What should you build your platform on – WordPress? Wix? SquareSpace? Something else?
It’s a common question I get. The answer really lies in what your long-term goal is for your website.
If you’re just trying to share recipes or pictures of your kids or something simple then these website builder platforms are an opportunity to do that pretty easily.
But if you’re trying to build a professional online presence, where you attract an audience to your content and will eventually have value added products and services to sell, then you need to “begin with the end in mind.”
Stephen Covey made this phrase famous in “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” The idea is that when you begin a project the principle is to keep the end result that you’re seeking to achieve in mind while you work through each task or step in the process.
Sometimes that’s not as easy as it seems. Sometimes it is. But the bottom line, when it comes to building your online platform you need to keep Covey’s principle of beginning with the end in mind in clear view. Otherwise you can end up somewhere you didn’t want to be, and have a mess on your hands as you try to dig your way out.
When it comes to platform building WordPress is really the industry standard. Virtually every blog you follow, and every podcast you listen to use WordPress. And I admit this a little begrudgingly as my background has been in Drupal development for a long time.
Nevertheless, if you want to imitate what the leaders in the online world are doing, you can’t go wrong by choosing WordPress. You have to be playing the long game.
This isn’t about what works for you now, but will will work for you when your platform is established over the next several years. There are very real ceilings involved with site-builders like Wix and other site-builder type platforms that you need to be aware of, so you don’t end up in a trap.
Did you know that you cannot take your Wix site and go host it somewhere else if you ever decide you need to do that for whatever reason?
Not an option.
Same goes for Squarespace.
They’re proprietary platforms and you have to use those site builders within their ecosystem.
It’s vital that you build your platform so that you have control. You don’t want to build your platform on a rented space.
But that’s not the only issue.
You cannot expand your site functionality to use the same features you’d see on a site like Michael Hyatt’s site, or Pat Flynn’s site. Or Ray Edwards. Or Cliff Ravenscraft. Or John Lee Dumas. You would have to have an equivalent plugin/module/extension.
You have to begin with the end in mind. It might mean that you need to roll up your sleeves and dig in and learn more about WordPress than you were expecting.
Let that discomfort be what drives you out of your comfort zone and in to deeper learning so you can have the tools you need to chart your own path, instead of taking a “simpler” path because right now it’s easy.
Trust me – we migrate people off of all kinds of site-builder apps a lot and it’s *painful*. It’s a lot of work. Doesn’t matter what it is – Rainmaker, Weebly, Wix, or any builder – they all have their challenges once you hit a certain scale.
So be wise about the choice you make. Think about where you want to be in the next couple years with your site before you opt for the easy choice rather than the right choice that may challenge you to learn new skills.