What website platform should I use? - Pattern and Design

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What website platform should I use?

Are you wanting to start a website but are overwhelmed by which platform to use?

I know that a conversation that I often have with my students is about which website platform to use.  Then often get stuck not knowing how and where to get started as there are so many different options out there.

We’re going to have a look at a few different options and the pros and cons of each.

Squarespace

A really popular option that a lot of designers use is Squarespace.

Squarespace will host your website for you so won’t need to find an external host, instead, you pay them a monthly fee. You can choose a theme and then use that theme to input your images and information into. Depending on the theme, there may be limitations as to what you can alter e.g. colours, moving elements around etc. which means you lack some flexibility in what you can do. A great thing about Squarespace though is that it is fairly easy to use and you can create a website relatively quickly.

WordPress

Another option is to create your website using WordPress. If you’re using WordPress you will need to organise an external host, to host your website.

WordPress site is great in that it gives you a lot of flexibility in the way you can use it and a lot more control over what you can do. There are also lots of great plugins you can add.

My website used to be on WordPress using the Divi theme. It was great in that I was able to customize my site really easily however there is a greater learning curve to using WordPress in comparison to Squarespace. If you’re not technically minded you might find it quite overwhelming when you very first get started with it. However, if you’re happy to use an existing theme without too many changes, you will be able to get started relatively quickly.

Showit

I now use Showit to host my website and absolutely love it! Just like Squarespace you pay a monthly fee and they host your website for you but the reason I love it so much is because it acts in a similar way to Illustrator. If you’re a creative and you know how to use illustrator then I can’t recommend enough trying their 14 day free trial.

Basically what it allows you to do is to move your elements wherever you like in the same way you would if you were using Illustrator. So if you want to place an image or text on top of something else, you can position it really easily (without any coding) exactly where you want. That was something that frustrated me when using WordPress as I didn’t have the coding skills to position the elements how I envisioned them.

So for me, I really love that I can place images wherever I want to. It’s also super easy and quick to change colors etc. and it works in layers in a similar way to Illustrator and Photoshop.

If you’re using a blog, it works back with WordPress and will run your blog there. If you don’t have a blog, all of your pages will be on Showit but if you do have a blog your blog pages will be hosted on WordPress

I love this as it gives the best of both worlds. I was even able to get Showit to migrate all of my blog posts over for me so the process was super simple.

So hopefully that has given you some different options for creating your website as I know how overwhelming it can be.

I do recommend websites to allow time to create your website as generally they take longer than you think.

My greatest advice would be to try and pick the platform you think you’d like to stay on long term because changing over is no fun at all.

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