Today, there are numerous powerful web development platforms that provide many of the tools that are needed to create a usable and feature-rich website. Web development platforms usually provide nearly everything a business or an individual would need to create a website without requiring the knowledge of how to code. Keep in mind that each web development platform has its own benefits that could be of interest to you.

These platforms offer their own unique set of features, SEO offerings, design tools, functionality, and compatibility with other apps that could be necessary when creating your own website. When selecting one of these platforms, it’s recommended that you choose one that aligns with your interests. Choosing your own website can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to look and are unsure of what it takes to launch a website. Here is a thorough guide to the top three web development platforms to help you make your decision.

wix squarespace wordpress infographic

Wix

Homepage of Wix website

Wix is a unique cloud-based web development platform that allows users to quickly and effortlessly create their own sites by dragging and dropping features. When it was founded in 2006, the website builder was based on Adobe Flash. Since that time, they have expanded to offer many of the same features provided by more robust web development platforms. When you use the drag-and-drop editor that’s available through Wix, it’s important that you have at least some knowledge of design. While this tool makes it easy to create a website, it also allows for bad designs if you don’t know what modern customers want in a website.

This is a highly customizable platform, which means that you should be able to make your website appear to be distinct when compared to competitor websites. Nearly every component of the design can be customized if you want. One notable feature is that Wix provides customers with a personalized SEO plan. If you want your website to become popular and gain high amounts of traffic once it has been placed online, it’s important that the website has been effectively optimized for search engines. The personalized SEO plan available through Wix can be created with the Site Booster app that they provide. This app can help your website rank higher in various search engines while also getting your site listed in numerous directories.

Wix template examples

If you decide to use the Wix web development platform, you can start from scratch or choose from over 500 designer-made templates that are able to accommodate practically any kind of website. This platform also allows you to add many advanced features that can help you design a more comprehensive and feature-rich website. These features include a booking system, an online store, and a members area, the latter of which can be very useful when you’re trying to increase customer conversion rates. The Wix platform includes more than 250 apps that can be added to your website at any time. Their app library extends to Eventbrite, Etsy, and various social media platforms.

Annual and Monthly Pricing Options for Wix

Before you start to create your website with this web development platform, you might want to know some more about pricing. If you’re creating a standard blog website, they offer a free plan that includes features like SSL encryption, 1GB of bandwidth, and several additional features. Their standard pricing starts at $13 per month with the Combo plan, which has zero adverts and allows you to use your own domain. While this package costs $13 per month if you purchase an annual subscription, the costs increase to $17 per month if you pay on a monthly basis.

The Unlimited plan is beneficial for larger websites since there are no limits to storage or bandwidth. This plan comes in at $17 per month annually. There are also several business and eCommerce plans that start at $23 per month. These plans offer extensive eCommerce features and include high amounts of standard storage and video storage. With this pricing in mind, you should be able to determine which Wix package is right for you.

Squarespace

Homepage for Squarespace website

Squarespace is a software-based web development platform that offers a comprehensive suite of features for individuals and businesses that want to create a website. While Squarespace was initially created to help make design accessible to smaller businesses and artists, it can now be used for personal and professional websites.

Additionally, it can be used for many different kinds of businesses, and eCommerce websites. If you need to place an unlimited number of products on your website for sale, this can be done with the Squarespace platform. This platform is known for having a reliable support team on hand at all times, which can be highly beneficial when you need to sort out bugs and issues with your website.

Among the more notable aspects of Squarespace is that they host all of their websites and provide users with the ability to purchase a domain through the Squarespace platform. They offer 40 separate templates that can be used by site owners, all of which are made with a clean, simple, and modern design. These templates are also highly varied, which allows them to be applied to many different types of websites. Each theme and website created on Squarespace is outfitted with mobile optimization and responsive functionality. The inclusion of responsive technology means that you can avoid needing to create a separate mobile design.

Plans and Pricing for Squarespace Websites

Some of the additional features that you can expect to use with the Squarespace platform include an in-platform image editor, an advanced theme editor if you know how to use some CSS, and some basic marketing features like Mailchimp integration and share buttons for social media. As for pricing, Squarespace offers four plans that include personal, business, basic commerce, and advanced commerce plans. These plans are priced at $12 per month, $18 per month, $26 per month, and $40 per month respectively.

The personal plan includes such features as responsive functionality, 24/7 support, SEO features, and unlimited bandwidth and storage. The business plan includes professional email, $100 worth of credits for Google Adwords, and the ability to sell unlimited products. If you select the basic commerce plan, you can expect additional features like customer accounts, powerful analytics for your eCommerce store, and the ability to list products on Instagram. The most feature-rich plan is the advanced commerce plan, which provides site owners with advanced discounts, commerce APIs, and the ability to sell subscriptions.

WordPress

Homepage of WordPress website

WordPress is an online website content management system that continues to grow and expand its feature-set at a rapid pace. Today, WordPress is the most robust and customizable web development platform that you can find even though it began as a simple blogging platform. Among the more beneficial aspects of WordPress is that you will have full access to your website, which also means that you own the website and the content within. This CMS is easy to use and can be expanded to a completely custom website with almost any functionality that you can imagine.

While WordPress is easiest to use for those with little to no programming experience, it can require knowledge of code if you want to customize features. If ever you learn some simple code, the customization options available to you are practically limitless and can help you create a website that’s almost entirely unique. WordPress can be used by any type of website. However, it’s particularly beneficial for portfolios, personal blogs, and eCommerce sites.

Wordpress themes

Unlike many other web development platforms, WordPress isn’t automatically a drag-and-drop platform when it comes to designing a website. However, the availability of numerous plugins and themes allows you to turn WordPress into a drag-and-drop platform if you want to. WordPress is popular for providing access to thousands of separate themes that can be used when designing a website. In fact, there are over 31,000 different themes that you will have access to. The majority of these themes are designed to be mobile-ready, which means that you won’t need to alter your website to accommodate smartphone and tablet users.

Along with the 31,000 themes available to you, there is a myriad of plugins that can help you add extra functionality to your website. Some of the additional features that you might want to use when creating your website with WordPress include form integration, video integration, more than 600 slideshow plugins, an advanced editor, and automatic blogging functionality. No matter what type of website you want to make, it can be created with the WordPress platform.

Payment Options for WordPress

If you find that WordPress offers the feature-set you’re looking for, you should know more about how this platform is priced. Even though WordPress is mostly free to use, it’s important to understand that there are some costs attached to the platform. While many of the 31,000 themes are free, some of them will charge you to use them. The majority of themes will include six-month or one-year subscription plans as well as an option to purchase an extended subscription that lasts forever.

If you want to extensively customize your website, you can expect to pay some money to do so. The same is true of maintaining your website. For customization, separate plugins can be purchased and easily added to your WordPress site via the admin area. The only other costs are the ones that you will be required to pay for your hosting package. The main reason that WordPress is highly popular is that it provides site owners with unlimited choices, which allows them to avoid wasting their budget on useless features and plugins.

The Bottom Line

The web development platform that will work best for you is one that accurately reflects your business values. While one platform might sound more appealing than another, it’s important that the one you choose is able to accommodate your website needs. If you need to create an online storefront that can tap into a suite of eCommerce features and functionality, consider selecting the platform that best supports eCommerce.

Bryan Miller of Bryt Designs Long Beach Web Design, Development, & SEO
Author
Bryan Miller

Bryan Miller is an entrepreneur and web enthusiast specializing in web design, development and digital marketing. He is a recent graduate of the MBA program at the University of California, Irvine. Feel free to send Bryan a message here.

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