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Which website platform is the best for building a scalable online business?

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Introduction

In today’s age of drag and drop web page tools, creating a website and publishing it online has never been easier.

Website building platforms like Squarespace, Wix.com, and Shopify offer “all-in-one” website packages that allow you to design, develop, host, and publish a website in no time at all.

These all-in-one packages are ideal for people who don’t have the time, patience, or technical skills to do things like setting up hosting for their website or to modify CSS code.

These platforms are especially suitable for users who are ok with paying a monthly fee for the convenience of having everything available in one place e.g. themes, web hosting etc.

Wix pricing screenshot from pricing page

However, if you are a person who plans to build a scalable online business, and are thinking about building your business on one of these platforms, the question you should be asking yourself is; are these services scalable?

In other words, if your goal is to build a high-traffic website that is flexible and powerful enough to evolve as your business grows; will Squarespace or Wix deliver what you need, or will they let you down in the end?


In this article, I will highlight some of the things you may not be aware of, which will help to answer this question.

I will also outline the key reasons why I believe WordPress is the best platform for building a scalable online business.

Choose a platform that is right for you

When trying to find the best website platform for your needs, you need to have a good understanding of what you want to do with your website, and what your plans are for the future.

If all you need is a simple 5-10 page website that has the ability to sell some online products, then Shopify, Wix, or Squarespace could be a good choice.

However, if you want to have more control over your costs, and want to build an online business that will allow you to scale smartly as your business grows, then WordPress is a better fit.

Wordpress.org homepage showing banner that 34% of the internet is powered by WordPress
Source: WordPress.com

Take me, for example, when creating FounderCopilot.com, my main goal was to build an audience by creating valuable content.

As my audience grew, I knew I would need a platform that was flexible enough to adapt to my needs and did not charge me a monthly fee.

The following is a simple checklist I used to decide which platform was most suitable for my website:

  1. Low set-up costs – Keeping costs down early is essential. The platform needs to be free of any hidden charges.
  2. Web hosting – I want to be able to choose my own web hosting provider, and not have to be locked into hosting exclusively with platforms like Squarespace, or Wix.com.
  3. Scalable platform – I need a website to scale quickly and grow with my audience.
  4. Minimum development – I don’t want to spend too much time designing and developing the website. Instead, I wanted to invest more of my time in creating high-value content. Therefore, having the ability to buy a pre-built theme I can customize is essential.
  5. Support community – If things went wrong with my website, I want to have free access to a large support community who could answer my questions on demand.

Taking all of these requirements into account, I knew that WordPress was the best fit for my requirements, as it delivered everything I needed and a whole lot and more.

WordPress powers 34% of the internet.

WordPress.com

So if you are a person who has similar needs and you want to leverage a flexible website platform that will scale with your business, check out the following points which outline the benefits of WordPress in more detail:

1. WordPress is scalable

WordPress has become one of the most scalable website platforms on the internet.

With such a massive ecosystem of hosting providers, theme developers and support experts, you’ll always have the support you need when you need it.

Even big brands like TechCrunch, Rolling Stone magazine, and New York Times Company, are using WordPress to deliver daily content to their visitors.

Graphic showing visitor stats for TechCrunch and RollingStone

Therefore when you begin to grow, the real question becomes; do you have a sustainable business model that will allow you to scale properly?

In other words, does your online business generate enough revenue to pay for the services you need to scale properly? i.e. web hosting, bandwidth, disk space, etc.

Scaleable web hosting for WordPress

Luckily, there are a vast amount of web hosts that provide scalable, fast, and secure solutions for WordPress at a reasonable cost.

Web hosting companies have designed cloud-based hosting packages for WordPress, that fit any type of business.

Essentially, this means your site will live on servers that are fine-tuned for WordPress and therefore can deliver a fast, reliable and secure service.

Siteground is one of the most popular and well-reviewed web hosts on the market today. Like many leading web hosts, they have specialized WordPress Hosting.

Siteground pricing page screenshot

They offer 3 simple hosting plans that appeal to the small startup or solo entrepreneur, as well as hosting plans that allow you to scale up as your business grows, giving you more disk space, performance, and bandwidth.

Siteground also offer cloud hosting which delivers even better performance. However, as Sitegroud’s costs for cloud hosting are substantially higher than their standard plans ($80 / month), you’ll need to be sure you can afford the monthly payments.

Kinsta and WPEngine are both popular and well-reviewed web hosts that deliver super fast and reliable cloud web hosting for WordPress.

Kinsta hosting homepage screenshot

Kinsta’s infrastructure is built on the Google Cloud Platform, which means your website will have its own separate container on the cloud, which does not share any resources with the other websites.

These are just two of the many providers out there who offer scalable plans that deliver fast, secure, and reliable hosting for WordPress.

2. Open source = Control

Remember earlier when I talked about how website builder platforms like SquareSpace and Wix offer plug-in and play convenience?

Well, the downside of this convenience is that by signing up and paying for these services, you are essentially giving up control over how your website business operates.

Let’s take web hosting for example.

By building your website on Wix or SquareSpace, you are essentially locked into their platform’s hosting, and you have to deal with them, exclusively.

Squarespace pricing screenshot
Squarespace pricing page

In other words, if you are not happy with the service, and you want to move your website to another hosting provider, well guess what, you can’t!

Why, you ask?

Well, because that’s what you signed up for, an all-in-one platform that gives you the ability to design and host your website on their platform.

The downside is that you are locked into the platform and their recurring monthly fees. This is how these platforms make their money!

Wix and Squarespace have designed their platforms to appeal to non-technical users who just want quick plug-and-play solutions.

However, this convenience comes at a cost, especially if you want to scale your business.

For more info on these terms see this post on the Wix forum

WordPress, on the other hand, is Open Souce software, meaning you have complete control over your environment.

More specifically, you have control over:

  1. Hosting – You have the freedom to choose whatever web hosting provider you want.
  2. Design – WordPress is flexible enough to work with any type of web design, and with the largest community of theme developers online, the variety of themes is only getting better.
  3. Development – How you want to build your website i.e free theme, premium theme, custom build.

The best part of all of this is that WordPress is totally FREE!!

So if you are a startup founder, a digital marketer or even a person who is just thinking about building an online business in the future, you should definitely consider an open-source platform like WordPress for your online business.

3. WordPress has a massive community

Because WordPress is one of the most popular CMS platform in the world, one of the benefits is that you can leverage its massive support community.

Screenshot of WordPress support page

For example, as you grow your website over time, you will inevitably run into issues along the way.

When this happens, it is super important to be able to find answers to your questions quickly.

As WordPress has been around for so long, every issue you could possibly encounter has already been discussed online.

So you will easily find the answers to your questions when you need them.

Whether you run into issues with WordPress itself or a third-party plugin, the WordPress support community has you covered.

This is especially helpful if you are creating a website yourself and don’t have anyone else to support you.

Because WordPress is such a popular platform, you will also find it easy to find people who can work with WordPress.

This not only includes WordPress developers but also includes marketers, bloggers and web producers.

All hugely beneficial for people who want to build scalable online businesses.

Conclusion

Over the past 10 years, I have worked with all three of the main content management systems (Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress) and I can say with confidence that WordPress is my favorite CMS platform hands down, for all of the reasons I mentioned above.

If you are starting out with building an online business, you should try and give yourself the best chance of success, and WordPress will give you everything you need and more.

Wordpress logo

Although there are some credible competitors on the market today, I believe WordPress stands out from the crowd for being a free, open-source website platform that scales and is super easy to work with.

WordPress also has a bright future and have already made major improvements with their new block editor Gutenburg.

Gutenburg integrates the drag-and-drop simplicity of website builder tools like Squarespace and Wix.com

For more information on Gutenburg, check out my related article 3 reasons why you should be using Gutenburg in 2020.

I hope this article has given you a high-level overview of the benefits of WordPress and it’s ecosystem of partners and service providers and support experts.

If you want to know more about optimizing WordPress, also check out my other articles that discuss this topic in more detail.

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Niall Conway

Niall Conway

Founder & Marketing Director
FounderCopilot.com

I am an online entrepreneur who helps people build, launch, optimize and monetize their online business with Wordpress, SEO, Affiliate Marketing, Adsense and a whole lot more.

On my website and on my Youtube channel, I share the skills and insights I have built up over the last 10+ years while working as a freelance designer/developer and while founding several digital businesses of my own. Read more...

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