There are a lot of easy ways for business owners to build their first website. WordPress is a good option for businesses that just want to put information online, and Shopify is a good option for those hoping to sell online quickly. Both of these systems offer out-of-the-box templates and setups to get your website live in just a few days. GoDaddy also runs a marketing campaign to convince the new business owner that building a website overnight is the right thing to do.
The lure of building a website overnight is very tantalizing. Using one of these fast methods makes sense for new businesses that are still struggling with pricing, overhead, and attracting customers, but eventually all businesses will need more than just what comes with an out-of-the-box template.
According to W3Techs usage statistics, WordPress currently powers 25.1% of all websites they measured. There's no doubt that WordPress is a powerful system, but you can't turn it into a powerhouse without a lot of customized work and several 3rd party extensions. The exact type of customized work you'll need all depends on the website goals of your business.
Website goals are quite tricky to figure out. New business owners always have ideas on what to do with their website, but many times those ideas turn out to be completely different than what will help the business grow, i.e. what the customer really want from you online.
At the time of this writing, there were 41,313 WordPress plugins for almost every possible business need. Wading through 41,313 different plugins to find the perfect one for a specific needs sounds like a paralyzing task. You could do that on your own, but this is why businesses often hire industry specialists who know and use many of the common plugins for their industry.
If you've been using the WordPress out-of-the-box configuration for at least 6 months, now is the time to start looking at how your customers are using your site, and how to make it better.
With their built in ability to accept online payments, Shopify is growing in popularity among businesses that want to set up e-commerce and sell right away. Choosing a website theme is easy in Shopify, and I think editing that theme is easier than using WordPress.
There are a lot of extra plugins available for Shopify, but certainly not as many as WordPress. I've also found it really difficult to modify Google Analytics scripts for really advanced e-commerce and user id tracking.
You can implement your website goals in Shopify if you find a good programmer to help you. It won't be any more or less difficult than WordPress, although you will need to do more custom programming instead of searching for an appropriate plugin.
Moving on From GoDaddy
GoDaddy's website builder provides simple choices and fast website construction. The process is very easy and fast, but without any flexibility. Anyone choosing GoDaddy for their first website should learn what they can then graduate to something better before the end of their first year. I consider GoDaddy's system to be a true starting point for a website, from which Shopify or WordPress can be the next step.
Today's Bottom Line
Every business must start with some type of website. I suggest starting with something simple instead of spending a lot of money and trying to make something perfect. You should apply the old adage of learning to walk before you run to how you build your website. Start with the basics, learn a little, and grow from there. Then build a second website that better suites your needs.
You should always be learning from your website and how your customers are using it, and continue to grow it over time.