Which platform should I build my business website on?

The pandemic has shown the Caribbean region the importance of going digital to do business, generate leads and sales for our businesses. The most important digital asset a business needs is a website, and it is the one asset that businesses struggle with the most, owing to the lack of information on how they work in a digital strategy or what platform they should use that works well within the Caribbean context.

Today, we are going to address which platform you should build your website on.

I know many of you have heard of platforms like Wix, WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify, Magento, Prestashop and many more. There are hundreds of platforms you can use, and all of them have their pros/cons, but where Caribbean entrepreneurs make their biggest mistake is when they are picking a platform to build on.

Naturally, people jump on Google and YouTube to read reviews and learn about all of these amazing platforms. But the problem is that 95 per cent of the information they are reading online is coming from the US market, and most of the information is irrelevant to the Caribbean. Listening to most of the information about website platforms from anybody outside the country will lead you down the path of wasting money and time.

That’s because we don’t ask the most important question when picking a platform, which is: “Can I get paid on this platform?”

That is the first question you should be asking. Even if you aren’t planning to use any of the e-commerce features right now, too often do people start with just business info or blogging, and then when they realise they want to start doing e-commerce, they cannot get paid on the platform they are using.

That being said, the best platform to use if you are in TT is the website platform that allows you to do e-commerce.

Here is a list of all of the platforms we can use to do e-commerce if you are using the First Atlantic Commerce Payment gateway: WordPress, Wix, Shopify, Magento, 3dCart, Prestashop, Opencart, Joomla, Nidux.

If you decide to use Wipay, it connects to WordPress, Opencart and Magento.

Using any other platform than the ones listed there means that you will not be able to use any of the Caribbean payment gateways to get paid online, whether your clients are local or international.

Squarespace. a p[opular platform, has no integrations with any of our payment gateways in the Caribbean, which makes it one of the worst platforms to use for business owners in TT. To use Squarespace, you will need to use PayPal as your payment gateway and then deal with PayPal’s restrictions. Remember, not everybody is granted access to withdraw funds from PayPal in TT.

The other way to use Squarespace would be for you to register your business in the US and open a US bank account. That’s a process that the average business owner in TT isn’t going to go through, but it is an option.

I believe that all platforms are great in their own ways and I am not knocking any of them.

What I am saying is that if you are a business, the question you need to focus on is whether you can get paid on the platform. If you do not want any of the headaches with getting paid on your website, use any of the platforms that connect to one of our Caribbean payment gateways, so that if anything does happen, you have a better chance of getting your problems rectified by a company that operates in your country.

Your website is the foundation of your business online. Here in the Caribbean, there is no social media platform that gives us e-commerce functionality: the ability to sell goods and get paid through their channels. Those are not active for us and that is why having your website is of utmost importance.

Being able to get paid online by your customers and allowing your business to work 24/7 without your presence is always needed.

You don’t have to DM Amazon for price or message them to place an order. I want that for your business as well.

In our next Digipreneur column, we will look at the process of how to get paid on each of these website platforms, so you know exactly what you will need to sell your products or services via your website.

To learn more about building your business online and your digital presence, visit Keronrose.com. Follow on IG/Tiktok/Linkedin @keronrose and check out the Digipreneur FM podcast on any podcast directory.


"Which platform should I build my business website on?"

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