09 March 2019

3 simple web solutions to get your glazing website up and running

If your glazing business doesn't have a website yet, you're missing out on valuable leads that are heading straight to your competitors. You don't need to be a web professional to get a basic website up and running, services like Wix, Squarespace and WordPress make it easy to put together a slick and functional website.

There a pros and cons for each of these systems so we've put together a summary for you below.

Wix

The biggest advantage of building a website with Wix is you don't need any coding experience to get a professional-looking site up and running and it only takes a couple of minutes. However, depending on what you want to do with your website long term, you may find the ability to make changes quite restrictive.

Pros

  • You can create a custom website design by dragging and dropping elements (pictures, text etc) where you want them to go. No coding necessary!
  • You can play around with your website design in draft then publish it when you're ready. Visitors to your site won't see little tweaks happening in real time.
  • There are over 500 templates to start your design from.

Cons

  • Once you've completed your website design, individual elements can't be moved. If there's something you don't like, you'll need to create a new design from scratch.

Price: $12.50 USD per month (business plan). Includes a free domain name.

Squarespace

Squarespace might be a better long-term solution as it's easy to make small tweaks to your site over time. Like Wix, you can drag and drop elements onto the page and you don't need any coding experience.

Pros

  • Drag-and-drop system, no coding experience necessary.
  • Easier to make small tweaks going forward to your Squarespace site than a Wix site where the template can't be modified after publication.
  • The iOS and Android apps means you can add and edit content on the move.

Cons

  • Squarespace's design tool automatically saves your changes so someone visiting your site could see changes happening in real time.
  • Different "rules" for different templates. Some Squarespace templates allow you to move all of the elements around but some have 'fixed' elements that can't be changed.
  • There is no free version of Squarespace. You can trial it for 14 days but after that you will need to sign up using your credit card to continue using the platform.

Price: $18 USD per month (business plan, billed annually). Includes a free domain name.

WordPress

For clarity, we'll be talking about the WordPress hosted solution here rather than the standalone content management system. As is the case with Wix and Squarespace, the hosted solution involves signing up and paying directly on the WordPress website, then managing your entire site from there.

If you'd prefer to host your website somewhere else, you can download the WordPress content management system for free and install it on your hosting. This gives you the most flexibility but it is a significantly more complicated option for beginners.

Pros

  • Wordpress gives you more control over the structure of your website and is a more robust platform for sites with 30 pages or more.
  • Wide range of integration options to link your website to other web apps i.e. you could have a Google Calendar embedded in your site so potential customers can see your availability.
  • Any issues you encounter can be solved quickly with 24/7 email support, live chat or on the pages and pages of WordPress forums.

Cons

  • Less intuitive design tool than Wix or Squarespace, some basic HTML and CSS will come in handy when editing your WordPress site.
  • Wordpress is open source, meaning anyone can create plugins and themes that work with Wordpress and there literally tens of thousands to choose from. However, many of them are buggy or have security flaws and there is no quality control being done by Wordpress to weed these out.

Price: $34 USD per month (business plan, billed annually). Includes a free domain name.

What's the verdict?

The right system for you will come down to the needs of your glazing business and the skill set of the people who will be maintaining the site. If you want to set something up easily and never touch it again, Wix will suit you just fine. For a similarly simple solution but with more ability to make changes in the future, Squarespace is probably your best bet. If you're a bit more computer savvy and are wanting a site that will grow with your business, WordPress may be the solution for you.

None of these low-cost solutions are going to be the perfect fit and if you're after something tailored to your business, a professional web designer is the route you should go down. The upfront cost is going to be much higher but your website will serve you better in the long run and you'll have professional support while you learn how to look after the site yourself.

We hope you've found our suggestions helpful, let us know if you decide to try one of them out!

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