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Guide to Choosing a CMS for Your Web Build

By Snap Agency May 15, 2020

On the surface, digital content creators look a bit like magicians—and one of the greatest tricks up their sleeves is a little something called a content management system, or CMS.

Essentially, CMS is software or an application that’s used to create, manage, and modify digital content. They’re typically collaborative environments, so that the whole team can contribute, and they contain systems for both document management and record retention. One of our favorite (and one of the most popular) CMS platforms is none other than WordPress, which we’re sure many of you have heard of before.

Many CMS platforms seek to accomplish roughly the same thing, but they contain just enough differences to make some platforms better suited to certain business types than others. Today, we’ll examine just what those differences are, so that you can create the web build that’s best for you. 

What to Consider When Choosing a CMS

On a purely functional level, what do you need your CMS platform to accomplish for your business? Here are just a few questions you might ask yourself when evaluating a CMS:

  • What customization options does this CMS platform offer?
  • What integrations are available?
  • Is this platform easy-to-use for everyone on my staff, whether they be remote workers or on-site upper management?
  • How often do we need to update our site?
  • What content do we need to post, and does this CMS platform allow us to do that in both an effective and aesthetically-pleasing way for our viewers?

That’s a lot to keep in mind, so let’s run through several well-known web development applications and see what they do best!

Popular Content Management Systems

WordPress

Around 60 percent of CMS sites are WordPress, making it the biggest and most popular of the bunch. But what makes it so beloved across industries? Is it simply the most recognizable content management platform out there?

For one, it’s reasonably priced. Your standard site is absolutely free, and personal plans start at $4/month. However, if you’re a small business, WordPress offers a $25/month plan, and one at $45/month if you’re an ecommerce store. An upgraded plan gets you customizable plugins and themes, over 200 GB of storage, and 24/7 online support.

WordPress is also one of the most user-friendly platforms out there. You don’t need to be a CMS whiz to operate a WordPress blog, which makes it immensely appealing for, say, small businesses who don’t necessarily have a team of content creators on hand. And the platform isn’t just easy for employees to operate—it’s highly search engine-friendly, as well. In other words, when paired with an SEO plugin or two and a smart strategy, you’re well on your way to appearing at the top of those search results.

Shopify

If you’re in the ecommerce game, we suggest checking out Shopify—useful for everyone from small businesses to big-name entrepreneurs.

While WordPress is designed for content sharing—videos, pictures, blog posts, and the like—Shopify specifically evaluates the needs of buyers and sellers (it is an ecommerce platform, after all!). For example, Shopify is designed to securely handle incoming orders and keep customer data, such as credit card info, secure.

Shopify isn’t just a functional ecommerce platform, however; it’s a beautiful, easily-customizable one, too. And they offer a free 90-day trial, with pricing starting after that as low as $29/month.

SquareSpace

Squarespace is a pre-built platform with gorgeous templates, 3rd-party apps and integrations, and plenty of customization options. An average business pays $18/month, with a free 14-day trial to begin. To top it all off, SquareSpace also offers a $100 Google AdWords voucher, making it one of the best platforms for SEO in the business.

If you’re running an ecommerce store, SquareSpace offers a number of templates created by world-class designers to keep your site engaging and intuitive to navigate. We can’t recommend this platform enough if you’re a trendy business seeking a ready-made, sleek finish, whether it be vibrant or minimalist.

Joomla

When we think of “customizable” or “flexible,” Joomla immediately jumps to mind. It’s not specifically an ecommerce platform, which makes it accessible for those creating corporate webpages, online publications, nonprofit sites, and so on (with ecommerce, of course, still being an option). It’s also incredibly SEO-friendly and contains built-in metadata and keyword tools.

Developers can use Joomla to create advanced add-ons, including business directories, data reporting tools, product catalogs, and inventory control systems. In other words, there are more advanced options available (should you, say, decide to partner with a knowledgeable web development or content marketing agency), but if you want to keep your approach simple, Joomla makes that possible, too. Go on, see why over 2 million Joomla sites are active today.

Discover the Best Platform for SEO With Snap

Every business looks different, which means you need a CMS web build directly tailored to your brand’s unique needs. Schedule a conversation with Snap today and determine what content management platform best suits those requirements. Sure, you don’t have to be a web developer or content creator to manage these platforms, but it sure helps to have a digital marketing agency on your side! With your industry know-how and our mastery of content marketing, we’ll craft a powerful online presence for your brand.

 

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