On every website design project, I face the decision of choosing the best content management system to build my client’s website. Today, I am sharing with you the process I use to breakdown my decision-making process when I am considering a CMS or e-commerce platform for my clients.
So let’s move away from what we all prefer, to what will solve the biggest problems for your business.
#1 Identify your long term goals
Websites are no longer a few pages that remain the same for years and years until it is time for a redesign. They are constantly changing and evolving to make sure they help you achieve your business goals.
It is simple, you need your website’s CMS or e-commerce platform to keep up with your business goals.
So think about the following:
- Where do you see your website in the next 3 – 5 years?
- Are you going to be using SEO and other organic traffic strategies to grow your business?
- How important is a website’s speed for your customers?
- Are you going to have extra tools in your website? Like a subdomain that brings your customers to member’s dashboard
- Are you going to have an e-commerce store?
- Even if these are ideas that you haven’t think about yet, you need to ensure that you at least have some idea of the 3 – 5 years, so you can make the right decision.
#2 Can you develop something from scratch on it
If you are reading this, I can tell you are not interested in another generic website template. And you shouldn’t be. You should be interested in standing out from the competition and bringing a unique experience to your brand online.
Many content management systems out there and templates, limit the way you can modify your website and adapt it to your brand. Since I am creating a custom website, I will be looking for a platform that allows me to bring my design into a live website.
And even though, as a website designer and developer, I can bring any website to live on any platform, I need to make sure all the features and design styles we need to include are possible.
It is always a good idea to get your website designer to interact with the developer, so you will get a design that is possible to develop.
#3 It needs to be user-friendly for you to use
Not too long ago, I was asked to double-check the design on a website created by another designer. My tasks should not have taken more than 5 minutes, but when I dived into the back-end of the website, I had no idea what to click.
We need to make the system you choose is user-friendly on your end. This will ensure you can:
- Edit content faster
- Add and edit products faster
- Get to your clients in less time
- Add offers and pop-ups with just a few clicks
A lot of platforms provide you with a lot of features that will seem amazing, but interacting with them will take you forever.
In marketing and business is all about moving fast, and getting tasks done in less time. So think about the following:
- What sort of content will you be updating?
- How often will you update or add new content?
- What will be the tasks you need to do, to get in touch with your clients online?
#4 Sales features for your e-commerce
In the last 6 months, I have seen a huge uptake in e-commerce.
Today, you will see experts selling anything online. Here are just a few examples:
- Online Yoga Sessions
- Workout Programs
- Consulting hours
- Customized Diets
- Meditation guides
- Meditation Apps
- Community and membership programs
- The list can go on and on.
What I like to keep in when it comes to e-commerce is the following:
- Are you going to have multiple products available, or are you only focusing on one product?
- Is it a physical product?
- Will it need shipping and third-party shipping features?
- What shipping methods are you going to use?
- Do you need to up sell another product?
- Is there an action you need to take for someone who has abandoned your cart?
- Are you going to be doing retargeting?
- Will you be running discounts and promo codes?
- Will you need a customer support service?
These may seem like a lot of questions, but they will give you the ability to search throughout all the different platforms and choose the correct one for your business.
#5 Pricing and features
Great products and performance are never free. I know many of you reading this, are probably thinking that Wix and WordPress are free to use. And they are, but do they have the features and the support you need?
One of the reasons why I would choose Square Space, Shopify, or Webflow over WordPress, is because they come with already integrated features that will otherwise be:
- Timely to install
- They will add a lot of expenses to your monthly bills
Here is an example, we know that to run a fast website a real CDN like Fastly is a need. On its own, Fastly prices start at $49USD per month, and the price will go up from there. However, Webflow has already added this to their hosting packages, so you don’t have to worry about it.
Here is what you should keep in mind when reviewing packages:
- Technical Features – All that is included?
- The Total number of visitors and space you get – Is there a limit to website visitors?
- Is the customer support part of the packages?
- Will they keep back-ups and security of your website?
- What extra features come in with paying more?
Then, you can compare some of these features on their own. Like Fastly for example.
Remember, when it comes to this, you get what you pay for. So a hosting account that goes for $20USD per year, will not work as the hosting account that goes for $299USD.
Always do your research first.
Choosing the best platform matters, especially if you are looking to make the most out of your website or e-commerce website. Here are the platforms I recommend the most:
- Shopify: If you have multiple products, many of them being physical products that need to be shipped with UPS, FedEx, or your local mail company. This will be great for workout programs, merchandise, gear, supplements, etc.
- Click-funnels: If you are only focusing on one product or service that you are looking to sell, this platform will give you all the tools that you need to make it happen. I will not recommend it, if you are looking to create a marketing website.
- Webflow: Even though this is my favorite, I will only recommend it for brands that are looking to create a custom and unique experience for your brand online. With Webflow, if you can design it, you can develop it. Furthermore, they have amazing hosting features that can speed up your website. If you are looking to have external tools added to your website, you can host separately and export your codes.
- SquareSpace: Squarespace is a PowerHouse, it is a great platform for almost any type of website, except real estate or other listings sort of websites. Just like Webflow, you can have a marketing website, blog, and e-commerce taking place at the same time.
- WordPress: I will recommend WordPress for those that have technical support at hand. You can create anything you want with it, but know you will need to have extra add-ons to make sure everything runs smoothly. Furthermore, you will need to choose a good host provider, I will strongly recommend Siteground for this purpose.
Building a website with a process that takes all this into consideration is key, so you can concentrate on the end product.
I know this might have been a lot to intake, but if you are ready to get started creating the website that will transform your business, I will be excited to help you get started.
All you have to do is click here to schedule a session, then choose a date and time and I will get on a 30-minute Zoom call with you where we can further discuss your options and needs.