Do you want to launch a business website but not sure where to start?
You don’t want to just pick any old platform, you want to make sure your website looks great and performs well. What platform is going to be most cost effective for your business? What platform has the features you need? What platform is easiest to maintain?
When it comes to finding a platform for your business website, there are a lot of options available, and with so many it can be confusing.
In this post we look at popular CMS (Content Management System) options which allow you to change the text and images on your website easily. We also explore advantages of using HTML5 and which ecommerce platform is right for your business.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular website platforms.
With around 18 million installations, WordPress is the most-used open source CMS worldwide. In the CMS market, it is dominating with a market share of 60 percent and climbing. It will soon run a full third of the entire internet.
One of the advantages of using WordPress is that you become part of one of the largest online communities. As a result, there are vast resources for support, plugins, extensions and features.
If you want to create a blog or make blogging a key focus of your marketing strategy, WordPress is 100% the way to go. It has all the necessary features from post archives to taxonomies to a commenting system. While other CMS can also be equipped with blogging capabilities, it doesn’t have the same flexibility.
E-commerce is another strength of WordPress. WooCommerce is not only the most popular WordPress e-commerce extension it also runs almost half of online shops on the web.
With 2.5 million installations worldwide, Joomla! is the second most used platform in the CMS market. Like WordPress, Joomla is based on PHP and a SQL database. Other similar characteristics are the division into a front end (the visible part of the website) and back end (the administration area).
Joomla has a good reputation for site performance. Part of the reason is that it has performance-boosting functionality built right in. For example, you can enable caching and Gzip compression right from the dashboard which aids SEO efforts.
Drupal’s first version came out in 2001 and it is now the third most popular CMS solution for building websites. Its overall market share is 2.2 percent. However, Drupal produces the fastest-loading websites. That’s because it is less resource intensive and demanding on the server. This makes it easier to support thousands of pages and simultaneous visitors. If you’re planning to have a large website with a lot of traffic then Drupal could be a great option.
Shopify is great for taking your ecommerce store to the next level and boosting your bottom line. Think the Apple App Store, and how it allows you to do so much more with your smartphone. Shopify’s App Store is just like that, but for websites. Be aware that integrating lots of apps can make your store more complex to deal with.
Shopify have 24/7 phone support, live chat and email functionality available. They also have a forum where you can exchange website building and general business tips with other users.
With Shopify you are limited with the choice of existing themes. To give your store the look you really want, and your customer the shopping experience they’re looking for, you should really be looking for a bespoke solution with Magento or WordPress. Shopify also charge a transaction fee per sale. This will decrease as you pay more each month i.e. when you invest in a more inclusive plan.
Magento is a very flexible ecommerce platform that gives you complete freedom, there are no limitations to how you design your store as long as you know some code, or are willing to hire someone to do it for you. Magento is an open source platform which means it’s available in the public domain and therefore free to use. It’s difficult to say which ecommerce platform is best for every single online store. What works best will depend on targets, budget, and expertise.
When deciding between Shopify and Magento, consider what is most important to you. If you’re creating a quick store to handle 100 products then Shopify may be better suited. If you’re looking to develop an online store with unlimited potential for features, scalability, and customization, then Magento is most certainly better. Magento is packed with useful built-in features and limitless possibilities through add-on extensions.
In most cases you will need a web developer to create an HTML website for your business. Whilst CMS software like WordPress use databases to store and retrieve content, HTML websites have all your content in static files.
An advantage of choosing HTML5 is that once your website is live, you do not need to install any updates or regularly backup. If nothing is changed, you can just backup your website once and forget about it. HTML websites don’t need servers with PHP or MySQL installed on them. They can run on servers with less resources meaning that hosting and maintenance costs should be less than CMS.
Unlike CMS, HTML5 does not depend on client and server communication. This means that your website loads faster and leads to happier visitors and a higher search engine ranking. It is widely regarded that HTML 5 is better for SEO control.
Now that we know a bit more, let’s talk about which one is better for your business website. If you are certain that you will infrequently want to update, change, or add anything new to your website (i.e blogs), then a HTML website would be an ideal choice. It will be faster and will serve your purpose. If you want to have the freedom and control of your website and easily make updates yourself, then CMS is obviously the better choice. For an Ecommerce start-up, Shopify is a great option but Magento should always be considered if you expect to grow your product range and have a larger site.
There are many ‘DIY’ options available with the most popular being Wix, Weebly and Oxxy. Although these may seem like cost effective, quick-fire solutions with glowing online reviews they can present a lot of long term issues and can be detrimental to any SEO efforts.
If you would like to find out more about what website would be best for your business then feel free to get in touch.