / Chat & Community Support
04 / WordPress Blog Platform w/Plugins
05 / SEO capabilities
01 / No E-Commerce built-in
02 / Can cost more than other hosting
03 / Can be too customizable for some
04/ Domain hosted separately
05 / No built-in analytics
you want a creative & custom website with complete design control, easy to update, and the blog power of WordPress & Plugins for SEO and growth.
you are an E-Commerce based business or someone who may not care as much about customizations and the creativity aspect.
I’ll actually send more people over to Shopify than anywhere else. ESPECIALLY if they are a purely e-commerce based website with a large number of products. Its capabilities outweigh Squarespace when it comes to selling online.. But, the customizations are limited, so its function over design an would require a developer to help create a more custom look.
This is truly great for anyone who wants beautiful templates/sites that are EASY to customize without needing to know any code. The difference with this drag-and-drop platform is that you can literally re-arrange, shift, resize, all of the elements. When I tried Squarespace, I just didn’t have the flexibility I had in Showit, nor did the backend seem as easy.
I don’t recommend it often to those who do plan to sell a lot of products and/or are a completely e-Commerce based website (Shopify is best). BUT, Showit dos allow you to use ‘buy button’ embed codes and 3rd party carts, like my shop (using Thrivecart). I just typically only recommend that for those under 30ish products and LOVE to have control of the design :)