If you’re planning to build your own website, you have several good options today – options that didn’t exist (or weren’t nearly as good) only 10 years ago.
One of the best things about today’s build-your-own website platforms is that they make it easy to create a site that looks good and follows good graphic design practices. But every site has its pros and cons, and those are relative to your business objectives. So let’s look at three of your build-your-own options, and how to make the most of them.
Shopify’s strong suit is ecommerce. They have taken into account all the things online sellers want to do, and made it easy for you to do them.
Shopify makes sure all your product details are optimized for search engine results. What does that mean? It means that it creates structured links that look good to searchers. And if you use the “search engine listing preview” at the bottom of every product listing, you can make sure you say the right thing about each product too.
If you plan to do a lot of social marketing promotion, Shopify makes it one-click-easy. You can easily create links to the major product markets: Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Pinterest. Shopify also makes it easy to run Microsoft, Snapchat, and TikTok ads, and they have integrations several 3rd party providers of email marketing. In fact, if accessing marketplaces and running ads for your products is your primary marketing objective, there’s no better tool than Shopify.
You can get up and running with a Shopify site very fast. The main downside of a Shopify site is that if you start doing a lot of sales volume, their fees can add up fast. But if your volume is fairly low, this won’t be an issue for most sellers.
Wordpress is another excellent solution for building your own website. If Shopify’s strong suit is ecommerce, then Wordpress’s strong suit is rich content. Wordpress makes it really easy (and search engine friendly) to publish articles, blogs, podcasts, and videos, and share all of them to your social contacts and through email. If your focus is less on advertising and more on appealing to organic search, Wordpress is a great platform.
For your ecommerce needs, Wordpress seamlessly integrates WooCommerce, which is an excellent and easy-to-use ecommerce platform. While it does not have all the built-in marketplace and advertising connections of Shopify, it is otherwise just as easy to use and just as search engine friendly.
If you are planning to make big waves in online sales, then Magento is the Big Kahuna of ecommerce, with features that rival Amazon. You can do pretty much anything with a Magento site. Of course, all those features come with a fair amount of complexity. If you’re comfortable with using a computer and using Youtube University to fill in your knowledge gaps, you can set up a Magento site on your own. So Magento is on the border-line of build-yourself websites. Many people will have a developer set up their Magento site for them, but then take over the day-to-day management of the site from there.
One thing you need to think about when you are setting up your website is hosting. If you go with a builder, like Shopify, they will handle the hosting and domain management for you. If you decide to use Wordpress or Magento, you can use one of their hosting offerings, or you can set up your own hosting using something like GoDaddy or Network Solutions.
Of course, there’s one more thing that makes these platforms special . . . something we can’t leave out! While VDB’s marketplace app can be integrated with any modern website, we have developed specific integrations for Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento. There is no easier way to several hundred thousand items to your website than to use one of these sites with a VDB integration.
Today, your website is the most important part of your marketing execution. If you’ve been trying to figure out what to do with your website next, we suggest that one of these three platforms is well worth your consideration.