There are over sixty-six trillion websites on the internet. That number is essentially too large to really comprehend. In a nutshell, the world is connected and essentially every business and idea are competing in the digital marketplace for recognition.
Because it has become critical that any business today is online, understanding how to get online is no longer optional. But we are also in a time of transition.
Many people today understand their business, their customers and their products, but are lost when it comes to how to share their understanding on the web and to their potential customers. Therefore, every person who wants to increase their web presence must now ask the question: What is the best method of getting online for me?
The most popular web hosting platform is WordPress. WordPress is very powerful but can be daunting for less technical people because it has a sharp and not particularly intuitive learning curve. The power and versatility of WordPress make it attractive. There is virtually nothing you can’t do with it. However, with that versatility and power comes complexity and confusion.
WordPress is highly recommended for those who want to make a great website and want their website to evolve as their understanding evolves. These people must have at least a minimum of patience as well as courage when learning new technology.
WordPress is also an economical choice. The hosting costs and domain costs are not through WordPress itself. WordPress simply provides the ability to create the website, update it and have dynamic content, like blog posts.
This economy can also be an issue because the company which hosts your site, e.g. Godaddy or Hostgator, might not be able to provide specific tech support for your particular WordPress theme or concerns that are specific to WordPress applications.
Squarespace is a webhosting service and domain registry. Because it is self contained, Squarespace simplifies the experience compared to WordPress and it’s relationships with themes and hosting services. Because it is self contained, the tech support can address all of the concerns of the customer and can accommodate expansion as well as issues that arise from an ever-evolving web project.
Squarespace is more expensive than most WordPress avenues, but that is the price for creating a powerful format with the ease and efficiency of a self-contained hosting, registry and content management service.
Some new entries into the marketplace are trying to capitalize on the same demand that Squarespace has tapped. Companies like Wix are making creating a website fairly intuitive and like Squarespace, they support the process in-house.
Services like Wix are designed to make the process easy, but that means there are limits to how powerful their products are and they use come-along deals to get people to sign up for their services at low, introductory prices that either go up, or require more expensive service additions as the site and the needs of the site owner expand.
Commerce Site Providers
Commerce site providers or point of sale services have been developing to elbow their way into the spaces that WordPress and Squarespace occupy and compete head-to-head instead of merely providing services that those providers can use. Shopify has grown from a shopping cart service to where they now host websites and provide easy to develop website hosting and support.
These types of services are particularly efficient and user-friendly, but again, lack the power and complexity of services like WordPress. They do allow for a much simpler method to put a business online and receive payments and fulfill orders, track and account for commerce.
It can be frustrating if you commit to a service and it is wrong for you. If you can’t get what you want online because it is too difficult is worthless. The savings you gained from using a platform like WordPress can quickly disappear when you have to pay someone to build and maintain your site.
Conversely, if you get your site up and running easily and quickly, but find that your site’s needs are beyond the provider you chose, then you must go through the complicated process of migrating your domain.
When you choose between the above service providers and hosting options, be honest and consider what your ultimate vision will need. Be honest about how willing you are to learn the complexities of building the site. If you are truly willing to go in depth, perhaps WordPress is your best choice. If you don’t want to become an uber-geek simply to get online, choose a method that matches your need for service, ease, and growth. Ultimately, remember, you want to enjoy this process. If it’s too complex, you won’t. If it’s too limiting, you won’t enjoy it, either. Remember, sixty-six trillion sites are competing with you, so choose wisely.