Choosing the right CMS for your business

The small business world continues to change and expand with an estimated 5 Million small businesses operating in the UK alone (as of 2012). Of these businesses, 54% require a functioning website. Some of which purely survive and exist on the World Wide Web, with this becoming a more common pattern these days.  A key factor to remember is that 97% of local consumers look online for local products and services.

A further 41%, currently without a website, have agreed that while a website can increase sales, they’re continued to be put off by the cost and skill of implementing a new website system and find they’re simply too time consuming to regularly update.

What’s the solution?

However, the web business is evolving and the answers to these doubts may have finally been answered. What’s the solution? Web CMS, otherwise known as Website Content Management System.

What is a Web CMS? WCMS is a software system that allows users with little to basic web programming skills the opportunity to create, manage and change website design, content and certain functionality with relative ease.  We’ll guide you through some of the Advantages & Disadvantages of using a WCMS as well as exploring what is out there!

Advantages

Low Cost

The cost of running a Web CMS is significantly cheaper than what you might think. In fact some of the better content management systems are free to install and implement such as WordPress, Drupal & Joomla, whilst other top Web CMS systems can be purchased on affordable subscription packages. Because the systems are so user-friendly, the cost of not having to hire full-time developers to run the website will lower the total costs.

Builds & Improves SEO

Becoming comfortable with the system means it’ll become easier to be responsible for adding fresh content on a regular basis. With more content being added to the website, search engines crawl and give preference to websites with new and updated content over websites with stale and outdated content. This ultimately means the number of views and traffic performance will increase.

Easy to Use

The platform of a Web CMS is designed specifically for non-technical and limited skilled website content managers and other users to add edit & update pages without much training in coding or technical aspects of system maintenance. This also allows multiple users to contribute in creating, maintaining and publishing website content with great ease.

Administrate Management & Security

Running a Web CMS includes a feature where you can assign and set roles for each user and just how much they can access and change on the website. This means you can be in control at all times and provide the facility to control how content is published, when it is published, and who publishes it.

Disadvantages

Hosting Prices

With installing a Web CMS, you’ll have to shop around to find a good hosting deal that provides a good server with excellent maintenance as it can require extra updates and security patches, and regular backups in case the hardware infrastructure isn’t up to standards or if the databases are not functioning correctly.

Cost of Implementation

In some cases, larger scale implementations may require hardware installations which will mean more time focusing on understanding the system then providing training for the system.

Cost of Regular Maintenance

Depending on which Web CMS you choose, there can be extra costs to consider such as requiring extra updates, back-ups and maintenance.

WCMS Platforms

DNN – Platform ASP.NET

DotNetNuke is an open source; Microsoft based Content Management System which offers both a free and paid version of their software & a personal favourite with the office! DNN makes it easy and straightforward to learn and edit content instantly, with many of our clients using the system and editing content on their personal websites. The system also includes Modules which help in developing and enhancing the functionality of the site. Modules again both have free and paid versions.

WordPress – Platform – PHP

Launched in 2003, WordPress is a free and open source platform which notably started out as a primarily blogging tool which runs on a web-hosting service mainly containing PHP & MySQL. Perhaps the most popular choice, this blogging system is rumoured to be powering over 60 million websites word wide. Features included with WordPress are creating and changing themes, installing various plug-in functions to tailor and upgrade the look of the website and finally installing widgets which allow you to include forms, slideshows and other customized features.

Joomla! – Platform – PHP

Lastly, we have Joomla! Again this system is a free and an open source content management system. Joomla is estimated to be second most used CMS proving to be more powerful and robust than WordPress. While the system is free, there are more advanced plug-ins you have to purchase which could lead to more in-depth knowledge of the system resulting in hiring a developer to make more comprehensive changes to the system.

Conclusion

In summary, all Web CMS platforms have their advantages and disadvantages so it all comes down to personal preference and what value for money you can get out there, but there is optimism and alternatives for smaller businesses to make that plunge and get a website out there! If you wish to discuss anything covered in this blog or would like to discuss the idea of launching a new website using a CMS platform then please get in touch with us. You can contact Account Director, James Cox, by emailing [email protected] or by telephoning 0845 363 7082