Best website builder for makers, sellers and doers.

Understanding the customer’s journey can help you optimize your digital marketing strategies and increase that conversion rate. In our experience, clients struggle to conceptualize the ecommerce sales funnel in a way that benefits the customer and their business. They see it as a streamlined process—an A to B—but picking it apart stage by stage is a much better method. In this post, we’re going to show you how understanding the typical customer journey will help you increase your ecommerce sales funnel's conversion rates and customer retention rates.
Amongst most of the website builders, another name that comes to mind is Squarespace. The versatile builder for blogs, portfolio sites as well as online stores, has managed to rise in its popularity in the recent years. Despite the huge difference, this being a closed source software while WordPress is an open source; it certainly is a great alternative to WordPress Page builder. That’s right, for the casual users the overall functionality and the flexibility is the main aspect.
Another of the WordPress competitors, Kentico, is a user-friendly, highly adaptable offering. It requires minimal coding to yield any number of customizations and functionalities. Digital marketers and tech enthusiasts flock to Kentico because it is fully APS-integrated (an open-source framework that allows for building apps in several programming languages in tandem) and lets you integrate with Google from the start.
Joomla is one of the more popular WordPress alternatives, and it’s easy to see why. The platform gives you a great deal of control over content workflows and template layouts, which dictate the appearance of your Joomla site in a similar fashion to WordPress themes. Another popular feature of Joomla is its built-in Access Control List (ACL), which makes site administration and granting contributor access an easy process.
In brief, we are inclined to go along with someone’s suggestion if we think that person is a credible expert (authority), if we regard him or her as a trusted friend (liking), if we feel we owe them one (reciprocity), or if doing so will be consistent with our beliefs or prior commitments (consistency). We are also inclined to make choices that we think are popular (consensus [social proof]), and that will net us a scarce commodity (scarcity).
Amazon FBA Private Label Sales Funnel Example

This high-converting sales funnel template attracts users to sign up for a webinar. Page layout has been highly optimized in terms of content block placement, short and punchy calls-to-action, and a clean, attractive design. Once users sign-up (either via pop-up or button), they will be redirected to a Thank You page containing a ticket, countdown, webinar calendar/schedule, info, and most importantly an opportunity to upsell. This funnel also contains the webinar Broadcast and Replay pages, as well as optimized Upsell, Order Form and Order Confirmation pages (7 pages in total). All can be customized to your business in minutes. If you have a great short video to showcase your product, this is the perfect funnel to make it convert into sales and upsells!
Comparatively not so advanced, Squarespace is ideal with the simplest method to build a basic website. Unlike traditional Page Builder, you do not need to sign up for hosting, purchase a domain or go through the extra hassle. Instead, you simply create an account on Squarespace and that’s about it. After answering a few more questions on your preference you end up with a working website in a matter of minutes. While it includes a drag and drop builder that you can use to add and customize the elements of the site, it does not provide much control to the users.
While WordPress is pretty much the preferred publishing platform for the mass all over the world, during the recent years, WordPress has become more than just a blogging platform. This is where the WordPress alternative Ghost comes into play. It is a NodeJS based blogging open-source platform that was designed especially for the purpose of online publishing for bloggers. Released not so long ago, this project has already achieved four times more than it originally aimed for. 
Traffic: from referrals, organic, blog, and ads. They display a pop-up at the bottom of their blog posts and homepage for a free 30-day trial. If you sign up for the free trial, you will be redirected to the pricing page. And if you sign up for their email list, you will actually remain on the Crazy Egg’s blog page afterwards, keeping you engaging with even more content.

This is a sales funnel template designed specifically for storeowners using the huge ecommerce platform Shopify. It comes already integrated with the clever app Zapier, which seamlessly connects your sales funnel with Shopify, sending customer data directly to your Shopify dashboard. This sales funnel template consists of a pre-designed high conversion sales page featuring strong calls-to-action and a countdown timer for a free offer, a highly customizable order form, an optimized upsell page, and a thank you page. We’ve seen this template more than double sales from several Shopify stores.
HelpScout starts their funnel with traffic. They have their blog and resource page that helps keep you clicking around their website. They make it very easy to see and easy to interact with and keep going on your journey around the site. The next step is the homepage. Their homepage is straightforward to understand. The design is quite clean and buttons to keep you moving around the site are quite prominent. When it comes to the last step of pricing and purchase, they never show a price menu; they just take you directly to a signup page. If you love the product and you’ve come this far, that is an aggressive but effective pricing strategy.
Magnolia CMS is a big one. It’s best suited for large scale enterprises, as not only is the functionality massive, but so is the price tag, which is revealed only after a consultation. However, if you need a large site or something that can handle a lot of functions and capabilities, this is a top choice. If you’re only looking for a simple WordPress replacement, though, this may be too much.
Thx for your article Colin 🙂 As u said Joomla is great for an intranet-like web site. I made a lot of knowledge bases and a bunch of intranets with Joomla and since 1.6 version, new ACL Management helped a lot i must say. I found out very lately about WP and i think it’s like going Mac after a long period of Windows struggling (kind of). Anyway there is also a very good database based/self hosted CMS which deserves IMHO some interest: MODx. Not very well known but probably the most flexible CMS when it comes to templating. You literally design your website in Photoshop, export the HTML then put wherever you want some snippets and Boom! Incredible tool. Learning curve is however longer than Drupal, Joomla or WP obviously. WP ecosystem and simplicity out of the box + universality made it the winner. Just a thought 🙂 thx again for sharing.
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Many companies moved or started their blog on the Medium platform. The lucky ones among them could still publish on their own sub-domain name. But that suddenly changed a while back: now you have to publish on the Medium.com domain, which is a terrible idea if SEO is important to you. Also you get annoying mobile pop-ups pushing you into installing the Medium app.	

Head over to Amazon and search for some books about your topic. Have a quick look at the Table of Contents section of the books (to give you an idea of what topics were covered), and more importantly, read the reviews that were left by readers. Negative reviews will often reveal the topics that readers were hoping would be covered (or covered in more detail) in the book, but were not.
This is a super simple funnel designed specifically to increase conversions for Amazon storeowners. The main page advertises a coupon deal that offers a discounted product in exchange for the customer details to add to your customer lead database. It also includes a Thank You page and PPC Opt-In, can be connected directly to your Amazon account via the Zapier app, and funnels people to your Amazon storefront for those all-important reviews. It has been formatted and optimized for mobile use.
This seemingly simple sales funnel template uses the incredible power of so-called “micro-commitments” via interaction with a survey to drive users through your sales funnel. Inducing micro-commitments was pioneered by researchers such as Prof. Robert Cialdini (also known as “Godfather of Influence”), Regent’s Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University. This strategy addresses the axiom that a new customer will always have reservations about purchasing from a business the first time. Prof. Cialdin’'s work conclusively demonstrated that this major stumbling that can be overcome by getting them to first make small engagements with the business, for example participating in a survey, signing up for a free trial, or making an initial micro-payment of a few dollars to try out a service. Once these simple interactions have occurred, the customer is psychologically more disposed to further, more significant interactions with the business, such as a full purchase. (For a fascinating deep dive in the science behind this we thoroughly recommend his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion).
I’ve made some use of Kirby CMS. It’s a really well put together flat file CMS. It takes some coding out of the box to get it set up as desired, but then it’s a pleasure to use. Advantages of not having a database include simpler setup, and the ease of version control of the whole site. Statamic is a similar option, though I’ve not spent any significant time using it.
Fun fact: I once received a nasty email on Christmas morning from someone on my email list. They received an automated email from me that morning (they subscribed to my list a few days prior) and they didn’t realize that it was an automated email. They thought that I actually wrote and sent that email to them on Christmas morning, and they were livid. I did end up apologizing to them, and explaining that it was an automated email. But trust me, in most cases it’s best to just unsubscribe these people from your email list and get on with your day. 
However, WordPress might not always be the right option for you. Although it is surely one of the most popular CMS platforms, there are certain circumstances where you want to see if there are better options for you out there! Especially if you are new to creating and running a website, it might take longer than you think to actually get things right at first. Although there are plenty of helpful tutorial sites like Beautiful Themes and WPBeginner dedicated especially for the purpose, sometimes it is a hassle.	

Choosing the CMS to start a blog or a website development project is a big decision, particularly if you aren’t going with WordPress. You’ll need to meticulously research different interface options, what add-ons and extensions are offered, coding capabilities, and layout templates. However, as we have seen, there are plenty of WordPress alternatives out there to try before you make your final decision.
It goes without saying that WordPress has emerged as a leading option when it comes to building a website for all kinds of different online endeavors: from small personal portfolios to enterprise-level business and eCommerce sites. It’s got a large community of devotees and users, and a huge list of developers forever coming up with all kinds of different plugins to expand its capabilities. That said, WordPress isn’t the be-all and end-all. Indeed, there are in fact a number of different alternatives on the market.
This is a hugely successful template that perfectly and simply implements the idea of a “squeeze page”, in this case promoting a free offer for the price of shipping only. In reality, the cost of the item is actually included in the shipping cost. Provided the item is cheap enough (for example a short book which can be mass-printed for just a couple of dollars per unit), it can even sometimes include a small amount of profit, however the main purpose is to induce a ‘micro-commitment’ from the user (see "3:Affiliate Survey Funnel" below for more information on this strategy).
Too often we see jarring changes between building awareness and increasing consideration. This disunity in an ecommerce strategy can hurt your conversion rates, but by creating marketing strategies with your sales funnel in mind, you can create a seamless journey that works to propel your potential customer into not only an existing customer but a returning customer.
Join a few Facebook and/or LinkedIn Groups about your course topic or about a related topic that your target market is interested in. Pay attention to the questions that members are asking in these groups. If someone is publicly asking for feedback or help with a specific problem, you can bet that other people in your target market have that problem as well.

ToFu: Top of Funnel sales funnels are for cold traffic. Cold traffic is like a blind date. The purpose is for you to get to know them by providing value so that your audience get to know like and trust you. If you succeed, the customer might just for over their email so that you can follow-up. A typical example is a landing page the provides a downloadable lead magnet in each for an email.
FuFu: Follow up Funnel sales funnels are for repeat customers. These funnels maximize the value of each customer over the lifetime of the relationship. To do this, you will follow-up and send customers to other sales funnels that offer more expensive products. For example, customers already purchased your $37 product in sales funnel #1. So in sales funnel #2, you can offer a $297 product. In sales funnel #3, you can offer a $997 product.	

Hi Henry, Glad you found the piece helpful! Good question. I'm not 100% sure which builder would be better for the kind of site you have in mind. I'd recommend using the free trials available to experiment first. Wix has a very useful guide on creating a one-page site here: https://support.wix.com/en/article/creating-a-one-page-site Hope this helps.
Groupon may not be as trendy as it once was, but it is still generating millions in sales each month. They get you with an email popup before you ever click on the page. If you bypass the popup, you get to the homepage. It’s laid out very clean and with buttons at the top that very clearly help you find other things you need on the site. The ads that populate are also helpful in getting you to click, therefore generating revenue for their company and closing the sale.

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It is widely popular and the WordPress Gutenberg editor is also inspired by the Medium post editor. And if you are looking to reach out to a wider range of audience, then Medium wins it hands down. While WordPress has a large range of users overall, Medium has an average of 60 million blog readers per month. This alongside other awesome features makes it an awesome blogging alternative for WordPress.

Since being acquired by Square in early 2018, Weebly has shifted its focus to e-commerce. Unlike Shopify, Weebly is a website builder with e-commerce capabilities. This makes it much easier to build and design a website without requiring any code. Weebly’s designer is slightly more flexible than Squarespace but definitely less than PageCloud and Wix. Weebly is much more affordable than Shopify, but doesn’t have the same number of features. So, if you’re looking for an easy way to sell a few simple product online, Weebly may be for you.


Medium is one of the fast-growing online publishing platforms that allows any users to create stories and post them on their own personal web space. So if you are looking for a blogging alternative for WordPress, this is a pretty good option. It is easy to use, understand and also features built-in social networking feature. Although branding and promoting is not the ideal purpose at Medium, if you are simply looking to share contents then it is a great platform. Of course here, users lack the flexibility and the control over a specific content or profile.
The first example to look at is the email delivery service MailChimp. MailChimp allows users to sign up and use their service for free. If you have a more extensive email list or require more features, then you would join their upgraded plan. They want to make their services seem as easy as possible in an effort to be accessible to both professionals and novices. In MailChimp’s funnel, they have traffic which they get a lot of via word of mouth. Next up is a homepage that draws you in with its slogan and its iconic monkey graphic. They place their buttons strategically around their page for ease of browsing. They next utilize their pricing page and emphasize their free option. They want to get you signed up for their services so you can show everyone how easy their platform is and help them grow.
Make sure your site is mobile-optimized. How long someone stays on your site and what they do there (click, for instance) matters. Google reads this as engagement, and the more engagement you have, the higher you rank. Why? Because engagement indicates that they content is answering the query the user input. If your site isn’t mobile-optimized, folks won’t stay on your site long and Google will lower your ranking.
Hi Gina, Thanks for your comment and sharing your thoughts. Hiring an expert developer is always good, but it does have its challenges. Financial investment is just one of them. It's not a big problem if a company is well established already and is cash flowing to re-invest its profits into technology. But not all companies have that level of budget to commit, and not all companies are well established (yet). A lot of users are just starting out and just don't have that level of resource to get their websites off the ground. In such circumstance, I think our list above makes a lot of sense. No doubt, your comment is also valid, but I think that's more applicable for well established businesses. We have a full discussion of the cost of building a website that compares the cost of hiring a developer versus using a DIY website builder such as the ones I suggested above. I also wrote an article about the idea of hiring a designer / developer - when it's appropriate, and when it isn't appropriate. It's just my own view and what I would advise my friends and family if they were to ask me. Of course, every single person that's looking to build a website has different needs, motivations and resources. Thanks for adding to this discussion! Jeremy
Although not so popular among the users, Craft CMS is an effective content management system. Some major examples of this are Netflix and Salesforce websites. It is a much more complex and developer friendly CMS platform that provides exclusive back-ends for your websites. Unlike WordPress, it does not provide front-end themes that you can use. Instead, you can use their templating system that is powered by Twig to design it yourself.

It is more developer friendly. The project structure is very clean, easy to configure and deploy. Using flat files instead of a SQL database might be limiting for some, but it's perfect for most standard sites like blogs, agency websites and even E-commerce. Twig for templates leads to cleaner code and a better separation of concern (Almost impossible to mix business logic in your templates). I guess the only downside is lack of plugins and templates for now. Guest • Jan 2018 • 1 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
It is advised that you need to learn things first before putting a lot of effort in when it comes to sales funnels. It will be easier for a business to find its own niche and learn the ups and downs of business and after finding this out then it will be easier for you to engage with your customers and make your traffic and convert them into sales which is your main goal at the end of the day. 
Although not so popular among the users, Craft CMS is an effective content management system. Some major examples of this are Netflix and Salesforce websites. It is a much more complex and developer friendly CMS platform that provides exclusive back-ends for your websites. Unlike WordPress, it does not provide front-end themes that you can use. Instead, you can use their templating system that is powered by Twig to design it yourself.

If you have members of your target marketing following you on social media, publish a post where you ask them to reveal any specific questions or challenges they have about your course topic. Just like with an email, you could share a link to a survey as an alternative to responding to you publicly (this might be the better option depending on the nature of your course topic).
Our Affiliate Survey Funnel sales funnel template has been designed to take advantage of this phenomenon, asking a few simple questions and collecting an email address which can then be automatically sent on to an automated email campaign app such as Drip for further use, before passing them through to a Upsell/Info page for additional engagement. We’ve seen increases in conversions from cold traffic of between 22-36% in A-B testing using this simple interaction funnel.
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