Choosing the best website platform for your business
How do the best website platforms stack up? In Chapter 2, you'll learn about different website builders to help you decide which one is best for your business.
Website builders let you create your website visually instead of writing lines of code. This is where you’ll add the text, images, and design elements that make your website unique, and there are several options to choose from.
To help you decide the best fit, consider these features:
Ease of use: Most creators should stick to a point-and-click or drag-and-drop website builder that doesn’t require coding knowledge. The most advanced tool on the planet is pointless if you can’t make it do what you want.
Integrated ecommerce: If you plan to sell digital products, choose a platform that includes ecommerce features. Integrated ecommerce tools make it easy to manage payments, deliver products, and track sales all in one place.
Optimized for mobile and desktop: 59% of all website traffic comes from mobile devices as of late 2022, so choose a platform that automatically optimizes your pages to look great on any device.
Don’t rule out free website builders: Did you know that you can make a full-fledged website that doesn’t cost you a penny? Using a free website builder when you’re growing your online brand gives you time to find your footing while still looking professional.
Here’s how popular website builders stack up.
Website builders compared
|Platform||Creator-friendliness score||Free plan?||Sell products on the free plan?||Hosting included?|
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Podia is an easier-than-drag-and-drop website builder with built-in sales pages, digital products, and payment processing. Run your membership community , sell online courses and downloads , and manage your email marketing all from one dashboard.
You can set up your full website , start a community, sell a digital download, and offer coaching on the free plan. Paid plans start at $39/month .
WordPress is an open-source content management system. There are lots of themes and plugins to add functionality, but WordPress has a steep learning curve and you might need to work with a developer to get your site exactly how you want. While WordPress is technically free to use, you still need to purchase hosting to build your website. If you’d like to sell products, you may need to pay extra for ecommerce and payment plugins.
Squarespace is a website builder with pre-designed templates but not many advanced customizations. Squarespace does not offer a free plan and basic plans start at $23/month. Ecommerce features are only available on the $33/month plan and above.
Wix is a website builder focused on ecommerce with templates and payment processing built in. Wix offers a limited free plan, but if you’d like to sell products, ecommerce plans start at $17/month.
Shopify is an ecommerce and website platform specifically designed for selling physical products. While it’s possible to sell digital goods, a lot of Shopify’s features are optimized for in-person and physical product sales. There is no free plan and the basic plan starts at $19/month.
Weebly is a drag-and-drop website builder with customizable themes for portfolios, blogs, events, and businesses. Weebly offers a basic free plan, but if you’d like to sell digital products, business plans start at $12/month.
All-in-one platforms can save you headaches
An all-in-one platform is a creator tool that lets you build a website, sell digital products, manage your email marketing, and more from one central dashboard.
Paying for each tool individually can get expensive. If something breaks, you’re stuck piecing everything back together. An all-in-one platform keeps things simple so you can spend more time creating and less time figuring out how to make a zillion different tools talk to each other.
Ultimately, when choosing a website builder, you have two options:
Option 1: You pay separately for website hosting, a premium theme, an email management system, and ecommerce plugins. You may have to pay for an additional service to connect everything and possibly a developer to wrangle all the moving parts. If it breaks, you’re juggling emails between ten different people who are all blaming each other for the problems.
Option 2: You use an all-in-one platform that includes your website, digital products, email subscribers, and courses. You pay one flat rate every month, and you don’t need to hire any outside help because the site builder is simple. If you have issues, you have one point of contact to connect with.
Our favorite all-in-one free website builder? Podia
As you can probably guess, our favorite free and all-in-one option is the Podia website builder.
Podia lets you build your website, sell one digital download, offer coaching, and start your community on the free plan. When your business grows, you can upgrade to a paid tier to sell courses and unlock more advanced features like affiliates and webinars. Elevating your business is as easy as clicking a button.
For Valeria Hernandez from Vegi Vale , having everything in one place means greater peace of mind.
I love keeping things simple in my life and business and Podia lets me do exactly that! Instead of worrying about 20 different platforms for email, website, and course hosting, I can just host all my offers and run my business from Podia. That peace of mind that comes from using a “one-stop shop” is priceless, especially as a newer business owner!
Valeria Hernandez, VegiVale
Podia’s free website builder is easier than drag and drop and you can choose from over a dozen sections that can each be customized to match the look and feel of your website. A Podia.com domain is included on the free plan, and you can connect your own custom domain on Mover and up.
With Podia, you know your site will look beautiful on mobile or desktop. It won’t crash. All the buttons will work.
Adrian Dalsus, Despegue Musical
Plus, Podia is pretty.
According to classical piano instructor Joseph D’Amico , “Podia makes website building so fun. I feel like I could set up a site in an afternoon, and it would look great. And there’s something to be said for how pretty it is. It’s the best-looking one by far.”
Bottom line: Your website builder should make your life easier, not harder. Look for an option that’s simple to use, friendly to your wallet, and already connected with your favorite features to free up your valuable time and energy.
Next, let’s outline and plan your website content.