Which Web Builder to Choose

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    The good news and bad news about building websites today is there are a lot of choices when it comes to web builders and platforms. In this episode, we’ll be sharing insights on how others have been challenged by this and how you can know which website builder best fits your organization.

    Listen to Season 3: Episode 11

    The good news is that you actually have several great choices (unlike the before-times; anyone else remember only having Dreamweaver and Front Page?). The bad news is, well, you have several great choices.

    Which Web Builder Is Best Changes from Person to Person

    Everybody loves their thing, for their reasons. Windows vs. Mac, iPhone vs. Android, Disneyland vs. Walt Disney World. This is also true in the realm of website builders. People have their favorites, but their reasons might not match yours.

    For many years, I helped run a WordPress meetup where we talked about WordPress all the time. But we also talked about other website builders because there isn’t one platform that’s perfect for every situation. In the last handful of years, multiple platforms have improved or been introduced, and organizations now have several great options from which to choose.

    The challenge is that when it comes time to determine which web builder is for you, typically marketing organizations or marketing leaders don’t necessarily have enough expertise in the platforms to know if they match up with the needs of the organization. And this is where we rely on experts.

    It can be tricky though, because experts come with their own set of biases, context, and preferences. The whole point of having options is so that you can choose the one that works best for you. However, to choose wisely, you have to not only have self-awareness, but awareness of how the options do or don’t match up with your needs.

    Choosing the Right Option: Situation #1

    In the past four or so months, we’ve had several different clients come to us needing an external perspective for choosing a web platform. For some, we are helping them to choose so that we can build the site for them. For others, we are simply advising as they consider which website builder is best.

    In one case, a small investment firm with no dedicated marketing team came to us because they were building a new website. They had talked to a web designer who was very excited to build them a new website in Webflow. The owner of the firm did have the presence of mind to give us a call and talk through their options because they already have a WordPress site and a Squarespace site. Thus, they have experience with multiple platforms, and experience with a platform not necessarily meeting all their needs (they aren’t really a fan of their WordPress site).

    We talked through their options and other relevant considerations and context for them including:

    1. Who in their organization will be responsible for maintaining this website.
    2. The audience for the website.
    3. The purpose of the website.
    4. The type of content it would need.
    5. How traffic would be getting to a website.

    Search engine optimization is a critical consideration when choosing which web builder you need, as this is where many web builders don’t have the technical infrastructure for advanced SEO. Based on their needs, our recommendation was not to use Webflow, because they planned to maintain it themselves going forward. They already had expertise and existing websites on other platforms, and one that would be perfectly great for what they needed was Squarespace.

    Situation #2: A Different Option

    In another case, a large service organization with a dedicated marketing team has both a WordPress site and a Webflow site. And when a designer on the team was in charge of the Webflow site, they loved it. Which makes sense: Webflow is built for designers to be able to create beautiful web pages very easily with all the controls right at their hands, and they don’t need to write any code to get the look they want. It’s perfect for designers. But at the point that the updating of the website moved out of the designer’s hands and into the marketing coordinator’s hands, it became much harder for this resource to update the site and have it look the way it needed to.

    Because of this, this organization is considering moving their Webflow site to WordPress. The organization already has the skill and expertise to work in that platform, and since resources are limited, they are trying to be the most effective with the team they have.

    What’s Best for You?

    In both of these cases, multiple web builders were already being used in the organization. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it does require additional skills and knowledge in the team. The same is true of any additional software. It can be advantageous for an organization to leverage skills and not have to maintain multiple platforms.

    Getting an external perspective, understanding the needs of your organization, and having someone help you pair up those needs with what web builders have to offer can help you future proof your choice of which website builder you use. That comes with the understanding that no choice is 100% future proof because technology continues to change, as do organizational needs.

    When you strive to ensure that your choice of web platform is usable by the existing team members, and that your organization can easily operate it, means there’s less friction when deploying marketing campaigns and making the best use of your website as a business asset.

    Get the Support You Need

    It sucks when projects or tasks get held up due to access issues. Avoid this problem by getting all your website info in one place. Grab your free Website Quick Reference Template that puts all the technical details for your website, from domain host to website platform access, in one spot at https://getffx.com/website.

    Do you love a good tip, trick, or hack as much as I do? Then you’ll definitely want to catch the next episode that can help you more efficiently delegate and work with external teams.

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