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How to choose the best website platform for your coaching business

by | online tools & resources, website strategy, wordpress

With so many different website platforms out there choosing the best website platform for your coaching business can be daunting. It’s difficult to know which is the best one for you and your business. You’ve probably heard of WordPress and Squarespace, two of the key players in the website space, but there’s also Shopify, Wix, Showit and newcomer Webflow. Feeling overwhelmed yet?

When making the decision on which website platform to go for there are several things to take into consideration:

How to choose the best website platform for your business - sm web designs

What is your budget?

Understandably cost is probably going to be one of your top criteria. It’s important to look at how much each platform costs right at the beginning of the selection process as it will help you to rule out the website builders that are out of your price range and focus on comparing the features of the ones fall within it. It will also help you to decide which features are essential to your business and those you can live without. Would you be happy to have ads on your website, for example, if the platform was free?

A website maintenance package can actually save you money

What features does your website need?

Think about how you’ll be using your website (e.g. if you’ll need an online store or a perhaps a blog page) and what features you need to be built in. Choosing a website builder that offers that functionality out-of-the-box means that you won’t have to worry about feeling frustrated by limitations once your site is built or as your business grows.

Who will be responsible for updating it?

If you’re going to be building and updating the website yourself then which platform you go for will probably depend on how technical you are. Are you pretty tech-savvy? Do you have any knowledge of coding? If you’re not technical at all or you have the budget to outsource this area of your business then you might decide to invest in a professional web design service.

Choosing a website platform can feel like a complete minefield but having the answers to these questions should help you narrow things down as you explore the various options out there…which is exactly what I’m going to help you do right now! Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of each platform so you can decide which one to choose for your business:
Wordpress

WordPress

 

WordPress is reliable, SEO friendly, secure, optimised for speed and most importantly extremely flexible.

You can use the most basic version of the platform to create a simple website to publish blog posts or use it for your business website by adding widgets and plugins to increase its functionality. Due to its popularity, there are thousands of templates to choose from and the number of plugins available with WordPress means your options for integrating your website with other software are great. The bottom line is, you can accomplish virtually anything you want to do with your website using WordPress and it’s really affordable too. If you do decide to build your website on WordPress then you’ll need to pay for hosting separately. I recommend using SiteGround* for this.

That said, the flexibility that the platform offers does mean it has a bit of a steeper learning curve than some other website builders so if you’re a website beginner then this may feel a little overwhelming. If you have the budget to work alongside a website developer then enlisting one to help build and maintain your WordPress site is often the best solution.

I chose to specialise in WordPress and 99.9% of all websites I design and build for my clients are on WordPress. I feel for working towards your long term business/website goals and aligning with your current goals, plus having total control and ownership of your own website, WordPress is a no brainer.

Read my post on WordPress.

(* This is an affiliate link but I never recommend anything I don’t use myself).

Shopify

Shopify is a powerful ecommerce website builder. It offers some really advanced features that make it a great choice for small to medium sized business looking to build an online store but its biggest drawback is its price as costs to use the platform can rack up quickly.

How to choose the best website platform for your small business - Squarespace

Squarespace

Squarespace is a popular website builder that offers a vast selection of features and has a simple-to-use drag and drop interface. Although it is a robust platform it does lack flexibility as you can’t install plugins (so you’re restricted to the features it provides) and you’re also limited to choosing from around 60 templates to design your site. You can add custom CSS to make your site look more unique but this will require you to be familiar with coding.

How to choose the best website platform for your small business - ShowIt

Showit

Showit is an all-in-one website platform similar to Squarespace which means that hosting is included in its monthly/annual subscription. It’s simple to use and very customisable but it’s not a completely integrated platform which means that a shop, analytics, blogging etc… is all done outside of the Showit interface.

How to choose the best website platform for your small business - Webflow

Webflow

Webflow is new to the market and has been attracting a lot of attention recently. It’s a website builder that offers a high level of customisation and creative control without coding but it can be quite overwhelming to use if you’re not a website designer! It can also get quite expensive depending on which of the six pricing plans you need.

How to choose the best website platform for your small business

Wix

Wix is another website platform that allows users to create websites using a drag and drop interface. It’s fairly simple to use (although not as intuitive as some of the others) and offers a high level of control over the design but the options for controlling the site functionality are very limited. For example, you can’t switch templates after your website goes live or add forms or featured images to blog posts. While there are some advanced elements you can add, like music and maps, you’ll have to add HTML code to do so. Wix is certainly one of the cheaper options out there for those on a budget but it’s worth noting that their free and basic paid plans include Wix advertising on your website which doesn’t look very professional…

Sarah - sm web designs website strategy and design for women in business - Owner WordPress https://sm-webdesigns.co.uk designer

Not sure what’s right for you and your coaching business?

Book a free 15 min call and we can chat website platforms 🙂

Sarah x