A good website can help your business to grow. Whether you are a new or a seasoned company, you need a website. And the content and design of that website will either attract or repel prospective clients. A Content Management System (CMS) can help you create your own website without burning a hole in your pocket.
WordPress, Squarespace, and Webflow are the most prevalent Content Management Systems dominating the website-building world right now.
All three have their share of benefits and shortcomings. Depending on your website needs and your web-building knowledge and skills, you can choose the one that best fits your practice.
In the early 90s, WordPress started as a blogging platform only to become an impressive CMS powering almost half of all websites worldwide.
WordPress is free and open-sourced, making it a popular choice for practice owners looking to build their own websites.
If you are new to the world of website building, an important note before we jump into the benefits of the different CMS platforms. WordPress actually has two different offerings, WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Therefore, it is essential that you understand the difference before we continue.
WordPress.org is 100% free for users. All you need is your domain name and web hosting. You can customize your website as much as you would like. WordPress.com, on the other hand, is a hosting service WordPress.org’s cofounder created. Only a handful of features are available in the free version, while the premium plans have extensive capabilities that will allow you to create an impressive website.
Who is WordPress for?
The forerunner in the CMS market, WordPress is a preferred choice for anyone looking to build a customizable website. If you dream it, it can be done in WordPress.
WordPress can work wonders for therapy websites where you want visitors to have an easy website journey.
The following are types of websites, along with some great examples, that you can create with WordPress:
- Business Website: Sony Music
- eCommerce Website: Etsy
- Membership Website: Fizzle
- Portfolio Website: Tribune Media
- Forum Website: Snoop Dogg
- Education Website: Harvard Gazette
- Blog: Slack Blog
The Advantages of Using WordPress
Without a doubt, WordPress has been a leader when it comes to security, allowing website developers to use it freely since 2003. The website builder has invested time, money, and effort into making it increasingly more secure with every update, thus protecting WordPress websites from cybercrime attacks and malware.
WordPress lets you customize not just how your website looks but also how you want to host it. With an endless array of designs and themes, WordPress allows you to create your website just how you want it. The sky is pretty much the limit in creating a fantastic website for your practice.
WordPress helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It conveys to search engines what your website is about so that users searching for services like yours can discover your site.
WordPress has a very straightforward approach to adding more content to your website. The platform is designed to help users add pages to their websites without needing any knowledge of HTML or coding. In fact, with the right themes and plugins, you can completely build your site without using any code.
WordPress offers a lot of great features that can make a big difference in the design and functionality of your website. The significance of the responsiveness of your website and its compatibility with small screens is a necessary requirement. In today’s world, a late responsive website or only a desktop version of a website translate to a dead website. WordPress, in simple language, makes your website quick and mobile-friendly, which helps your website to generate business leads.
The Disadvantages of Using WordPress
1. Too many updates
Updates are just a part of life, whether it be on your laptop or applications on your phone. WordPress websites are the same. Unfortunately, this means that at least 1-2 times a month, you will have to log in to your WordPress dashboard and perform updates. The good news is most updates take a few minutes, and you can often do all the updates at once. The bad news is if you ignore or overlook this, it can result in your website becoming outdated. An outdated site can break your site or, even worse, be hacked.
2. A little coding experience
WordPress works wonderfully well as both a code and a no-code platform. However, it can be helpful to have a little coding knowledge to create the vibrant and appealing website you desire.
3. Too much reliance on plugins
You may need a plugin when you want your site to have increased functionality or unique feature. A plugin is added to your WordPress site that usually serves one purpose. Plugins can multiply quickly, slowing your website down or causing a conflict with another plugin on your site. In addition, plugins need updating and managing these plugins, which require time and effort.
4. Slow loading time
Your site can become bogged down and slow. Excessive plugins, large images or videos, and/or poor hosting can lead to long load times. A slow-loading website will not help your business grow. Viewers don’t have the patience to wait for your site to load, no matter how beautiful or valuable.
Squarespace offers easy-to-use website building and hosting services. With a monthly fee, Squarespace lets you build and modify your web pages with zero coding knowledge. You can use pre-built templates to create your website and drag-and-drop features to add elements.
Who is Squarespace for?
If you are a solopreneur handling everything on your own, then Squarespace might be an excellent option. For therapy clinics that need a simple user journey, you can count on this CMS.
What are the advantages of using Squarespace?
Squarespace is famous for its user-friendly interface, making it easy for users to create a website themselves. If you want to create a website for your business, having technological or coding knowledge is not necessary. The pre-custom features of the platform make Squarespace very comfortable, easy, and appealing for novice users seeking to build websites.
Squarespace focuses on the outlook of a website and offers templates based on modern and sleek themes. The templates are pre-made and ready to use. In addition, it is pre-configured with mobile-friendly templates, all while ensuring that your images are optimized. This can make creating a website less time-consuming and easily accessible for users.
3. Customizable Features
Squarespace offers drag-and-drop customization. In addition, the site-building platform allows users to customize their pages by editing the HTML and CSS aspects of the websites. With a bit of knowledge, users can customize the site to their preferences. Furthermore, they have increased functionality with built-in plugins like Facebook Pixel.
4. Domain Hosting
Domain hosting and registration is included in the monthly Squarespace membership. The platform lets users have a free domain for the first year with an annual website plan. After the first year, the price for the domain is anywhere from $20 to $70, which is based on the URL and plan you choose. Thus, making it easy for growing businesses.
The Disadvantages of Using Squarespace
1. Limited library
Perhaps a con of using Squarespace is the limited number of templates available in its library. They offer 110 templates on the site. In addition, you can purchase one elsewhere and load it onto Squarespace. This may limit your design vision, or it could make creating a site easier for you. It really depends on your requirements and preferences. With limited templates and designs, Squarespace makes it challenging to customize the design of your website. The feature of thinking outside the box cannot be applied when using Squarespace for creating your website.
Squarespace offers a user-friendly interface, but it does incur a monthly fee. The platform offers a 14-day trial period. After the trial period, the services become inaccessible until you buy one of the different packs provided by the site-building platform. Pricing ranges from $16 to $49/ month, so it is an additional expense that must be factored into your bottom line.
While it is ideal for websites that focus on blogging, photography, or cooking, Squarespace is not compatible with heavy websites with a lot of content and functionality. Also, Squarespace occasionally becomes slow, which makes working on the platform strenuous.
4. Limited functionality
Squarespace offers minimal functionality and plugins for the website. While relatively easy to create a website on their platform, your site could be useless if you need additional functionality and plugins that are not offered. Limitations in features like no auto-save can prove a single click to be fatal for the users.
The last con of Squarespace is an important one to note. Critics complain that the site is not actually yours. Like social media, your content is on another platform and, therefore, not in your control. Squarespace saves and controls the site, so if something were to happen to Squarespace, all your content, emails, transactions, etc., would be lost.
Webflow is a new Content Management System that is gaining popularity in the web design arena. With a monthly or annual subscription, you can use Webflow to build your own website. This in-browser tool lets you design and create responsive web pages. Webflow also offers web hosting services that are affordable.
Who is it for?
Using Webflow to build your website will be a walk in the park if you have a little understanding of HTML and CSS since it uses a very similar style. However, it is not tailored for eCommerce and complex websites.
If you are starting your own business and want a visually appealing website, Webflow might be an excellent option for you.
The Advantages of Using Webflow
1. Exceptionally Clean Code
2. No Need to Worry About Plugins
Most CMS require some type of plugin being added to your site. If you miss updating them, it may lead to your website facing functionality issues. On Webflow, you don’t need to install plugins to add functionality to your website. It is all there, and there is no need to constantly worry about updating the themes or plugins.
When it comes to your website being SEO-friendly, those built with Webflow share an edge over the rest. It autogenerates sitemaps and allows you a 301 redirect if you change a sluggish URL or delete a page. Easy to use, low maintenance, and SEO-friendly, what more could you ask for in a CMS?
4. Access to Webflow University
One of the prime advantages of choosing Webflow is that you get access to a wealth of resources. With an abundance of free tutorials and courses at Webflow University, you will be a pro in no time. Webflow University teaches you how to design and develop a website and covers many other topics like SEO.
The Disadvantages of Using Webflow
1. Steep Learning Curve
With its exceptionally clean code, Webflow can have a steep learning curve. To fully utilize and explore the long list of features in Webflow, the user needs to go through several tutorials. Novice users can find it tough to comprehend and be able to build the site they desire. As a busy clinic owner, adding more education to your to-do list may be the last thing you need.
2. Expensive Plans
Webflow offers plans varying from $12 to $212 a month compared to its competitors. Considering the price point, it isn’t as developed as other eCommerce websites like WooCommerce or Shopify. For new business owners, plan prices could be challenging when considering other business expenses.
3. No Phone or Chat Support
As a new business owner trying your hand at website development, you may want quick support from the CMS team. Unfortunately, Webflow doesn’t offer phone or chat support. However, it does have email support which is available on weekdays with an average response time of around 24-48 hours.
Quick Assessment of the CMSs
Now that we have explored some of the top CMS platforms. Here’s a quick assessment to help you choose the right CMS for your website.
WordPress is for you if:
- You want complete control of your website.
- You have plans to scale up your business, leading to a content-heavy and multi-functional website.
- You want to keep your annual website expenses as low as $120.
Squarespace is for you if:
- You want your website to look visually as appealing as your content.
- You are looking for an all-in-one platform and dedicated customer
- You want to keep your website costs anything between $20 to $70/ month.
Webflow is for you if:
- You have basic website-building knowledge or are interested in learning a little bit about web development from Webflow university.
- You are a designer founder looking for a visually delightful website.
- You have a decent annual budget for your website, which is between $168 to $468.
Still deciding which is the best CMS for your business? Let’s jump on a call today!