There are far more options for building websites than most people realise. Picking the right one starts with working out what you need and want.
Is the site a place to reinforce who you are or is it your shop-front?
Do you need a custom design or could your branding fit into a template designed to work well on the web?
Are you looking for clients to contact you directly or customers to buy online from you?
Do you need password-protection, membership areas and online courses?
The problem with specialists
Choosing from the range of options
There are two main groups of website building systems that are best for your size and type of business:
1. Hosted website builders
These are the easiest to use and are the most stable options for building your website.
You may have heard of Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace and One. These are all hosted website builders.
There are hosted website builders that specialise in online shopping websites. These include Shopify, Tictail,
If your business model is membership and training-based, there are hosted website builders that provide you with all you need to manage members and password-protected areas and online courses. Kajabi is a well-liked option but you see that the pricing reflects how powerful it is. Some of the standard systems, like Wix and Weebly can handle basic versions of membership sites and training online and they are far cheaper.
2. Self-hosted content management systems
These over a lot more opportunity for custom development - programming your own site elements - but this comes at a price. These really require help from a developer who specialising in the particular system. They need hosting somewhere and they need protecting. Security risks are higher, especially if you don't update the software immediately as a new update comes through.
The most well-known self-hosted CMS is Wordpress. It isn't alone, there is Drupal and Joomla, Magento and a whole lot more.
There are also custom coded sites which big companies with complex sites and a high level of security use.
How to choose the best one for your business