There are a million different website platforms out there, and while the platform I recommend will be based on your unique situation, here are the primary ones.
For most newbie website creators, I always recommend WordPress.com. This is a hosting platform that acts the same as WordPress.org websites, but does all the technical work for you. You can select a template and add features extremely easily. It isn’t very flexible in terms of customization, but it will make you look very good without a ton of effort. This is an ideal solution for creating Content Marketing Websites quickly and easily.
WordPress.org is the more customizable and technical version of WordPress.com. There are literally a million different templates that you can use, as well as tons of WordPress professionals around the world that you can utilize to get you up and running. It can even be cheaper than WordPress.com when it comes to hosting. In regards to templates, I always recommend Yootheme.com. They have extremely elegant and clean templates that are easy to customize after you get some basic know-how. You can use WordPress for either “Business Card” or Content Marketing websites.
Shopify is by far my favorite eCommerce hosting platform. They make everything extremely easy, from merchant account set up to cart design to functionality and templates. With a little know-how you can make a Shopify store in a weekend that will look extremely professional and function beautifully. While it may seem pricey at first, it is worth the cost when you realize how many services you’ll need to set up to make most other platforms function the same way. It also has some blog functionality, although you’ll need to know some HTML coding skills to make it look nice. One option would be to create a Content Marketing Website to generate traffic, then use your eCommerce Website to close the deal (that’s what I used for My Mad Methods Magazine; the eCommerce Store was called MadFitnessEquipment.com).
Another option for eCommerce is SquareSpace. SquareSpace was originally conceived as a content engine and evolved into a sleek eCommerce solution. If you’re looking to make a brand that features excellent photography and an elegant layout, SquareSpace could be the easiest solution. It even has a very attractive layout for blog posting, allowing you to build your Content Marketing machine while you’re selling products.