In this blog, we’ll explore some key considerations and also link off to some other guides that will help you with your journey towards buying a new website and choosing a platform to suit your needs.
Check out our eBook: How to Buy Your Next Website for more information about the purchasing process, including information on how to brief your agency and what questions to ask.
What is a CMS?
A content management system, often shortened to CMS, is a piece of software that enables businesses and individuals to create and manage a website.
Examples of popular CMS’ include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Wix, Squarespace and many more. In fact, WhatCMS lists more than 500 platforms and can give you real-time data about how popular they are in today’s market.
Are you looking for an eCommerce or brochure website?
While there are many types of website, the majority fall into two camps: eCommerce and brochure.
eCommerce websites are online shops that allow consumers to make actual monetary transactions in exchange for goods or services that your business is selling. There are lots of different types, ranging from clothes shops, car retailers, tour operators and retail brands through to small stores that sell one-off items. If you’re looking to make a passive income with eCommerce, check out our how-to-guide.
Brochure websites do not directly sell anything as such. Instead, they exist to showcase services and products; encouraging users to complete forms or consume information, as opposed to making actual transactions.
With this in mind, eCommerce websites are generally more expensive than brochure sites. We explore the real cost of eCommerce here, or if you want more information about the cost of WordPress, we explore this too.
Are you planning to develop your website in-house or hire an agency?
Choosing whether or not to outsource your website can be a challenging decision. In-house refers to an internal team or individual that carries out tasks within your organisation. Outsourcing is where you hire an external agency or freelancer to do this instead.
There are pros and cons to both. To find out more about which one is better suited to your business, check out our blog: insourcing vs outsourcing your marketing. If you do decide to outsource your website, here are our top tips for finding the right web agency for your business and 15 questions you should ask before you hire them.
Depending on whether or not you outsource, you should opt for a CMS that is easy to use, widely supported, and one that allows you to take your website with you, either to manage this internally or with another agency or freelancer in the future.
Avoid a niche CMS
One of the biggest pieces of advice we can give you in your hunt for a CMS is to avoid niche or bespoke platforms. This is because they are widely unsupported, and this can make finding an agency to work with challenging. Not only this but when you do, it’ll be more expensive than using a popular CMS such as WordPress.
Other disadvantages of investing in a niche platform include not being able to take your website with you or to find a new partner to support it, as well as a lack of online help and resources. We explore niche platforms in more depth via our blog.
The last thing to consider is the pros and cons of each platform. To help, we’ve put together some comparisons for the most popular CMS’ on the market:
Overall, while each CMS has its pros and cons, we highly recommend sticking to one of the better-known platforms and working with an expert to achieve what you’re looking for. Websites are complicated; they need to be hand-crafted by teams of experts who understand security, user experience, development and more. While you could put something together yourself, it’s unlikely this will perform long-term, and it’s also worth considering the kind of impression a DIY website will create for your business.
We hope this blog has helped you weigh up the different factors you need to consider when choosing the right CMS for your business. If you’d like to keep up with the latest marketing hints and tips, register for our newsletter below.