AUTHOR: Sameer Bakshi
POSTED ON: 2021-09-29 00:41:22
So, you have decided that you are NOT going to move forward with a custom built website. Probably you are factoring in the high cost associated with getting a website built from scratch rather than one that is almost already setup. A little customization and it's good to go for you or your business. Even though we believe that a custom built website is way more efficient and secure; we at EntroutWeb understand why one would prefer opensource more.
That's why we have come up with this blog post to help our users realize what is the best suited platform for them. Unlike other comparison blog posts we won't be going deep into why one platform is better than the other; rather, we would give you the best and worst of each platform and then leave you to decide which is the best fit for your business. At EntroutWeb we have worked with partner clients from all platforms; therefore, based on our actual experiences we have put together this information to help you decide better. This is a completely unbiased approach solemnly based on the technical features offered by each platform.
Let us get started!
The first one on the list is a traditional behemoth comprising of one-third of world's overall websites:
WordPress has evolved a lot over the past few years and now offers a much better selection of plugins to be used across various sorts of websites. Personally speaking WordPress offers much better plugin options than any other Opensource platform. However, it is getting increasingly difficult to find plugins that are free to use nowadays with WordPress. Almost every WordPress plugin developer is looking to make money off of their plugins. Therefore, for a newbie it might be difficult to keep their website development cost under a budget. Remember that cost is critical, as that is the first reason why you chose Opensource over custom web development. We at EntroutWeb have years of experience building websites in WordPress; therefore, we know an extensive list of plugins that are free to use. We always recommend these plugins to all our partner clients for their respective projects.
Another advantage of WordPress is it's wide selection of themes/templates to choose from. You can find almost every industry related theme/template that there is; on WordPress. Also, there are so many options that you can still have your website look distinctive than your competitors; who are also using WordPress. However, one important aspect of web development is security and WordPress unfortunately doesn't work well in regards to security. WordPress sites are most prone to hacking, as source codes of almost all that there is on WordPress is openly & equitably available to everyone in the world. Thus, hackers can find loopholes in your system and sometimes easily hack into your website to simply disrupt it or steal valuable data.
To us the biggest advantage of WordPress is it's value proposition, i.e. - If you find free to use plugins then the only cost associated with your website will be the annual domain and hosting charges. Whereas, for other platforms such as WIX, Squarespace or Webflow you will encounter subscription charges as well.
WIX is probably the most advertised free website builder tool on the internet. However, nothing comes free in today's competitive world. You can create a website for free, but it won't be linked to a custom domain. Meaning that you will have a .wix.com domain for your website. Only if you go premium with them can you have a custom .com domain of your choice. It's drag and drop interface makes it quite easy to use; especially for newbies. That is one key advantage, if you are going with WIX. However, WIX recently introduced a new platform to build more responsive websites called EditorX. We all know that the future of web development is responsive; therefore, we speculate that WIX might completely transition itself to EditorX. So, you might want to try EditorX before deciding to move forward with WIX.
While dealing with WIX we faced a challenge with the responsiveness of their website templates. They seem to work well on bigger and mobile screens; however, they are not so much compatible with medium or tablet sized screens. That's because presently WIX HTML/CSS template viewport break-points are only defined for desktop and mobile sizes.
Honestly, we don't recommend our partner clients to move forward with WIX at this moment. But, if you still wish we can do custom coding to fix your website for tablet screens.
A bit more complicated than other platforms for first timers. However, it is quite efficient once you get the hang of their platform. Also, with the help of available resources from Webflow University which is a community of Webflow developers; it is almost possible to create or build anything on Webflow. However, like WIX there is a subscription model for Webflow. It's not completely free, if you want your website exported or to be linked to a custom .com domain of your liking you need to pay. We like Webflow as a CMS and feel that it is a tough competitor to WordPress. Overall, we don't have much concerns for Webflow in terms of security; provided you keep your login credential safe & secure.
WooCommerce & Elementor
WooCommerce & Elementor are both FREE to Begin with plugins that are primarily used with WordPress. So, first you need to have WordPress installed on your server to have these plugins work. Both are amazing for their respective usages. WooCommerce helps you to transform & optimize your website for eCommerce. Whereas, Elementor is a free webpage builder plugin used for creating awesome & responsive websites. Some of the features in Elementor are only available with it's pro version. However, we are experts in being able to do almost anything even with Elementor's basic free version. With our custom coding skills we can build you almost anything, as per your exact needs.
One thing to consider with WooCommerce is that while it is built on a quite secure platform there are a lot of additional expenses involved with it. Hence, you can consider a few other options, if you are on a strict budget.
This Canadian multi-billion dollar company based out of Ottawa has achieved a lot of recognition in recent years. Shopify is a powerful tool when it comes to building eCommerce websites. It has a wide variety of features when it comes to building online eCommerce websites. In one of their recent announcements Shopify has claimed that it has now added a feature/functionality that allows millions of it's merchant users to go global in simply one click of a button. Shopify is trying to build a marketplace of it's own just like Amazon. Shopify believes that millions of websites which are hosted on it's servers can ultimately be transformed into a one giant marketplace bringing more exposure to small/medium scale merchants. This is certainly a good business move for Shopify. However, in recent times; especially, COVID-19 times, Shopify's goodwill & reputation have taken a steep downturn. Primarily because lots of scam eCommerce websites rose out of their platform.
So, if you are a new eCommerce company starting on Shopify then you might have to work a little bit more on your goodwill marketing and reputation side of the business than otherwise.
Started as a website builder tool but now it even offers eCommerce and email marketing solutions. Squarespace is an ideal designer tool. You can even create custom logos with their platform. It's overall a secure platform, but takes a while to get used to. We love building websites on Squarespace with good quality stock photos. That's because most of it's templates are best suited for web designs that rely on high quality stock images. However, it is not ideal for a business or individual on a budget. Squarespace tends to be a bit on the pricier side of things than other available CMS platforms. Also, their websites sometimes seem to have trouble with SEO crawling and backup restoration like processes.
Squarespace is good, if you are NOT on a budget and are able to constantly keep making manual backups of your website.
That's it folks!
We hope that with this article we were able to clear some of your doubts in regards to deciding which CMS platform is best suited for you or your business. In our next Opensource CMS blog post edition we will cover third-party integration compatibility and customer support quality for each platform. Until then keep checking our blog section and subscribe to our mailing list to help keep yourself on top of everything related to web design, development and online marketing.