How We Can Support Your Existing Website Platform
In our 20 years of experience developing websites and helping numerous clients achieve their online goals, we’ve come across quite a few website platforms. Some we love and some we can do without. It can be tricky to navigate deciding which is best for your business and frustrating to switch from one service to another.
Popular platforms such as WordPress, Wix or Shopify, are also known as Content Management Systems (CMS). These are platforms that help make it easy to publish, design, and edit the content on your website. Here we will discuss a brief overview of some of the most popular CMSs out there. If you are unhappy, unsure, or want to take your website to the next level give us a call! We’ll be happy to review your current CMS and/or make any necessary recommendations for a brand new platform you might be considering.
Overview of the CMS platforms we support:
WordPress is one of the most popular CMS in the world. It is an open-source platform, meaning it is free to use and there are several plugins (apps) and developers available to help you achieve your website goals. This offers many great options for custom design and allows you to publish a variety of content, such as blogs, photos, videos, eCommerce, etc. Search engines are able to crawl WordPress website easily, helping to achieve better SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ranking for your site.
Even though the basic platform is free, specific plugins you might require can come with a fee. WordPress also has a little bit of a learning curve, so you might need to enlist the help of a professional developer to get the look and flow you want for your site. Another thing to consider when using WordPress is that it will require updates and should be backed up on a regular basis.
If you’re looking for the most flexibility in both design and function of your website, WordPress is a great option. Because of its popularity, you’ll find no trouble getting help with your site. You will not be tied to one company if you choose not to for everything from your hosting to any design work you will need.
Squarespace is an all-in-one website platform. They offer basic design templates, simple analytics, and web hosting for your site. You can make changes to your site directly on the page and it’s automatically updated for desktop and mobile functionality. Squarespace websites are automatically updated so you don’t need a dedicated person on your team to make sure the site is updated.
As with most all-in-one services, there are some limitations. Oftentimes clients will outgrow a Squarespace site especially if they are continuing to add new pages, looking for more robust SEO options, or need customized form and/or design features. It is always best to look at the big picture when planning your website and platforms such as Squarespace can be a quick and easy way to get your business online, it may not have all the features your business needs for the long term.
Wix is a cloud-based website builder. This is a great option if you’re looking for easy-to-use ‘drag and drop’ design features. You will not need any knowledge of code and can sign up with just an email address. Building websites with Wix can be an affordable option if you need a quick website that looks good.
There are some downsides to using Wix that you might want to consider. First of all, when you have an account with Wix, they host your website and that means all of your content is with them. If you ever want to move your content to another hosting company, for any reason, you will have to do this manually instead of migrating it to another hosting company. This can be extremely time-consuming. Another thing to consider is the cost of Wix is generally much more than other options. Yes, you can set up a free site, but as your site grows and more features are needed you will need to upgrade your site with their various plans and these costs typically add up with little to no expert support.
Shopify is a robust cloud-based eCommerce platform that can be used for selling one product or thousands of products. Shopify is essentially a turnkey eCommerce solution. They offer a variety of design templates, secure and fast-loading web solutions that can help to generate conversions and sales. Shopify also offers many payment options including a POS and inventory management all through the website.
Even though Shopify is a turnkey solution, working with an experienced developer could save you quite a bit of time and offer a better flow for the customer experience. Shopify also has good customer service that will help get you up and running, but are not there to design your site. Deciding if Shopify is right for you or not really depends on your eCommerce goals. Their subscription and transactional fees can be too much for some applications and just right for others. It depends on many factors that are unique to your business, but certainly volume of sales and overall profit margins are important things to consider when deciding which eCommerce platform is best for your business.
Classy is an online fundraising or crowdsourcing platform for nonprofit companies. They offer simple page templates that can be customized to fit your brand and messaging. Their software allows for all types of secure payment options. They offer various levels of support and education on their software as well as tips on raising funds etc.
Utilizing their services may help your nonprofit quickly reach its fundraising goals through their easy-to-use software and fundraising tips. You will want to consider their fees and how they would fit into your goals. Another thing to consider is if your organization needs a multi-page website to give a larger picture of your mission. If this is the case, you might want to consider another CMS to achieve all of your goals in one place instead of only focusing on fundraising.
Drupal is a free open-source CMS that is written in PHP and is made up of a large community of developers. Many large corporations use Drupal as well as smaller companies that intend on rapid expansion and anticipate needing to scale their business. They also offer some of the most in-depth security updates than any other platform.
There is a large learning curve when it comes to learning and updating a Drupal website. This can end up costing more money than was initially expected because many design elements and updates are cumbersome and time-consuming. For many businesses, the security and complexities associated with Drupal can be achieved with other platforms such as WordPress at a fraction of the expense without giving up website speed and security.
In this day and age, every business needs a website. It might be a one-page mission statement or it might be a robust eCommerce site with thousands of products and blog articles. Careful planning and looking at the bigger picture of where your business is and where you want it to go will answer many questions as to what is the best CMS for your business in the long term. Even if you are already using a CMS it is always a good idea to re-evaluate how it is doing and if it is getting you the results you are looking for.
We have helped many businesses achieve great results with their online presence and will be happy to help you too! Put our experience to use for your business and give us a call to evaluate your website today.