What is the Best Website Platform? Is WordPress King?
I’m happy for you! Really, I am.
Despite all your resistance and reluctance, you’ve decided it is time for a new website. Which is great! I’m certain you made the right decision. Not too far in the future you’ll wonder why you didn’t make this decision much sooner.
But now for the tough decision – what is the best website platform to build your website on? Today there are dozens, if not hundreds, of options to choose from. So how do you know which is best for you, and your long-term online success? Well, I hope to help you answer that.
Do You Need a Content Management System?
What is a content management system? It’s simply a platform that enables you to quickly and easily make changes to the content (the text and images) on your website.
Back not too long ago, such platforms didn’t exist, and this meant that every time you wanted to make a change on your website, even a minor text change, you would have to make changes directly to the html code. You’re right, it wasn’t much fun.
But now with a content management system you can easily make changes to your website without having to know anything about html. These systems make it easy for people to keep their own websites up to date without any hassles or headaches. At least, that is what content management systems are supposed to do.
So, do you need a content management system on your website? An emphatic YES! I’m not going to try to convince you, but please take my word for it. At Ugly Mug Marketing, we build over 40 custom websites each year and we simply won’t build one without a content management system.
What Is the Best Website Content Management System?
Let me be honest: I don’t know which is the best website content management system. Why? There are simply too many options and too many variables to pick one clear winner.
Although I can’t give you the one winner, what I can do is help you determine which is the best for you. Let me ask you a few questions to help figure out which is the best website content management system for you.
What Is the Purpose of Your Website?
I know, I know… your website is to get your products, services, and messages out to the entire world! Right?!? That’s a great start, but if you’re going to succeed in the vast sea of the world wide web, we will first need to get clear about exactly what your website will and won’t do for you.
Bad news! Your website is only going to do one, or some combination, of the following:
Turn a Stranger into a Friend
Turn a Friend into a Customer
Turn a Customer into an Evangelist
Which do you choose? Ohhh… you want your website to do all of these things? I was afraid you would say that. Only kidding… I knew you would say all three. Accomplishing all three is certainly doable, and our course “How to Turn Your Website into a Lean, Mean Lead-Generating Machine” will certainly help you structure your website in a way that does all three.
Who Will Be Visiting Your Website?
Will your website be for customers, prospects, strangers, employees, vendors, or other strategic partners?
What Action Do You Want People to Take on Your Website?
Do you want them to:
pick up the phone and call?
provide you with their contact info?
tell you more about themselves?
How Will They Take the Action You Want Them to Take?
If you’re going to be selling on your website, will visitors purchase directly through your website? Or, will they select the product they want and then call you with their billing information?
If you want them to tell others about you, how do you want them to do it?
I’ll admit, each of these questions seems superficial; however, the answers are crucial to your success online. So, please do your future a favor and give some serious thought to these questions.
Website Content Management System Recommendations Based on Your Answers
If You’re Going to Sell Products on Your Website:
Making your products available online is certainly a great way to gain exposure in markets you would have never reached otherwise. There are certainly dozens of ecommerce platforms that have great content management systems, but there is one clear winner in my mind.
Here are some great options:
Volusion online ecommerce websites start at around $9.00 per month.
1 Shopping Cart online ecommerce websites start at around $35.00 per month.
The Ecommerce Winner:
Of all the ecommerce platforms that we’ve worked with, Big Commerce has been the easiest and most hassle-free of them all. Their online ecommerce websites start at around $34.95 per month.
They have some beautiful templates to choose from and very easy setup. With no web experience at all you can have an ecommerce website set up and be selling your products in only a few hours.
And if all that weren’t enough…they have an amazing customer support team to help with any questions or issues you may stumble across.
If You’re Going to Sell Services on Your Website:
Selling services online is completely different than selling products, and should be approached in a different manner. Here is an article that does a great job of explaining all the things you should consider:
Depending on what your specific strategy looks like, there’s a good chance you can effectively sell your services using a traditional website (non-ecommerce/shopping cart) and utilize a few strategically-placed payment buttons. So, take a look at the following to determine what may be best for you.
If You Want to Regularly Share Content and Information With the World:
If you want to regularly update your website with a lot of fresh content that you would like shared with the world, you should consider a blogging platform. These platforms give you the tools to easily create new pages (or posts) and have others share them with the world.
Here are some great options:
Blogger.com – Now owned by Google, this blogging platform is quick and easy to get a website/blog up and live on the world wide web.
TypePad – Another great blogging platform. Their pricing starts at around $10.00 per month.
Blog.com – Offers a wide variety of layout options and some great basic templates to choose from.
The Blogging Winner:
By far the largest blogging platform in the world, and I recently heard that 1 out of every 5 websites going live on the internet are built on the WordPress platform. The platform is powerful, and with the thousands of themes and plugins to choose from, the possibilities are endless.
If You Want Just a Regular Website to Inform Others About You:
Looking for a website that looks good, is easy to update, and gives you control? Look no further than any of these more traditional website content management system platforms:
www.joomla.org – Joomla provides many nice-looking website templates to choose from. It is an open source platform that gives you as little or as much flexibility as you would like.
www.drupal.org/ – Another open source platform that provides website templates and relatively easy setup. My only complaint with Drupal is that the content management system admin panel can be a bit confusing and overwhelming for some – the more technologically challenged people.
The WYSIWYG Winner:
Although CKEditor may lack in the number of themes and plugins that are available for its platform, they certainly make up for it with the easy of use in their WYSIWYG admin panel. Regardless of your tech skills, with thirty minutes of training you’ll know how to keep your website up to date with all your latest content, images, and even videos.
Some would argue that I’m biased because CKEditor is the WYSIWYG that we use when building custom websites. That is a valid argument, but what it neglects to consider is the fact that CKEditor wasn’t our first choice. Over the past four years we’ve tried dozens of different website content management systems, and none have impressed us and our clients like CKEditor.
Where Are You Going to Put Your Website?
Just because a hosting company has tons of ads, attractive celebrities, and really cheap prices doesn’t make them the best solution for hosting your website. It simply means they are masters of marketing. You need to give careful consideration when deciding where you’re going to host your website.
Here are a few things to consider:
What is their server up-time?
What large companies use their hosting services?
What type of customer support do they offer?
Are their hosting services scalable? (As your traffic grows, do they have the ability to move your site to larger servers?)
Do they offer email hosting?
Here’s Why Where You Park Matters
Hosting your new website with one of the big discount hosting companies is like squeezing your new car between two others just to keep from walking an extra few hundred feet. Sure you’ll save some time squeezing in the space, but there’s a really good chance you’ll come out of the store and discover a nice new dent. This is exactly what happens when you host your website at one of the large discount website hosting companies.
More than likely you won’t need a fully dedicated server at this point, which can be fairly expensive. You’ll most likely be able to find a really great company to host your website for around $20 – $40 per month. Sure, that seems like a lot more than those $5.00 per month hosting specials you hear advertised, but it’s important to keep the monthly hosting price in perspective. You likely just spent (or are about to spend) thousands of dollars on a new website, so don’t let trying to save a few extra dollars each month cause you a lot of grief.
The Hosting Winner:
Media Temple provides premium web hosting and cloud services power more than 1.5 million websites in 100 different countries. Over 125,000 people and businesses rely on their simple tools for web hosting, one-click WordPress installs, virtual servers, domain registration, business applications, and other cloud services. From everyday people to top bloggers, creative professionals, and businesses small and large, we make it easy for anyone to have an effective, engaging Internet presence.
At Ugly Mug Marketing we’ve worked with every imaginable host. An NONE come close to the amazing support offered by Media Temple.
You’ve heard the saying, “you get what you pay for!” And that is absolutely true when it comes to hosting.
If you’re serious about succeeding online, then in my opinion, you only have two choices: Learn html code, or have your new website built using a content management system. I vote for using a content management system! After all, you have an organization to grow, not code to learn. I hope this has helped you determine what is the best website platform to help you succeed online.
Have your website built with a content management system and it will save you countless hours of headaches and frustration… guaranteed!
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