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How to Select the Best Website Platform for Your Startup

If you would like to get a website built for business, numerous options are available.  As you begin to research the various options, you might find all the choices to be overwhelming.  You must choose a platform that offers you not only functionality but also affordable pricing and ease of use. 

In this article, we will be looking at a few of the more popular platforms that can be used, the type of websites that can be created with them, and what is involved with the various options. You may also want to check Best10WebsiteBuilders to find the top 10 website builders based on usability score, features, and price for a quick comparison.

This article will, however, discuss the four easiest options for startup founders and small business owners looking to take their business online in a cost-effective manner:

1- Website Builders:

Most likely you have heard of website builders such as Weebly and Wix.  These website builders make it possible for you to get a website created using their drag and drop interfaces.  All you need to do is choose a template matching the functionality that you need and then customize your content after that.

The best thing about these website builders is your hosting and website can be all obtained in one package (which includes a year of the free domain) for as low as $12 a month.  In contrast to other kinds of website platforms, you won’t need to worry about software maintenance, coding or other technical aspects that owning a website involves.

The downside is you will need to use their templates as is – there isn’t a lot of room for upgrading the functionality or customization.  If you decide to go this route, make sure you’re happy with what the website builder right out of the box can do for you.

How to Select the Best Website Platform for Your Startup

2- Content Management Systems:

This type of platform allows you to have a great deal of control over your website design, performance, and functionality.  The most popular of all CMS platforms is WordPress . It is used on more than 15 million websites all over the internet.

With a content management system, you purchase your domain, get website hosting set up, and install the CMS software on your webserver to use on your domain.  You then need to select your website’s theme, add plugins to enhance your site’s functionality, and get your content created through the WordPress visual editor.

Regular maintenance will need to be performed in addition to getting your site set up, which includes security, software updates, and backups.  Some CMS-specific hosting services such as Synthesis and WP Engine include security and maintenance as part of their plans.  For those not wanting to worry about maintenance issues, it is highly recommended.

One advantage in particular that using WordPress provides is, due to its popularity, there are always plenty of services, developers, plugins, and designs that will be available to help you get the exact website created that you want.  WordPress can be used for almost anything – membership sites (you could even integrate with a membership management software), forums, eCommerce, blogs, static websites, and much more.

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3- eCommerce Platforms:

If you would like to solely focus on selling products, the best option for your business will probably be an eCommerce platform. 3dcartBigcommerce and Shopify are three of the leading eCommerce platforms.  They allow you to get an online store created and set up quickly.  There are basic plans that you can start out with that only cost $29 a month and include basic payment processing, unlimited products, and your online store.

One benefit of opting for a hosted eCommerce platform, such as those that we discussed above, is you won’t need to worry about hosting your website or security for the payment processing.  Transaction security and 24/7 support are built into the plans.

4- HTML Templates:

If all you need is a basic static website, HTML templates can be a great option for you, if you want to skip CMS platforms and hosted solutions and like coding.  You just need to have basic web hosting connected to your domain so that you can upload HTML files to it.

Marketplaces such as Themeforest offer more than 6,000 HTML templates for you to choose from.  Your template can be downloaded and edited utilizing a standard text editor.  You can then test your site directly from your computer, and get it uploaded to our web hosting.  There will be minimal maintenance required, assuming you don’t need to frequently change your site content.

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No matter which platform you choose to use for your site, make sure it’s mobile-friendly.  The option you select should offer a responsive design.  Then your website will work on all the different devices that are used by people these days, including smartphones.

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