Choosing the right website platform and builder can make a huge difference to your website’s speed and capabilities. The faster your website runs, the higher it will rank on Google.
Meaning more clicks, and more sales!
Here we are going to hold your hand through all the decisions you will need to make
- Wix or WordPress
- Squarespace or Shopify
- Upwork website developer or Fiverr
Let’s get started …
Without any further delay, let’s get down with it!
In any case, make sure to take the quiz to get a good idea of which certification is right for you.
We will weigh out the pros and cons of both approaches and help you to decide which option suits your personal needs.
We will then show you how to succeed with either option.
Before that, though, we need to talk about this …
Post 4 of 8 in the Create A Coaching Site Series
What Platform are you going to create your website on?
Finding the right platform to create your website on is one of the most important decisions you are going to make. Check out our guide to some of the biggest names.
Right now, there are many choices when it comes to website platforms.
This is both a good and a bad thing.
It is good because healthy competition between rival companies can help keep prices low while raising standards.
But it is also bad because now you have got so many choices to make.
Before finding the best website platform for you to use, let us quickly take a look at what website platforms are.
This term is used to describe the system you use to build your website.
If you create a Facebook page, then you are making that page using Facebook as a platform.
You are using their tools, their app, and without Facebook, your page would not exist.
Websites are the same.
Unless you are a personal trainer/coding prodigy, then you are probably not going to be able to create your own website platform to host your website.
You are going to need a website platform from which to build your website.
There are many different companies out there that offer this service.
There are several large website platforms out there.
The most famous of which is probably WordPress though you may also have heard of Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and Shopify.
Each company provides an excellent platform, and it is possible to make a fantastic website on any of them.
Yet, there are always going to be companies that better suit your needs.
Here is a quick guide to the advantages and disadvantages of each company.
WordPress (.org NOT .com)
Make sure that you’re looking at the CORRECT WordPress, WordPress.org is the most popular website builder in the world. There are many reasons why.
We thought we would start with the biggest website builder around.
Here’s the thing, if you are planning on building a website that is set up to handle massive traffic, and can do everything you want it to, then WordPress is the right fit.
There are two WordPress options.
- WordPress.org, which is what we are talking about here
- WordPress.com, which is a website platform system for beginners.
While WordPress.com is relevant to this article, we are going to avoid talking about it for two reasons:
- Talking about it makes everything 10x more confusing
- WordPress.com is not particularly good
WordPress.org is different from every website platform on this list. It is entirely free. All you need is a domain name and a web hosting service.
Once you have that, you can download the software and start running your website.
This is different from WordPress.com, Wix, SquareSpace, etc. who allow you to build your website using their software and include the cost of web hosting as part of their service.
WordPress.org has thousands of different apps (some free, some paid) that you can use to improve your website.
This may sound like you are going to spend a lot of money on different things, but in general, this still works out cheaper than the competition.
What is great about WordPress.org is that it allows you to be as big as you want, you can keep any money you make from advertising (many website platforms require a percentage of ad revenue), you also have the freedom to write what you want (within reason).
In other words, you do not have to worry about whether your website content complies with the terms and conditions of your website provider.
But you still need to stay within the law.
Not that this issue should come up much when it comes to personal trainer website design!
There are some downsides too.
WordPress.org is one of the least user-friendly services out there, and it can be very confusing for beginners.
Compare that to Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly, etc.… where site design is foolproof.
You are also responsible for updating all plug-ins, backing up your data, and to a large extent fixing your website issues!
That is why a lot of WordPress users hire people to manage the technical side of their website.
- Free software (though there are apps that you can pay for)
- Thousands of apps allow you to customize your website better than anywhere else
- You get to keep all income from your website rather than sharing it
- You can write whatever you want provided it is legal
- No upper limit for website users (unlike several website builders)
- Not as user friendly as other website builders
- You need to fix any issues yourself (or you can hire a developer)
WordPress.org is the best way for you to build a beautiful website that is all your own.
It is not as simple to use as the competition, and you may want to consider hiring a website developer.
Even if you do, a little IT knowledge is necessary if you are going to run a website of WordPress.
This is still by far the best option for most personal trainer websites.
Low-priced, and excellent for beginners, is Wix the best option out there?
First things first ….
It is possible to use a free website builder from Wix.com, but we would recommend you avoid this like the plague!
A free Wix website comes with a huge Wix advert on the top of each page and does not allow you to use your own domain name. You have to use one that has wix.com in the title.
This is not ideal for several reasons:
- It makes your site look unprofessional and cheap
- When people view your website, the first impression they will get is Wix.com
- Nobody is clicking on a link that reads wix.com/personaltraininglondon (or whatever)
The free site is also incredibly basic and will not allow you to do any of the things you need to do to own a successful website.
While the advice “done is better than perfect” is good advice. We believe that “done badly” is worse than not done!
This means that you will want to get yourself a paid package.
The prices are constantly changing as Wix experiments with different packages, but it ranges from $13 per month to around $25 (going even further, the more visitors you get to your site).
Wix has several benefits. It is simple to use, much more so than WordPress.
Wix uses a drag and drop system for designing your website.
Wix also offers excellent support, and its customer service will ensure that your website rarely encounters any issues.
However, it is not all good news.
There are very few themes to choose from compared to WordPress, there are a limited number of apps that you can use, and you are quite restricted in what you can do to make your site stand out .
- Extremely easy to use
- Excellent customer service
- Low priced options
- Limitations in themes, apps, and individuality
- Terrible “free” option
Wix is an excellent option for someone who wants a simple website to help get them more clients.
If that is all you want out of a website, and you do not want to spend a lot of time building an online presence, then Wix is for you.
If you are interested in creating an online coaching website, or you are looking to make money through advertising or affiliate sales, then you may find Wix to be somewhat limiting.
While we prefer WordPress, we have to admit that Wix has several advantages.
It is simple to use, it does not cost a lot of money to do so, and you can make some nice looking websites using their easy to learn website building software.
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One of the most beautiful website builders around, but also one of the most complicated. Is Squarespace right for you?
Squarespace is the hipster version of Wix.
After five minutes of thought, that is the best way we could describe it.
If you run a boutique personal training studio, then Squarespace is going to be the website builder you use!
- Squarespace is very similar to Wix.
- It provides the same drag and drop website design builder, and the price structure is also similar.
- Both Wix and Squarespace can help you to build beautiful websites at a low cost, but they also both suffer from the same drawbacks.
You are still tied to a small number of themes and apps, you may still find storage and bandwidth issues on certain packages, and you will find it more difficult to personalize your website truly.
On the other hand, you can create a decent looking website in just a few hours, without having to hire someone or learn how to build a website yourself.
That is a huge advantage!
- Beautiful themes available
- Easy to use
- Good customer support
- Low priced options
- Difficult to truly personalize your website
- 3% fee for eCommerce purchases on some plans
- More complicated to use than Wix
Squarespace suffers from being too similar to Wix, but not necessarily as good.
Okay, that is not fair.
Squarespace has many advantages, but it is more complicated to use than Wix.
Maybe not by much, but think about why you would pick either Wix or Squarespace over WordPress. Because they are easier to use!
So why go for a harder to use website builder in Squarespace, if you can use Wix?
The truth is that you could toss a coin, pick either Wix or Squarespace and be perfectly happy with either.
Whether you use them instead of WordPress is up to you.
An excellently-priced website builder, with great customer support. But does Weebly do enough to stand out?
There is no need to go into too much detail about Weebly, as we have already covered Wix and Squarespace.
- Weebly may be slightly better at some things and slightly worse at others. But generally, it is identical.
- This is an excellent drag and drop website design system, the customer support is excellent
- There are a variety of themes and apps that you can add.
- It suffers the same drawbacks as wix and Squarespace too, sadly.
One advantage that Weebly has over Wix and Squarespace is that it allows web developers to edit your site for you, Provided you permit them, of course.
This is actually a big deal, which means that you can hire someone from Upwork or Fiverr to get your website looking as good as possible.
Though if you were to do that, you might as well go with WordPress!
- Excellent customer support
- Great price
- Allows editor access
- Limited themes, apps, etc
Like Wix and Squarespace, Weebly will give you a high quality (if a bit limited) website.
Weebly has a slight advantage over Wix and Squarespace as it allows editor access, meaning that you can hire someone to make your site better.
Of course, if you are doing that, then you may as well go with WordPress. But Weebly is a decent compromise.
While Shopify is perhaps the best website builder out there, it is aimed exclusively at eCommerce.
Of all the website builders, Shopify is probably the best.
It certainly scores well on comparison websites .
However, it may not be the right fit for you. Sure, personal trainer websites may involve sales.
- As a service industry, it is unlikely that Shopify is required.
- It is much better for selling real or digital products.
- Shopify does a lot of things well
- It has top notch customer support,
- It is easy to use
- It offers a decent range of themes and apps.
One of the best things about Shopify is how many payment types it accepts.
It is slightly more expensive than some of the other website builders on this list and still suffers from some of the same limitations.
While you can get a great website from Shopify, just remember that online coaching or personal training is not an ideal fit for an eCommerce website builder.
- Easy to use
- Great customer support
- Can use over 100 payment methods
- Designed for eCommerce websites
- Limited apps, themes, scope
- More expensive than some of the other website builders
Shopify is a fantastic website builder, but it is not the right fit for a personal trainer or online coaching website.
Unless you are planning on using your website to sell fitness equipment, supplements, or a range of digital products, in which case, a WordPress site may be a better option.
As with Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace, Shopify is an excellent choice for people who do not want to hire a web developer and want a simple, cheap website that can be ready within a few hours.
Finding the Right Website Builder for You
Now that you know a bit more about the different website browsers out there, it is time to find the right fit for you
We have provided a guide to some of the most prominent website builders around. That said, we have barely scratched the surface with regards to what’s available out there.
- Weebly is a great starter option, but has minimal control
- Wix, Shopify, Weebly, or Squarespace required you to purchase their domain to personalize
As you can probably tell, we are big fans of WordPress.org
That is not to say that we do not like the other website builders. They all have their merits, and it could be that they offer the perfect solution for you.
Out of all the website building systems, Weebly is probably the next best option as it allows editor access.
If you go with Wix, Shopify, Weebly, or Squarespace, then you need to purchase your domain name from them.
The next section will mostly apply to those of you who decide to use WordPress.org
Hiring a Designer or DIY Website Design
Now it is time to decide whether you want to design the website yourself or hire a professional who can do it for you.
Throughout this article, we have pointed out that WordPress.org is more complicated than the other website building platforms.
This is true.
But it is also true that:
- Most people can easily design their own website using WordPress.org
- Learning how to design a website is easy with youtube and forums
- Learning how to design your own website is good because you can resolve technical problems quickly
But on the whole, designing and running your own WordPress site is not impossible.
Find a theme that suits your needs, search for some apps that will help you customize and improve your website, and do not be afraid to ask questions.
The WordPress community is massive and surprisingly friendly.
However, if you have the budget for it, hiring a website designer can make a huge difference.
Not only will it ensure that there are no mistakes, but your website will also look a lot better, and you will save yourself a lot of time.
While many personal trainers are happy to learn a new skill, some believe that they should focus on earning money through their trade, leaving the technical stuff to other professionals.
Neither approach is right or wrong; it is up to you.
What would we recommend?
We would recommend hiring a website developer if you have a sufficient budget to do so (not that they are particularly expensive).
The thing is, if you are running a successful personal training business, you will not have much time for website development. Spending hours learning how to do all this could hurt your business.
Or, more likely, it will lead to you building a website over an exceedingly long time as you will not be able to devote enough time to the project.
However, if your personal training business is a bit quiet, or you are just starting, you may not have the budget for this.
Do not worry. Because what you will have is TIME. Which means you can learn to do it yourself and save some money.
How to Hire a Website Designer
In this section we look at how to hire a web designer and what sort of budget you may need.
Hiring a website designer can feel a little intimidating at first, but it is no different from hiring a plumber to fix your bathroom sink.
The first thing that you need to do is:
- set yourself a realistic budget.
- To do that, you will want to know what the average cost of a website designer is, and how long it takes to complete a medium-sized website.
- The amount of time it can take to build a website does vary wildly.
How fast the freelancer works, what they count as billable hours (some will include any consultation time with you), and many will charge you for any changes you want to make once it is done.
That means that a lower-priced freelancer may end up costing more than a higher-priced freelancer. So please do not make cost-per-hour your only criterium.
Websites such as Upwork allow you to read reviews from previous clients, and those reviews often have the full price and the cost-per-hour.
While every website is different, you can at least get a rough idea of how long a website takes the freelancer to complete, and what the total cost was.
From our research, the average price for a WordPress website developer was around $75 per hour. The average job time was between 10 hours and 15 hours, which means that you will need a budget of between $750 and $1,125 to hire a website designer.
How to get the most out of your Freelance Website Designer
Avoid common mistakes, and follow our tips to get the most out of your freelance website developer.
As we mentioned earlier, many freelance website designers charge a fee for consultations.
Meaning that the moment you start talking about what you want from your website, they are charging you.
- The more prepared you are beforehand, the less you will have to pay your website designer.
- Find the style you like
- Take screenshots, or collect URLs of these websites
If you have read our previous article on the top personal training websites, then you should have a long list of examples of ideal personal training websites.
Find the style you like and draw inspiration from a wide range of websites.
Take screenshots, or collect URLs of these websites, and say what elements you want to incorporate into your website.
Design the layout yourself.
Most websites will have a home page, an about page, a blog, a contact page, and a landing page that is used to collect emails or to sell courses.
That is five different pages that need to be created.
Find your competition and start planning your pages.
Do not be too ambitious.
You may not be ready for a landing page just yet.
That could be something you do at a later date.
Then you can just re-hire your website developer at a later date.
Once you are crystal clear in what you want and have a useful document to share with the developer, you can agree on terms with them.
Having this document beforehand can be especially useful in the (unlikely) event of a dispute.
If you have made it clear from the get-go that you wanted x,y, and z, on your website and the developer has not delivered that, then you are in a strong position from a legal standpoint.
Often, people who are new to hiring freelancers can be very vague in what they ask the freelancer to do. This can lead to confusion, and both the freelancer and the client can walk away unhappy.
The more details you give upfront.
The happier you will both be.
Try to talk to your freelancer about rough timelines for job completion.
It is quite difficult for freelancers to predict timelines, as jobs can take longer or shorter than even they expect.
Life can also get in the way.
But if you ask them, then at least you will have a rough estimate of how long the job is supposed to take.
Do not set an unrealistic date yourself, as this will either end in the freelancer failing to meet that deadline, or it will end in them doing a poor job as they race to hit your deadline.
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Where to Find your Website Developer
Here is a rundown of the best websites for finding freelance website developers.
There are many options out there for good website developers.
It is a booming industry.
Some companies are specifically catered to fitness professionals, but often these companies can be overpriced.
Some of the best places to find a developer include:
Maybe overpriced is an unfair description, but they charge a premium price for something that can be done cheaper using freelancer websites such as Upwork or Fiverr.
In this section, we will take a look at three of the best freelancer websites available.
Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer.
Possibly the most famous freelance website, but Fiverr has a bit of a reputation for scams.
Probably the most famous freelancer website on the internet, Fiverr has grown a lot in the last few years.
When it first launched, it was associated with ridiculously cheap jobs and mixed results.
- High freelancer competition
- Accommodates all budgets
- Best known for its graphic design, video editing, and smaller jobs that can be completed quickly.
Not that it is not an excellent source of website designers, copywriters, and computer programmers.
Because it is, but Fiverr was established for quick, inexpensive jobs, and that label has stuck.
There are several features of Fiverr that we really like.
Firstly, they put the jobs in the currency that you use.
Unlike Upwork that works exclusively in USD, you can pay for services in most currencies around the world.
Fiverr also has an excellent website layout, making it quite easy to browse different freelancers while looking for the ideal fit for you.
We are not sure why similar freelance websites have not followed suit.
You can also view the freelancers you want without having to sign up or log in.
This is not a massive deal, but it is helpful if you have not signed up yet and want a quick look at the type of freelancer available.
Fiverr also leads the way when it comes to complete packages.
While Upwork and other freelancer websites are starting to integrate this into their service, they are some way behind Fiverr.
For example, if you want a new WordPress website created.
There is a freelancer who will deliver that with a guide price of how much it will cost.
You do not need to create a job posting or negotiate with different freelancers.
You can just click on that profile and get started.
There are some downsides to Fiverr as well, though.
For starters, there is a service charge that you, as the client, have to pay.
In other freelancer websites, this comes out of the freelancer’s fees, but Fiverr takes a fee from both.
Fiverr does get affected more by scammers and fraudulent reviews than most other freelancer websites.
To some extent, because it is a bigger freelancer website, but also because of the many small jobs available
It is not hard for a brand new freelancer to get their friends and family to hire them for multiple $5 jobs in an effort to get many 5-star reviews. T
his can happen on pretty much any freelancer website but does seem to happen a lot more on Fiverr.
- One of the larger freelancer website around
- Much bigger base of freelancers to choose from
- Excellent website layout
- Range of different currencies to pay your freelancer in
- Service fees for clients
- Higher risk of scams
The oldest and largest freelance website, but high service fees and a poorly designed website may put some people off.
Upwork has been around for a long time.
It used to be known as Elance-oDesk, which is a frankly terrible name.
Not that “Upwork” is much better.
- Despite such terrible naming choices, Upwork has 12 million registered freelancers on its Platform (compared to 800,000 on Fiverr).
- It is one of the oldest freelancer websites around, having been founded in 1999 (Fiverr was founded in 2010).
While Fiverr is better known, Upwork is by far the largest freelancer market in the world.
This is partly because of its age, and the nature of jobs available.
While Fiverr is often used for small one-time jobs, Upwork is commonly used for much longer-term projects.
This will obviously generate more revenue and help to keep more freelancers in business.
Upwork specializes in more technical jobs but also has a thriving creative industry too.
Due to its size, Upwork attracts the best freelancers for many jobs.
Now that freelancers have to pay to bid on jobs, you are less likely to get bogged down with hundreds of responses when you post a job.
You will often find that Upwork has better freelancers for website design, and as Upwork only charges a 3% processing fee, it can often work out cheaper than you would think.
There are downsides to Upwork too.
The website is a bit of a minefield at times.
It is nowhere near as well designed as some freelancer websites.
You will work it out eventually, but it could definitely be improved upon.
Like Fiverr, Upwork suffers from bad freelancers, fake reviews, and all the other irritations.
However, because Upwork freelancers now have to pay to bid on jobs, this has been somewhat rectified.
- Largest pool of freelancers to choose from
- Surprisingly good customer support
- Just a 3% service fee
- Better responses to your job offer as freelancers have to pay to do so
- Freelancers are vetted by Upwork, which tends to make them better qualified
- Not the easiest site to navigate around
- Service fee for clients
More freelancers available and often at cheaper prices, but there is not vetting process.
The final website we are going to look like is freelancer.com, a domain name that absolutely batters the competition!
- Freelancer is a great website for freelancers because they only charge 10%
- Has a huge pool of affordable freelancers
- They have proven dependable over time
This may reflect in freelancer quotes but does not make a big difference.
As a website, it is good competition for Upwork and Fiverr, though it does not do much to distinguish itself from either.
It works similarly to Upwork in that clients post a job and a budget, and then freelancers bid on that job. There is not much more that we need to say.
Not because Freelancer.com is any better or worse than the other two.
It is basically the same.
- Freelancers tend to be cheaper than they are on Upwork
- There are more freelancers available (as there is no vetting process)
- No vetting process for freelancers
- Not the easiest site to navigate around
Personal Trainer Website Design Builders FAQ
Here are some FAQs that you might find useful.
If your budget is quite tight, but you still want a website designer, then you may find a better deal on freelancer.com.
However, the quality may be an issue. If you are looking for graphic artists, logo design, or similar creative jobs, then we like Fiverr. For the top-rated website designer, your best bet would be Upwork.
That being said, excellent freelancers can be found on all three sites. So can bad ones! Do your research.
You have posted your job, and you have several bids. How should you pick a web designer? If you are on freelancer.com or Fiverr, all you have to go on is previous reviews of their work. A bit like Amazon.
Find their rating, and then read some of their best and worst reviews. Do not judge a freelancer on a single good or bad review. Try to get a sense of the majority decision.
With Upwork, you get a lot more information. The freelancer will get an average score out of five, a job success score (particularly important).
You can see how much they have earned, how many jobs they have completed, and you can see all the reviews of those jobs.
- Average Score: Obviously, you want to look for scores that are four or above
- Job Success Score: 90% or above is a sign of a good freelancer.
- Earning History: This gives you a rough idea of how busy they have been on Upwork
- How Many Jobs: The more jobs, the better, though if a freelancer has performed multiple jobs for one client, it only shows up as one. Also, if a freelancer is still working with a client, it does not show up as completed. Bear this in mind.
- Previous Reviews: An excellent opportunity to see how the freelancer operates, combining this knowledge with the other factors will give you a good idea of how they work.