Every business needs a website. The difficult question is, what kind of website meets the needs of your business? There are plenty of options: WordPress, Magento, WIX, Shopify or a fully custom built site. How does a business decide?
If your website will only consist of “static” pages with text and pictures, maybe one contact form, and you do not envision ever going beyond that, you can likely get by using one of the quick website building tools like WIX or Weebly. If your site is a very simple eCommerce site you might consider Square or Shopify.
All of the above provide you with a quick out-of-the-box solution at a relatively low cost, but with significant limitations. The real question is: where is your business going to be a year or two from now? What if you would like your site to be able to provide a service to your customers, have content that updates frequently, keep track of your customers and maximize your Search Engine potential? In this case, WordPress is almost always your best option. It can grow with your business needs, support tens of thousands customers and provide very specialized services not only for eCommerce but also for events, online learning, real-estate listings or even complex logistics.
WordPress sites can start very simple and will grow with you as your business grows. This is critical because switching web platforms mid-stream can be very time consuming and expensive.
The cost of WordPress
The WordPress software core is free. Almost all hosting providers include WordPress in their basic package because it is light weight and does not consume many resources. WooCommerce – the most popular WordPress extension for e-commerce is also free. That being said, you should prepare for recurring expense for other plugins you might need to customize the site. Most of WordPress is free because it is an open source platform (though it does have a paid counterpart). It is developed and updated by a large passionate community of web developers. As such it will not go bankrupt, close its doors or leave you stranded.
When WordPress is not enough?
Complex eCommerce store configuration would probably benefit from Magento. If you have a very specific Software as a Service project and a dedicated team of developers, they will probably tell you when it’s time to consider a custom built service.
Can I do WordPress on my own?
The short answer is, yes you absolutely can! WordPress has evolved to have many of the same drag and drop web building tools as Wix, Weebly, etc. and the amount of available online resources to learn the basics from is massive. The longer answer is, It depends on how tech savvy you are and how much of your time you would like to dedicate to the project. A great advantage of WordPress is that it allows non experienced users to update the basic parts of the site, like creating a new page or post, updating the menu, managing the product lineup. As your needs grow you can hire a developer to configure and maintain the more complex parts of the site while you still maintain control of the basics. We have seen this kind of collaboration between the website owner and dedicated developer be extremely successful on a large variety of sites.
Are you interested in creating a new site and want to understand the options better? Or perhaps you have an existing site that needs a revamp. We’d love to hear from you!