As a digital marketer moving into a web development company, I have learned a lot in the past six months about the intricacies of website development and what makes a great website. It has also led to my Google and YouTube ads being filled with different website-building and hosting platforms. So, I pondered the question: What makes a good website builder? And what should businesses be looking for when choosing a content management system? Here’s what the team at HyperWeb say:
Independence and Ownership: Building your business website on self-hosted platforms such as Shopify and Squarespace means sacrificing control to an intermediary. These platforms can change at a whim or, worse, collapse altogether. Just like you wouldn’t rely on a Facebook or LinkedIn account as your primary home online, as a business, you need total independence and control. If your business is mature or is growing, your website, too, becomes more and more of an asset. An asset you own is far more valuable than an account with a service provider. If selling your business is part of your plans, this factor is important, particularly if you are selling products online, as your self-contained website becomes an asset in the sale.
Align with your site’s goals: Before choosing the best website platform, you need to consider what you want your website to be and do. Understanding what functionality your website has to have will help narrow down the options of platforms. Developing an e-commerce website? Pick a platform that specialises in e-commerce or has easy integrations for e-commerce like WooCommerce.
Unlimited integrations: Plugins allow you to enhance your website’s functionality. You can easily incorporate features like shopping carts, contact forms, application integration, and more. It’s important to select a website platform that supports custom plugins and integrates seamlessly with popular business tools. This will empower you to automate and streamline your daily operations effectively.
Access to Customisation: Choosing a website content management system that allows you to customise the theme, design and functionality of your website is important for the right user journey. Some platforms use themes that are harder to adjust, while others allow you to customise almost every aspect of the web page with no coding whatsoever. Be careful when choosing self-hosted platforms that they don’t limit your customisable features behind steep pricing premiums. Platforms such as WordPress have unlimited web page design options and don’t limit your creativity.
SEO Features: SEO (or search engine optimisation) is the process of improving your website to increase visibility to Google and other search engines. A good website content management system has, or allows for, SEO elements to be analysed and adjusted to suit the keywords your business wants to target. Many self-hosted platforms do not allow for dedicated development access required to fully optimise a site for search engine success.
Blogging Tools: Blogging is an important feature for search visibility, creating authority, and fresh new content for your website. It allows you to share information about your business and its services, but it also allows you to share opinions and thoughts on certain topics. Make sure the website content management system you choose has an easy-to-use blogging tool that is accessible and attractive to your users.
What we recommend:
Platform systems such as Shopify and Squarespace can be useful if you are new or a start-up and you want to keep initial setup costs low. We can deliver effective solutions with these platforms within their constraints. However, we recommend WordPress because it is easy for business owners to use, and it gives businesses complete freedom and ownership of their website without being beholden to enforced platform changes. It offers this while allowing us, as website developers, the ability to develop a website designed to suit your target market. It also allows us to develop the functionality you require for your business operations without making any trade-offs or sacrifices. Basically, it is the best platform for businesses that want to make no compromises when it comes to presenting a compelling experience to their users or integrating with business operations.
If you are contemplating a new website and considering which content management system and website platform to choose, we would be happy to assess your current situation and future goals.