There are only 3 ways to build a high-quality website.
That being said it’s important to make sure you get it right from the start. Failing to do so could cost you months worth of revenue and time in the future. Believe me when I say a site migration is something you want to avoid if entirely possible.
Before you get overly excited and jump straight into the creation of your new website, take a few minutes to think about what method you’ll be using to build it. It you choose the right one for you from the start, everything that follows will be much easier.
There are two questions you need to answer to know how to build your website.
- Are you going to be selling physical products from your website? (Ecommerce)
We highly recommend building your ecommerce website on Shopify. We’ll go into more detail why we’d recommend this below. (If you want to jump straight into it we have a free guide on how to create an eccomerce website which will run you through exactly how to do it.)
- Are you serious about getting a lot of traffic to your website?
Big online businesses are all about staying one step ahead of their competitors, getting more traffic and in turn more conversions.
A lot of websites don’t need tones of traffic. This can make all there traffic strategiers overkill.
For some businesses and projects all you’ll need is a basic website with all the relevant information perople need to know aobut you.
A great example of this is a resteraunt website. They just need to have a name, menu, open hours, phone number and their location. That’s all! You don’t need a fancy SEO strategy or any other strategy for that matter. All that will matter to a reseraunt is that the site contains the basic information mentioned before.
If this sounds like you then you’re in luck. You can skip all the extra stuff that other website builders need to so and build yourself a nice simple website. You can do this by using a website builder that will help you easily put together exactly what you;re looking for and get your site up and running in a matter of minutes.
But what if you do need a shed load of traffic. Then what?
Theres a solution for that too, build your website on WordPress. It’s still easy to set up on your own as you won’t need to code anything yourself. However, it’s not quite as streamlined as the other site builders, you’ll need to do a lot mroe thinking for yourself. Learning the platform will be extremely rewarding and the extra features can help you create a brilliant website.
If you need traffic, the extra control WordPress gives you will be invaluable.
So to recacp, here are your two options:
- If your business needs a lot of traffic, use WordPress. See our free guide on how to create a WordPress website to learn exactly how to do this.
- If you need a basic information website, use a site builder like Squarespace. We have a guide that shows you the best website builders to use.
Let’s look at all these option in more detail now.
Creating an Ecommerce Website For Your Online Store
If you’re looking to sell physical goods, i.e clothing or electronics there is one main option to go with in order to have the best experience. That’s Shopify.
Yes, there are a few more options that you could use. As Shopify is so good there isn’t really any point in choosing anything else.
Building a website with Shopify gets you:
- An easy to use ecommerce focused site builder
- Flexibility to edit your site how you want.
- In-build inventory and shipping management
- Reliable payment processing with quick set up
- An array of apps to give you further functionality
See everything the platform has to offer in our in-depth review of Shopify.
These no downside to choosing to build a website with Shopify. They have a high quality product at a fair price. If I was looking to build a website to sell physical goods, I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up to Shopify. Its the only way to go
If you’re not looking at selling physical goods then Shopify won’t make much sense for you.If you’re looking to create another typeof website there are easier, cheaper and more variable methods of building a website.
With millions of online shops now being built on Shopify there is loads of support available for new users. This minimises the risk on the individual as there will always be someone who can help you out. Visit Shopify to try it for free.
WordPress Vs. Website Builders
If you aren’t building a Shopify store you now have a choice to make.
You can either use a website builder or build the site yourself using WordPress.
Lets start by looking at Website Builders
Website builders like Squarespace make things extremely easy. All you need to do is go to their website, select a an available domain name and then use their software to put it all together. They’ll walk you through each step.
Website builders are suited to these types of website:
- Local Businesses
- Hobby Sites
- Student Groups
- Community projects
- Portfolio sites
- Short Term Projects
These types of websites won’t need to be looking to attain serious amounts of traffic. All they will generally need are a few simple pages that inform visitors about their business or project. This is when a quick build on a Website builder will work a treat.
However, they do have a downside. They won’t be able to handle big websites and lack the features you’ll need in order to deal with large amounts of web traffic. Most businesses or individuals won’t need this though so a basic website builder is perfect. You’ll get more value out of the ease of use that you wont notice the lack of advanced features.
What about WordPress then
When should you be thinking about going a more advanced route?
It depends if you aspire to build a large website or your business will require the capacity to handle large amounts of traffic visiting your site.
In that case use WordPress.
One-third of all websites on the internet are powered by WordPress and there is a good reason for this. It features everything you could want in order to create a high-quality website. These features include:
- Quick and easy set up
- Ongoing Dev maintenance and updates
- Compete combustibility, build your site how you want.
- Easy to learn so many people on your team will be able to edit your site.
- Create build-in SEO features to help you acquire organic traffic
- Completely open-source and in turn fully owned by the user
- It’s FREE. All you’ll need to pay for is your domain and web hosting to get online.
To Recap, WordPress is free, has all the advanced features you could need and is completely customisation. Can you see why it’s extremely popular?
But when comparing it to website builders it has a significantly higher learning curve associated with it. To get started you’ll need to get a domain name, set up web hosting, install WordPress and then begin configuring your site by adding a theme and the right plugins.
Most of the time using WordPress you’ll be able to make the changes you need yourself. However, there is the option to get a developer to help if you want anything extra special doing.
To conclude this debate, it all comes down to the vision you have for your website.
If you just need a basic website for simple business or personal information then use a website builder. They’re much quicker to get a grasp of and will do the job you need of them.
If you’re looking to build a large website use WordPress as the complete customisation you have at your finger tips will be invaluable.
WordPress Vs. Other CMS Systems
There are other CMS (Content Management Systems) out there in addition to WordPress, the main ones being ‘Durpal’ and ‘Joomla’ for example.
Should you consider using one of them instead? In short, no.
WordPress is far superior in every possible way with better features and a more user friendly interface. There’s a reason 1/3rd of the websites on the internet are built on the platform. It just works.
With so many people using it theres an abundance of guides and help out there that any issue can be resolved with a simple google search. I can’t say the same for every issue with other CMS systems.
Do things right from the start, use WordPress from the go.
WordPress.com Or WordPress.org, whats the difference?
If you’ve looked at using WordPress in the past then you’ve probably come across WordPress.com and WordPress.org. They’re both the same company but there are some differences between the two.
WordPress.org has all the free, open-source stuff. When you sign up for a web host and install WordPress, you’re using code from WordPress.org.
Alternatively, WordPress.com is the commercial side of the business. You can use it as a website builder to set up a website with hosting but comes with restrictions and paid options.
Choosing the latter will be an easy solution to get WordPress and hosting at the same time. But it’s become so easy to install WordPress now it’s hardly any quicker to do it on WordPress as opposed to independent site hosting.
If you’re looking for this ease of use I’d recommend using a Website builder referenced earlier instead as it’ll be easier to use.
But if you’re serious WordPress.org will be the way to go. You won’t need to do anything though as your web hosting provider will install the framework for you.
The Pros and Cons of Hiring A Developer
How about hiring a web developer to build a website for you?
It’s definitely an option for most users thinking about getting a website.
If this is a route you want to go down then we’d recommend you choose one of the tools we’ve talked about in this article. That may be Shopify, WordPress or one of the many website builders. This has to be your choice.
Once you’ve decided on a tool you’ll be able to look for some one with a track record of building websites on your chose platform. Regardless of if they are a freelancer or agency you need to make sure they have experience in your chose tool. Try to look at previous examples of their work to get a feel for what your website might look like.
This is not necessary though with a bit of perseverance you can learn any of the website building- techniques yourself. This can stand you in good stead for the future too if you ever have any issues down the line.
These is no point using a freelancer or agency if you’re planning on using a site builder though. There isn’t much to customise or configure so you can’t really get it wrong. The process has been streamlined so most people will find it incredibly easy to follow. You should be able to follow the steps and have a tangible website created in an afternoon.
Alternatively if you want to use Shopify or WordPress the themes that are available for them will do the job of making your website look however you desire with a bit of playing around. If you value your time though you could hire a developer or agency to set this up for you.
Time to Build Your Website
So to recap there’s three ways that you can build your website based on your needs and intentions:
- For eCommerce sites, build your site with Shopify.
- For basic websites, use a top-rated website builder.
- To build large sites with lots of traffic, build a WordPress website.
Choose one to follow our step-by-step guide for each method of getting online.