What platform will the site be built on.
A platform is a basis on what the designer builds the website. And different platforms have different functionality
Do you need a platform that is easy to make changes, a site with lots of functionality, or an e-commerce site, are just some of the options to think about.
Ask the designer what are the limitations of the platform that they build their sites on regarding functionality and flexibility.
Here are some features of popular platforms:
WordPress is a robust platform with a lot of choices. It can be used by a beginner level users as well as advanced level users. It can be used to start a blog or a highly professional website.
WordPress offers beginners a lot of choices right from the beginning which might be confusing at first, but it is a lot more flexible in the long run.
There are thousands of free and paid WordPress plugins which you can use on your site to add new features.
You may need to pay someone to add a feature or security update as the platform is constantly bringing out version updates, so you will need to take this into account.
WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world, but it is not the only option. There are other platforms that can help you build your website
Drag and drop website builders
There are website builders out there that let you to “drag and drop” your way to your first website, and give you a broad range of free design templates to help your website look presentable, or “good enough”.
Some of the popular build your website platforms that a web designer may use, or you can create yourself include:
I really like Shopify as you can launch a basic version of your store in less than a day.
You don’t have to wait weeks or months, and pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for someone to put it together for you.
It's probably the Best DIY eCommerce Website Builder
As it is a dedicated, pure e-commerce builder, then as your business grows larger or generates more cash, you can upgrade to higher plans.
If your business doesn’t work out, or if you change your mind for whatever reason, you can always stop using Shopify.
It’s a lot less costly than hiring a web designer.
In my view, Wix is the best overall drag & drop website builder that enables you to build a fully functional website without you having to write a line of code.
It is probably the best overall flexible website builder.
Wix has over 500 templates that cater to a wide range of industries such as business, e-commerce, photography, music, design, hospitality, restaurants, etc. So they have a design for almost everyone.
Squarespace is a very design-oriented website builder and can make your website look as if you spent thousands of dollars in customising it, but only costs you a fraction of the price
If your business requires a website that is more image-oriented, and you want something minimalistic, and clean, definitely consider Squarespace.
They work particularly well for industries such as design or portfolio, photography, boutique businesses, restaurants or weddings.
Weebly is the most user-friendly drag & drop website builder in the market today.
I believe it is the easiest to use website builder.
They’re super simple to use.” The user interfaces so intuitive, you can learn almost everything about how to use Weebly in less than an hour.
However, this also means they don’t have as many advanced features and tools like Wix
So if you are deathly afraid of technology, it’s a worthwhile tradeoff.
So if you if, you are in the beginning phase of your business., you can launch a “good enough” website in less than a day and you won’t get bogged down by technology and have to wait weeks or months to have something up and running.
You can make changes to your website on the fly, instead of waiting for or relying on someone else to make those changes and charging you accordingly.
If you feel your business needs only a minimal Web presence and site that consists of just a few pages, you can probably use the available Do it yourself Web design tools to create your business website in a few hours.
There are tons of online resources and explainer videos on Youtube to help you build or update your site.
While there is a chance you may eventually grow out of these drag & drop website builders, they are good enough to build most, if not all startup websites.
Some drag & drop builders even have the capability to handle growing websites, and it is possible to run a successful and mature business with them.
But to be fair, they do have limitations, and they can’t do everything.