January 16, 2017
If you haven’t read our first blog post in this series be sure to go back and take a look at I Became We in 2017: Designing, Coding & Now Offering.
Okay, we’re going to just dig in here and get to the good stuff. Today, we’re taking a brief look at some of the highlights of what each platform offers to help your specific business succeed. One of the most fun and intriguing parts of the design process is getting to know what makes your company unique, what elements you want to polish and put up for the world to see. Today, we’re turning the tables on what makes these platforms shine.
With these new platforms at AJ&C, you may be a little intrigued by all the options — whether you’re an event designer, a wedding favors boutique with a knack for blogging, or a maker who needs to share her products with the world, there’s some unique needs with a unique solution. Part of our job is discussing what you like and don’t like about the platforms to figure out which one works with you and your brand. To see what’s included with a brand and web redesign with AJ&C, please visit our services page!
With each platform, the concept-to-production process for your brand will look slightly different. When you are looking at these four options for your website, ask yourself which one feels like you and is able to best serve your unique vision and strategy to conquer your market — but also be open to the potential that the others bring to the table. With your ideas in place, we can start navigating the design process together.
If you’re wanting a beautiful, multi-functional webspace that allows you to easily alter the layout and functions in the future, this is it. With a custom feel powered by a simple interface, Squarespace allows a lot of freedom in running and maintaining your website. It’s a one-stop-shop for custom domain, email, website, shop, blogs, and more. It has basic but fully-functioning tools, keeping the whole picture in mind with the website being the driving force.
The features that set this company apart is it’s beautiful interface, ease-of-use for non-techy people, and versatility for various types of companies. They are launching new versions of their apps (for iOS and Droid) that bring the best websites management to your handheld devices. For many new businesses and seasons entrepreneurs, Squarespace saves time and money by giving them straightforward solutions to their webspace needs. (A huge added bonus: their amazing 24/7 support. But more on that to come!)
WordPress offers fully-customizable websites and blogs. As an intuitive CMS, it is fully customizable because of the ability to code and use various plug-ins to operate various features. This can be a huge benefit for those of you who have a specific vision for your webspace that can only be accomplished through using very specific tools and coding.
What sets WordPress in a bracket all its own is the customization potential and overall power. As the plug-ins are continually changing and upgrading, there’s more opportunity to see exactly what you’ve envisioned become reality. These sites do require regular maintenance to be sure that you are operating with the best functionality. While the free version does not have a help center, you can opt to continue a maintenance relationship with us or upgrade to a monthly payment plan with WordPress, to ensure complete satisfaction in your website capabilities. Over 25% of the web runs on WordPress – they are obviously doing a lot of things right.
ProPhoto, a WordPress theme company, has just launched an update to their system that is drool-worthy. For the photographers or photography-driven websites out there, this platform is unique and structured around images.
Some of what sets them apart are the features they have developed after years of working with photographers. Templates allow you to make completely customizable pages or sets of pages within the website. Basically, each page could look completely unique. They have customized animation for images, called Tiles. And if you are already on an old ProPhoto or other WordPress theme, they have a test-drive plugin to keep both sites running until you are ready to launch the new. You can also customize multiple forms, mix-and-match gallery styles, and enjoy completely responsive images (with many theft-protection options). ProPhoto has done a spectacular job revamping their feel to make images the star of their sites.
Shopify offers a pure e-commerce solution that builds websites to sell product and can host small to large shops. Powering over 325,000 businesses, it is a very popular solution for those who are makers and entrepreneurs bringing product to market. Shopify tends to be a bit more expensive because of its advanced analytic, shipping, and shop-running features. But it can be so worth the cost.
Their experience with and focus on delivering a successful shop sets them apart. They’ve worked with small and large businesses alike and provide features that help your business grow like helping you sell products easily on different social media channels, create discount codes, accept payments from 70 different processors, set up customer accounts, learn spending behaviors, manage multiple staff logins, as well as create webpages and blogs. Since helping you sell more is their main business, the shop will be fully functional as well as beautiful, allowing you to do more and sell more efficiently.
Be sure to check out these platforms more fully, examining their functions and reviews to gain a good perspective of the pros and cons.
No company will be flawless, but these companies have proven their worth with their track record and ability to keep small businesses moving.
Next week, we will be taking a closer look at the ease of use, from hosting to coding and how AJ&C helps you transition smoothly into your web space!