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Pros and Cons of Various Web Building Platforms

Web Development & Design

Tom Mills

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There are many platforms that allow you to build a website quickly and easily. Deciding that builder, isn’t so easy. This article is aimed at helping you find the best web building platform for you and your business presented by Tom at Go Smart Media. For more information check out his other articles or his website.

1. Squarespace

The best for beginners so to say, very accessible for newcomers with lots of template selections (design and categories) Very user-friendly with an intuitive UI. A perfect option for people who want a build a hassle-free clean and simple website without having to be focused on being tech-savvy. It comes with a monthly fee and an E-commerce platform, similar to the next option I’m going to discuss Wix. All in all offers a wide selection of themes and is very responsive. If you’re a newcomer, an extremely viable option and choice.


• Easy, simple, and clean intuitive design and UI
• Lots of free template selections for a variety of categories
• Mobile friendly and responsive
• Easy to set up and maintain
• Diverse range in terms of design options


• Not as good as WordPress in terms of SEO
• Add-Dropping can be tedious
• Different editing and live preview screen

2. Wix

When stacked up against open-source platforms say python or WordPress, Wix has held its own and it’s extremely popular amongst web designers for its diverse customizability. Due to not being open-source, it can limit the number of available tools but despite this, it ensures up to par quality. The advantage with Wix is despite its limitations its plugins will not affect site responsiveness making it a very good option for people looking for an easy and simple website setup. Just like with Squarespace, it has a monthly fees.


• Wide variety of template selection and design options
• Ability to add animation and videos
• Free plugins
• Extremely flexible when it comes to designing


• Can be expensive
• Limited tools due to being a proprietary platform
• Not recommended for E-Commerce

3. Weebly

Anyone familiar with Squarespace should feel at home using Weebly’s add-drop interface. Very easy and simple to use, offers flexibility with various themes and add-ons etc. Compared to the others, however, its flexibility is quite limited.


• User friendly with decent SEO
• Easy drag and drop features
• Very responsive (both on mobile and desktop browsers)


• Basic design options
• Ad’s are visible on the free version
• Not recommended for bloggers (needs improvement on those features)

4. Django (CMS)

For the gurus and one of my favorites primarily due to its security, unlike WordPress which is built on the PHP language, the Django framework is built on the powerful python language making it extremely robust in terms of design as well as security. Provides built-in authentication making it less prone to human error protecting sites from SQL injections, CSRF attacks and cross-site forgery, and other common vulnerabilities. It’s open-source with good technical knowledge it can be molded into anything. It’s also extremely scalable due to rapid development when it comes to designing from scratch. You can design anything on this the only drawback is the language, python is more complex than PHP, meaning high-level programming expertise/knowledge is a must. 


• Free open-source web framework anyone can utilize it
• Includes all the functionality to build an extremely intuitive web design
• Extremely versatile, build backend APIs
• Authentication management
• Extremely secure
• Create your own content management system (CMS)


• Requires a lot of coding knowledge and expertise otherwise there are no limitations in terms of design and versatility with Django
• Not really necessary for small businesses

5. Joomla

Not a very popular option but for anyone who is looking for another alternative to say Weebly or Squarespace then this is worth a try simply due to a wider selection in themes and extensions overall. It’s the best of both worlds, especially for people who didn’t find what they were looking for with Wix or Squarespace.


• A plethora of design templates to choose from (more than Wix and Squarespace)
• Lots of free extensions
• Open Sourced


• Known for its compatibility issues in some cases
• Doesn’t have a seamless navigation
• Adjustment options are rather limited

6. Drupal

More of a modular design platform and works extremely well with medium to large enterprises, due to its modular structure it’s very customizable able to accommodate any business requirement. The downside is you will need a very good dev team and good coordination, making sure they are well versed with Drupal and PHP. It’s also very well secured offers rapid systematic updates and has lots of pros for any business avenue.


• Open-source platform
• Good systematic updates
• Foolproof security
• Mobile-friendly themes


• The interface isn’t very user friendly
• Steep learning curve
• Can be limited in certain modules

7. Magento

One of the most popular and most chosen in the E-Commerce world due to its scalability. It’s an open-source platform making it extremely popular and versatile. Due to it being feature-rich it’s picked over other popular E-commerce platforms such as Shopify, woocommerce, or Volusion. Tier selection for specific customers as well a wide variety of currencies makes it a great platform for global selling or even building a global marketplace. Due to its scalability as I mentioned it’s great for medium to even very large businesses.


• Very scalable hence it’s suitable for even massive businesses
• Best, if not one of the best choices for E-commerce due to its ubiquitous feature elements and tier-based pricing systems
• Very mobile friendly
• A large community of users


• Can be pretty tedious to host, dedicating hosting is recommended or can be downright necessary
• Can be expensive due to it having overall fewer developers (for reference finding a technical Magento developer can be much harder and expensive than for WordPress)
• Time-consuming and can have slow loading times (if you’re using the community version of Magento enterprise and the premium version are pretty fast in comparison)

8. Shopify

One of the most well-known platforms for anyone that’s been a part of e-commerce web design, it’s a very popular option offering a wide array of template selections, extensions, and whatnot. It’s also very SEO friendly and comes with a lot of tools to play around with. It provides some of the most well-designed storefront pages and themes.

However, to keep in mind it only provides 10 free template selections among themes, which is pretty limited you’re going to need to pay to access more design features and elements. Regardless, Shopify has some of the most solid plugins around, with over 1200 apps that can help automate your tasks. Shopify is also known for its great customer support compared to other platforms available 24/7.

Also comes with great marketing tools and AMP features for mobile users, great social media integration sell stuff even on Pinterest. Automated generated sitemap, can really help as google utilizes it to analyze webpage content.


• Excellent for retailers one of the most widely used for E-Commerce
• Excellent for less tech-savvy people while also being a very versatile and powerful platform
• Great support


• Pricing is where a lot of the issue lies with Shopify if you want to unlock more advanced customizations you need to pay more as well
• Nowhere near as customizable in terms of custom features compared to its competitors Magento and WordPress
• Advanced plans can be pricey, especially for small businesses

9. HTML5

Open-sourced and one of the best when it comes to cross-platforms meaning it should virtually function with all devices and it’s mostly browser dependent, pretty much all major browsers support HTLM5. Coding elements are also clean and less tedious anyone who grew up during the 90s will appreciate its neatness and it’s very easy to learn. There is also more consistency with HTML5 sites overall.

Lots of page elements to play around with in terms of customizability, it’s great for SEO and requires little maintenance compared to other options here. It has great consistency in performance and offers a very modern user experience while having the shortest latency times. If you want to add multiple vids or want a responsive design-rich website, this is a great option, it will also save businesses time and money in the long run due to its ease of use for devs as well as less overall maintenance. 


• Easy to learn for devs, very versatile platform
• Amazing for SEO
• Eliminates the need for multiple developments
• Storage options for HTML5 are very reliable
• Friendly cross-platform interface easily compatible with all devices that support HTML5 (mobile, desktop, tablets, etc)
• Requires way less maintenance than most options mentioned on the list
• Extremely consistent in performance


• It can require modern browsers to access it, this is not a problem in itself, but statistically, there are still a lot of people with older browsers, OS and firmware updates in general, in this instance customers will not blame their own system, they’ll blame you for it
• Despite its overall versatility, multiple device responsiveness can be pretty annoying
• The language is evolving, this can be a good thing but bad in the case it’s less of a disadvantage but more of a threat, as it can cause rendering issues if it’s updated so you need to keep tabs on the site so nothing breaks if there’s any new development
• Different Video supports might cause compatibility issues depending on the format and browser used i.e. Firefox in many cases might not support the ogg theory in many cases, so this is something to keep in mind