Website Platforms for Businesses
By Raeleen| 28 July 2021
Website Platforms for Businesses
Website platforms or content management systems are great tools for building and managing your website.
What is a Content Management System?
Nowadays, you can create and manage a website without having to worry about writing code from scratch, thanks to website platforms or content management systems (CMS).
Why Use a Content Management System?
A content management system is a very useful tool for managing your websites even if you are not knowledgeable about coding. It lets you do the following.
Code-free Content Management
Most websites need their content updated every now and then. If your website is built on a CMS, you can manage your website content on your own.
For instance, if you have an online store that is already up and running, it is more convenient for you (or someone from your team) to add items or your store, or write a new blog post, or edit your FAQs than to get a web developer to add these things for you.
A content management system lets you add and edit content and media through a dashboard or a graphical user interface. You can preview what it would look like online before you publish your content. You can revise or even delete your content after you have initially published it.
Change how your Website Looks
Content management systems also come preloaded with templates or themes that will determine how your website will look to the visitors.
If you don’t like any of the pre-installed themes, you can also install third-party themes that you can get for free or for a price.
You can customise these themes to some extent like changing the colours, fonts and others.
If you want a bespoke theme, you can also partner with a web design and development company to create one for you.
Add New Functionalities
Sometimes, you may need some functionality or feature for your website that is not available out of the box. You can extend the functionality of your websites through plugins, extensions, modules, or third-party apps integration.
For instance, you can add eCommerce functionality to your WordPress website by using the WooCommerce plugin or equivalent.
For bespoke features and functionality though, you might need the help of third party web developers for customised solutions.
Content management systems allow multiple people to manage your content. You can even set up the level of permissions depending on their role in your organisation–for example, authors, editors, admin, etc.
Use SEO Tools and Plugins/Modules
Content management systems offer SEO Tools and plugins to help you optimise your web content and help your site rank better on search engines.
What Kind of Website Can You Make With a Content Management System
Website platforms can help you build just about any kind of website such as the following.
Business websites provide general information about a business such as products and services, location and contact information, company background, and more.
eCommerce websites allow sellers and buyers to transact online.
The sellers can add products and product descriptions through a dashboard accessible only to them. The buyers can browse through an online catalogue, add the products they like on a virtual cart, and pay online.
A membership website has gated content, meaning most of the content can be only be accessed by its members.
Members usually pay a fee to gain access to the website content. Some membership sites offer tiered membership.
Examples are career-coaching membership sites, fitness membership websites, hobby membership websites, and others.
Portfolio websites allow artists, photographers, designers, musicians, filmmakers and others to showcase their work and provide some information about the creators/their company.
Blogs are online journals or informational websites that are regularly updated.
Online news or magazine websites
These are websites that deliver news and information.
What Are the Different Popular Content Management Systems for Businesses?
There are several content management systems that you can use to create and manage your website.
Some website platforms are free to use but you need to take care of the hosting side. That means you either set up your own server to host it locally or find a company to provide you with web hosting services for a recurring fee. Many individuals and small businesses choose the latter because setting up and maintaining your own could be a bit technical.
Other website platforms are Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms. This means a company provides an all-in-one solution including the hosting and the software to build and manage your website for a recurring fee.
Here are some of the popular website platforms to consider.
WordPress is the most popular website platform. According to W3Techs, more than 40% of all websites are powered by WordPress.
- Ease of use
WordPress has a more user-friendly interface compared to some other content management systems. It is easy to edit pages and upload new content.
- Plugin availability
Do you want to be able to sell some products on your website? Or want to integrate an email management system on your site? Or add a means to collect information from your visitors? You can add these functionalities and more through WordPress plugins. There are around 55,000 free and paid plugins available at WordPress.org. That means when you need to add a certain functionality for your website, chances are, there is already a plugin available that can do what you want.
- It is fully customisable
WordPress is open-source software which means programmers can modify the software to fit their particular needs. If you need custom functionality that is not available out of the box or in any of the thousands of plugins available, you can partner with a reliable web development company with expertise in WordPress development like Mettro to help you find a solution.
- It is free to use
WordPress is free to use. However, it does not mean that it won’t cost you anything to get a website up and running. At the very least, you need to buy a domain and get a hosting plan for your website from a web hosting provider. Although a lot of free themes and plugins exist, there may be times that paid premium plugins or themes may be the best solution for your situation. Also, you may still need to hire a website designer and/or developer especially if you need custom solutions for your website.
Just like WordPress, Joomla is a free and open-source content management system. According to the Joomla website, at least 2 million active websites are powered by this CMS.
- Ease of use
Joomla is fairly easy to use although it has a steeper learning curve than WordPress.
Like any other CMS, Joomla allows you to extend the functionality of your website without having to touch the code. WordPress got plugins while in Joomla, they’re called extensions. Extensions are a bit more complicated in Joomla as there are different types namely modules, components, and plugins. Thousands of verified third-party extensions are available in the Joomla extensions directory.
You can create a multilingual website with Joomla without the need for adding extensions.
- Front-end editing
By default, you can add, edit, and manage content through Joomla’s dashboard. But you can also enable front-end editing wherein you can go to the front end of your website (the same part seen by your visitors) and edit it from there.
- Flexible Menus
Joomla uses a flexible approach to menu placement. Joomla also allows you to limit menu items for a particular group of users which is useful for large complex sites with multiple levels of users. It is also possible to assign menus to specific languages so that you can create unique versions of each menu for multilanguage sites.
- Powerful SEO tools out of the box
In Joomla, you can enable search engine friendly URLs in the Global Settings and enable URL rewriting in SEO settings to shorten URLs and make them easier to read by both humans and search engines. It also has on-page SEO tools so you can put in your Page Title, keywords, and metadata.
Drupal is also a free and open-source content management system. It is less popular than the two previously mentioned CMS. It powers approximately more than 2% of all websites.
This website platform has a steeper learning curve compared to WordPress and Joomla.
- Drupal has built-in access control permissions that allow you to create new roles with individual permissions.
- Like Joomla, Drupal(8) supports multilanguage functionality out of the box.
- Drupal lets you extend the functionality of your website through modules that can be downloaded from the Drupal.org website.
- Drupal lets you change the look and feel of a website by installing and uninstalling themes.
Hubspot is a SaaS website platform that offers a lot of features and aims to provide an all-in-one solution. This platform is geared towards eCommerce and Marketing websites.
Unlike the other content management systems mentioned above, you need to pay to be able to use this platform. Hubspot offers two tiers — the professional and the enterprise level.
Also, this is not an open-source platform so the source code cannot be modified by just anyone.
- It comes with a fully integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System which allows you to store and manage customer information in one location.
- It lets you update and create pages through its drag and drop editor.
It supports multi-language content creation
- It comes with an SEO recommendations feature
- It lets you optimise your website easily with its adaptive testing feature
Shopify is primarily an eCommerce platform but it comes with a Content Management System component.
It is also a SaaS so you need to pay a recurring fee to be able to use the platform.
- You can create new pages and easily add, edit, list and organise products using its streamlined CMS interface.
- It comes with integrated blog software. It is also possible to import an existing WordPress blog to Shopify
- You can customise the look and feel of your website through the free and paid themes available on their website.
- It allows you to edit meta titles and descriptions without the need for installing an application
Which is the Best Website Platform?
There is no one definite answer to this question as it will all depend on what type of website you want, its purpose, what features you need, how big your organisation is, your target users, your budget and other factors.
But in most cases, WordPress CMS would meet the needs of small to medium businesses because it is easy to use yet flexible enough. WordPress can be used to build eCommerce sites, corporate websites, membership sites, and more. It also integrates well with other business software solutions.
Mettro can help you build the website using the content management system that is best suited for the needs of your company.
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