When people think about blogs and websites, their minds usually go straight to one word: WordPress. Everybody has heard of this blogging and website building platform and chances that you have also heard of it are pretty high.
However, WordPress is not the only option when it comes to setting up your own little nook on the internet. There are many you can choose from. Some offer more, some less, but the main gist of it all is that WordPress is not the only website builder out there.
You do not have to choose WordPress just because everybody else is using it. Be a daredevil or an underdog, whichever you prefer, and choose something different which will set you apart. Which are the advantages and the shortcomings of these platforms? Read on to find out.
Classic website builders
What do we mean by “classic” website builders? Those are builders which can help you create a typical website with the usual navigation menu and all other functionalities that are present and expected in a website. Interested in Squarespace? Check out our previously posted blog article about the differences between WordPress and Squarespace.
Wix is a cloud-based platform which offers you the choice of creating your own website from scratch or choosing one of their 500 ready-made templates. With a simple drag and drop option, Wix Editor lets you design your website however you like. For additional functionalities, there is Corvid by Wix. Your website will also be automatically mobile friendly without additional coding.
No matter if you want a classic looking website, photography portfolio, or a webshop, you can build all that with the help of Wix.
You can check out some of the inspiring websites that are made in Wix on Wix’s official website.
Wix is offering a couple of premium plans which do have their perks, such as removing the Wix branding to getting your own domain name. Each plan offers larger perks, so it is up to you to decide which one you want. Or you can always continue using your free plan.
Do you need a designer for building your unique website? Wix Arena offers you to choose a designer who will create your website according to your wishes. You can easily contact them, cooperate with them and receive your very own website made in Wix.
Also a popular WordPress alternative, Joomla is attracting new users year in. An open source content management platform, Joomla is a great solution for publishing websites, online publications (such as newspapers and magazines), e-Commerce stores and other online portals.
Joomla is built on PHP and MySQL and since it is an open source, people who are avid developers can easily build upon it, customize their page or website however they want to. Joomla is a very flexible platform with lots of templates and extensions.
With a forum and many users, all your questions will be answered. Joomla has its own Wiki where you can find documentation and video tutorials. Everything to help you out with any jam.
There are two ways to get started with Joomla. You can either download the program or you can create a free website online on launch.joomla.org.
Have you heard of Ghost? No, we are not talking about Jon Snow’s pet wolf, but the publishing platform. It is not that well known as WordPress or Joomla, but this non-profit open source platform is their great alternative.
They are focused on online publications, that is they support many online magazines and journalists. Never mind if you are looking to build your online news outlet or you are an independent blogger, Ghost is the best option for you.
Are you blogging currently on some other platform? No worries, you can switch to Ghost and import your already published content on your new Ghost powered blog.
No additional plug-ins and extensions are needed when it comes to sharing on social media. Google AMP pages, optimized URLs, Facebook Open Graph tags, support for Twitter cards, canonical tags, XML sitemaps, and clean semantic markup: all of that is already integrated into Ghost.
One more interesting bit: Ghost was actually founded with the help of a Kickstarter campaign.
Are you interested in setting up an online shop? The platforms we are presenting you in the next section are perfect for setting up your own e-commerce website.
While the platforms we showcased so far are usually for setting up websites and blogs, e-commerce platforms have a more complex code and an easy set-up of a webshop, as well as the possibility of filtration and many more additional tools.
Check out Shopify, an e-commerce platform, that may suit your needs. As their slogan goes “Sell everything, everywhere” you can literally sell anything you want with the help of Shopify.
It is not only for people who are in the trade business for a long time, but it is also intended for people who are selling handmade jewelry and art. No matter what is your product, you can be assured that Shopify has a solution for you.
With over 1 million active users, Shopify is one of the more popular e-commerce platforms. What makes Shopify different is also their app store, where you can find apps for drop-shipping and social marketing tools. Shopify Mobile app gives you access to all of your orders, shippings, analytics, etc. on the go. The thing which is also great with Shopify is that there is no limit when it comes to the number of products you can add to your shop.
You also do not have to worry about optimization. Shopify has built-in SEO features with step-by-step introductions.
Shopify charges no setup nor bandwidth fees and you can terminate your account at any moment. Shopify Help center offers 24/7 support, so in case you cannot find an answer to your burning question in their FAQ, you can always contact them by email, chat or phone.
Besides creating a website that would serve as your online shop, you can also add a Buy button on your existing blog or website with Shopify.
With over 70+ themes and drag-and-drop builder, your website would be done in no time.
Weebly was your standard website platform until it got acquired last year by Square, a mobile payments platform, so it became strictly business – that is, strictly e-commerce solution provider. Over 50 million websites have already been built with Weebly, and your shop can be one of them, as well.
With Weebly, you can easily manage orders, payments and shipping all in one place. Besides those, you also have available marketing tools and your website is automatically SEO friendly. These can help you gain new customers with no sweat.
A fair amount of themes you can choose from, drag and drop builder, custom fonts and lots of applications make the building of your website a simple task. You can get your own domain as well. In case you need assistance in setting up your shop, there is help available 24/7 and also a dedicated Weebly community. Weebly’s customer support also offers navigation through each step, so in case you are not that familiar with websites, this can be of immense help.
The only downside is that the payment methods only included are Square (it is their platform after all), Stripe and PayPal. Also depending on the size of your shop, another downside can be the limited storage. Only 500MB is available for Free and Connect plans, while Business and Pro plans include unlimited storage space.
Need a helping hand to photograph your products? No problem, for a fee Weebly photographers can do that for you.
Do you need inspiration for your webshop? Besides Weebly’s blog, there are also success stories from people all over the world who elevated their business endeavors with a Weebly website.
The third e-commerce platform that we are presenting is PrestaShop. This open-source platform is totally free without plans and monthly fees and this is their biggest advantage among the rest of the similar platforms. Developers from all over the world can change the code and make improvements. Over 300.000 online stores are running on PrestaShop and there is also a big PrestaShop community and an active forum.
Something that also sets PrestaShop apart from other e-commerce platforms is that there is no limit for the number of products which you can add. Again we remind you that this is for free.
There are themes between you can choose the right one for your needs. Besides that, PrestaShop offers over 600 modules, that is their plug-ins, which can enhance your webshop.
PrestaShop also offers the possibility of moving your webshop from another platform to theirs. This costs a bit, but it depends on the size of your shop and the amount of content that you have there. However, if PrestaShop offers more for less, the switching can be a good move for your business overall.
No inspiration? Check out the online stores which are made with PrestaShop on their official website.
Do you wish just to blog and unleash your written creativity to the world? These popular blogging platforms may be the best choice for you. We already wrote about the differences between WordPress and Blogger, which you can check out.
While Medium is a great place where you can publish your content, you technically do not have your own platform. You should look at the Medium as a sort of news aggregator. You can make your own profile and then publish your articles. But Medium reserves its rights to use your articles however they want.
It is a better idea to have your own separate blog and then post some of your articles on Medium. There is a rather large audience present on Medium, so do try to incorporate it in your social media plan to gain bigger visibility. Medium offers the option of importing a story from another source. Therefore, you can easily share your stories from your own (separate) blog.
Medium is super easy to use, but you do not have the option of creating your own domain name. Customization is also not possible. However, importing pictures and additional content is just a click away and maybe the easiest out there.
Blogging on Medium is free. But there is a paid option in case you wish your posts to receive a “recommended read” status and thus a larger audience.
Another popular platform is Tumblr. It has its upsides and downsides, but if you only wish to have your own space for writing, Tumblr is the easiest way to go.
Let us face it, Tumblr gained its popularity because its users mainly use it as social media. The vast majority of Tumblr users just “reblog” (repost) the available content without creating their own. Their blogs are, therefore, a sort of a collection of other people’s posts.
In case you wish to write your own articles and post your own images, be prepared to work hard. Stick to your own niche and do not reblog others work once you first start out. You want to build your own brand by posting only the things you created. Once you establish your name, people will come to you.
Tumblr offers lots of themes and design options. You can customize your themes however you like, but for some changes, you do need to know some coding basics. However, there is no need to worry. There are many theme creators there as well, and you are sure to find a theme that is exactly according to your tastes without additional changes.
Tumblr is a great option if you are only blogging for fun and without a set goal of followers in mind.
You are not familiar with the whole coding business? No problem! Jimdo platform requires zero coding knowledge to start your own website.
They say on their website that you can create your own in just three minutes by using Jimdo. Since they use no templates, which are a staple on almost every website builder, Jimdo differs from similar platforms. They are working with so-called flexible content blocks, which allow you to design your website any way you like.
No matter your blogging niche, whether it being food or fashion, Jimdo can help you build a blog for any purpose. Since Jimdo is mobile responsive, your blog will look great on all devices. Also, the automatic search engine optimization will take care of your rankings without your involvement.
Are you building your presence on Facebook? Great, since Jimdo can take over the content from there, including photographs which will make your blog pop.
All that is left for you to do is to come up with original and fresh content that will set you apart! Happy blogging!
Last but not least, you need to know that whatever platform you end up choosing, you should not forget that the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an equally important step. Without paying attention to the SEO, your website, shop or blog will not be visible on the search engines and your posts will not reach the intended audience. Therefore, you will not be able to generate that sweet, sweet income.
Do you wish to build your own website or do a redesign of it? Check out our offer and reach us today.