Choosing Where to Build Your Website

With so many website platforms out there, finding the best one for your small business can be tricky! We’re going to outline some of the features of the platforms that we recommend, to help you decide.

Before you start comparing the top website platforms, we recommend that you write down what you want from your website.

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What are your goals and what features do you want to have?

This could be:

  • Photo gallery

  • A blog

  • A booking system

  • Online store

  • Contact form

If you’re unsure about what you want on your website, check out your competitors! When considering all your options you should keep it simple (while still accommodating for growth). In other words, if you’re not willing or able to contribute a blog to your website at least monthly – maybe it’s not for you! Before building your website you should consider the direction your business is likely to take in the future. If you plan to sell products in the future and build an online store, you should ensure that whichever platform you choose accommodates this – even though you may not use these features right away! It’s much easier to revamp your website on the same platform, than start from scratch on a new one – trust us, we know!

 

SQUARESPACE

www.squarespace.com

Squarespace is a website builder that allows drag and drop customisation without the need for coding. Visually squarespace is clean and simple with rich imagery. Squarespace gives you fine control over your website through the designing phase and when updating/managing your website. Squarespace is also a website platform that is mobile friendly and allows customers/clients an easy to navigate  experience when browsing your business page.

Features of Squarespace

Modern Templates

Created with modern browsers and mobile devices in mind, latest HTML, CSS and Javascript techniques.

Template Switching

Allows you to install multiple  templates to a single website and work on multiple designs at once.

Designed for any purpose

Supports all major content types, including pages, galleries, blogs, commerce, calendars + more.

Style Editor

100’s of customizable settings, including fonts, colours and page configurations. Every squarespace  website can be made to look unique with just a few clicks.

Build in Mobile Websites

Mobile and iPad friendly. There is also the option to disable the mobile bar.  

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Customizable Content Layouts

Each design is build with customizable content areas that utilize Squarespace layout engine and content block system. There are a variety of fonts available and the ability to purchase custom fonts.

Custom CSS

Custom coding can be applied to any template design.

Example Content Restore

Restore example content that came with your original  template at any time.

Chart Blocks

Full responsive and interactive line graphs, bar graphs and pie graphs.

Video Backgrounds

Create powerful visual experience

Starter Layouts

Pre-designed structures for specific purposes.

eCommerce

Shopify has introduced the option to be a product only website with the capabilities to host an online shopping platform.

  • Full control over product variations

  • Unlimited product uploads

  • Inventory management

  • Sell physical products

  • Sell digital products

  • Couponing engine

  • Shipping cost option

  • Sales taxes


Positives with Squarespace

  • A solution for building and maintaining a content-based website that is easy to navigate (you will need training for this, but once that is completed it is simple to use)

  • Simple  e-commerce capabilities   

  • No third party apps/plugins require updating

  • Templates are creative, professional and clean

  • Blog aspect is displayed in an easy format with posts customizable

 

Aspects to be aware of;

  • Squarespace is limited; forums, portals, large shops/products are not typically available

  • Templates are limited; some custom fonts are not able to be installed

  • Templates are premade, which can often seem a little bit “cookie cutter”

  • SEO requires  improvement when compared to other website platforms

  • Lack of support when requiring 3rd party applications and extensions

 

Pricing

Personal - $16.00 billed annually or $22.00 per month

Business - $25.00 billed  annually or $35 per month

Basic Online - $34.00 - billed annually  or $40 per month

Advanced Online - $52.00 billed annually or $61per month

 

SHOPIFY

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https://www.shopify.com.au/

Shopify was specially created as a solution for making your own online store.  It provides you with several templates that can be customised to meet individual users branding requirements, and allows both physical or digital goods to be sold. Shopify is an easy to use and navigate system that was created to allow self use and management. If running a large amount of online products, this is the platform we suggest to use it is also very affordable.

Scalability

  • Fast

  • Reliable

Affordable for small business

Packages are affordable and suit small and large businesses selling online.

Customisation

  • Customer checkout customization

  • Apps

Support

  • Large support team

Sell anywhere

  • Multichannel capabilities

  • Payment gateways can be used almost anywhere and in most countries

  • More active/professional option from a payment processing point of view

Security

  • Reliable security

  • Annual compliance assessments

  • Advanced fraud protection

  • Specialised  tools to detect bots and other attacks

Point of sale technologies

iPads, iphone apps and addons that to your shopify and allow you to use shopify in a physical location like your shop, market stall or office.

Third party apps

Integration with a very extensive range of third party apps that extend the functionality of your store significantly.

Shopify can do the following for your products;

  • Insert product images

  • Manage inventory

  • Organise products into categories

  • Discount code engine

  • Track customer and order details

  • Sell products easily on difference social media channels

  • Accept payments from over 70 different processes

  • Set up customer accounts

  • Sort customers by location, money spent, ect.

  • Manage multiple staff login - so if you have staff helping you can grant them different permission levels to help you manage your online shop

 

Positives with Shopify

  • Prices are very affordable (can start with smaller packages and upgrade as you require)

  • Perfect for small business, but also powerful enough for large businesses)

  • Access to CSS and HTML code which means website can be completely customizable

  • Easy to navigate for intermediate users

  • Full integrated payment processor for both online and in-person credit card transactions

  • Point of sale

  • Reporting system capabilities are very useful

  • The support for shopify is excellent and very responsive  

 

Aspects to be aware of

  • Number of free templates is limited

  • Blogging tool that is built in does have limitations

  • Some apps and plugins are required (form builders etc)

  • Shopify does not offer a one page checkout option

  • Payment fee if you do not use shopify’s payment processor

  • Set up can be time consuming

 

Pricing

Basic - $29 USD per month (approx. $40)

General Shopify - $79 USD per month (approx. $107)

Advanced Shopify - $299 USD per month (approx. $406)

You can view the packages and pricing here https://www.shopify.com.au/pricing

Dreamhunter Team x

Renae Porter