Join us for a Designer Round Table with our JAC Designers, Lauren Brown, Emily Foster and Creative Director, Jade Buford!
- How to know which website platform to look to for your specific business
- Designer experiences with different platforms and their recommendations
- A platform breakdown – Finding out which platform feels most intuitive to you!
Welcome back to The Brand Files! In today’s episode, we are sitting down with JAC’s Emily Foster, Lauren Brown, and Jade Buford for a Designer Round Table to learn which website platforms are best for what! When you take the time to choose a website platform that’s the right fit for your business, you want to feel confident that it’s going to meet the needs & goals of your website & be the right fit from a maintenance perspective in the future. In this episode, we are going to dive right into how to navigate this!
Emily Foster is a brand and website designer. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and her two cats, Elsa and Olaf. She’s a super big bookworm & she also has a bookstagram account to attract her reads. She loves design and business, and she loves working with and supporting with other women entrepreneurs.
Lauren Brown is one of our amazing designers and she lives in the almost always sunny Long Beach, California with her cats. We’ve got lots of cat lover designers. She works primarily as a white label web designer for Passionate Design Studios. And when she’s not working, you can find her at her local tea shop or making friends with anyone’s dog, which we love. We are so excited to have them on today’s episode, and can’t wait to get into it!
A Website Platform Breakdown…NOT a one size fits all kind of thing
Today we are going to breakdown some common platforms, and give insight to which ones are best for different circumstances. One tip we recommend is if you are torn between any of these platforms, do a free trial to test which ones work best for you! JAC uses: Showit, Squarespace, WordPress, and Shopify, so we will do a platform breakdown to better help you decide which platform may be the best for you.
Who Should Use Showit?
We love Showit! This is what we call a set it and forget it site because it is one of the lower maintenance platforms. Once you get everything set up on this platform, it doesn’t have to be constantly managed and updated compared to some other platforms. Showit is a great for people who want really visual website or really powerful blog component that provides customization in SEO and optimization, aka a drag and drop visual builder platform.
Showit is great for service based businesses or creative space businesses, and is very helpful for people with less editing experience. If you do decide to try out the showit platform, we do recommend using a template or consulting an agency like JAC in order to help you get started with the least amount of stress & chaos.
Who Should Use Squarespace?
Our next platform is Squarespace. This is another great all in one type of platform. This one is similar to Showit in a way that is is another set it and forget it site. AKA less maintenance and upkeep! We all agree that this platform is not quite there yet with designs and expansive creation options, but is a good one for easy SEO and input options.
The best potential clients for square space would be light e-commerce, especially for things like digital options. This platform is pretty intuitive to set up and already somewhat caters for more ecommerce vibes, but is also pretty all inclusive. Some people are starting to believe that square space is aiming to become more like Showit in a more manual aspect, which should be considered before making a decision!
Who Should Use Shopify?
Our next platform is Shopify. Shopify has great customer service components, as they offer 24/7 support, chat, call, etc. Shopify is definitely an industry standard e-commerce platform, great for small- medium sized businesses. Shopify is a more robust option with detailed analytics and expansive integrations, but this one is a little trickier to build on your own. If your primary focus of your business is to sell products, physical or digital, this would likely be our top recommendation to you!
Who Should Use WordPress?
Last but not least? WordPress is probably the most complicated platform especially for DIY-ers. If you do choose to go this route, we all strongly recommend that you have a website developer handy! We would say this is the last option for someone looking for a simple and quick started website because it has a lot of custom coding and a more complex backend, which can be complicated for people new to website platforms.
However, if blogging is your main point of focus, we would likely recommend WordPress for you! WordPress does offer some really helpful and creative blog features. This is also a platform that would be good for someone that is looking for lots of customizations, things like plug ins, and custom integrations. There’s not a lot of built in customer service with WordPress itself, because WordPress sites are self-hosted. So customer service will really depend on your host and page builder. We reccomend Flywheel or WPEngine for hosting, and we love Elementor for a WordPress page builder. This is also something to consider if you are a person that enjoys using customer service for additional help! Overall we do like WordPress, but really only recommend it for blogging or for people who are also working with a web developer.
It’s really about looking at your business, what your needs are, knowing yourself personally, and asking what do I need to be able to manage this on my own? Or am I okay with the fact that I am gonna have to outsource updates to my designer and that would be a cost that I need to keep in mind for the website maintenance. We always tell our clients that we want to make sure that that you have the tools in your toolbox to be able to maintain your website on your own, which is why we provide resources like video tutorials in every project wrap up guide we create for our clients.
We hope this helps anyone who is trying to figure out the right step or you just want to be a little more educated about the platforms as you’re talking with your designer. If you’re wanting to work with us, but you aren’t quite ready to jump in yet, at least this kind of gives you an idea of the platforms that we work with, what we kinds we recommend for who, and can at least give you a good starting point.
To hear more from these designers and their tips for choosing a website platform, LISTEN NOW!
Did you love hearing different insights on these website platforms? To see more from designers Lauren Brown, Emily Foster, Jade Buford and the J Alexandria Creative team, visit our website & follow us on socials. Thanks so much to those of you who listened or read this post to learn which website platforms will be the best fit for you and your business!
Want to hear more of The Brand Files? Click Here for Episode 06!