Meet the Racers: WordPress, Shopify, Wix, Webflow, and Squarespace



April 30, 2024

And they’re off! The 150th Kentucky Derby is just around the corner, and Honeywick is getting geared up and excited with all the hubbub around the city. We’re looking forward to green grass, sleek tracks, beautiful horses, and a gorgeous day at the races to celebrate Louisville’s heritage.

They’re real impressive animals, horses. And sure, a horse is a horse, and it gets its rider from start to finish regardless of what place it might come in. But, there’s always a horse that comes in first. The best horse. The horse you want to bet on so that the money you invest gets returned, plus some.

We’re not really talking about horses anymore.

When it comes to your website and where you want to build it, the Content Management System (CMS) platform that you choose is a lot like choosing a horse to place your bet on. Any website builder worth its salt will give you the basics. It will get you from start to finish. But the question is, which site will be best for your business? Which site will put you in 1st place?

Our team of CMS professionals is here to present a few of your choices, so without further ado:

Folks, please put your hands together for the first official 2024 CMS Platform Stakes, presented by Honeywick!

In tab #1, we have the fan favorite, WordPress. A beautiful specimen of a content management system platform, this site currently holds several titles bestowed by our very own project managers and IT experts.

In tab #2, Shopify is saddled up as a top contender for the e-commerce category. It will certainly be battling it out with the other platforms for functionality outside of that, though.

In tab #3, Wix sits as a dark horse in this competition with easy set-ups and beginner-friendly functionality. We’ll see if it’s short-term pros can outweigh it’s long-term cons.

In tab #4, we see the first of Wix’s biggest competitors: Webflow. We’ll have to wait and see how this match-up between start-up sites pans out.

In tab #5, we round out the competition with Squarespace, another big name in the drag-and-drop website creation realm. We’ll see if the user-friendly, hands-off functionality is worth the customization compromise.

The Platforms are Loaded, the Starting Gun Sounds, and the Race Begins:

Right out of the gate, we see Wix, Webflow, and Squarespace take off and pull away from the herd!

They’re neck-in-neck in the first straight, with all three offering easy, intuitive setups. Their drag-and-drop editing functionality doesn’t require personal coding skills or a coding team to make a simple, professional-looking website. And, if you would rather go in the direction of templates, all three sites have a plethora to choose from.

Shopify trails slightly behind the three leaders at the start, also offering an intuitive setup process. However, it offers far less templates than Wix, Webflow, and Squarespace in both its free and premium packages, which constricts the user’s creative options and puts it in 4th place for the time being.

While WordPress isn’t difficult to set up, per se, it will require some extra steps that Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, and Webflow take care with their packages. These sites have the benefit of being all-in-one sites that include hosting, ecommerce functionality, and SEO services. We can see why some might be tempted to place their bet based off of these explosive starting advantages, especially for new users.

Don’t Forget, the Race is Longer than the First Sprint!

The ease of creating a website on a proprietary CMS site (i.e. not an open-source CMS platform) does come with a compromise. If you eventually want to customize your site further and add custom solutions, or even run-of-the-mill functionalities, these DIY website builders start to inhibit your options. The template designs and code of your website don’t belong to you, they belong to the platform. All of the elements that were real nifty in the start-up process are suddenly not what you need, but are all that you have. The SEO and e-commerce options will also usually be very standard and minimalistic. This might leave very little wiggle room for best practices and modifications.

Rounding the Bend, a Competitor Emerges…

The platforms have hit their stride, and now we see what their true strengths are.

Shopify might not stand out in the aesthetic options, but it edges ahead of the pack when it comes to ecommerce features. It was developed solely for the purpose of selling online. Because of that, Shopify is set up to meet the objectives of Google’s Core Web Vitals requirements without the user having to configure that themselves. You’ll certainly be getting more than the basics of ecommerce functionality if you decide on a site like this one.

If ecommerce seekers can get past the lack of templates for them to use, then Shopify is certainly a viable option. However, things like blogging and developing a brand or maintaining an online presence require more from a site than just selling power. While Shopify might have a handicap in the race because of that, it makes up for it in e-commerce functionality that the others do not offer. Which of these platforms outperforms the others is a question that is truly dependent upon the user’s needs.

The Final Straight! Who’s That at the Front of the Pack?

We’re coming down the final corridor, and – look at that!

WordPress zigzags in between competitors, picking up speed with its powers of customization and sheer size. With over 50,000 plugins available and the ability to install custom code as an open-source CMS, this platform blossoms into anything you need it to be. Ecommerce plugins like WooCommerce make shifting between site types easy and manageable. For companies looking for a fluid site that grows and changes with them, WordPress is the top choice.

On top of that, the crowd is on its side as well! Over 455 million websites use WordPress, and the support of that community extends to anyone having an issue. Forums, tutorials, documentation, and learning opportunities abound!

The Platform Wearing the Roses is…

While all platforms performed well and as expected, there is one clear winner in our eyes:

WordPress takes first!

Adorned with the Honeywick roses, WordPress confidently struts its stuff across most websites we build and manage. If you have a horse in the website race, WordPress will be your best bet for:

  • SEO Optimization
  • Site Security
  • Spam Management
  • Customization
  • Blogging Capabilities
  • Safety Measures
  • Scalability

Honeywick is Your Professional CMS Platform Trainer

Are you new to the CMS Platform races? That’s okay, most people are – Honeywick is a trendsetter when it comes to those. Having been in the website development business for well over a decade, we know a lot about the functionality of the different CMS Platforms. If you’re struggling to find the one for you, give us a call and we’ll get a consultation on the calendar. Or, if you already have a website and are looking to optimize and improve, our team is known as one of the best platform handlers in the business.

At the end of the day, we want our clients to come in first place regardless of what platform they use. Come and talk to us about how to best utilize the site you have or place your bet and let us build you a new one! You can drop us a line at 502-873-3866 or fill out the contact form on our website. We look forward to a lucrative partnership in the up-and-coming business of CMS Platform Races. See you soon!

Frissell, Toni, photographer. Kentucky Derby. United States Louisville Kentucky, 1954. May. Photograph.

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