Are you trying to figure out the best way to create your new website?
There are so many ways to create a website these days and in truth there are no right or wrong ways to do it. However, people love to flex their opinions and say things in a definitive way.
I don’t like that approach.
Of course, I have a favourite way that I like to create websites that is based on my past experience and familiarity with certain tools. However, I have supported dozens of clients with websites set up using methods other than my favourite way. That experience makes me a bit more objective about website setup than some other people in the field because what I see is: they all do pretty much the same thing.
So how can you decide which method to use?
Hopefully this chapter/article will help you answer that question.
I think the best way to decide is based on:
- Familiarity with the platform
- Ongoing cost of time/$$
If you are getting help from someone, it’s best to use the tools they are most familiar with. If you want to be able to do things yourself on the site, hopefully that helper has some tools and instructions to help you learn how to use your site.
If your helper isn’t willing to let you do things yourself and you really want to do things yourself, you need a different helper.
If you are doing it all yourself, you may need to pay a bit more in ongoing costs for a platform that reduces some of the more technical parts of website set up for you.
First, I’m going to just run through some website platforms I am familiar with to help you grasp what I mean by website platform.
In my mind there are:
- And plenty more
Now I want to compare and contrast them a little bit.
Actually there are 2 versions of WordPress websites. One version where you start with a free version and you can choose your own domain later and one version where you have to have domain and hosting first and you set up your WordPress through y our hosting. There are other ways to do it but I don’t want to talk about every single option here. Let’s say these are the 2 main WordPress options.
There are some significant differences between the two options in terms of what you can do and when I talk about WordPress sites I’m usually referring to option 2, the domain and hosting method.
My first site was a WordPress free site and I have helped a couple of clients with these but I don’t recommend them. I like to use the Divi theme on a WordPress site. There are many Divi naysayers out there and I just come back to my golden rule for website creation:
It’s all about what you are comfortable with and familiar with. You can save so much time when you have duplicable processes, so just find a method that works for you and invest your time and energy in that one.
That’s what I love about WordPress with domain and hosting; you can choose a theme. WordPress says:
“Your theme can have different layouts, such as static or responsive, using one column or two. Your theme can display content anywhere you want it to be displayed. Your theme can specify which devices or actions make your content visible. Your theme can customize its typography and design elements using CSS or theme.”
What I also love about WordPress is that it can be as simple or as complex as you like. You can add a shop, add events, add a course platform. Whatever you like.
End of WordPress love festival.
I want to talk about all the options in depth in a separate article/chapter each so for now I’ll just say this:
Squarespace,Wix, Weebly and Kartra have regular monthly fees for a website on your chosen domain. This is because all of that domain and hosting and platform setup is done for you.
These are the easiest tools to use if you have no experience and you need a plug and play option with lots of templates.
The downside of this for me is that the templates feel like a constraint to me. I am used to having creative freedom over fonts and placement of objects so I get a bit frustrated with any templates.
Squarespace, Weebly and Wix even have a free version you can start with while you learn how to use it and then you can add on domain and hosting later if you want.
Kartra is a very integrated tool and includes email marketing and course platform. I love it but the monthly fees are a stinger. I am not a fan of high monthly fees. I find that they trigger my scarcity mindset wobbles, so I love to run my business very lean.
I love to use VentraIP for cPanel hosting which is $5 a month or $2.50 a month for the first year. Cost of domains is pretty standard across providers from $10-20 a year. So for me, using the WordPress domain and hosting method, it’s only $70 a year. The cost for me is in my time to maintain and create the site.
OMG how are you supposed to decide?
Are you getting help from someone?
If this is you, it’s best to use the preferred tools of your helper. The main thing to focus on is: can you get the level of access you want later, once the site is built AND how well do I get along with this person? How are we going to handle difficult conversations later? It should feel like a good relationship because things will get weird with your website one day or another. It’s just the nature of them. A good person to work with will have the communication style that works for you.
Doing it yourself?
If you are doing it yourself I hate to say it but Squarespace might be the best thing. My big problem with Squarespace is the ongoing costs and the constraints of their templates.
WordPress is possible “Do it yourself” if you have good support to learn from. You can Google anything about WordPress, but tech nerds love jargon and they might not make it easy for you.
I have run a WordPress setup course in the past and will run it again in the future to teach people how to create a site using my favourite method so if you can get help like that, where a person will teach you how to use WordPress, then I think the domain and hosting setup for WordPress method could work for “do it yourself”.
The trouble with WordPress is, if you are only learning it for one website, it will feel hard a lot of the time. It’s worth learning if you are going to build websites for people, but if it’s just you it might not be worth it.
There are pros and cons for every method.
I am happy to have a chat with you about your project if you like. Just hunt me down through my website 🙂
Geez I hope this helped.
I think I might have made it worse! Let me know.
“I pay my respects and acknowledge the people of the Yuin Nation, traditional custodians of the land on which I live and work. I also pay respect to all Elders — past, present and future.”
Do you just want to talk to me about your business and website?
I’d love to chat. You can book a free chat and we can discuss website set up and all of the other things I mentioned here. We can even set it all up of ryou and save you the headace.
Go ahead and book a free chat here: