Whether it’s a website, blog, or online store, the platform your resource runs on is extremely important. It is a kind of base on which ease of use, control, flexibility of customization and, of course, loading speed depend.
Let’s take an example. Imagine you want to book a 15 passenger van rental in Seattle for your road trip. All you have to do is find a suitable car rental site and fill in the search form. After that, you will receive a list of all offers and you can choose the best rental car for your taste. Well, the whole car rental procedure will take you a few minutes. However, provided that the engine of the site is well optimized and offers excellent page loading speed.
So this goes to show that choosing an engine is essential when starting a website. And if before most sites were created as a collection of static HTML/PHP pages, today you can use the Content Management System (CMS) for that. These are special platforms that allow you to make the required changes using admin panels.
But how to choose a CMS that would meet all your requirements, be easy to manage and require minimum costs in the process of maintaining a web project? The following criteria will help you make the right decision!
- The technical requirements
This is a very difficult question to answer if you are not versed in web programming. The thing is, some CMSs are very resource-intensive, even with minimal traffic. Therefore, you may need a dedicated server for a small business website with only 100 visitors per day. High resource requirements can slow performance, while website loading speed impacts rankings and conversions. In addition to all this, you may need specific scripts for the engine to work properly, and they may not be available on the selected hosting.
The more people who work with the same platform as you, the more likely you are to find professionals who have already encountered similar problems and solved them successfully. Also, the bigger the community, the higher the chances of finding talented developers. If necessary, they can help you create an ideal website according to your needs.
- Technical support
This criterion makes sense if you decide to buy a full-fledged CMS platform. Before making the final choice, you should definitely ask yourself how things are going with the solution of possible technical problems.
In some cases, the development company helps to solve most problems related to the work of the CMS, which eliminates the need for third-party specialists. Unfortunately, technical support sometimes only provides updates and fixes for errors directly related to the product. In other words, everything else is available to you at an additional cost.
- Design templates and modules
Platforms like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal make it quick and easy to install a design template, changing the look of your website in minutes. And this is very important, because some CMS are difficult to set up. In other words, you will need expert help even for simple design changes. Moreover, you will have to pay them.
It is also very important that the possible design options have a responsive layout. They will be equally convenient to use on PCs, laptops and mobile devices.
- Admin interface
Create and manage pages, update content and insert images, attach documents and media files – you have to do everything through the admin panel. And small businesses are unlikely to have enough funds to have a professional administrator who will take care of it all the time.
Therefore, you should choose an engine whose admin panel will be easy to learn even for an inexperienced user. Luckily, now you can try working with almost all popular CMS in demo mode, and you shouldn’t ignore this opportunity. Thus, you will enjoy the features of the admin interface and gain valuable experience that will be useful to you in the future.
- SEO Opportunities
It is very important that the engine supports basic SEO capabilities or allows you to do so through additional plugins. The main options are:
- support for friendly URLs;
- integration with web analytics systems;
- add meta tags.
This is important because the quality of website optimization affects its search ranking and traffic. After all, traffic is the most important indicator for any site and business project.
- Capacity expansion
Most CMS platforms allow customization of the initial setup while adapting it to the needs of a particular project. But if your site evolves, sooner or later you will have to go beyond the general functionalities and think about expanding the possibilities.
In some cases, this can be a problem. The easiest way is to use the popular open source system. For example, WordPress offers many free add-ons that extend its functionality. In the worst case, the site is running on a custom engine. In this case, you will have to pay to develop even the features available by default on other platforms.
Finding the best CMS for your website is a simple task. It is an easy-to-administer engine that fully meets your needs, has no redundant functionality, and offers enough potential for future scalability. So, check out all the options available based on your business needs and personal requirements. Also, always research the CMS thoroughly before investing your time and money in it.