Choosing Your Blog Platform
In some cases, the more options you have, the better. However, in this case, the more options there are, the more confused you get.
I’m talking about website platforms.
With the different platforms that all seem to offer similar services, it makes it that much more harder to decide which one is best for your brand when you don’t have anyone to give you real advice and/or someone who’s been exactly where you’re at right now - with making this decision.
How intriguing is it see? Free website this and that + all the bells and whistles via Wix? Or, no monthly charge?
As tempting as it sounds, well, someone will take the bait, it still doesn’t make this an easier decision for you.
Let me give you my opinion and help you narrow down what is a better fit for your brand.
I’m going to be blunt and immediately say no to Wix and Weebly, if you’re looking to build a professional website and a long-term online business, neither platform seems to offer half of the functionalities to sustain a growing business without having to transfer to different platform later down the line. Harsh, maybe? But I’m just being honest.
Here are my three that’d I recommend and how they’ll be a good match for you:
I started out on Blogger, simply because, I didn’t do any research on other platforms and back then this was the most popular one to use as blogging began to explode.
This platform has an easy-to-use interface and setup, all you really need to do is select your template, choose your colors, font and layout and you’ll be up running.
Blogger offers very basic and limited functions. And does not allow much room for customization to fit to your brand.
As my blog began to grow and evolve, eventually, I outgrew it. What I wanted to do design wise could not be supported on Blogger.
Also, as my brand began to form, I wanted to “rebrand” myself and was in need of more functions, more options, more room to play.
So, I migrated my website to WordPress.
Blogger is best if you’re only looking to blog, you only intend on posting here and there and don’t need all the bells and whistles to personalize your website. Yes, it’s a good place to begin and if you’re looking to just get your feet wet to “test out” blogging, begin here. In the same breath, keep in mind if you do decide to move to a different platform later down the line, you’ll then have to move all of your content to your new site.
WordPress is what I used for blogging and to me is the best platform to use. While it looks very complicated and intimidating to use, once you’re familiar with it and how to navigate around on the backend, it’s very easy.
Wordpress is my personal fave because (1) it gives you plenty of room to personalize and customize your website without needing to hire a professional or have a background in coding or design. Whatever you want to implement on your website, design wise, it’s very likely you’ll have that option to execute it on your own - again, no professional help needed, so you don’t have to worry about constantly spending to make small changes here and there. (2) Layout options and templates for days, you’ll have no problem finding a template that reflects your brand's message and laying out your website to match it. (3) E-commerce function, you can run an online store on WordPress - at no extra charge, repeat, at no extra charge. The setup is simple and you could have your store up and running within an hour. Yup. When I tell you WordPress makes it easy for you, it’s true. When I started blogging, I never had any plans to launch an online store, but with running a website, opportunities come.
If you plan on building your online presence, I’d highly recommend building your website with WordPress.org. Again, no need for a professional designer to create your website, no experience in coding necessary.
On the customer service side of things, while there is no direct line to reach someone at WordPress if you have a question, your hosting company can assist which is super helpful.
WordPress does not charge a monthly fee or charge a monthly fee for your online store - this is major! Because so many places charge a monthly fee. Outside of paying for hosting, you don't have to worry about additional fees.
Squarespace is another website that I've used and recommend. It's an easy-to-use drag and drop interface.
While there are many ways to customize your website, it’s very limited, so outside of the features offered, you’ll need to be familiar with CSS coding and/or have a professional designer on hand. With Squarespace you don't have the option to purchase a different template outside of what is offered to setup and design your blog. What they offer, that's it.
For online store owners, Squarespace does has a built-in ecommerce feature but does not have offer half of the options that you can find on another e-commerce platform; such as, WordPress, no option to leave product reviews, abandon cart automations, etc. But you can pay extra to have additional features.
This is a decent platform to use and you can build an amazingly beautiful website, but again, if you want to do something outside of what they offer, you’ll need to pay someone to do it.
Their customer service is very helpufl, there is a live chat option to receive assistance on the spot, so that’s a bonus. When I first started out on Squarespace, I had no idea what I was doing, but luckily with the live chat, my website was up and running in no time.
In terms of monthly fees, you do have to pay monthly to use for Squarespace, WordPress you do not. Monthly payment plans can start as low as $12-$24. I believe with the lowest price, you don't receive a lot of features so it kind of forces you to pay more so you can get more. And again, with the e-commerece option, that's an additional fee to receive all the features that comes with running your online store. So you could end up paying up to $70+ monthly.
So, if you’d ask me which platform to use, I’d hands down say: WordPress.
I teach you how to setup your WordPress.org blog in my online course. You'll get a series of how to video's teaching you how to setup and work the backend of your WordPress website.
Or, if you're ready to launch your fashion blog, checkout my online course: HERE.