1) What are we seeking to gain from being online?
2) How much money do we have to invest in your online presence short and long term?
3) Do you want added functionality such as cool plugins or tools for users?
4) Do you want to add new posts/pages or change content easily?
In order to move forward with a decision on your content management system (CMS) (or basic static HTML style website) the above questions will help support this choice.
What you get with a basic static HTML site (one you can not easily edit or add extra functionality to):
Positive: Potentially cheaper than a CMS (but by far not always)
Positive: Usually a fast loading website that can look how you like using a template or designer and coder
Partly negative: Someone needs to know coding to style and place the HTML to make it look good
Partly negative: If you do not know coding you will not be able to do much at all with the site once launched
Mixed (depending): SEO options
In a nutshell:
The work that goes into creating a static site is not far off the work needed (or initial cost) for a WordPress or other CMS install but leaves you with severely limited options after.
So thinking ahead most businesses we advise should go for the CMS option and ensure that they invest their time and money wisely.
So which CMS to choose for a business? – Languages
The truth is their are thousands.
In the world of content management systems we can choose for a huge variety of choices, all using unique coding languages to render the pages, the big ones consist of WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Concrete 5 (PHP based), but we have also have more enterprise choices such as Sitefinity, Umbraco which are ASP.net choices and yes, the ASP.net choices are great (especially SiteFinity, which I have personally used with a team to build one of the leading websites in the education technology sector,) but will cost you a lot more time and resources in development, tweaking and support, and when I say a lot I mean deep pockets needed.
But you get personalisation, MVC control similar to Drupal and many features that large organisation can make real use of and that make sense.
So how do you make a decision when faced with so much choice?
So which CMS to choose for a business? – Support
When it comes to support and ubiquity WordPress hands down kills competition dead. Now their is usually a reasons why things are popular. And with WordPress it is down to ease of use, tonnes of options for functionality via plugins, lost of templates to work with, a well trained army of developers and designers who can make bespoke plugins and themes and a generally well thought out approach to development and the future, plus huge marketplaces for all things WordPress, yes its an eco-system CMS really!
Less positives (generally in all fairness) can be said for Drupal (powerful in user roles and other areas, but clunky and hard to use), Joomla (powerful in specific areas but less supported, usually difficult to train people to use, and often fiddly and frustrating) and Concrete 5 which I have less experience with but seems to be ok but lacking in plugin and functionality options that are free, or easy to implement and offers only a few areas that appeal to me.
Even these guys (who seem to recently praised Joomla) changed their minds (read top of article!).
So which CMS to choose for a business? – Functionality
A website needs to do a number of key things well in my opinion.
1) Look fantastic
2) Communicate what you need to gain new business (etc)
3) Be easy to use and maintain (as possible)
4) Be flexible to growth
5) Offer great features that can be added
6) Be affordable.
For me no other (and I am familiar with most) offer all that WordPress offers in the functionality area, of course it’s not perfect but for e-commerce (basic to semi advanced), property websites, business websites, lead and landing pages, forums and support areas, and pretty much any other area you can think, WordPress will have a plugin that can provide the client with a fantastic site that fits their requirements.
You may need some tweaking, you may need bespoke design and many other areas but its easy to find skilled and affordable people to provide this.
No other CMS I see being so much to so many and doing it well, while being great to use and easy to manage.
One slight sore point with WordPress is security but there are ways around this:
Keep the site up to date, take backups and use security plugins to reduce chances of issues, no site is safe as you know, if hackers want in or to take you down they pretty much will whatever site you run, but it sis quite easy to take due diligence with WordPress so long as your development team make you aware of this and you budget to be belt and braced.
Final thoughts: WordPress general winner!
We want happy clients that not only get a great website but actually get a positive ROI and experience of using their website.
And we have many working principles and ideals here at CY digital.
One is; ‘less headaches, more productivity’.
Why people would want to work with clunky systems developed by coders for coders beats me, CMS’s need to be universally easy to use yet complex, powerful and adaptable.
Long term lovers:
No one solution will ever be perfect.
So be prepared with your new website, like your car, office, house and relationships, to invest, grow, adapt, mend, build and compromise in order to get the best out of it.
For many businesses we work with (sure not all, some need enterprise or ultra specific requirements etc) we will tend to steer them towards either a premium template based WordPress theme (if they have a limited budget) with custom design elements and styling and plugin/layout customisations or bespoke full CMS design and plugin development which pretty much always come well under cost of the other options which are more suitable to the larger clients we work with.
Anthony Munns is a well respected digital marketing professional and online lead generation and conversion expert, educated and trained in the UK and has worked in digital media and online marketing since 2001 with a 1st class honours degree in TV technology and media production. Anthony is also an advanced Wordpress, SEO and PPC practitioner and certified Google Adwords professional and the CEO of CY Digital the leading providers of high quality Cyprus web design and digital marketing services to Cypriot and Global clients with a 10 year history of delivering quality projects.
We provide world class professional digital advertising solutions, web design, SEO and PPC services that help businesses gain more clients and communicate more effectively with proven strategies backed with quality client care, analytics and reporting.