When it come to finding an online platform or CMS for your business, there are more options than countries not at the world cup.

With so many options, picking the right platform isn’t so easy. Which platform has the features you need? What gives the most value for money? And most importantly, which will not leave you wanting to rip your hair out?

Choosing the right platform for your business will depend on what you need.

Things to consider in your online platform

Functionality

What can the platform do? If you sell products, you’ll need a platform that can process payments. Blogging with lot of photo and video content, you’ll need a platform that work will with rich media. Start with making a list of what you need your website to do and that will narrow down your choices.

Simplicity

Even if you’re a developer or programmer you want a platform that os easy to use. ‘Easy’ is of course relative to your skill level. If you are fairly savvy with tech or a have a willing friend who can help you out, you might want to try some of the more ‘complicated’ platforms out there with more functionality. If you struggle with things like email, it might be best if you to hire someone (like me) to do it for you.

Price

Figure out how much you have to spend (and it shouldn’t be ‘as little as possible’ remember this is an investment) and only look at platforms within your budget, you’ll avoid virtual window shopping and finding the ‘perfect’ platform that you can’t afford (if you can’t afford it, it’s not perfect.

Longevity

How easy will in be to maintain and update the website in the future? Will you need to hire someone every time you want to make some changes? Can you manage other users and their permissions? You don’t want to outgrow your website too soon and find it no longer meets your needs 6 months down the road.

My recommended platforms

Now that you know what you should be looking for, I’ll let you know about my recommended options and what they’d be good for.

Shopify

Shopify is my go to platform if you want to build an online store, it is suitable to startup shops and huge international operations such as GymShark.

Functionality

The Shopify platform has all you need to run an online store, and with the huge array of plugins, you’d have to search pretty hard to find something that can’t be done on Shopify.

Simplicity

The only

Price

Shopify will cost you anywhere from $29 a month for there ‘basic’ package to $299 a month for their advanced package.

Longevity

Shopify is definitely built to grow with your business, whether your are turning over £500 or £500,000 a month.

WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular online platforms for building a websiteThere are two version of WordPress, wordpress.org and wordpress.com

Functionality

The Shopify platform has all you need to run an online store, and with the huge array of plugins, you’d have to search pretty hard to find something that can’t be done on Shopify.

Simplicity

The only

Price

There is a free version of wordpress.com but I would stay away from that if you are using this for a business. The paid plans range from £3 to £20 a month.

WordPress.org is open source so the platform is free, so the only cost is what you pay for your domain and hosting

<Longevity

Sony Music homepage built using WordPressWordPress is suitable for small websites and blogs like the one you’re on right now to huge brands and websites like Sony Music, Beyonce, The Next Web and The Sun.

With WordPress having arguably the largest community around website platforms and an envious list of plugins to extend the capabilities of the platform to almost anything you would need.

SquareSpace

WordPress is one of the most popular online platforms for building a websiteThere are two version of WordPress, wordpress.org and wordpress.com

Functionality

The Shopify platform has all you need to run an online store, and with the huge array of plugins, you’d have to search pretty hard to find something that can’t be done on Shopify.

Simplicity

The only

Price

There is a free version of wordpress.com but I would stay away from that if you are using this for a business. The paid plans range from £13 to £37 a month and if you’re willing to pay for the year up front you’ll get a discount and the cost of your domain included.

Longevity

Shopify is definitely built to grow with your business, whether your are turning over £500 or £500,000 a month