While in the planning stages of building your own website, you will definitely be overwhelmed by the choices of platforms that are available. Deciding on one is not always an easy task. I know. I’ve been there.
So, which platform is best? The answer to that question will vary from person to person depending on individual requirements for a website. But first, lets look at the features for 3 popular website platforms: WordPress.com, WordPress.org, and Squarespace.
What is WordPress.com? WordPress.com has a basic FREE plan and is a fully hosted version of WordPress with these features:
- Focuses on your creative content and they handle the rest.
- Includes premium hosting and security with the ability to upgrade to a custom domain.
- Intergrates with social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and much more..
- Includes sharing, stats, comments, and polls.
- Available personal support and forums.
- Hundreds of themes that can be customized.
- Upgradeable to Premium and Business plans to increase your bells and whistles. Pricing between $99 to $299 a year.
This was the first website platform that I used to get my feet wet in building a website. It is perfect for blogging and for someone who is new to working with websites. For more information, please visit their site at WordPress.com.
What is WordPress.org? WordPress.org is a FREE, self-hosted version of WordPress with these features:
- Hands on platform where you host your own website.
- VaultPress is offered for security and backups, but you need to find a host and perform backups and maintenance yourself.
- Build your own website with PHP and CSS or use installed custom themes.
- Sharing functionality requires installing plugins.
- Additional plugins required for your site’s functionality
- Available forums for assistance.
- No registration is required.
This was the second website platform that I used and found it a little challenging. My college is currently hosting the 3 websites that I built in this platform. So, there are costs involved for a domain and hosting outside of school. I also was able to add a webstore widget for e-commerce. It is perfect for someone who wants full control of designing and is comfortable in coding. For more information, please visit their site at WordPress.org.
What is Squarespace? Squarespace is a SaaS-based CMS that is structured by a website builder. blogging platform and hosting service. Features include:
- Modern templates designed with mobile devices in mind.
- Allows you to install multiple templates to a one site and work with multiple designs at one time.
- Style editor to help you customize.
- Customizable content layouts.
- FREE typekit fonts
- FREE Google fonts
- Custom CSS can be applied.
- Restore ability for content with original template at any time.
- FREE 14-day trial
I am currently working in this platform and find that it falls in the middle of difficulty between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Meaning, it is not difficult to work with if you have little experience building a website and I don’t need to use any code to make a professional looking site. There is a little learning curve finding out where everything is and how it works, but they offer tutorials to help you out. There is an added bonus knowing that most of the work in designing has been done for you and all you need to do is to add your content and logo to make it your own. For more information, please visit their site at Squarespace.com.
Which Platform is best for me? And the winner is….drum roll please…Squarespace. I love the modern templates that are easy to customize with my own content. Although, it is limited in the way of e-commerce, I still know it is a fit for my purposes in website building at this time. The only down size is that you have to pay after the 14-day trial, but it is a very small price to pay.
I hope this blog helps you to decide on which platform is best for YOU!