Posted on 02/07/2024 by Katie Manning

What are the different types of website platforms?

With the current trend in taking your business online, having a website isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity. With the UK e-commerce market projected to reach a staggering 750.8 billion dollars by 2029, consumers are increasingly turning to online channels for their shopping needs.

This means your business needs a strong online presence to tap into this growing market and stay ahead of the curve. But with so many website platforms and builders available, choosing the right one can feel overwhelming. Hence, let us explore the different types of website platforms and how to choose the right one for your business. 

What is a Website Platform?

A website platform is a software application or service that provides the tools and infrastructure necessary to create and manage a website. These platforms offer a comprehensive suite of features that streamline the website development process, making it accessible to users with varying levels of technical expertise.

Imagine you have a fantastic new product or service idea, perhaps a revolutionary software design or marketing strategy. You’ve created prototypes and perfected the functionality, and now you’re eager to get it out to the world. But before you can take orders and start building your brand, you need a space to showcase your product – a digital storefront.

This is where website platforms come in! They’re like the prime location for your online store, providing the essential foundation upon which you build your brand design and presence (website). Website platforms offer a variety of tools to help you with web design and manage your storefront, similar to how a retail store kit might equip you with display shelves and signage.

Best Software Platforms for Your Website

Choosing the right software platform is essential for building a successful online presence. Depending on your business needs, different types of websites, require specific functionalities and user experiences. Explore the list of software platforms to find the ideal solution to meet your business needs.

Table of Contents

  1. WordPress
  2. Shopify
  3. Wix
  4. Squarespace
  5. BigCommerce
  6. Unbounce
  7. Adobe Commerce (Magento)
  8. Joomla
  9. Drupal
  10. Active Demand
  11. Path Factory
  12. Adobe DPS
  13. Blogger
  14. Tumblr
  15. Behance
  16. Best of the Web (BOTW)
  17. Discourse
  18. phpBB
  19. vBulletin
  20. Teachable


WordPress is one of the most versatile and widely used content management systems (CMS) in the world. Initially designed for blogging, it has evolved into a powerful platform capable of handling various types of websites.

Ideal for: Brochure sites, E-commerce, Blogs, Portfolios

WordPress excels in its flexibility. Whether you’re creating a simple blog, a complex e-commerce site, a brochure site, or anything in between, WordPress can manage it with ease. Its user-friendly interface makes it accessible to beginners, while its extensive customisation options appeal to more advanced users.

Specialities of WordPress

  • Extensive plugin ecosystem for added functionality
  • Highly customisable with thousands of themes
  • SEO-friendly structure
  • Fluent and effective web design personalisation
  • Regular updates and strong community support
  • Suitable for both beginners and advanced users


Shopify is a dedicated e-commerce platform that provides everything you need to set up and run an online store.

Ideal for: E-commerce, Online stores

Shopify’s strength lies in its focus on e-commerce. It offers a range of features specifically designed for online selling, from inventory management to secure checkout processes. Its ease of use makes it an excellent choice for businesses looking to quickly set up an online store without extensive technical knowledge.

Specialities of Shopify

  • All-in-one solution for e-commerce (including payment processing)
  • User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop store builder
  • Extensive app store for added functionality
  • Built-in SEO and marketing tools
  • 24/7 customer support


Wix is a cloud-based web development platform known for its user-friendly drag-and-drop interface.

Ideal for: Small business websites, Portfolios, Blogs

Wix’s standout feature is its ease of use. Its drag-and-drop interface allows users to create visually appealing websites without any coding knowledge. This makes it particularly suitable for small businesses and individuals looking to create a professional online presence quickly.

Specialities of Wix

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop website builder
  • Wide range of customisable templates
  • AI-powered design assistance (Wix ADI)
  • Built-in SEO tools and mobile optimisation
  • App market for extended functionality


Squarespace is known for its aesthetically pleasing templates and all-in-one platform approach.

Ideal for: Portfolios, Small business websites, Blogs

Squarespace excels in design. Its templates are modern, clean, and visually striking, making it an excellent choice for creative professionals and businesses that prioritise aesthetics. While it offers less customisation than some other platforms, it ensures a polished, professional look with minimal effort.

Specialities of Squarespace:

  • Stunning, professionally designed templates
  • Built-in SEO and marketing tools
  • E-commerce capabilities
  • Mobile-responsive web designs
  • Integrated analytics


BigCommerce is a robust e-commerce platform designed to handle high-volume online stores and B2B sales.

Ideal for: Large-scale e-commerce, B2B websites

BigCommerce stands out for its scalability and B2B capabilities. It’s designed to handle complex, high-volume online stores and offers features specifically tailored to B2B sales, making it an excellent choice for larger businesses or those with ambitious growth plans.

Specialities of Bigcommerce

  • Scalable infrastructure for high-traffic stores
  • Multi-channel selling capabilities
  • Advanced SEO features
  • Customisable checkout process
  • B2B-specific features


Unbounce is a specialised platform focused on creating high-converting landing pages.

Ideal for: Landing pages, Lead generation

Unbounce’s strength lies in its focus on conversion optimisation. Its tools are specifically designed to create and test landing pages that convert visitors into leads or customers, making it an excellent choice for businesses running targeted marketing campaigns.

Specialities of Unbounce

  • Drag-and-drop landing page builder
  • A/B testing capabilities
  • Dynamic text replacement for PPC campaigns
  • Integrations with popular marketing tools
  • Mobile-responsive designs

Adobe Commerce (Magento)

Adobe Commerce, formerly known as Magento, is an open-source e-commerce platform renowned for its flexibility and scalability.

Ideal for: Large-scale e-commerce, B2B websites

The strength of Adobe Commerce lies in its adaptability and capacity to scale. It is well-suited for managing complex, high-volume online stores and provides extensive customisation options. However, setting up and managing Adobe Commerce requires more technical expertise compared to some other platforms.

Specialities of Adobe Commerce

  • Highly customisable and flexible
  • Robust features for large-scale online stores
  • Strong multi-store and multi-language capabilities
  • Extensive third-party integrations
  • Active developer community


Joomla is an open-source CMS that offers a good balance between ease of use and advanced features.

Ideal for: Community websites, Social networking sites

Joomla shines in its ability to handle complex site structures and user permissions, making it particularly suitable for community websites or social networking sites. It offers more out-of-the-box features than WordPress but requires a steeper learning curve.

Specialities of Joomla

  • Flexible content management
  • Strong multi-lingual support
  • Built-in user management features
  • Extensive extension library
  • Active community support


Drupal is a powerful, open-source CMS known for its robustness and security features.

Ideal for: Complex, large-scale websites, Government sites

Drupal’s strength lies in its ability to handle complex, content-heavy websites. Its robust security features make it a popular choice for government and enterprise-level websites. However, it requires more technical expertise to set up and manage compared to many other platforms.

Specialities of Drupal

  • Highly flexible and scalable
  • Strong security features
  • Excellent for managing large amounts of content
  • Robust user permission system
  • Active developer community

Active Demand

Active Demand is a marketing automation platform that includes website and landing page creation tools.

Ideal for: Marketing automation, Landing pages

Active Demand stands out for its integration of website building with marketing automation. It’s particularly useful for businesses looking to create highly targeted, personalised marketing campaigns.

Specialities of Active Demand

  • Integrated marketing automation features
  • Personalisation capabilities
  • Built-in A/B testing
  • Lead scoring and nurturing tools
  • Analytics and reporting features

Path Factory

Path Factory (formerly LookBookHQ) is a content marketing platform that includes website creation tools.

Ideal for: Content marketing, B2B websites

Path Factory excels in creating personalised content experiences, making it particularly suitable for B2B companies with complex sales cycles and content-heavy marketing strategies.

Specialities of Path Factory

  • Content engagement analytics
  • Personalised content journeys
  • Integration with major marketing automation platforms
  • AI-powered content recommendations
  • B2B-focused features

Adobe DPS (Digital Publishing Suite)

Adobe DPS is a digital publishing platform designed for creating interactive digital publications.

Ideal for: Digital magazine publishing, Interactive content

Adobe DPS excels in creating rich, interactive digital content. It’s particularly suitable for publishers looking to create engaging digital versions of their magazines or interactive brand publications.

Specialities of Adobe DPS

  • Creation of interactive digital magazines and publications
  • Integration with Adobe Creative Suite
  • Analytics for reader engagement
  • Multi-platform distribution (iOS, Android, Web)
  • Monetisation features for digital publications


Blogger is a free blogging platform owned by Google.

Ideal for: Personal blogs, Simple websites

Blogger’s strength lies in its simplicity and integration with Google services. It’s an excellent choice for individuals looking to start a personal blog or a simple website without any cost or technical complexity.

Specialities of Blogger

  • Easy to use with a simple interface
  • Integration with Google services
  • Free hosting on Google’s servers
  • Basic customisation options
  • Suitable for beginners


Tumblr is a microblogging and social networking platform.

Ideal for: Microblogging, Visual content sharing

Tumblr excels in its simplicity and social features. It’s particularly suitable for individuals or brands looking to share visual content and engage with a community, especially if targeting a younger demographic.

Specialities of Tumblr

  • Easy sharing of various content types (text, images, videos, etc.)
  • Social networking features
  • Customisable themes
  • Mobile-friendly interface
  • Active community


Behance is a platform for showcasing and discovering creative work.

Ideal for: Creative portfolios, Networking for creatives

Behance’s strength lies in its focus on visual portfolios and its connection to the creative community. It’s an excellent choice for designers, photographers, and other visual artists looking to showcase their work and connect with potential clients or employers.

Specialities of Behance

  • High-quality portfolio display
  • Networking features for creative professionals
  • Integration with Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Job board for creative professionals
  • Analytics for portfolio views and engagement

Best of the Web (BOTW)

Best of the Web is a web directory that also offers website-building tools.

Ideal for: Business directories, Local SEO

BOTW’s strength lies in its combination of directory services and website building. It’s particularly useful for local businesses looking to improve their online visibility and local SEO.

Specialities of BOTW

  • Directory listing services
  • Basic website-building tools
  • Local SEO benefits
  • Business profile creation
  • Link building opportunities


Discourse is an open-source platform for creating online discussion forums.

Ideal for: Community forums, Discussion boards

Discourse excels in creating engaging, modern discussion forums. Its features are designed to encourage community participation and make moderation easier, making it an excellent choice for businesses or organisations looking to build an online community.

Specialities of Discourse

  • Modern, user-friendly forum interface
  • Gamification features to encourage engagement
  • Built-in moderation tools
  • SEO-friendly structure
  • Mobile-responsive design


phpBB is a free, open-source forum software.

Ideal for: Open-source forums, Community websites

phpBB’s strength lies in its flexibility and customisation options. It’s particularly suitable for those who want complete control over their forum’s functionality and appearance and have the technical skills to customise the platform.

Specialities of phpBB

  • Highly customisable
  • Extensive plugin system
  • Multi-language support
  • User group management
  • SEO-friendly URLs


vBulletin is a commercial forum software known for its robustness and scalability.

Ideal for: Large-scale forums, Community management

vBulletin excels in handling large, complex community websites. Its range of features makes it suitable for creating not just forums, but entire community-driven websites with various content types.

Specialities of vBulletin

  • Powerful admin control panel
  • Social networking features
  • Blog and article publishing system
  • Mobile app creation
  • Advanced user management


Teachable is a platform for creating and selling online courses.

Ideal for: Online course creation, E-learning platforms

Teachable excels in providing an all-in-one solution for creating and selling online courses. It’s particularly suitable for educators, trainers, or businesses looking to monetise their expertise through online learning.

Specialities of Teachable

  • Course creation and management tools
  • Integrated payment processing
  • Student management features
  • Marketing tools for course promotion
  • Analytics and Reporting

Why Does A Website Matter?

Think of your website as your digital store, open 24/7 to a global audience. It’s the first impression you make on potential customers, showcasing your brand, products, and services. A well-designed website can improve the business in the following ways.

Importance of website presence

Choosing the Right Website Platform

With so many contenders, selecting the ideal platform requires careful consideration. Here are some key factors to weigh in your decision:

Define Your Website’s Purpose

  • Determine the primary function of your website. Is it for e-commerce, blogging, portfolio, or informational purposes? This will help you identify the essential features you need.
  • Consider your target audience and their expectations. Are they looking for a simple, user-friendly experience or advanced functionality?

Assess Your Technical Expertise:

  • Evaluate your level of technical proficiency. Are you comfortable with coding and web development, or do you need a platform with user-friendly tools?
  • Consider the level of customisation you need. Do you require extensive control over design and functionality, or are you satisfied with pre-designed templates?

Determine Your Budget:

  • Set a budget for your website development and maintenance. This will help you choose a platform that fits within your financial constraints.
  • Consider the hosting costs, domain registration, and any additional features or services you may need.

Consider the Ease of Use:

  • Look for platforms with user-friendly interfaces and drag-and-drop builders to simplify the development process.
  • Evaluate the level of support and resources provided by the platform, such as tutorials, documentation, and community forums.

Assess the Customisation Options:

  • Choose a platform that offers a range of customisable templates, web hosting solutions and design elements to suit your brand.
  • Consider the level of control you need over the website’s functionality, such as integrations with third-party services or custom coding.

Evaluate the Scalability and Flexibility:

  • Select a platform that can grow with your website, offering scalability options for increased traffic and data storage.
  • Consider the flexibility of the platform in terms of integrations with other tools and services, as well as its ability to adapt to changing needs and trends.
  • 313% more visitors come to websites through mobile compared to desktop.

Case Studies

Let’s delve into real-world examples to see how businesses leverage different website platforms:

1. Bluebell: A Website Built for Innovation

Imagine a company like Bluebell, offering cutting-edge products and demanding a website that reflects their innovative spirit. That’s where Loop Digital stepped in. We crafted an interactive website that was not only visually stunning but also, e-commerce SEO-centric, user-friendly, and showcasing Bluebell’s offerings in a way that resonates with its target audience. 

Here’s how we made it happen:

  • Custom Design: We removed cookie-cutter templates and created unique design elements that perfectly capture Bluebell’s brand identity.
  • SEO Optimisation: We implemented best SEO practices to boost Bluebell’s search engine visibility, attracting more qualified leads.
  • E-commerce Integration: For companies like Bluebell looking to sell online, we seamlessly integrated e-commerce functionality for a smooth buying experience.
  • User Experience (UX) Focus: At Loop Digital, user experience is king. We designed an intuitive and engaging interface that keeps visitors coming back for more.

2. Making Technology Accessible: Sight and Sound’s Bespoke E-commerce Website

Accessibility is a cornerstone of inclusivity, and that’s exactly what we achieved for Sight and Sound Technology, a company specialising in assistive technology solutions. Our goal? To create a user-friendly online store that caters to everyone, regardless of their abilities. Here’s how we made it a reality:

  • Custom Design: We meticulously tailored the design to meet the specific needs of Sight and Sound Technology, ensuring a user experience that’s both functional and visually appealing.
  • Accessibility at the Forefront: Accessibility features were woven into the very fabric of the website, allowing everyone to navigate and interact with the platform seamlessly.
  • Robust E-commerce Functionality: A smooth shopping experience is crucial for any online store. We implemented robust e-commerce features to simplify the purchasing process.
  • SEO for Organic Growth: Organic traffic is invaluable, so we optimised the website for search engines, helping Sight and Sound Technology reach a wider audience.

3. Smart Blinds Online: A Custom-built Website for Smarter Solutions

Sometimes, off-the-shelf solutions just won’t cut it. That’s where custom website development comes in. Take Smart Blinds Online, for example. Their unique business needs demanded a website tailored to their specific goals. Loop Digital delivered a custom-built solution that offered:

  • Complete Customisation: We built a website from the ground up, ensuring it perfectly aligns with Smart Blinds Online’s brand identity and functionalities.
  • Advanced Functionality: Complex features and integrations that wouldn’t be possible with standard platforms became a reality.
  • Scalability for Growth: As Smart Blinds Online expands, their website can easily grow with them, accommodating new features and functionalities effortlessly.
  • Performance Optimisation: We ensured the website performs flawlessly under any load, guaranteeing a smooth user experience for all visitors.

Build a Custom Website with Loop Digital

Choosing the right website platform is a crucial step in establishing your online presence. By considering your business needs and technical skills, you can select the perfect foundation for your digital storefront.

At Loop Digital, we are passionate about helping businesses thrive online. Our team of experienced web developers and designers can guide you through the website platform selection process and create a custom solution tailored to your specific goals. Whether you need a user-friendly e-commerce platform or a stunning brand website, we have the expertise to bring your vision to life.

Book a free consultation with Loop Digital today to discuss your website needs and explore how our custom solutions can help you achieve your business goals. 

Katie is our exceptional Lead Designer who possesses an innate passion for designing websites and creating captivating themes and aesthetics. Her unparalleled dedication to producing innovative solutions that address client needs and reshape user perceptions is truly commendable. Katie finds immense gratification in crafting tangible designs that leave a lasting impact. Equipped with a comprehensive university degree in Computer Management and Web-Based Studies, Katie brings a wealth of knowledge to the forefront of her role at Loop. Her educational background empowers her to leverage cutting-edge technologies and industry best practices to deliver exceptional design solutions. Katie’s expertise shines through her ability to revamp websites, logos, and brands, allowing clients to showcase their business in a fresh and illuminating manner. Her keen eye for detail and creative flair breathe new life into digital assets, providing a platform for clients to shine in their respective industries. In addition to her professional pursuits, Katie’s passion for baking serves as a testament to her creative nature and attention to detail. This dedication extends beyond her design work and fuels her ability to approach each project with meticulousness and care. Her ability to understand clients’ unique requirements and translate them into captivating designs has garnered her praise and established her as a trusted design partner. Katie’s professionalism and unwavering enthusiasm make her an invaluable asset to our team. Her expertise in website design, coupled with her dedication to delivering tangible results, sets her apart as a Lead Designer. Clients can expect nothing short of exceptional designs that elevate their brand, captivate their audience, and drive success.

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