Website Design

Whilst working in web marketing I have seen a large number of companies and individuals wasting money by not choosing the right website design solution, here are a few pieces of advice and recommendations on how you can avoid this.

Common Mistakes

One of the problems I’ve seen time and time again is that people choose a website designer, or a website design company who create a wonderful looking website, but it then falls short on its purpose – to make money. The reason for this is often because the website has been built in such a way that it makes it extremely difficult, or impossible to market on the search engines.

Other issues people face is that some businesses unnecessarily build website using custom, or extremely rare, content management systems. This means that a customer  is often tied to that particular company if they need to make updates to their website and sometimes can’t escape the situation even if they ever have problems with their website design company.  This can be a very expensive mistake.

Here a few other things to look out for when having a website created:

  • Don’t always go for the cheapest option. Make sure that the company that is creating your website has a portfolio of previous clients and don’t be afraid to ask to speak to some of their previous customers
  • There are several ways to create a website. Most people go for the CMS(content management system) approach as this allows them to make basic changes to content themselves with any additional cost
  • There are a number of different content management systems to choose from depending on your needs. Popular CMSs include WordPress, Drupal and Magento.

A few examples of Content Management Systems

WordPress

PROS

WordPress started as a blogging tool but has evolved into a full content management system. It is a perfect content management system if you would like to launch a simple brochure site, a website for a local business and can also be used to build an eCommerce website. As WordPress is slightly easier for developers compared to other CMSs, there is the potential for saving money if you ever need to tweak and improve your website as there are a larger number of Developers that can work on WordPress compared to other content management systems.

CONS

If you are planning to build an extremely large eCommerce website, other solutions such as Drupal or Magento may better suit your needs.

Magento

PROS

Magento is an open source eCommerce web application that is used by large businesses worldwide to run their eCommerce website. Once an eCommerce website has been developed, Magneto makes it extremely easy for users to add products and new pages to their website.

Magento is a scalable solution for eCommerce businesses, especially larger ones with a decent budget to invest. Many companies use Magento to integrate with CRM systems

CONS

Magento can be an extremely challenging platform to develop on and Magento Developers are rare, which means if you have a large complicated website then development and maintenance costs can be huge.

Drupal

PROS

Drupal is an open sourced content management system that is quickly gaining popularity as it is an extremely powerful range of uses. Drupal has a range of uses and powers around 2.1% of websites worldwide. It is perfect for medium sized businesses with multiple locations, medium to large eCommerce websites or community style websites.

CONS

As with Magento there are less developers that work on Drupal compared to WordPress.

Which CMS Should You Choose?

Unfortunately there is not a one size fits all approach when choosing which content management system to use, for that reason it is important to consider your options, the future of your business and your budget before deciding which is the best option.  However, I am a huge advocate of using open source CMSs due to their flexibility and would strongly advise using a CMS over proprietary software unless there is an extremely good reason to do so.

What next?

If you would like to drop me a line with an idea of your requirements I’m happy to offer you some free advice and recommend agencies or freelancers depending on your requirements.

If you plan to market your business online, I am also available for consultancy work for large projects and can help ensure that your website is designed in such a way that you are able to market it effectively online.