How to Choose the Right Website Platform

Hands down, one of the most common questions I’m asked by wedding professionals is how to know what platform to build their website on, when there are so many choices.  

Website builders include services such as Squarespace and Wix, and they offer pre-made themes into which you drop your content to build your website. They don’t allow a lot of customization, so you’re locked into the parameters of whatever theme you chose. 

This is fine if your business will never change or evolve, but don’t we hope it does?  

I’m always going to be a cheerleader for WordPress because of the flexibility it provides to make your website look exactly how you want and do exactly what you want, but in some cases, WordPress may just not be the right fit for your situation.  

How do you know? 

Well, there are a few important questions to ask yourself. 

What Are Your Website Goals and Expectations?  

You have unique needs – and you likely have both short-term needs and long-term goals for your website. You need to consider all of those before you pick a platform.  

Once you have a solid handle on your goals and expectations for your website, you need to thoroughly review the limitations of the platform you’re considering and make sure that what you want and what they provide line up. 

If you have thoroughly reviewed a website builder’s features and functionality, you’re happy with how the final product looks and works, and you understand any limitations that exist, then a site builder may be all you need. 

But if you’re a bit deeper into your business, maybe it’s time to put in some solid investment and have a more robust site over which you have more control. 

Wedding Professional, Know Thyself 

Here are a handful of questions to get you started to get a better handle on what you need your selected website platform to be able to offer you.  

What is your technical comfort level? 

If you will be responsible for building and maintaining your own website but the idea of working in the WordPress admin strikes fear into your very heart, that is something to take into consideration when choosing your platform. 

That said, don’t let that scare you off of WordPress. The purpose of this blog is to empower business owners just like you, and to help build your website confidence.  

How much budget are you willing to invest in your website? 

If you have a limited budget at this stage of your business, then that is likely going to contribute to the approach you use for building your website. 

How much time do you have to work on your website? 

The amount of time you are prepared to invest in learning how to build and/or maintain your website will impact the best platform path. 

What are your design expectations? 

This is a serious consideration and focal point for many of you wedding professionals, for whom aesthetics is *key*.  If you have unique design and customization requirements, a template-based option probably isn’t going to satisfy you. 

Are there any unique features that will be necessary as part of your site? 

You’ll need to ensure that the platform you’re considering is capable of providing the functionality and features you’re seeking. 

Do you want to implement more advanced SEO techniques on your website? 

If so, you may lean more heavily towards WordPress because when your website is self-hosted rather than hosted by a website builder platform, you’ll have more access to the files that allow you to perform technical SEO strategies.  

One Size Does Not Fit All 

Your business’s unique short-term and long-term goals, your skills and capabilities, and your current budget and free time will impact the right platform for you.   

So, before you make a final decision on which platform to move ahead with, make sure you spend some time getting clear on your needs, wants and expectations for your website.  

Brenda Cadman is the founder and CEO of Bon Accord Creative, a company that specializes in offering website solutions and development to creative professionals. 

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