What are the best website platforms for dummies to develop a simple site?
Which popular platforms would you recommend to create a simple website? It would be great if you could share the pros and cons of each platform.
OK so where to begin?!
I'm going to assume that you're serious about development and tell you what I use and why.
Firstly, I use Wordpress (WP) which accounts for some +30% of all websites as the basic platform. It's superbly supported and updated and it's free. There are thousands and thousands of free software plugins to go with it. You could build a good solid professional site on WP and not pay a cent for the software.
BUT you must think of WP as a skeleton - it needs flesh and that flesh is provided by themes, which used to be known as 'skins'. Themes provide a host of appearence options and technical facilities on top of WP. Many are free, but even thr specialized ones for real-estate sites etc are a very reasonable price - around $675 max and usually less.
Do you need code for this? No - but I'll tell you what - knowing a little CSS to get around some finicky parts of any theme can save you a lot of time and heartache. So learn some css - take your time and do it gradually as you build your sites.
Next, you need other WP plugins for payments processors, and a host of othr functions - mostly free.
Finally and very importantly, you need a good editor that dorsn't produce bloated code. the Wp editor is basic - even the new one. A good visual editor will work together with your theme to make beautiful pages that load fast without writing code. Again though, a little CS capability can save your life!
I recommend Thrive Architect and Elmentor as editors. you will have a learning curve but nothing like wiring code!
Sites buut ith these technologies can be easily maintained by their owners.
Finally and formest! If you're going to do this, you need to learn about the back-end at the host - CPanel usually. this is where you install WP, set up emails check problems. This si where you actally begin.
You asked about alternatives. I am aware of Wix but the sites i've seen so far have not impressed me. there are probably others. usuallly they claim to be free, but as soon as you need to do serious things, charged-addons become needed.
Good luck and hope tgat helps you a bit.
I have used a few but probably the market leader, WordPress. There are so many videos and so much help available. Plus you can purchase themes like Divi which make editing very easy. WYSIWYG style - click in page, and a whole library of ready-made layouts.
If you have no technical background whatsoever, I would definitely recommend Squarespace. It's completely drag and drop and there are clear, well communicated tutorials out there. However, you have to be aware that there is a monthly cost to maintaining a Squarespace site - however, you can argue that whatever platform you choose, there will be long term associated costs anyway.
Wordpress. It's the only one flexible enough to do whatever you want! I find with the other platforms you end up having to compromise or pay a lot for features you want.
Well, you can consider the following platform and their pro and cons.
Great content management system
Custom Layouts Are Hard To Use
Lots of Updates
Planning Is Needed
You receive upgraded design templates
The interface is intuitive and useful
Wix takes care of your site security without compromising speed
The starter plan doesn’t remove ads from your site
There are no unlimited plans
Drag and drop designs can limit your creativity
If e-commerce then you can consider :
- Selling products on multiple channels
- Make money with Shopify “Buy Button”
- Excellent site performance
- Sell both digital and physical products
- Customize theme using – Liquid
- Advanced features at a higher price
- Apps come with pricing
- No email hosting
*All these platforms have their own pro and cons. But as everyone is suggesting I would also vote for Wordpress as it's an open-source platform
and can provide high functionalities in the future. The best page builder is Elementor which makes it very user friendly.
Go to Evanto or Code Canyon
choose the theme you want
Go to Site Ground WordPress hosting buy the shared hosting plan
Upload theme ( easy to do easy guides are available online)
Make a change in your theme and get them published.
If you need any further help you can consult Consult 2 Manage. We provide professional website building and hosting solutions. Further, I can offer you a 15 min free consultation over starting a new website.
Best of luck on your Endeavor.
One of the big negatives for Wordpress for beginners is the need for the user to keep the Wordpress core & plugins up to date themselves & deal with other technical issues like website performance. Core & plugin updates oftentimes provide security & performance updates so are important.
And then, there is the forever present issue with plugin incompatibilities which surprisingly often rears its ugly head. Who is going to fix those?
Platforms like Shopify, Wix & Squarespace, where the providers maintain the platform, is in my view, much better for beginners for that reason alone. But also, they provide help via chat etc. which is a much better option, particularly for beginners, than is available for the open source Wordpress solution which has no 'owner'.
But ... the reality is that, just like with anything really, if you want to do a "professional job" ... then use a professional. Sure, a beginner can get a web site up, but the likelihood of it actually doing any good in terms of driving traffic & business, in my 20+ years of experience, is zero.
Remember the line ... "a person who represents himself in court has a fool for a lawyer"? Then why would a businesss owner think they could compete sucessfully online against sites developed by professionals. It makes no sense to me.
Sorry - that 675 is a typo - it should read 50-70! Apologies.
I have set up three websites on Wordpress, which I think is the most flexible and easier to do activities to rank better in search. However, if your timeline for learning is shorter, I managed to learn SquareSpace and set up a new website on it for an accountant in the space of a month (1 short day a week). Because it came self-hosted (also great value) there was no hassles with setting up a hosting solution. The con of SquareSpace as I saw it, was sometimes it seemed nigh on impossible to get the gaps and photo galleries how you like it. If you don't drop the photo in the exact right place, it also goes to hell in a handbasket. Video tutorials and speedy support got me out of the pickle.
This question is actually one that's close to my heart, as I have experimented with many, many website platforms over the years in search for a platform that was not only fully featured, but also allowed my clients to easily maintain their own sites.
Web Developers typically lean toward WordPress! Why? It has all the tech features at their fingertips, and plenty of additional enhancements via plugins, plus all of the other great points the others have mentioned.
So would I recommend it for beginners? Not usually. The fine print that goes with using Open Source software such as WordPress is that you have to keep it updated and all the other plugins you use, yourself. This is fine for people that are familiar with that but it's a steeper learning curve for novices.
For that reason I tend to point people starting out toward what is known as a hosted solution. A hosted website means that the host company looks after all the security updates for you. The likes of WIX, Weebly, SquareSpace, Duda and Shopify are examples of hosted sites. It's just one less thing to have to worry about when you're starting out in business.
The downside to hosted sites is that they generally do not include email hosting, so you have to pay separately for that. The world is now moving towards hosted emails such as Microsoft 365 or GSuite, so that's now no longer a major factor, but it does add to the cost.
I've certainly got my own preferences based on familiarity and experience, but every platform is only as good as the support that is behind it, so make sure you've got the human side to tap into as well as the technology.