7 Ways To Make Your Business Website Better

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As a reviewer of small business software and services — and a human who lives in the modern era — I’ve seen my share of business websites. Many of them are so basic that they serve only to confirm that the business in question, be it a bowling alley or an accountancy firm, is not merely a front for backroom bookie Big Sal and his associates (Fingers, Lefty, and Slippery Joe). What is dodgier than a business without a URL, after all?

(Read this article if you’re wondering whether your small business even needs a website. Spoiler alert: it does.)

Few websites are anything other than forgettable, and the ones that stand out usually owe their memorability to monumentally funny errors rather than to craftsman-level design.

Your website can be — and should be — more than just an online throwback to the yellow pages, a mere repository for basic information about hours and addresses and contact emails. Your website was destined for greatness. And I’m going to help you take it there. Here are several steps you can take to make sure your website stands out for all the right reasons:

Table of Contents

Join The 21st Century (Be Mobile Responsive)

When I say, “join the 21st century,” I am not being snarky in the manner of a 90s sitcom character. (If I were, I would have said: Welcome to the Oughts, holmes!)

I am trying to stress the importance of having a modern, mobile-responsive site. There’s a word for businesses with websites that don’t work well on smartphones. And that word is defunct.

Consumers are addicted to their mobile devices. And according to this article by Marketing Land, mobile devices now drive an estimated 56% of web traffic. That’s right — chances are that more than half of your customers will find your website on their mobile browser. If your site isn’t mobile responsive, I guarantee they will exit your page as quickly as they enter.

When viewed on a smartphone, non-responsive sites appear either too large or too small, requiring the reader to manually adjust the screen. Responsive sites, on the other hand, automatically adjust to accommodate each device, be it an iPhone, a Kindle, or a Galaxy Note8. Mobile sites are often simpler and/or allow the visitor to scroll down for more information, rather than navigating from one page to another.

Effective mobile sites are sleek, minimalistic repositories of information. They should be reminiscent of your full site and good ambassadors for your brand. They should not make people throw their phones in anger.

Happily, most do-it-yourself website builders allow for mobile responsive design; if yours doesn’t, it’s time to look for a new platform. And it goes without saying that if you’re paying a developer to design your site, you should insist that they make it responsive. If you want more information about this topic or tips about how to make it work for you, read our articles What Is Responsive Design? and Creating Websites For The Smartphone Generation.

Update, Update, Update

To stay competitive, your site has to look current. People are only becoming more attuned to (and judgemental about) the aesthetics of their technology. Older designs simply won’t cut it. You must update, and update frequently, to stay alive.

To be clear, we’re not just talking about upgrading from something like this…

If your site looks like that, you either went out of business in 1996, or you are using the design ironically. If it’s the former, and you’re now trying to get back into the game, good for you. Burn the site and start over. Burn it. If it’s the latter, you are invariably a hipster and I don’t want to talk to you or your handlebar mustache.

This is the horrible truth: your pages don’t have to be neon and underlined to look hopelessly dated.  Sites built as recently as 2012 now appear sad and outre. First impressions matter, and the average consumer will ditch your site without blinking an eye if it looks sketchy or old.

To stay in the game, you must update the design of your site every few years. Yes, it’s a pain. Yes, it will cost you time, money, or both. But what you gain in street cred will be worth every dime.

Updating actually isn’t so bad if you’re using a modern website building platform, like Wix (read our review) or Squarespace (read our review). New, intuitive site editors make it easy to switch layouts, change templates and forms, and alter color schemes — without paying an hourly rate to a spendy developer.

Provide Accurate & Complete Information

I know I spent a good part of the introduction talking about how business websites need to be more than just storehouses of basic information. That is 100% true, and I stand by every word. But…and this is a big but…it is vitally important to put basic information about your business on your website, front and center, or everything else in this article is pointless. Highlight your operating hours, address, phone number, and digital contact information, and put that information in more than one place. If your business occupies a physical space, your address and phone number should be above the fold. In other words, website visitors should not have to scroll down or navigate to another page to see this information.

You also need to give potential customers and new visitors at least a hint of what your company is all about on your home page. Don’t write a novel at this point. As you’ll see in the screenshot of Merchant Maverick’s home page below, a simple summary phrase — Unbiased Reviews That Save You Time And Money — is enough to convey the purpose of our site.

An “About Us” page is a great place to go more in-depth about exactly what your business does, and why you do it. It can also be a good vehicle to introduce yourself or your staff. Include mini-bios and pictures if you can. People are social animals. We’re evolutionarily wired for relationships, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. The exchange of goods and services is occurring less and less in the meatspace, but we still like to know who we’re dealing with.

Avoid Grammar Mistakes

You don’t have dig deep to realize that American public schools are sadly failing when it comes to even basic writing competency. Just log in to Twitter for 10 seconds and yOull sea that Im rite. (There’s a little editor humor for you.)

You can get away with shocking grammar in Tweets, texts, and even over email (alas). But your website is not the place to be slipshod and careless. Save that devil-may-care attitude for Facebook or Christmas cards, where only some of your acquaintance will be judging you. If your website is riddled with typos and syntax goofs, you will lose customers, period. Error-laden copy connotes one of two things to your client base: you are illiterate or you are lazy. Ponder this riddle: What’s more off-putting to a consumer — an uneducated merchant or an indifferent one? The answer, of course, is moot. Neither one is going to survive.

This may all seem terrifying if grammar isn’t exactly your thing. But don’t worry! There’s no need to hastily enroll in a community college course. Simply running your site through spellcheck should catch most spelling errors, though you’d be surprised how many merchants neglect to do so. For higher level syntax and grammar issues, try using a service like Grammarly. It’s not perfect for higher level writing, but it catches almost 100% of basic errors (there/they’re/their, etc.), and it’s free. You can also enlist help from friends and family. The more eyes on your website copy before you publish, the better.

Write Engaging Copy About Your Products/Services

It’s not enough for your content to be grammatically perfect. It must also be useful and interesting. And there’s the rub.

How does one write captivating copy? Especially if one is trying to sell items as unsexy as, say, lawnmower parts or plumbing services? The key is to know your audience. Your stuff doesn’t have to be Dostoevsky-good. It doesn’t even have to be Reader’s Digest-good. Excellent website copy is defined by only three characteristics:

  • Detail
  • Utility
  • Appeal

Let’s take them one by one.

Detail

Presumably, you understand your business and your products or services well. Take the time to describe them, providing as much or more of the minutia as is reasonably warranted. Color; size; shape; weight; feel; smell; taste. Go further into the aesthetic sensibility of your items if you want. The more your customer knows about the product or service, the more likely they are to be satisfied with their purchase.

Utility

The overall helpfulness of your copy will depend in part on how wisely you’ve used detail in your descriptions. But you must go even a step further. It’s not enough to state that a scarf is hand-knit, blue, and made of angora wool. It’s not even enough to say that it is 60-inches-long and machine-washable. For optimal impact, you’ve got to paint a word picture for your potential customers. Give suggestions about various ways to wear the scarf. Talk about occasions or events the scarf is appropriate for. If a customer can imagine your product as a useful part of their daily life, you’re far more likely to make the sale.

Appeal

This one’s not so straightforward. The line between interesting copy and content that is mind-meltingly dull is thinner than you’d expect. When in doubt, go back to the advice above: know your audience. If you’re hawking lawnmower parts, it’s best not to be cutesy or make attempts at humor. You’re likely to simply irritate people. For utilitarian products and services, appealing equals factual and descriptive. But if bespoke spa treatments or patchwork quilts are your daily bread, be as whimsical as you want. Go nuts. Employ first-person language. Break out the charm. And if you don’t feel up to the task, hire someone who is. There are plenty of freelancers out there who write website copy for a living. Sites like Upwork are teeming with writers who would fist-fight each other for the privilege of generating your web content. (I know because I used to be one of them.)

Use Original Images

On the internet, as in life, it often pays to be unique. And not in an after-school-special, every-snowflake-is-beautiful kind of way. Search engines like original content. They give preference to it, in fact.

That said, unless your name is Dorothea Lange or Ansel Adams, you’re much better off using BigStock or Getty Images for your graphic content than simply uploading pictures from your digital camera or smartphone. Unique isn’t always equivalent to good. My iPhone pictures, for example, are invariably blurry and too dark, invoking what I’m sure are merely pity-likes on Instagram. Yours may be better (and likely are), but I can say with near certainty that they aren’t good enough to be featured on your website.

Website-quality photographs and images should be:

  • High-resolution
  • Well-lit
  • Sharply focused
  • Artistically blocked, posed or designed
  • Minimally cluttered

Images like this don’t grow on trees. They come from professional photographers and graphic designers who use professional equipment. In other words, you’ll have to pay for them. Craigslist is a good place to find relatively cheap freelancers in your area, or you can solicit help from sites like Upwork and Guru.

Maintain A Blog

Blogs aren’t just for bloggers. Used wisely, a blog can be an excellent marketing tool for your retail, restaurant, or service business.

For starters (to reiterate my point in the section above), search engines give preference to original content. They gobble it up, in the manner of hungry hippos. To be clear, Google is an equal opportunity tool in that, if you have a URL, you’ll show up in an appropriate keyword search…eventually. But if you want to rank a little higher than the two-millionth results page, you’ll need to put it a bit more effort. Creating unique, high-quality content for your site increases your visibility to potential customers online. The key phrase here is high-quality, by the way. Search engines employ highly trained digital bloodhounds that can sniff out BS filler-content a mile away. You can try to cover redundant or pointless copy with metaphorical coffee grounds, but Google algorithms just keep getting smarter.

If you equate blogs solely with hot-button social issues like politics, the Mommy Wars, religion, and the like, it may be difficult to see how having one could benefit — or even apply to — your business. There are only so many edgy articles you can write about lawnmower parts.

Blogs don’t have to be hilarious rants or incisive social commentaries. In fact, if you want them to work well for your site, you should avoid controversy and/or high-art altogether. Instead, think about what kinds of things your customers are interested in, and provide content that caters to those interests. Do you sell custom clothing? Write a few how-to posts about accessorizing or blog about fashion trends. Run a pet shop? Talk about what pet owners can do to keep their dogs healthy. Rank cat toys from worst to most purrr-fect. Cat owners in your area who search for toy ideas may just stumble on your article and become loyal customers. Blogs exist to provide helpful information for your current clients, but they serve to draw in new customers as well.

Here are some articles types that work well for business blogs:

  • Top 10 Lists
  • How-To Articles
  • Dos & Don’ts
  • Product Comparisons
  • Guides
  • Best Of/Worst Of Lists
  • Industry News
  • Trends & Fads
  • Interviews

If you don’t feel up to creating the content yourself, hire someone who is.

Final Thoughts

In our increasingly digital society, your website is the most visible face of your business. It behooves you to make that face as clean and attractive as possible. The good news is that it doesn’t take much to create a professional, effective site.

Consider the tips above and take action where you can. With just a little TLC (and a little cash), your website can go from bland and forgettable to sleek and profitable.

Further Reading

We’ve talked about seven ways that you can create a better website for your business. Here are some other resources to help you get started.

Starting From Scratch?

Check out our large selection of do-it-yourself website builder reviews or compare top website building software vendors. If your website needs to incorporate an online store, you’ll want to peruse our eCommerce software reviews and compare some of the top shopping carts.

Read these articles if you need help deciding on a platform:

Looking To Improve Your Current Site?

If you already have a site, but need some tips on how to take it to the next level, these articles should help:

Want Tips On eCommerce?

We’ve written a comprehensive ebook on starting an online store. It’s free and well worth a read. If you’re operating an online store already or are thinking about adding one to your website, check out these articles:

Need Help With Social Media For Your Business Website?

Social media is a huge part of good business marketing, and it’s helpful to integrate your social media channels with your website. Check out these articles for more information:

Julie Titterington

Julie Titterington is a writer, editor, and native Oregonian who lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley with her husband and two small children. When she’s not writing or testing software, she spends her time reading early 20th century mystery novels, staring blankly at her iPhone, and attempting to keep her kids fed, clothed, and relatively uninjured.

Julie Titterington

Julie Titterington

“”

10 Weebly Alternatives

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weebly alternatives

I like Weebly (see our review).

There, I said it.

Weebly isn’t the most exciting or buzz-worthy website builder around, and it is generally not the choice of web designers who design high-end websites for their clientele. However, Weebly occupies a special place — in my heart, at least — for its supreme familiarity and ease-of-use. There isn’t a service out there that makes the website building process easier. Throw in the 300+ feature add-ons available through the Weebly App Center and you’ve got yourself quite a handsome little package.

However, there are plenty of reasons you might want to go with a different website builder. Maybe Weebly’s just too basic for you. Maybe its templates just don’t do it for you. Regardless of the reason, there are plenty of alternatives to Weebly out there just begging for your attention and money. Let’s explore 10 of them!

Table of Contents

wix pricing

Wix (see our review) is undeniably the colossus of the website builder industry. A publicly-traded company with 110 million users in 190 countries, Wix is one of the few website builders with the resources to be able to advertise on the radio, on the sides of buses, and at the Super Bowl.

Like Weebly, Wix offers a limited free plan — one that, of course, requires users to use Wix advertising and a Wix-branded URL — while paid plans run from $5 to $25 per month.

wix

Wix’s website editor is more advanced than that of Weebly, allowing for greater precision in designing your pages. However, if you want an editor that guides you along and holds your hand the way Weebly’s does, just use Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) — Wix will take your content and color/font choices and create a website for you, which you can then edit using a simplified Weebly-like editor. Essentially, Wix is two website builders in one.

Wix’s App Market is an expansive repository of in-house and third-party add-ons that rivals that of Weebly, and its eCommerce system — more advanced than Wix’s — doesn’t take a platform transaction fee from your sales.

There’s a reason why Wix is the world’s most popular website builder, and it’s not just marketing!

squarespace

Squarespace (see our review) is the fancypants of the website builder industry, technically-speaking. Their templates are widely regarded as being the class of the field. It can’t compete with Wix or Weebly in terms of sheer number of users, but that’s due to the fact that Squarespace has no free plan (though you can try it for free for 14 days). Squarespace’s subscription plans are a bit more expensive than those of most of the competition, with plans ranging from $12 to $40/month.

photography websites

Squarespace’s emphasis on style means that people might assume your DIY site is the work of a professional web designer. And with Squarespace’s excellent eCommerce and blogging capabilities, you get a lot for your money. You’ll have to spring for one of the two pricier plans if you want eCommerce without a 3% Squarespace transaction fee, though.

duda

I enjoy Duda (see our review), and not just because Duda’s creators named their company after The Dude from The Big Lebowski (true story).

Duda’s free subscription plan includes a 10-item online store, and I’m always partial to website builders that offer some degree of eCommerce for free. Their two paid plans go for $14.25 and $22.50 per month, respectively.

[embedded content]

Duda’s photography templates are particularly appealing and make Duda a great choice if you’re looking to set up a photography portfolio or blog. But what really sets Duda apart is their use of what they call “personalization rules.” These rules allow you to create elements which appear only when certain conditions are met. You could create a message that displays only to repeat visitors to your site. You could set up a contact page that displays different contact info depending on the time of day — a “click-to-call” button could appear during business hours while a contact form displays during non-business hours. It’s a versatile and innovative feature — one that makes Duda worth looking into for any small business.

From the Russian & Ukranian makers of the old-school code-based website builder uCoz, uKit (see our review) is a website builder that really punches above its weight in terms of quality vs. the amount of attention it gets.

ukit

Sadly, uKit doesn’t offer a free plan. Their four subscription plans start at $4/month and go to $12/month.

uKit’s editor is fantastic, combining depth with supreme ease-of-use. You can build your website piece-by-piece, or you can stack and re-arrange preformatted content blocks. Their template selection is both vast (over 250 at last count) and high-quality. Their blogging tool is top-notch, and they are fully integrated with Ecwid’s online store. All in all, uKit might be the most underrated website builder out there.

Webflow (see our review) is a unique website builder. While Weebly and Wix focus on making website building as accessible as possible, Webflow is a precision web design tool geared towards professional web designers who build websites for their clients. The platform certainly isn’t restricted to web designers, though — just don’t expect a simplified experience!

Remarkably for such a sophisticated site builder, Webflow has a free subscription plan. Their paid plans are categorized into “hosting” plans and “designer” plans, with “team” plans available for teams of designers working on projects together.webflowWebflow’s blogging system is backed by the full weight of a CMS, thus making Webflow a possible alternative to WordPress for bloggers. The one major feature Webflow lacks is built-in eCommerce.

strikinglyThere has recently been a spate of new website builders dedicated to creating single-page websites designed for easy scrolling on mobile devices, and Strikingly (see our review) is probably the best of the bunch. Forbes even put out an article that described the company’s creation.

strikingly

Strikingly offers a free plan that includes eCommerce, though you’re limited to selling one solitary item. Their two paid plans go for $8 and $16 per month respectively.

As I said, Strikingly’s specialty is single-page websites. Businesses whose customers find them largely through mobile devices may find this kind of website appealing — people surfing the web via smartphones often just scroll through a business’s homepage without clicking on any other pages. And with blogging, eCommerce (with a Pro subscription), and a third-party app store, and you’ve got an impressive package for the right kind of business.

pixpa

Pixpa (see our review) is a stylish, attractive website builder with a singular focus: the creation of photography portfolio websites.

Unfortunately, Pixpa has no free plan. Their four free plans run from $5 to $20/month.

What’s cool about Pixpa is that not only are their photo galleries an ideal way to showcase your work, but you’re also given the tools to monetize your images.photography websites

Pixpa’s integration with Fotomoto (an eCommerce service through which you can sell your images as prints or downloads) means that you can take those pictures that are just sitting there uselessly on your SIM card and turn them into cash.

I approve.

zoho sites

Zoho Sites (see our review) has some unique advantages as a website builder. It isn’t the most visually spectacular builder and the templates aren’t the freshest, but since the Zoho Corporation (sounds like a villainous outfit from a comic book) puts out a wide array of highly-rated SaaS business packages, you get a lot of top-notch features lacking in much of the competition.

Zoho Sites has a free plan, but it lacks many of the features that make Zoho Sites the cool product it is. Their three paid plans cost $5, $10 and $15 per month.

The main thing Zoho Sites brings to the table is integration with their advanced business services. Their form builder is so formidable that it could easily stand alone as a piece of software. It’s the most advanced form builder in a website builder I’ve come across.

zohosites

One feature that businesses that handle large amounts of data will benefit from is Dynamic Content. With this feature, you can link to a Zoho Creator database where you can edit your content, which then automatically updates to your Zoho website (along with any other Zoho SaaS product you have linked).

There aren’t many website builders that cater to data-heavy businesses, so Zoho Sites has this niche nearly all to themselves.

jimdo

Jimdo (see our review) was once considered one of the top website builders out there, and while they may have lost a step, they still boast a formidable user base of 15 million. Let’s explore further.

You can use Jimdo for free and get the basic features, but if you want more — like the eCommerce — you’ll have to spring for one of the two paid plans ($7.50 and $20/month).

ecommerce

Jimdo doesn’t really stand out in any particular way, but everything they do, they do well. With solid blogging, eCommerce, and a nifty mobile editor (more website builders need to allow for editing from a mobile device — it’s 2018, folks!), Jimdo is a good, steady choice for individuals and small business owners.

xprs

From the makers of IM Creator, XPRS (see our review) is a nifty mobile-responsive website builder that gets less attention than it should.

XPRS has three subscription plans: a free plan, a Premium plan ($7.95/month), and a plan that allows you, for $350 a year, to white-label the website builder. That means that a web designer can build sites for their clients and then let their clients edit their sites on their own using XPRS.

XPRS’s templates lend themselves very well to mobile devices, though they look slightly underwhelming on a desktop. The editor itself is incredibly easy to use. Every bit as easy as Weebly, in fact. Blocks of content are referred to as stripes. Adding, mixing, and rearranging your stripes couldn’t be more intuitive.

xprs

XPRS’s blogging system is rather lacking, but their eCommerce system — an integration with Shoprocket — is top notch, though the fees are a bit much. All in all, XPRS is a solid website builder that, judging by user feedback on Trustpilot, is well-received by users.

Final Thoughts

If Weebly has treated you well over the years but you find yourself looking for alternatives, there’s a world of website builder options out there for you, of which these 10 are but a few. The right choice for you, of course, depends on the nature of your business or pursuit.

Jason Vissers

Jason Vissers is a writer, cereal chef and Netflix aficionado from San Diego. A native Californian who enjoys the beach, Jason nonetheless prefers to do his surfing on the World Wide Web, the raddest wave of them all. Jason can’t eat raisins.

Jason Vissers

“”

Shopify vs. Squarespace: Online Store Options Compared

Shopify vs. Squarespace – they are two of the most well-known brands in the online store / website builder industry. I’ve written a Shopify review here and Squarespace review here. But how do they compare directly to each other?

First, a bit of background. Over the past few years, online store software costs have plummeted, and the technology to get a website from idea to reality has blossomed.

Whether you’re using a text editor and uploading to the Amazon cloud, hosting your own site powered by WordPress + WooCommerce or using a drag and drop website builder, there’s never been an easier time to create an online store. It’s no longer 2002 where every storeowner had to know PHP, HTML, CSS and a bit of Javascript.

All-inclusive ecommerce builders have been particularly interesting. Companies like Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, Shopify, and BigCommerce – not to mention platforms like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon – have brought ecommerce to everyone regardless of their coding skills.

On the wide spectrum of ecommerce store building solutions, they all live on the end that is all-inclusive and provides everything you need to get started and grow your website.

That is in contrast to solutions where you buy, install, and manage all the “pieces” of your website separately. That’s not a good or bad thing. But it is something to be aware of when you’re choosing one of them as a solution since it affects your website both long and short term.

In the long-term, it affects your versatility, functionality, and, of course, your brand. In the short term, it can certainly add/take away a lot of headaches. That said, just like choosing a physical house or office, there is no such thing as an absolute “best” or “top” choice. There’s only the right choice relative to your goals, experience, and circumstances.

Using an online store builder is like leasing and customizing an apartment in a really classy development instead of buying and owning your own house. You’re still in control of decor, cleaning, and everything living-wise – but you leave the construction, plumbing, security, and infrastructure to the property owner. That point is key because there’s usually a direct tradeoff between convenience and control.

Ecommerce Real Estate Tradeoffs

Shopify, Squarespace and other options like BigCommerce and Weebly as a group compete with options like WordPress (which provides the free software to build a website that you own & control – see my WordPress setup guide here) all the way to options like typing actual HTML code into a text file.

The last preface I’ll mention is that Squarespace is an all-around website builder with ecommerce capability.

Shopify, in contrast, is strictly an ecommerce platform.

This focus puts Squarespace behind as an advanced ecommerce tool and Shopify behind as a general website builder tool. With their respective free trials, you can quickly see the differences.

Try Shopify for Free

Try Squarespace for Free

Make sense? Awesome – let’s dive into the comparison.

Side note – if you want this comparison in a BuzzFeed-style quiz, you can take my online store builder quiz here…

You can also look at my posts on –

Otherwise, we’ll look specifically at pricing, onboarding/user experience, design features, technical features, ecommerce features, marketing features, and customer support.

Disclosure – I receive referral fees from all the companies mentioned in this post. My opinions & research are based on my professional experiences as either a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.

Pricing

Comparing pricing between Shopify and Squarespace is fairly straightforward if you have a clear idea of your needs. This comes from the fact that Shopify focuses on *only* online store owners whereas Squarespace markets to everyone.

The short version is that Shopify is more expensive. But there’s a few caveats to look at.

Shopify Pricing

Squarespace Ecommerce Pricing

The first caveat is credit card fees.

Squarespace syncs with Stripe and PayPal. Their fees are 2.9% + $.30 per transaction.

Shopify has their own payments gateway that charges lower per transaction fees. But – if you use a non-Shopify gateway, Shopify charges an additional transaction fee that Squarespace does not have.

So why is this important? If you already have a gateway (ie, Authorize.net for your physical pop-up shop) and you want to use them with Shopify – then Shopify’s transaction fee kicks in. But – if you want to use Shopify Payment’s for your online store – you can save a bit of money on transaction fees. Those fees add up. If you have revenues of $100000 – a 0.4% reduction in fees could equal $500 per month.

The second caveat is value pricing.

On front-end features alone – Squarespace is significantly cheaper than Shopify, especially on their Advanced plan, which compares almost directly with Shopify’s Standard plan.

See Shopify’s Plans here.

See Squarespace’s Plans here.

But – like I mentioned in the introduction, it’s hard to compare their pricing tables directly since they are really different products for different audiences.

It’s a bit like comparing the pricing of a motorcycle vs. an SUV.

Sure, the motorcycle is much cheaper and it gets you from A to B. It has wheels, an engine, and it drives on the road just fine. But it’s also meant for a certain type of driving.

It all really comes down to what you need for you project – two wheels that will get you where you need to go or a vehicle that has plenty of room along with lots of features. So let’s look at other differences.

Aside – if you’re curious, Shopify’s $9/mo Lite plan isn’t applicable since it’s more of an inventory/payments software than an online store builder software. You can upload products, manage them, and accept payments, but you can only sell them via other platforms such as a Facebook plugin or a button on an existing website. Same goes with Squarespace’s Business Plan. It’s meant to do a website that happens to have a couple things for sale – not really a full online store solution. I’ll set both those options to the side for the moment.

Onboarding & User Experience

No matter how intuitive and simple a piece of technology is, there’s always that moment of “what am I looking at and what do I do now?”

Onboarding is the process of guiding you past that point. In theory, a huge selling point of online website / store builders is that they have a near-zero learning curve. They have a straightforward process from website concept to website reality.

On this point, Squarespace and Shopify both do alright but in different ways.

Shopify has a quick path from free trial signup to site launch. They have guided tours and a very straightforward setup. They also have customer support outreach focused on getting you up and running quickly.

Shopify Backend

However, Shopify also has many more features, apps, and technical options available that can present a challenge. The most daunting hurdle is linking your domain name to your store. It’s not difficult but is daunting at the mention of “setting your CNAME” (in fairness, you don’t have to direct your domain if you purchase via Shopify for a bit more per year than via a 3rd party).

Since Shopify functions as a platform for payments, offline inventory and more – their website store setup is actually on the second menu of their main dashboard rather than front and center.

Squarespace has a ridiculously fast sign up to live site process. Their backend is fairly intuitive for basic websites. However, they to have a “Squarespace jargon” to get used to. They like to appeal to developers and freelance designers – so there are advanced tools that can clutter simply launching a site.

SquareSpace Onboarding

Their support emails and tours are structured well. But since their software is made for all types of websites, the ecommerce features are a bit buried (and limited) from the perspective of an online store owner.

I would not rule either provider out on onboarding/user experience. But their differences are sort of like a restaurant with a waiter (Shopify) vs. a fast casual restaurant with a menu above the cashier (Squarespace).

If you want more help and more customization, then Shopify is your choice. If you want to quickly see and order from the features, then Squarespace is less daunting.

Design Features

Part of the overall value of website builders is simple, straightforward design – no web designers necessary.

But good design is hard. And it matters – a lot. A lot of people can spot a good looking website but have a harder time figuring out how to get there. Using a template for a foundation and then customizing it is a good way to get the site you want without paying for a custom design.

Both Shopify and Squarespace use templates (aka “themes”) for design. But they are very different in customization options.

Shopify has a solid drag and drop design feature. You can create any layout element you’d like and drag it into place. You can click and edit any portion of any web page – including both content and design.

But – Shopify does not combine design and content. You have to get your design right – and then add content in a separate area (ie, it’s a template).

Since you can edit HTML/CSS with Shopify, you can build any design possible. There are few, if any, limits to any design that you see on the Internet. Additionally, Shopify has a drag and drop template editor.

Shopify Drag Drop

Squarespace has a hybrid approach. They famously have beautiful pre-built designs.

Squarespace Designs

They also have drag and drop – and pretty intuitive editing.

But – they also combine design and content with their editor. This approach has tradeoffs. On one hand, you can edit the design for specific pages. On the other hand, your design can go “off-base” pretty quickly – especially with content for hundreds of products.

The other drawback with Squarespace is that their off-the-shelf themes require *a lot* of really good imagery. If you don’t have access to high-quality photography, their themes are not going to work well. Many of Shopify’s designs are fine and functional regardless of product imagery.

They both have large marketplaces for premium designs (in addition to professional designers).

If you are a fan of raw functionality – then you’ll appreciate Shopify’s approach to design. If you want your site to look amazing off the shelf, love to edit details, and have access to good imagery – then you’ll appreciate Squarespace.

Ecommerce Features

The absolute core features of an ecommerce store are a –

  • product database
  • shopping cart
  • checkout page
  • payment processor
  • order database

That is it.

But, especially in 2017 (and 2018 and beyond), there is a *lot* more than can (and should) go into an ecommerce store. There’s everything from selling via Facebook Messenger to syncing with Amazon FBA to integrating with eBay – not to mention features for executing on marketing fundamentals.

Even for advertising products, there’s selling via Buyable Pins, Google Merchant, Twitter cards, and more. There’s remarketing and coupon codes. There’s A/B testing. There’s inventory synchronization with vendors like AliExpress. And there’s order synchronization with shippers like UPS and USPS.

And that’s all a drop in the bucket.

Obviously, not every store needs every feature. If you are trying to sell a couple T-shirts or a couple specialty products – you certainly don’t need them all. But if you want to grow and expand, you’ll need your options open.

For ecommerce features, Shopify wins hands down, though Squarespace does make it simple to sell your product. Squarespace has a few advanced features (like abandoned cart recovery), but it’s nothing like Shopify.

Shopify not only has more features directly integrated into their platform, but they also have a well-established app store that includes free and paid apps to extend your store with every feature you could possibly need.

Shopify Integrations

That said, this section is a bit unfair to Squarespace, because, again, they are a general website builder that includes ecommerce. Shopify is strictly an ecommerce platform.

If Shopify didn’t “win” on ecommerce features it would be a surprise. Technically, Squarespace competes more with the likes of Weebly and Wix or WordPress who are also website builders that provide core ecommerce features.

In short – if you need core ecommerce features integrated in a simple, straightforward way, then Squarespace is fine. If you actually need a full suite of ecommerce features to grow, then Shopify is hands-down better.

Technical Features

Technical features are all the web development best practices that don’t really “matter”…until they matter a lot. I’m talking about generating clean URLs, editable metadata, allowing page-level redirects, etc.

On this point, Shopify does very well – and not just compared to Squarespace, but compared to any hosted platform.

Traditionally, hosted platforms presented a risk for web designers, developers, and marketers who wanted to work on the technical aspects of the site.

I know that I flinch anytime a prospective client tells me they are on a hosted platform of any kind.

But Shopify and Squarespace perform well in general. Many skeptics of hosted platforms note that they actually take care of the technical features well. You still don’t have FTP access to your server, but you do have access to change things via their Liquid editor (Shopify) or Developer Mode (Squarespace).

Where they differ (especially for me) is in their potential for technical features. And again, here, Shopify’s app store is their “killer” feature. Even if a feature is not native to Shopify, a non-developer can usually add it.

On the flip side, Squarespace has a lot of native features that simply “work” – and a process of continually adding & revising existing features.

Both Squarespace and Shopify have inherent limitations as hosted platforms (ie, when you leave, you a lot of your data), but Shopify does a bit more to eliminate the weaknesses and capitalize on strengths as a hosted platform.

Marketing Features

In Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner’s character says “if you build it, they will come.” Sadly, that is not true about websites. Like any business, you have to actively promote and market your online store for anyone to show up.

Marketing features like custom metadata, open graph information, Schema markups, email signups, share buttons, landing pages, etc all make marketing your site a lot easier.

For marketing features, both Shopify and Squarespace both do really well. They support header scripts. They integrate with many products. They add meta data, product schema and open graph tags automatically.

But like design & ecommerce features, there’s the same catch. For an ecommerce store owner, Shopify has many more (and higher quality) built-in features plus a better, more developed app store.

Squarespace has core marketing features built-in, but with more limits.

Support & Service

Customer support and service are difficult to judge. Like I’ve said in most of my reviews, a single customer can never really know if they happened upon a disgruntled rookie or if the company is really that bad.

That said, there are ways to look at a company’s investment in both customer services and support.

For Shopify vs. Squarespace, I think the clear “winner” is Shopify. Shopify not only provides more channels for customer service (phone, chat, email, forums, social media, etc), they also have an incredibly extensive help center.

The help center not only tackles technical issues, it also tackles customer success issues (aka problems with making money).

Squarespace has email support, and limited chat support – but no phone. Their knowledgebase does not have the attention or the depth that Shopify has.

Comparison Conclusion

So Shopify vs. Squarespace – which one is a better fit for your project?

If you plan on running a growing online store and want all the features possible, then you should go try Shopify.

Go try Shopify for free here.

If you want a simple store – or a general site with a beautiful look, then Squarespace might be a good fit for you.

Also – bookmark my post on creating an ecommerce marketing strategy here.

Good luck!

“”

Weebly Prices: So How Exactly Does Weebly’s Value Compare?

weebly

Weebly constitutes a strong situation to be The People’s Website Builder. Its website editing model is definitely probably the most intuitive available, and it is appeal to the non-techies in our midst is unparalleled. Consistent with their focus on supplying value towards the masses, there’s a totally free plan open to everyone. For this reason you’ll from time to time see Weebly known as “free website builder.” The truth is, a lot of why is Weebly an engaging website builder is restricted to having to pay subscribers.

Within my overview of Weebly, I describe Weebly’s editor featuring as completely as you possibly can. In the following paragraphs, however, I’d like to pay attention to the prices of Weebly’s services and also the value you obtain as a swap.

Table of Contents

Weebly Prices And Essential Features

Weebly gives all comers use of their platform for that low cost of free. Anyone who subscribes can get the next without getting to go in any payment information:

  • Drag & Drop Website Builder
  • Display Weebly Ads
  • Free Hosting – Weebly.com Subdomain
  • Internet Search Engine Optimization
  • 500MB Storage Limit
  • Chat and Email Support
  • Online Community
  • Lead Capture

However, time will probably come when you wish more from your Weebly site, whether that’s eCommerce, video backgrounds, or perhaps your own personalized domain. Well, for those that, you’ll require a compensated subscription. Fundamental essentials features you’ll get with any Weebly compensated plan:

  • A customized domain, free for that newbie
  • A $100 Google ad credit
  • No Weebly ads
  • Connect your overall domain
  • Limitless storage
  • eCommerce
  • Advanced Site Stats

As the compensated plans possess the above features in keeping, they differ when it comes to cost along with other features offered. Listed here are Weebly’s compensated plans, the prices (in line with the annual rate — I do not recommend a regular monthly subscription because they are more costly and don’t incorporate a personalized domain free for any year), and a few of the features they include:

Weebly Plan Starter Pro Business Performance
Prices (annual plan): $8/month $12/month $25/month $38/month
Phone support? No Yes Yes Yes
Video backgrounds/HD video & audio? No Yes Yes Yes
Membership pages? No Yes – As much as 100 people Yes – Limitless Membership Yes – Limitless Membership
Email promotions?  No  No  No Yes – 5 email promotionsOr30 days

At $8 monthly, Weebly’s least expensive plan’s very affordable indeed. However, it doesn’t include much of more features, so you aren’t getting a great deal for the money. It’s in the Pro subscription level where Weebly’s premium plans begin to show their value. At $12/month, a Weebly Pro subscription entitles you to definitely phone support, provides you with video backgrounds, high-definition audio and video, and enables you to setup membership pages which people can sign in having a password to gain access to exclusive content. If you are searching to operate a properly-featured non-eCommerce website, the professional plan could just be the “sweet place.”

weebly template

Hold on! What if you wish to build and run your personal online shop? Let’s compare the eCommerce options that come with Weebly’s compensated plans.

Weebly eCommerce Features

Weebly Plan Starter Pro Business Performance
Weebly transaction fee? Yes, 3% Yes, 3% No No
Quantity of products: As much as 10 As much as 25 Limitless Limitless
Checkout: On Weebly’s domain On Weebly’s domain On your domain On your domain
Digital goods/inventory management/SSL? No No Yes Yes
Abandoned Cart Email/Real-time Shipping Rates? No No No Yes

You’ll observe that underneath the least expensive two plans, Starter and Pro, Weebly charges a transaction fee of threePercent on every purchase someone makes in your site. If you are a web-based seller, this will make the Starter and Pro plans a lesser value proposition. Bear in mind this transaction fee comes on the top from the transaction charges billed through the payment processor, which generally emerge to 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction.

Beginning in the Business level, not just are Weebly’s transaction charges waived (the payment processor’s charges remain), however the limit on the amount of products marketing is finished. You’ll also provide your clients take a look at on your domain, not really a Weebly domain. (A lot more professional-searching this way.) You may also sell digital goods, track your inventory, and reassure your clients with SSL security. Just for $25 per month, Weebly’s Business package is very the offer.

Additional Fees To Think About

I pointed out earlier by using Weebly’s compensated subscription plans, you will get your very own domain for the site free of charge for that newbie. Later on, however, you choose in the cost. Domains provided by Weebly renew at $19.95 on the yearly basis, with reduced prices for 2, 5 and 10-year renewals. This rate is greater compared to rate for domains billed by Wix and Squarespace.

The price of personalized email is another good point. Some website builders include email within their compensated subscriptions — Weebly doesn’t. Rather, like Wix, they provide email like a standalone package through G Suite. The cost is $4.08 per user monthly, and you’ll reach use 30 different aliases (as with info@yourcompany.com, contact@yourcompany.com, billing@yourcompany.com etc).

Certainly one of Weebly’s selling points may be the Weebly Application Center, a sizable assortment of feature add-ons for a multitude of purposes. A number of these apps have the freedom, but a number of them work on the freemium model where you’ll need to pay between around $4 to $25 per month for that premium version.

Final Ideas

I’m keen on Weebly, and I’m glad they’re managed to get their pursuit to focus on as broad a crowd as you possibly can. Techies aren’t the only real individuals who require their very own DIY online presence. For any small fraction from the cost of hiring web-site designers to place something together for you personally, you should use Weebly to produce your personal attractive and functional website. As long as you make certain to pay for all of your bases feature-wise, you will be all set.

Jason Vissers

Jason Vissers is really a author, cereal chef and Netflix aficionado from North Park. A local Californian who enjoys the shore, Jason nevertheless would rather do his surfing on the internet, the raddest wave of all of them. Jason can’t eat raisins.

Jason Vissers

“”

Wix Prices: Which Wix Package Meets Your Needs?

wix pricingThere isn’t any making your way around it: Wix may be the Goliath from the website building industry. Born in Tel Aviv in the year 2006, Wix’s profile is continuing to grow by a lot in the last decade. With more than 100 million users in 190 countries and much more industry-specific features than could squeeze into one article, Wix’s appeal is broad in addition to deep. Within my overview of Wix, I explore the more knowledge about the website builder. Within this piece, I’ll concentrate on the prices of Wix’s various choices as well as their value towards the consumer.

Wix markets itself like a “free” website builder. If the were genuinely the situation, I wouldn’t be writing articles about Wix prices! The simple truth is, while Wix provides an internet site with limited storage and features—and Wix branding—for free, it’s important to pay out some change should you wish to determine an expert presence online. With Wix, there’s a number of different prices plans, so let’s get began.

wix

Table of Contents

Wix Prices And Essential Features

Whenever you join Wix to obtain a free website, this is exactly what you’re getting:

  • Full Use of Wix’s Design and Editing Platform
  • 500MB Storage
  • Limitless Pages
  • Free Hosting
  • Free Wix-Branded Domain
  • Wix Ads

For that cost of $, this isn’t a poor deal. Particularly, Wix’s offering of limitless pages together with your free web site is quite generous. Many competitors limit the amount of pages a non-having to pay user can have—that is, when they provide a free plan whatsoever (cough cough, Squarespace). However, if you wish to take better benefit of Wix’s feature-laden platform, and if you wish to do this by yourself domain and with no annoying ads, it’s important to purchase one of Wix’s five compensated plans. All prices given are suitable for annual subscribers for reasons I’ll explain later, I do not recommend obtaining a monthly plan.

Connect Domain Combo Limitless eCommerce Very important personel
$5/month $10/month $14/month $17/month $25/month
1GB Bandwidth 2GB Bandwidth Limitless Bandwidth 20GB Bandwidth Limitless Bandwidth
500MB Storage 3GB Storage 10GB Storage 20GB Storage 20GB Storage
No Free Domain – Wix Ads Remain 12 months Free Domain + No Ads 12 months Free Domain + No Ads 12 months Free Domain + No Ads 12 months Free Domain + No Ads
No Online Shop No Online Shop No Online Shop Online Shop Online Shop

You can observe that at $5/month, Wix’s Connect Domain plan’s the least expensive from the lot—cheaper compared to least expensive compensated plan on most competitors. To compare, Weebly’s least expensive plan’s $8/month while Squarespace’s is $12/month. However, I do not recommend it. You don’t only get only 500MB of storage—same because the free plan—but you cannot even get the own website name through Wix. You might also need to hold exactly the same Wix branding while you use the disposable plan. Because the name indicate, the only real factor you actually get using the Connect Domain plan’s the opportunity to connect your overall domain for your Wix site.

Wix’s Combo and Limitless plans provide you with more value for your money. Using these plans, bandwidth and storage are elevated, and you may get the own personalized domain through Wix to provide your website a far more professional feel. You receive the domain free of charge the very first year, then time you’ll need to renew it in the market rate—typically around $10 every year. Wix also removes the ads in the Combo level and above. Really, who would like to purchase an internet site building package with similar mandatory advertising free users need to accept?

Next would be the competitively-priced eCommerce and Very important personel plans for online sellers. Diets provide you with full use of Wix’s effective eCommerce system. One bonus regarding Wix’s eCommerce would be that the service doesn’t impose its own transaction charges at any subscription level. By comparison, Squarespace’s two least expensive plans offer eCommerce however with a couple-3% Squarespace transaction fee put on each purchase made.

Another factor to think about is the fact that Wix throws in certain goodies beginning in the Limitless subscription level including $300 in ad vouchers in addition to apps for form building and Search engine optimization. This brings me to why I suggest through an annual plan more than a monthly plan. When you are getting a Wix monthly plan, you do not obtain the same benefits that you’d get by having an annual plan. The disposable (for just one year) domain, the shape building application, the Search engine optimization application, the ad vouchers—you get none of this having a monthly plan. In addition, you have to pay more monthly having a monthly plan! For instance, the eCommerce plan’s $17/month by having an annual plan and $20/month having a monthly plan. The monthly plans are simply poorer deals with general.

Email

Compared to other website builders, Wix doesn’t include email in the subscription packages. Wix offers Mailboxes with G Suite for individuals who would like a custom current email address matching their domain, however this package should be purchased individually. Listed here are the facts from the G Suite package provided by Wix:

  • Annual Plan – $4.08/month
  • Monthly Plan – $$4.95/month
  • Personalized Current Email Address
  • 25GB Email Inbox Size
  • 5GB Cloud Space For Storage
  • Calendar & Docs
  • No Ads
  • 99% Uptime Guarantee
  • 24/7 Support
  • Mobile Phone Management

Email billing is performed through Wix.

Now, I’ll check out the prices of a few of the more complex packages Wix purports to particular segments from the market.

Wix Advanced Features

Wix provides extensive industry-specific features, but restaurateurs are particularly well focused on. Actually, Wix provides four subscription plans particularly for restaurant proprietors:

Wix Restaurant Plan Connect Domain Combo Limitless Very important personel
Cost: $9.08/month $12.08/month $19.92/month $24.92/month
Label Printing: Regular Menu Builder Pro Menu Builder Pro Menu Builder Pro Menu Builder
Take Table Reservations? No Yes Yes Yes
Take Orders Online? No No Yes Yes
Accept Online Payments? No No Yes Yes

As you can tell, Wix gives proprietors of restaurant websites a pleasant slate of features, particularly in the Limitless level and above. At under $20 per month, the Limitless restaurant plan, using its professional menu builder, table reservation application, and skill to consider orders online/accept online payments, is an especially the best value and really should purchase itself many occasions over. And just like Wix’s regular online shop, Wix takes no commission out of your sales.

Another segment from the market Wix heavily targets may be the creative class, particularly musicians and bands. Wix Music enables you not just to publish your own music online but sell it too. You retain 100% of the music sales, get advanced stats regarding who’s buying/discussing, your own music, and may market your music with email flyers, all free of charge. Compensated Wix Music subscriptions, which let you distribute your own music on platforms like iTunes and Spotify then sell your merch, start at $4.08/month.

Hotel proprietors get lots of love from Wix too. Without additional charge, you can include Wix Hotels to your website and list your rates and services. To consider online bookings, you’ll require the premium form of the Wix Hotels application, which starts at $9.99/month.

Companies Targeted

As you can tell, Wix offers quite a bit to provide restaurant proprietors, musicians, and hoteliers. They offer lots of value to classical online sellers too. At $17 and $25 per month correspondingly, Wix’s eCommerce and Very important personel plans offer tremendous bang for the website builder buck, especially considering that Wix doesn’t take any commission from your sales. Bloggers, artists, photographers, and business consultants may also find lots of Wix features that fit their demands.

Final Ideas

When you are as big of the company as Wix, you really can afford to tailor your choices to pretty much every possible area of the market. That’s precisely what they’ve done. Using their free websites for hobbyists and individuals just beginning their professional try to more complex services for additional mature companies, entrepreneurs, and artists, Wix has, to gain access to an overutilized phrase, “something for everyone.” In addition to this, their professional services are priced competitively, especially considering that using these types of services could be pivotal in growing your achieve and gaining new supporters. You can blow thousands of dollars on the website design firm, or use Wix and—say it with me—Do-it-yourself.

Jason Vissers

Jason Vissers is really a author, cereal chef and Netflix aficionado from North Park. A local Californian who enjoys the shore, Jason nevertheless would rather do his surfing on the internet, the raddest wave of all of them. Jason can’t eat raisins.

Jason Vissers

“”

Best Website Builders for Photography Websites

photography websites

Strange as it might seem, at one time whenever a photographer’s only method to compile an accumulation of the work they do was by using a binder. Nowadays, using the creation of easy DIY website builders, it’s never been simpler to construct an electronic portfolio of the photos for those to determine. However, it isn’t enough to simply throw all of your images up onto an internet page and refer to it as a photography website. You’re likely to want photo gallery widgets that display your images as handsomely as you possibly can. You’ll need enough space for storage to deal with a lot of high-resolution images. You’re also prone to want exactly the same easy and intuitive website building experience that website builder users are searching for.

 the simpsons dog simpsons season 14 photo GIF

Let’s check out the web site builders that provide photographers the various tools they have to create a beautiful and functional online photography portfolio.

Table of Contents

Wix

Wix, typically the most popular from the Big Three website builders (Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly), can also be probably the most versatile and adaptable to almost any purpose on the planet. With more than 100 million sites produced by users in over 180 countries, Wix’s appeal is almost universal. However, this doesn’t imply that it normally won’t have photography-specific features.

I’ll summarize Wix’s subscription plans for you personally:

Free Plan

Free Wix-branded Domain/Hosting

Wix Ads

500 MB Storage

1 GB Bandwidth

Connect Domain

$5/month

The suggestions above PLUS:

Connect Your Domain

Combo

$10/month

The suggestions above PLUS:

2 GB Bandwidth

3 GB Storage

No Ads

Free Domain for 12 months

Limitless

$14/month

The suggestions above PLUS:

Limitless Bandwidth

10 GB Storage

$300 Ad Vouchers

Site Booster & Form Builder Apps

eCommerce

$17/month

The suggestions above PLUS:

20 GB Bandwidth

20 GB Storage

Online Shop

Very important personel

$25/month

The suggestions above PLUS:

Limitless Bandwidth

Very important personel Support

Wix provides a bevy of site templates for photography — 36 of these — and many of them are very fetching.

photography websites

photography websites

Wix does a fantastic job of displaying images. Everything seems crisp and obvious. In addition to this, they have many features particularly suitable for photographers. Wix details individuals features here, and they include:

  • 40+ photo gallery layouts — Display your images nevertheless, you want
  • Plenty of space for storage — Great for storing high-resolution images
  • Wix Blogging Application — Keep a web-based photo diary
  • Images & video backgrounds — Have your website background showcase your projects
  • Search engine optimization tools — Get the photography available on search engines like google
  • Page protection — Setup private picture galleries that just people can observe
  • Wix Bookings — Let customers setup appointments along with you online
  • ShoutOut e-mail marketing — Advertise your work efficiently and attractively

When searching for any website builder, Wix is all about as solid of the choice as possible find. Read my full overview of Wix if you are interested.

Pixpa

Pixpa isn’t your typical website builder. Pixpa is among the couple of website builders available that markets itself clearly like a portfolio website builder/eCommerce tool for photographers. Founded in New Delhi in 2013 by Gurpreet Singh, Pixpa continues to be a little fish within the ocean from the website builder industry, but their particular focus and different approach make sure they are a great selection of services if you are a professional photographer (or maybe you’re a painter or designer, for instance).

photography websites

You should use Pixpa freely for 15 days, but it’s important to pony up for any subscription if you wish to continue them. Here’s Pixpa’s full subscription/prices offering:

Lite

  • $6/month
  • 200 images/videos
  • 10 galleries
  • 10 pages/blogs
  • Limitless blogs
  • Integrated Google Maps, Youtube, Vimeo and much more apps
  • Fully integrated eCommerce
  • Commission-free sales
  • Sell 5 products
  • E-books
  • Manage shipping rates & taxes

Starter

  • $9/month
  • The suggestions above PLUS:
  • Limitless images/videos
  • Sell 15 products
  • Public use or private collections
  • Client access area
  • Password collection
  • Activity data
  • Digital downloads
  • 1GB Cloud Storage

Pro

  • $16/month
  • The suggestions above PLUS:
  • Sell 50 products
  • Discounts
  • Inventory management
  • Get back-orders
  • 10GB Cloud Storage

Plus

  • $24/month
  • Sell 500 products
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Limitless galleries, pages & blogs
  • 25GB Cloud Storage

All plans include:

  • Connect custom domain
  • eCommerce with Fotomoto
  • Google Analytics
  • Integrated blogging
  • Interact with social systems
  • Limitless bandwidth
  • Full use of all styles
  • Internet search engine friendly
  • 24 X 7 support

photography websites

What separates Pixpa in the pack is the integration with Fotomoto that provides an eCommerce package particularly tailored to photography lovers. Generate a Fotomoto account and you can sell your images either as prints or downloads. Connecting Fotomoto for your Pixpa website isn’t automatic, however, and can try taking some doing. Fortunately, Pixpa explains just how to achieve that here.

The Fotomoto widget is completely customizable, so that you can adjust it to fit your site’s feel and look. Marketing digital photos for your customers in addition to physical prints — sized between 4″x6″ to 40″x240″.

Pixpa offers a blogging tool that does a fantastic job of showcasing your images. You should use three different layouts, because both versions is made to handsomely highlight your photos. If you are a professional photographer, an artist, or you want to showcase the images you are taking while you’re on an outing, Pixpa is certainly worth your consideration like a website builder. Take a look at my Pixpa review to find out more.

Squarespace

Squarespace is the fact that company that plays exactly the same ads with John Malkovich again and again when you are watching videos online (or at best it will whenever your job involves spending some time on website building sites). However, Squarespace is in addition to that — for individuals searching to find the best-notch appearance inside a website builder, Squarespace may be the pride from the website building industry. Their vivid, crisp templates make sure they are a perfect option for photographers and artists of stripes.

photography websites

Like Pixpa, Squarespace enables you to sample their product freely for any couple of days prior to making you choose a regular membership plan. These subscriptions are listed below:

Personal

  • $12/month
  • 3% Transaction Fee
  • 20 Pages/Galleries/Blogs
  • As much as 2 Contributors
  • Limitless Bandwidth & Storage
  • Fully Integrated eCommerce
  • Sell Limitless Products
  • Accept Donations
  • Effective Website Analytics
  • Free Custom Domain for just one Year (with annual purchase)

Business

  • $18/month
  • The suggestions above PLUS:
  • 2% Transaction Fee
  • Limitless Pages/Galleries/Blogs
  • Limitless Contributors
  • Professional Email from Google

Online Shop – Fundamental

  • $26/month
  • The suggestions above PLUS:
  • No Transaction Charges
  • 24/7 Support
  • Effective Commerce Metrics
  • Inventory, Orders, Tax, Discounts
  • Label Printing via Shipstation
  • Integrated Accounting via Xero

Online Shop – Advanced

  • $40/month
  • The suggestions above PLUS:
  • Abandoned Cart Autorecovery
  • Real-time Carrier Shipping
  • Checkout in your Domain

photography websites

Squarespace’s best-in-the-industry templates hold lots of value for individuals searching to demonstrate their portfolio as attractively as you possibly can. In those templates, you’ll have sufficient chance to place your best feet forward. Squarespace provides you with various ways to showcase your projects. Place your images and videos into full-screen slideshows. You are able to set your photos to spread out inside a lightbox. Set your personal focus. Connect your photo blog for an Instagram or perhaps a Tumblr feed. There’s a great deal that you can do to place your photos available within an appealing way. Squarespace details its photography-friendly aspects here.

Another advantage for photogs may be the Squarespace Portfolio application for iPhones and iPads. It’s free, also it enables you to definitely bring your portfolio along with you and display it in public without requiring a web connection.

In fact, I authored overview of Squarespace. Take a look if you are like doing so.

Weebly

There’s just something friendly and familiar about Weebly. It’s enhanced comfort food of website builders. May possibly not function as the flashiest or state-of-the-art website builder available, however, you won’t locate an simpler method to place a professional-searching photo portfolio online. Founded in Bay Area in 2007 boasting 40 million websites worldwide, Weebly’s a classic pro in the market, plus they perform you appear silly. Let’s see what subscription plans they provide, beginning using their free plan (yes, Virginia, there is a free plan!):

Free Plan

  • Display Weebly Ads
  • Free Hosting – Weebly.com Subdomain
  • 500MB Storage Limit
  • Chat and Email Support
  • Online Community

Starter

  • $8/month
  • The suggestions above PLUS:
  • Personal Domain – FREE for that newbie
  • Limitless Storage
  • Connect Your Domain
  • Advanced Site Stats
  • No Ads
  • Up to 10 Products in Online Shop
  • 3% Transaction Fee
  • Integrated Shopping Cart Software – Links to “checkout.weebly.com”

Pro 

  • $12/month
  • The suggestions above PLUS:
  • Phone Support
  • HD Video & Audio
  • Video Backgrounds
  • Password Protection
  • Site Search
  • Site Membership – As much as 100 People
  • Up to 25 Products in Online Shop

Business 

  • $25/month
  • The suggestions above PLUS:
  • Limitless Site Membership
  • Member Registration
  • Limitless Products in Online Shop
  • % Transaction Fee
  • Checkout on Your Domain
  • Digital Goods
  • Inventory Management
  • Shipping & Tax Calculator

Performance

  • $38/month
  • The suggestions above PLUS:
  • Real-time Shipping Rates
  • Abandoned Cart Emails
  • Gift Certificates
  • 5 Email Promotions monthly to 500 Contacts per Email

photography websites

Weebly keeps their very own listing of features attractive to the professional photographer throughout us. They’ve got several templates designed to showcase your portfolio. They’ve got photo eCommerce so that you can sell both physical prints and digital downloads of the images. They’ve got integrated marketing tools and simple social discussing to obtain your act as much exposure as you possibly can. Possibly most enticingly, there is a full mobile editing application. Unlike these website builders, Weebly enables you to edit your whole site on the run out of your iOS or Android device. Upload your videos and pictures for your galleries from your phone. Utilize a few of the photography-related apps within the Weebly Application Center.

Observe that having a compensated subscription, Weebly provides you with limitless storage to experience with. Essential for photobloggers.

Here’s my full Weebly review. You get sound advice.

In Summary

If you are a professional photographer — professional or amateur — and you aren’t putting your projects online, you’re forsaking the possibility advantages to your exposure as well as your wallet (if you undertake to monetize your projects). Make use of the relatively affordable website building tools available which do a lot of the heavy-lifting for you personally, and you’ll come with an online photography portfolio you will be proud to demonstrate for your clients and buddies alike.

 photography flowers camera canon blossom GIF

Go forth and release your art in to the world, my shutterbugs. We’re in dire necessity of it.

Jason Vissers

Jason Vissers is really a author, cereal chef and Netflix aficionado from North Park. A local Californian who enjoys the shore, Jason nevertheless would rather do his surfing on the internet, the raddest wave of all of them. Jason can’t eat raisins.

Jason Vissers

“”

Call Us Page Guidelines, Ideas & Examples

Just how much thought have you put in your Call Us page in your website?

If you are like the majority of companies, you most likely centered on the technique (i.e. how people can contact you) but didn’t give much considered to the page itself (i.e. the copywriting and style).

The truth is, the Contact page form should be among your most prioritized pages in your site because it’s probably the most visited pages. It is also typically the start of your interactions with prospective customers.

Knowing that, let’s talk on how to create a killer Call Us page which will stick out for your visitors.

Allow it to be Functional

This will go without having to say, but here you go just in situation: it is best to test out your contact page form to make certain it’s completely functional.

Try all email and make contact with links, complete any forms, and appearance integrations you might have with exterior databases. If you are running automated responses to make contact with demands, make certain individuals are firing, too.

The final factor you would like is perfect for a possible customer to try to achieve you and also never know what you think again.

Range from the Right Information

The kind of information you include in your Contact page form is determined by your company. Generally, you need to include details about your operations and the way your customers can make contact with you.

Listed here are a couple of typical information most Contact pages will include:

Telephone Number

Email is excellent and all sorts of, but many of people still choose to call directly. Don’t lose out on an opportunity to interact with any visitors by departing off your telephone number.

Hrs of Operation

If you are only open certain days each week, enable your visitors know to provide them a concept of once they should be expecting to make contact with you.

Response Time

Set an expectation of methods lengthy someone should be expecting to hang about until they know what you think.

Current Email Address

Should you not incorporate a form, make certain you allow people a method to achieve you via email. You shouldn’t limit your audience to just one way of contacting you.

Social Handles

Provide your visitors a good way to interact along with you on other mediums by linking for your social networking profiles.

Location

Adding your street address for your Contact page form is a terrific way to build trust together with your visitors. For those who have several location, make sure to list contact means of both.

However, it isn’t sufficient for the page to achieve the correct information — it must be correctly formatted, too.

Your Contact page form hosts your website’s other contact methods, much like your telephone number and address. These components ought to be in readable formats for machines like hearing TTY and visual readers, additionally to marketing tools like Googlebot, which require to crawl your page.

FreshBooks

Ex: FreshBooks

Ensure that it stays Organized

Much like a complex FAQ page, Contact pages may become robust for businesses’ which have multiple teams or functions that could require different contact methods.

The important thing to the complex page would be to make it simple for that user — meaning organizing the page to make certain these potential customers find precisely what they’re searching for with minimal effort.

For those who have various ways for the people to contact you in line with the contact purpose, i.e. Sales, Tech Support Team, Press Queries, etc., organize your primary Call Us page using these groups to be able to help direct these potential customers right contact method.

Dropbox

Ex: Dropbox

Keep the bases included in including an “Other” or “General” category for individuals who might not determine what they’re searching for within the list.

Allow it to be Simple to find

Imagine you’re looking for contact details on the company’s website and can’t locate it anywhere. Would you leave the website in frustration?

Yes.

Don’t permit this to occur to your clients. Your Contact page’s location ought to be foreseeable in line with the action you would like your customer to consider during your website.

When the primary reason for your internet site is to possess customers make contact with you, your Call Us page ought to be within the primary navigation.

CPB

CPB2

Ex: CP+B

If it is another reason for your website, then your page ought to be someplace foreseeable, as with the footer of the site.

Nike

Ex: Nike

The treatment depends on which action you would like your customer to consider. According to that action, you will be able to determine the place for that page — keep it foreseeable. In case your target customer desired to contact you, where are they going to look to do this?

Be Obvious and Concise

Consider someone contacting you like a potential purchase — you shouldn’t do anything whatsoever that may prevent them from finishing the procedure and achieving a person, because that’s money potentially lost for the business.

Your Call Us page ought to be obvious and concise, without any barriers for users to obtain stuck on. Keep the copy short and to the stage, and requires to incorporate a obvious proactive approach that informs the customer exactly what you would like these to do around the page.

Ex: Morroni

However, don’t think obvious and concise = boring. Exactly what it means is removing something that doesn’t serve a particular purposes, like fluff copy, excess form fields, etc. Your Contact page form can (and really should) be creative without inhibiting a customer from really contacting you.

Talking about being creative…

Showcase Your Brand Personality

Consider your contact page form being an extension individuals. Its style should reflect your brand, since this is frequently the very first interaction clients are getting along with you.

From the design perspective, your Contact page form should participate in the general feel and look of the website. What this means is going beyond slapping a message form on the blank page and calling it each day.

Your Contact page form is definitely an chance to provide these potential customers an idea of the items it’s like to talk with you, consider getting creative, both together with your design with your copy. Again, keep the language obvious and concise, but never be afraid to enjoy it. Your page should lure people to complete your form, provide you with a call, shoot an email, etc. — not bore these to tears.

Quick Sprout

Ex: Quick Sprout

Extra Call Us Page Inspiration

Require more inspiration? Listed here are three types of Call Us pages which are hitting all of the marks:

Moz: Notice how Moz takes organization to a different level using their search functionality. Although you search the assistance Hub, but you may also consider the Q&A forum to locate solutions for your questions. Below that, Moz has specific areas you will get assist with organized by function.

Moz

SquarespaceBesides Squarespace organize their contact options and copy obvious and concise, however they get it done inside the minimalist style their platform is really well-noted for.

Squarespace

Marble: Having a clean, unique design which includes multiple techniques to contact Marble, this Call Us page sticks out like a obvious illustration of things to follow.

Marble

Conclusion & Next Steps

Your Contact page form is definitely an chance to begin a discussion with prospective customers or continue engaging with existing ones. What this means is your page ought to be important with regards to your site design and structure.

Make certain your design and duplicate are obvious and concise and take away something that might prevent someone from really contacting you (like longer-than-necessary forms, an excessive amount of copy, etc.).

Remember to supply valuable business information for the customers in addition to a obvious proactive approach to allow them to make contact with you. Lastly, allow it to be unique! This can be a customer support touchpoint, so your Call Us page should represent your logo and what it’s enjoy to talk with you.

“”

Squarespace Prices: Which Squarespace Package Is The Best For You?

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As DIY website builders go, Squarespace has lengthy been viewed as the Neiman Marcus of the profession a pricier, more elegant option to the kind of Wix and Weebly.

This notion happens to be something of the exaggeration, as Squarespace’s prices and degree of features don’t drastically vary from the choices from the competition. However, thinking about the truth that Squarespace, unlike these builders, doesn’t provide a free subscription plan, I figured it might be useful to take particular notice at Squarespace’s compensated intends to measure the value proposition of every plan as well as their appropriateness for various purposes.

When I pointed out within my Squarespace review, the organization has four different subscription levels, on both a yearly and monthly basis. A piece of content written on Squarespace prices has to start here.

Table of Contents

Squarespace Prices And Essential Features

You should use Squarespace freely for fourteen days, but if you wish to continue building your website following this, it’s important to select from certainly one of 4 subscription plans:

Squarespace Plan Personal Business Online Shop – Fundamental Online Shop – Advanced
Prices (annual plan): $12/month ($144 every year) $18/month ($216 every year) $26/month ($312 every year) $40/month ($480 every year)
Prices (monthly plan): $16/month $26/month $30/month $46/month
 No. of pages permitted  20 pages/galleries/blogs  Unlimited pages/galleries/blogs  Unlimited pages/galleries/blogs  Unlimited pages/galleries/blogs
 Email:  No email  G Suite integration  G Suite integration  G Suite integration
 eCommerce Transaction Fee:  3%  2%  0%  0%

To begin with, you’ll observe that Squarespace’s least expensive subscription plan’s $12 monthly by having an annual subscription (I do not recommend a regular monthly subscription — more about that later). By comparison, Wix’s least expensive compensated plan’s $5/month, while Weebly’s is $8/month. Squarespace counts on customers being prepared to pay a little more for using their classy templates and advanced features.

squarespace pricing

Another factor you’ll notice is the fact that Squarespace offers email options through their G Suite integration beginning in the Business subscription level. As long as you’ve a minumum of one custom domain for any website, you can aquire a custom current email address, fully accessible out of your Squarespace account. Squarespace prices for email options is really as follows:

  • Annual plan – $4.17/month ($50/year) per user/current email address
  • Monthly plan – $5/month per user/current email address

Email billing is performed directly through Squarespace.

Another key distinction between Squarespace’s plans — key for online sellers, anyways — may be the transaction fee Squarespace removes of internet store purchases. Having a Personal subscription, Squarespace takes 3% of every purchase like a fee. Having a Business subscription, that fee is knocked lower to 2%, with both Fundamental and Advanced Online Shop subscriptions, the charge is waived entirely. While you’ll have payment processing charges removed from profits whatever the subscription level, the possible lack of a platform fee in the web based Store subscriptions (as well as other advanced eCommerce features) makes them packages a great fit for just about any eCommerce outfit searching to complete high-volume sales. Talking about payment processing charges, these can vary based on what country you’re conducting business from, however in the U.S., both Stripe and PayPal charge 2.9% plus $.30 per effective transaction.

I ought to give a note about annual versus. monthly plans. I know you observed the annual plans are discounted in accordance with the monthly plans. However, there’s another difference that requires highlighting. By having an annual plan, you can aquire a custom domain from Squarespace without additional cost for just one year. A custom domain costs around $10 to $12 each year, and monthly plans don’t provide you with a free year of domain registration. If you are thinking about having your own custom domain from Squarespace, the annual plans become that rather more of the better deal.

Next, let’s check out what else you’re getting for the money with Squarespace’s compensated plans.

Squarespace Advanced Features

Squarespace Plan Personal Business Online Shop – Fundamental Online Shop – Advanced
Pay Per Click Credit: None $100 Adwords Credit $100 Adwords Credit $100 Adwords Credit
Label Printing: No No Yes, via Shipstation Yes, via Shipstation
Integrated Accounting: No No Yes, via Xero Yes, via Xero
Checkout: On Squarespace’s Domain On Squarespace’s Domain On Squarespace’s Domain On Your Domain
Abandoned Cart Recovery & Real-time Carrier Shipping: No No No Yes

Individuals who plan to monetize their site with Adwords will discover added value beginning in the Business subscription level, where you’ll obtain a $100 Adwords credit — if you are a U.S. or Canada resident, that’s. Other benefits are restricted to the 2 Online Shop subscriptions, such as the eCommerce integrations with Shipstation and Xero. Just one benefit restricted to Advanced Online Shop subscribers, and a huge part of why you’re spending $480 annually, is always that Advanced online sellers can host their checkouts by themselves domains. Sellers wanting to conserve a consistent brand image for his or her customers could be well offered to weigh this benefit heavily.

Other eCommerce benefits only available at the Advanced level include the opportunity to send automated email reminders for your customers who abandon products within their carts — we wouldn’t would like them failing to remember regarding their intended purchases, now would we? — plus an eCommerce application that calculates real-time shipping rates for that United states postal service, UPS, and FedEx.

Companies Targeted

Squarespace is especially well-suitable for photographers, artists, musicians, designers, in addition to online vendors. For that former group, a $12/month Personal subscription, though pricier compared to “cheap” choice of the majority of Squarespace’s rivals, is visible as a significant bargain, because of the easy professionality from the templates. Commissioning an equivalent-searching custom site from a graphic designer usually takes you into 4-digit prices territory — if you are lucky. Obviously, if you have an array of content to demonstrate, the $18/month Strategic business plan gives you an limitless quantity of pages and galleries.

squarespace pricing

If, however, you’re in the industry of promoting things online, I’ve discovered that the 2 Online Shop packages supply the cost effective. Outstanding coincidence, I understand. The greatest benefit may be the waiving from the Squarespace platform charges, with label printing and accounting services adding even more value towards the equation. Lastly, a $40/month Advanced Online Shop package provides you with the whole shebang: abandoned cart recovery, real-time shipping estimates, and much more.

Final Ideas

Though Squarespace doesn’t provide a bare-bones free subscription package like a lot of its rivals, it is not really their brand. That they like to project a picture of elegance and hip sophistication, relying on people’s readiness to cover the worth provided. Thinking about because you can come up with something which looks crisp and behaves well without the expertise of a graphic designer at a small fraction of the price, Squarespace puts together an engaging situation for individuals who wish to go the DIY route without the chance of searching amateurish.

Just make sure you’ve obtained a subscription plan that does everything you’ll require it to complete.

Jason Vissers

Jason Vissers is really a author, cereal chef and Netflix aficionado from North Park. A local Californian who enjoys the shore, Jason nevertheless would rather do his surfing on the internet, the raddest wave of all of them. Jason can’t eat raisins.

Jason Vissers

“”

Website Builders: Could They Be Best For You?


Wix Editor

Table of Contents

Exactly what is a website builder?

Throughout the ‘Dot Com’ boom of the 90’s, sites like Geocities and Angelfire permitted users to behave they’d never had the ability to do before: build their very own simple websites. Features were limited, though, and also the outcome was frequently crude. Fortunately, website builders came a lengthy means by the final two decades. The likes of SquareSpace and Wix now provide incredibly robust tools that permit the layman to construct an excellent searching website having a minimum of fuss.

The marketplace for this sort of services are becoming a lot more crowded. Presently, SquareSpace and Wix possess a lengthy listing of competitors with more and more odd names (Weebly, Moonfruit, and Jimdo are however a couple of). But exactly how do these modern Builders really compare, so when could it be easier to employ a professional Webmaster? Let’s check out some benefits and drawbacks for every method.

Website builder software pros:

  • Builders are simple to use, period. Select from certainly one of dozens (otherwise hundreds) of templates, have simple layout choices, pick the number of pages you would like, and you’re ready to go. Filling out content occupies the majority of your time and effort. A complete novice will be able to develop a simple website within an hour or so.
  • Cost is yet another upside. SquareSpace hosting packages start at $10/month. An opening Wix package will cost you $9.25/month. Many webhosts (Tierra.internet, for instance) incorporate a web builder within their plans without extra charge. When they are doing charge it as being an add-on, it’s rarely greater than a dollar or more.
  • Website Builders permit you to make updates to your website whenever you want. If you have a web connection, you’re all set.

Website builder software cons:

  • Builders lack versatility. For those who have a concept for the site that does not fit the scope from the template you’re using—guest what? You’re at a complete loss.
  • Websites produced having a Builder don’t scale well. Wish to expand your internet page with e-commerce, widgets, or any other features? You’ll most likely need to change your plan. The greater features you set, the greater your monthly cost increases, sometimes in an exponential rate. Also, as the site grows bigger and also the tools grow more difficult, you may want to generate an internet developer anyway.
  • Website Builders are not shipped to become portable. Should you develop a site having a company like Wix or SquareSpace, you’re going to need to stick to them because the host, or risk getting to rebuild your website on your own. The majority of the services enables you to export certain content (like text) however, you won’t have the ability to migrate all of your site if you wish to change hosts.

Webmaster pros:

  • Contracting having a Webmaster will first of all help you save the time and effort of getting to construct a website yourself. If you’d rather spend time in your business, and save the hrs spent futzing over design and sifting through tutorials, this is most likely the choice for you personally.
  • Web-developers can provide your website an amount of style and personality that’s harder to complete having a website builder. If you would like your site to stick out in the rabble, then collaborating with a graphic designer will yield better results than any builder solution you take across.
  • Developers permit you the versatility to obtain really specific together with your website design. If you’re able to sketch it on certificates, a great web design service will be able to make it.

Website developer cons:

  • The large one here’s money. Developers are costly. Think $50-60 dollars an hour or so around the low finish. All in, an internet site with multiple pages might cost $800 to $1500. Should you include e-Commerce, forums, along with other features the price only rises.
  • Another disadvantage may be the bottleneck which comes from counting on someone else to improve your site. Updates may take days or sometimes days for the way complicated they’re.
  • Another factor to element in when getting a developer would be that the price of website hosting isn’t incorporated within their fee. That’s yet another $10 to $100 monthly, with respect to the size your website. Web Builder packages typically include the price of hosting.

Which suits me?

The best way forward I’m able to give when selecting an answer will be honest about the thing you need your site to become. Do your clients simply require a quick spot to find fundamental information on your organization? Then you’re most likely best saving some cash and taking advantage of a builder. If you want to develop a robust e-commerce site or something like that stylized and artistic, then I’d drop the additional cash on a developer.

Have you make use of a builder to produce your site? How made it happen go? Tell me within the comments.

Jon Titterington

Jon Titterington is really a author from La, California. He first began employed in tech in the year 2006.

Jon Titterington

“”

PayPal Versus Stripe

Paypal-vs-Stripe

PayPal and Stripe are tools to deal with online payment processing, but they’re also a lot more. Using its slew of interconnected products varying from mobile payments to financing services, I believe it’s reliable advice that PayPal is really a household name. And Stripe, while much more of a “behind the scenes” processor whose name customers don’t always recognize, includes a lengthy listing of extremely popular clients and partners. So within the PayPal versus. Stripe debate, that has the benefit?

First, let me explain that neither PayPal nor Stripe provides the least expensive payment processing rates around. For any fundamental payment processor with lower rates, you’d need to be obtaining a regular credit card merchant account. You&#8217ll acquire some fundamental eCommerce support, which can be recommended that you&#8217re centered on cost and never so much on features.

However if you simply&#8217re searching for features and versatility, you&#8217re in the best place. PayPal and Stripe’s strengths lie within their myriad eCommerce features, including support for digital goods, subscriptions, as well as mobile application payments. However, even though these two services do essentially exactly the same factor, they are doing do it diversely.

If you’re unsure which of those online payment processors suits your company, or simply want a little more context for prior to deciding, continue reading in my comparison of both companies&#8217 selling points: features, prices, customer support, and much more. For those who have something to include or perhaps your experience is different from my conclusions, you can leave me a comment!

Services and products

Champion: Stripe

PayPal&#8217s core offering happens to be its payment processing: allowing anybody to create a payment to some merchant utilizing their own PayPal balance or perhaps a debit or credit card.  But nowadays, retailers using PayPal obtain access to a number of supplemental services where you can exceed selling on eBay.

You will find three service plans for PayPal:

  • Express Checkout: Add PayPal like a supplemental checkout option additionally for your standard payment processor for normal PayPal rates.
  • Payments Standard: Get online payment processing and invoicing for normal rates.
  • Payments Pro: Get the standard PayPal features Along with a Virtual Terminal and located checkout page for any fee every month plus processing fee.

You will discover much more about these different plans here.

PayPal’s other services include:

  • PayPal Here: PayPal’s mPOS application
  • POS software integrations
  • Located payment page (with PayPal Pro subscription)
  • PCI compliance
  • PayFlow Payment Gateway
  • Online &amp in-application invoicing
  • Virtual terminal
  • Digital goods
  • Subscriptions
  • Donation collection tools
  • Buy now buttons
  • Mass payout
  • PayPal Credit: Provide no-interest financing to customers

Plus, PayPal offers SDKs along with other developer tools so that you can create custom integrations &#8212 as well as power your personal mobile payments application with support for Android Pay and Apple Pay.

Like PayPal, Stripe&#8217s primary function is online payments. The organization offers retailers a boatload of features to enhance its core offering, but unlike PayPal, they&#8217re much more of supplements than capabilities beyond payment processing. Listed here are Stripe’s primary features:

  • Payment processing
  • Located payment page
  • PCI compliance
  • Customizable checkout
  • Subscriptions
  • Marketplace tools
  • Platform-building tools
  • Coupons and free trials
  • Customizable reporting tools
  • Buy buttons in mobile phone applications

It bears mentioning that Stripe states convey more than 100 features &#8212 and that i&#8217m inclined to think it. It&#8217s a really robust platform that may focus on almost any type of internet companies. Plus, past the general features, you&#8217ll also find Stripe&#8217s Atlas suite of tools, made to help worldwide entrepreneurs begin a business in america. Stripe also offers a strong API for simple integration with a number of other applications. You may also integrate stripe with mPOS apps &#8212 if you&#8217ll be having to pay exactly the same rate, that is considerably greater than most mPOS apps. However, the integrations do support Android and Apple Pay too.

PayPal versus. Stripe: Featuring Do You Want?

Since we&#8217ve covered the fundamentals, it&#8217s time for you to consider what&#8217s essential for your company.

Sigma is Stripe&#8217s reporting tool, and I wish to call focus on it since it&#8217s easily probably the most robust and different reporting tool I&#8217ve seen. PayPal will generate reports for you personally &#8212 but nobody besides Stripe enables you to definitely make your own custom SQL queries to create reports. This isn&#8217t just selecting from the pre-generated listing of options &#8212 if you’re able to ask it using SQL, you can aquire a report. Should you&#8217re after a little serious business data, it&#8217s difficult to ignore it. PayPal&#8217s reports are fairly advanced (also it&#8217s a lengthy list), but they’re not customizable. A minimum of nothing like Stripe&#8217s.

I continue being surprised by Stripe&#8217s insufficient an online terminal. You are able to by hand enter transactions with the dashboard, but the organization positively discourages by using this feature greater than from time to time. Additionally, it leaves you responsible for PCI compliance. PayPal&#8217s virtual terminal comes at a price &#8212 along with a greater processing rate &#8212 but based on your company, it may be an excellent tool. Most omnichannel platforms provide a virtual terminal nowadays. On the other hand, Stripe is mainly for online commerce.

An associated note: Stripe generally handles PCI compliance for you personally, meaning no charges or additional work. If you possess the PayPal Standard plan, you&#8217re instantly PCI compliant too. However, around the PayPal Pro plan you aren&#8217t. Rather, PayPal provides you with transparent redirects to assist, and also you much complete a yearly self-assessment in addition to quarterly scans and much more. It won&#8217t set you back more past the monthly plan you&#8217ll have to put more work in it.

Something which Stripe recommends to obtain around PCI compliance concerns for manual transactions is applying an invoicing service. You&#8217ll need to find an add-on service that integrates with Stripe &#8212 for instance, Zoho Invoice, or Flint. This will be significant because Stripe doesn’t have native invoicing support. PayPal enables you to send invoices out of your computer or from inside the PayPal Here application.

However, there&#8217s without doubt that Stripe has probably the most capable tools for designing checkout processes and managing subscriptions. PayPal has some solid management tools for subscriptions and recurring billing, however, you do not have control of the checkout process around the Standard plan,  and the professional Plan&#8217s checkout tools just don&#8217t appear to stack facing Stripe&#8217s.

While PayPal and Stripe offer methods to exactly the same problem (online payments), they do it in Completely different ways. PayPal may be the entry-level solution &#8212 something which anybody (or at best, almost anybody) with a fundamental knowledge of eCommerce or technology can use. However, there is also much more tools to consider your company beyond only the Internet: an mPOS, invoicing, POS integrations, and much more. Unless of course you&#8217re searching at something completely custom, the majority of PayPal&#8217s features don&#8217t require specialized understanding.

To obtain the most from Stripe, you&#8217re have to a developer, because it wasn’t created for the layperson. It&#8217s intended for companies that require a very customizable and tech-based solution for payment processing. If you want a plentiful variety of features, Stripe may be the obvious champion as well as your emphasis is particularly online payments. If your priorities lie elsewhere (simplicity of use, or omnichannel commerce), you may be very likely to think about PayPal.

Charges and Rates

Champion: PayPal

Both PayPal and Stripe charge merchants the same per-transaction processing fee: 2.9% + $..30. Additionally, Stripe will also support both ACH and Bitcoin, charging .8% per transaction, limited to $5 maximum.

Stripe charges nothing extra for accepting worldwide cards, because of its subscription services, or its located payments page. This really is certainly a perk. However, if you are planning to make use of Connect, Stripe&#8217s platform-building suite, you&#8217ll encounter additional charges.

PayPal&#8217s base subscription bills you nothing monthly &#8212 however, you don&#8217t obtain a located payment page. To achieve that, you have to change your intend to PayPal Payments Pro. There is also PayPal&#8217s virtual terminal (which has a different prices plan for transactions). However, if you would like recurring billing/subscriptions, there&#8217s yet another fee.

  • PayPal Payments Pro + Virtual Terminal: $30/month
  • Virtual terminal prices: 3.1% + $.30
  • American Express prices for Pro and Virtual Terminal: 3.5%
  • Recurring billing: $10/month

Forty dollars per month for located payment page and recurring billing appears just like a lot. However, you need to do will also get the virtual terminal &#8212 an element Stripe doesn&#8217t support. Plus, should you&#8217re once subscription management, you don&#8217t must have PayPal Payments Pro. A $10/month add-on is much more reasonable, otherwise ideal.

It&#8217s also worth mentioning that PayPal is really less expensive in other situations. Particularly, PayPal provides a non-profit discount for 501(c)(3) organizations, in which you&#8217ll pay 2.2% + $.30 for transactions. And let’s say you sell low-value digital goods (under $10 typically), PayPal really provides a micro payments plan that can save you money within the typical rates. You&#8217ll pay 5% + $.05 per transaction &#8212 and since the transaction fee is gloomier, you find yourself saving cash although the percentage fee is greater. There&#8217s additionally a Mass Payout option, where one can s finish a bulk wave of payments for just twoPercent, limited to $1 per transaction.

If you want an mPOS, PayPal Here’s also less expensive than dealing with Stripe &#8212 2.7% per swipe, instead of 2.9% + $.30. Again, based on your average ticket size, this might mean substantial savings. (However, if you are using Shopify Payments, that is operated by Stripe, you will get 2.7% on swiped transactions. However that means building on Shopify&#8217s platform, not Stripe&#8217s.)

You’ll find a lot of PayPal’s prices here, or take a look at Stripe&#8217s prices.

I truly dislike PayPal&#8217s cost because of its located payment page, virtual terminal, and recurring billing, considering that other available choices available &#8212 not only Stripe &#8212 with lower prices. However I like that exist nonprofit prices, there&#8217s a micropayments choice for retailers who sell digital goods, and you obtain a flat percentage rate for mPOS transactions. Which makes PayPal much more flexible on prices compared with Stripe.

Simplicity of use

Champion: PayPal

Both Stripe and PayPal allow customers to pay retailers. But because a merchant, your experience is going to be a great deal different. While PayPal has tools for developers, it&#8217s created for almost anybody so that you can setup and begin taking payments. For those who have no training with code, establishing Stripe will probably be much more complicated. You might be able to setup the fundamentals yourself (we&#8217ve seen reading user reviews affirming this). However, if you want something more complicated than the usual fundamental eCommerce site, you probably wish to just bite the bullet and employ a developer. Otherwise, you&#8217ll be fairly limited in you skill.

Here’s a good example: You’ve most likely seen PayPal’s ubiquitous “Buy it now” button, which enables you to definitely order and purchase products on numerous sites. To be able to integrate a “Buy it now” button to your site, all that you should do is copy the related code from PayPal’s website and paste it to your website. Stripe includes a similar “Pay with card” option, however it requires you because the merchant/developer to create the necessary coding framework.

Now, if you’re a developer, there&#8217s no doubt that Stripe is the foremost choice. You can perform a lot with PayPal nowadays. But that can be done a lot more with Stripe. Again, Stripe was created first of all for developers&#8230so this will make lots of sense. However if you simply&#8217re not tech savvy and also you don&#8217t have quick access to a person using the requisite skills, PayPal will probably be the smarter option.

Contract Length and Early Termination Fee

Champion: Tie

Neither PayPal nor Stripe needs a contract (both services are pay-as-you-go), which means no early termination fee for either service either. Yay!

Sales and Advertising Transparency

Champion: Tie

Both PayPal and Strike are extremely upfront regarding their charges and services. Neither company employs any schemes or gimmicks which will catch you unexpectedly if you notice your bill. As pointed out, PayPal’s charges could be a little trickier to wrap the mind around due to their complexities. Still, they all are clearly organized around the firm’s website which means you certainly couldn’t give them a call “hidden charges.” Both services will also be pretty much known, so that they don’t have to junk e-mail the web with annoying advertising, and also you&#8217re not getting salespeople pounding at the door (or perhaps your email inbox).

Customer Support and Tech Support Team

Champion: PayPal

PayPal offers a number of ways to achieve an assistance repetition. Included in this are:

  • Self-Help Center
  • Online Community
  • Email support
  • Developer Center: PayPal&#8217s dev documentation most likely isn&#8217t as thorough as Stripe&#8217s, however it exists.
  • Phone support (available Mon–Fri 5 a.m.–10 p.m. PST): Word in the pub (see “Negative Reviews and Complaints”) would be that the quality of PayPal’s phone support is sporadic.
  • Twitter – The @AskPayPal account fields service and support questions Mon–Fri 9 AM – 5 PM CST
  • Facebook: You are able to&#8217t publish towards the page, however, you can discuss posts and message PayPal directly for those who have questions.

Stripe, however, provides more limited support:

  • Understanding base
  • Email support
  • Developer Docs: Stripe&#8217s documentation is frequently a good option to understand more about what particular features can perform, even though you aren&#8217t a developer. This a part of Stripe&#8217s support is much more comprehensive compared to knowledgebase, which&#8230really isn&#8217t everything surprising. Again, this can be a developer-focused option, and Stripe&#8217s invested its sources accordingly.
  • Freenode-based chat support (#stripe)
  • Facebook: No posting towards the page permitted, however, you can message Stripe.
  • Twitter: There&#8217s no dedicated support account, however, you can tweet @Stripe or check @StripeStatus for outage notices and updates.

Stripe’s support is decent, sure, but PayPal provides you with a choice to obtain on the telephone about actual payment-related issues. Whether or not the quality isn’t terrific, the significance of getting live phone support can’t be understated.

Negative Reviews and Complaints

Champion: Tie

Both services are usually loved, but it is easy to locate complaints online. Here are the primary complaints about PayPal:

  • Withheld funds, freezing of accounts, and termination of accounts
  • High transaction charges (when compared with traditional payment processors)
  • Sporadic phone support
  • Limited seller protection

You&#8217re likely to visit a similar thread of complaints about Stripe. Listed here are the most typical issues retailers encounter:

  • Ended accounts, frequently with funds inside
  • Unresponsive customer support
  • Frequent chargebacks

Both PayPal and Stripe possess a pretty careful approach with regards to accepting online payments, which could cause account freezes and chargebacks for many retailers. It is because they&#8217re both third-party processors &#8212 they aggregate accounts into one large account. Around the one hands, it&#8217s simple enough to on line. Alternatively, the minimal underwriting means that you&#8217re in a and the higher chances of the sudden hold or termination. Regrettably, that&#8217s something&#8217ll suffer from when you purchase ANY third-party processor. It may sound frightening, but people build effective companies being worn by these types of services constantly. If you believe you may be a higher-risk merchant, or else you know your profession is on either company&#8217s listing of prohibited companies, you should most likely consider using a traditional credit card merchant account or perhaps a high-risk processor for example Durango A Merchant Account (DMS) rather.

You may also check our guide: How to prevent merchant holds, freezes, and terminations.

Positive Testimonials and reviews

Champion: Tie

It may sound frightening, but people build effective companies being worn by these types of services constantly, even with the connected risk. Finding reviews that are positive associated with a service is commonly tougher than finding complaints because individuals are more inclined to speak up if they’re unhappy with something, but you’ll be able to locate them.

Stripe&#8217s list of high-profile users, for example Reddit, Mashable, Foursquare, Squarespace, and Shopify speaks by itself. Clearly, it’s the darling of tech-savvy companies. But dig just a little much deeper and also you&#8217ll find more feedback using their company users. Here’s what individuals like about Stripe:

  • Fast and simple signup
  • No “fine print” charges
  • Nice API to utilize
  • Great documentation
  • All services incorporated in a single cost point

You&#8217ll have some similar praises for PayPal, particularly about its payment processing and prices. I&#8217m not very surprised at the possible lack of praise because of its API or even more advanced features &#8212 though they did show up over a couple of reviews. Listed here are the highlights:

  • Easy setup
  • Broadly recognized/reliable payment form
  • Offers multiple products/services besides payment processing
  • Transparent prices

Final Verdict

Champion: Tie

Within the finish, I don&#8217t think it&#8217s simple to draw a obvious champion within the PayPal versus. Stripe debate.

Ultimately, the selection depends upon your requirements. For those who have developing experience (or someone in your payroll using the requisite skills) and wish to develop a customized online storefront or perhaps a complex platform for any SaaS subscription product, Stripe is the foremost choice. If you’re not really a developer, don&#8217t possess the way to hire one, or don&#8217t have very complex needs, PayPal is probably more appropriate. If you don&#8217t obtain a located payment page with no $30/month subscription, PayPal does have a superior amount of consumer trust, therefore it&#8217s a lesser concern if PayPal redirects your clients to the site to accomplish the transaction.

Bear in mind that you simply aren&#8217t just searching for the way to consider payments online. Almost any service available can perform that. Concentrate on the features you’ll need, not only now but later on. An mPOS, invoicing, flexible checkouts, subscriptions &#8212 whatever can help you run your company easier.

However, either service requires you to definitely sign an agreement, and that means you can check out one of these simple services (or both services) without getting to commit. Need to see which runs better? It could take some work, however, you can totally test them out both out as lengthy while you&#8217d like.

Which, my pal, is fairly awesome.

What exactly are your ideas on Stripe versus. PayPal? Have you ever attempted both services? Which did you go searching for? We like to listen to readers, so please leave us your comments!

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