I help small businesses with digital marketing, and i wanted to put to
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Hey, what's going on, everybody? Real quick video here. I want to talk about what's the best platform for websites right now. I just had a guy call me. He had a customer that was on a Wix site, and the Wix site was all goofed up. It hadn't been searched by Google, it wasn't in the search console. I've seen Squarespace websites, I've seen WordPress websites, WordPress with Elementor, with Beaver Builder, with Divi, with Visual Builder, Visual Composer themes. There's all sorts of things. And then there's Webflow, and there's just a litany of options out there. And I want to help people really understand what you should do.
Now I've got a customer that I was going to meet with on Monday, but because of all this Coronavirus stuff, we just wanted to postpone it, but this video is actually made for them. I want them to understand some of the key things that you need to consider when you're deciding which web platform.
First of all, the biggest, most dominant one out there is WordPress. Now, WordPress can be a sweet system. Remember, whenever you have WordPress, what you're doing is you're ... It's kind of like owning the schematics to an F-150 chassis for a truck. You're going to buy hosting from somewhere like GoDaddy or Bluehost or whatever they are. And you have cheap shared hosting, where there's these giant servers and your one little partition on this little server off on the internet somewhere. And then you have your own hosting, where you have your own computer if you have a ... There's an actual server serving you, but most people aren't going to do that. Most people just do the shared hosting.
And then you take this WordPress install, and you put it in there. And then essentially what that's going to do is you can make different pages and posts. Then what you have is the actual builder of that, and there's different builders. The biggest ones are Divi, D-I-V-I, Elementor, Visual Composer, and then you have the builtin one, which is Gutenberg. You can make pages, so you have a Home, About Us, a Contact Us page. Maybe you have other pages, and then you might have what's called item types. You might have your blog as an item type. Every time you want to make a new blog, you just enter the title, you enter the content, you hit Post, and it goes. You might have a project or a portfolio. Every time you take new photos, you have a photo session ... I want to upload my wedding photos, as an example. All I do is I put a title, I put the meta description and bloop, bloop, throw my photos in there and it goes. Those are called item types or collections. You have that.
Then you got to think through a couple of different things. First of all, WordPress can be great. I have begun to loathe WordPress. I hate WordPress. Couple of reasons. Anything with WordPress is going to have some very unique problems. First of all, all of the different hosts are trying to squeeze you for weird money, right? They don't make much on the hosting, so what they're trying to do is they're trying to get you to pay for SSLs, when you go in and you have HTTP versus HTTPS. If your site is secure, it has an S on it, and some providers give that free. Some people try and make you ...
What I've found is that a lot of these providers are playing games with it. They'll give it to you for free for a year, and then they make you pay for it the next year. And essentially what happens is you have the site up and running, and all of a sudden your SSL security certificate has run out. And you're sitting there; Chrome won't open your website. It's a huge pain in the butt, because they put you through the racket. It's not that hard for inside web people like me, but it's a pain in the butt for people. So watch out for that. That's one reason why I've been really annoyed with WordPress.
The second thing is there's a ton of flexibility in WordPress to have users, right? So you can have people come in and leave comments on your website. People can buy products through the WooCommerce section in the website. You can have a calendar system through ... There's a couple of them, where you can just have a community where you sell memberships inside of your WordPress. There's all sorts of things, but there's this user function. So in e-commerce, someone comes in and buys on WooCommerce, which is an underlying system within WordPress; you'd be able to have them log into your site, they can check their orders, they can see their history, they can process returns, do stuff like that.
But the other thing is ... So there's a lot of flexibility there, but the problem is is it's open for hacking. So you'll have your comment section getting hacked constantly. Your e-commerce can get hacked fairly easily, so what happens is you start with basic hosting. Now you need an SSL, and now you're going to need some professional security plugins to make sure that you're going to run.
And that's the next problem. So you have these security issues that just get frustrating. I've seen sites hacked for no good reason. Like, you just get hacked, and then they mess with your site, right? And then you've got to clean it up, and it's bad.
The next thing is, is you've got this plugin world. So WordPress itself uses these plugins to do different things, and when you put plugins in, you're going to want to use as few as possible because you got to think about this. You want your website to last for the next 10, 15 years. You're going to have to update it every year or so, and keep making changes, because things evolve. But you know what you don't want to have to do? Build something using this plugin that you learn to love, and then all of a sudden you find out that that plugin has security threats and has no business viability.
They're not a good business; they're just made by people and nobody upkeeps them. So I've seen tons of sites get built up for four, five, six years. Then all of a sudden, one of their core plugins just gets left up in the dust, and it's not used anymore. Or they start to fight with each other, and they'll start not working well with certain things. Particularly you have this theme; the theme can have conflicts with different plugins, and I'm telling you, it's a headache when they start not working.
And they get bloated. That's the other thing, is your site can easily get bloated. You can screw up your database. There's just lots that can go wrong. It doesn't always go wrong. It just can go wrong in WordPress.
The next thing I really hate about WordPress is form and email deliverability. Here's what this means. Someone buys something on your site. Your site has to send an email. When it sends that email, because there's so many sites from WordPress, the email handlers hate emails from WordPress, so for you to have a confirmation email from your site get taken seriously by your customer's email handler, can get hard. I see tons of it constantly. I get notifications from WordPress sites that get shoved into your junk drawer, and you never see them. Why? Because, well, they're constantly getting attacked every ... Because WordPress is always getting hacked, and the comment sections are getting hacked, all those emails go into the spam email or the junk mail, so it's a big deal.
You usually have to work pretty hard or use some specific systems, maybe a CRM system like HubSpot, ActiveCampaign ... You can use all sorts of emailers, but ... SendGrid ... There's a lot of different ... Now you have another system. You need to make sure that people that came to your website and filled out a form actually get their email. I hate that. I absolutely hate that.
The next thing you have is you just have ... There's limitations. You can do anything in WordPress, but a lot of times it requires you to go in and actually edit the PHP files. You have to go in and mess with stuff to do pretty basic things. Or you need to know what's called Custom CSS. You just want all the buttons to be on the bottom of a row or a column, good luck. Go make your own CSS or Custom CSS, and then add that in.
You're always required to go do this. Even the easy themes like Divi, D-I-V-I. You go to their website, and it's like, all I want is I have three columns with a photo, a text and a button, and I want the button on the bottom, and I want it all aligned well so that it looks like ... so you don't have a button here and a button here. I want all the buttons on the bottom. You got to go do stupid Custom CSS to do simple things like that. That's super annoying. You're not going to be able to do that. I can do it. You can't.
Which brings me to the conclusion that ... There's so many reasons, but I would just say WordPress is big, but there's some huge problems with it. Now Squarespace can be really slick. The workflow isn't super efficient, but what I like about even Wix and Squarespace ... The web community hates these two, but Squarespace, they have a really turnkey system. You get an SSL. Their e-commerce is pretty turnkey. Their templates are pretty slick, and they have a business continuity plan, right? They're trying to stay in business. They're also going to help your site get protected from all of those hacks and attacks. Just generally speaking, you tend not to have the same email deliverability problems, so a lot of that is solved. What I don't like is the customization is not very good. It's not bad; it's just not great. It's limited.
Shopify is another huge site system that's a lot like them, but Shopify has this giant value add for e-commerce. If you want an eCommerce site, Shopify is pretty hard to beat just to make sure that your logistics get nailed down pretty tight.
Then you have Wix. I do not like Wix. Wix is supposed to be so easy for everybody, but what happens is is it gets handled weird. In fact, I've seen sites not get crawled. I think their SEO is challenging. I don't think it's going to be that way forever, and I don't know that it's necessarily true. It's not bad.
And then you have Webflow. Webflow I think is the best, the fastest, it's the easiest, it solves all the problems. We build stuff on Webflow, and then we have some premium plugins that we put in for Google My Business, Facebook messaging and a whole bunch of different things. We overlay some CRM stuff, but its AWS hosting is super fast. It's turnkey. So I think Webflow is the cat's meow.
But here's why I wanted to make this, guys. When you're trying to choose a website, I think that if you don't know what you're doing, go for Squarespace. If you want a really nice site that works well for you, but requires a little more customization ... I'm not going to jump into everything about Webflow. This is more about I want you to have eyes wide open. WordPress is the biggest, but there's problems. Squarespace solves a bunch of those problems because they're a closed system. And then I think Webflow is by far the best, but not necessarily if you're building it, because you might not be able to do it. That's what I would look at, one of those platforms.
We build stuff on Webflow and WordPress, but primarily Webflow now. Good luck with everything you do. Have a good one.