When it comes to building a website, there are three main options you can choose to go about it. You can firstly pay someone else to build a website for you. You could learn how to code HTML and do it yourself. Or, you can do it yourself using a Content Management System (CMS).
Because we’re all our own people, that means everyone has a different preference for how they would approach the task. For us, we chose a CMS for ease of use, and because it saves us a hell of a lot of time and effort getting things set up. Because with a CMS, you no longer have to develop coding skills, as they do all the work for you in the background. Although that said, it’s always picking up a little knowledge about coding just in case.
In fact, CMS isn’t just our preference, it is also the preference of millions of others who all have their own blogs and websites. There are so many different ones out there though, with their history ever-changing, so which are the best CMS to choose when it comes to building your new site, or possibly moving an existing one?
Wix – An ideal CMS for beginners
They may not be the biggest, but that hasn’t stopped them from becoming one of the most popular CMS on the market. That said, despite being the third most popular on the market, they actually have a very small percentage of the market at just 2.8%.
One reason that makes Wix so popular, especially with beginners, is that it is so easy to use. To alter the design of your website, you can just click to add and remove images and text, and just drag and drop content wherever you want it. And best of all, they have a free plan to get you started, so you can practice building a website without having to spend a penny.
To ensure you’re getting the best out of it, it’s well worthwhile using YouTube to find some tutorials. There are some excellent ones out there that can tell you a whole range of tips and tricks to help you make the most of your time with Wix and plenty of written guides as well which will help you with things like Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), like these 5 writing tips for better SEO.
However, what you will find talking to many people, is that eventually everyone moves away from Wix. Because as simple as it is to set up, there are some downsides. Firstly, you have to have Wix in your domain name if you choose the free package, so for us, it would be fullsync.wix.com as an example. There are also other features that force you into paying for premium packages too. One such feature is the ability to host a shop on your website.
The final major drawback of using Wix, and one that forces many people to leave, is that once you select a template for how your site looks, you can’t change it. Not even by upgrading to a more premium package. Sure you can change little bits here and there, but as your site grows, you may want to overhaul it. And that’s why people move because on a certain other CMS we’ll come to, you can do that as much as you like.
Shopify – Allow site visitors to shop til’ they drop
For those who don’t just want a basic website, and who want to launch their own online shop. There is none more suitable or specialised in that field than Shopify. An all-in-one platform where owners can set up their site and run their store, it is so easy to use, with a similar drag and drop system to the one Wix uses, if a little bit more restrictive in some senses.
Unlike Wix though, Shopify doesn’t have a free package, but since you have to pay on their rival CMS to unlock the shopping features, it’s neither here nor there if that was why you wanted it anyway. One benefit to it though is unlike other CMS, you aren’t forced to swap packages if and when you hit certain sales thresholds. And that is something that makes Shopify extremely popular with its users.
Another benefit, especially for those looking to make their shops as accessible as possible, is the number of payment solutions that come with the platform. Not only can your shoppers visit and pay by the likes of debit and credit card as standard, but there is also a PayPal option there too. Adding variety and additional security for those who wish to have those options.
There is also 24/7 support available for both you and your shoppers through Shopify, with a number of different contact methods available. So if there are any issues, then you can get them solved pretty quickly with minimal fuss from the Shopify support teams. Or, there are a number of helpful guides available as well just in case you don’t want to bother them.
The main downside to Spotify though, and all CMS have them, is that if you need to install apps to add features to your site, the majority cost extra. So you can easily rack up additional costs using this platform. However, sometimes you have to spend money to make money, so if investing in certain apps will increase your returns, then it’s more than worthwhile.
WordPress – The one CMS that rules them all
If there is one CMS you will have heard of, it is undoubtedly WordPress. They have the biggest share of the market, controlling a massive 65.1%, making them a monopoly in that industry. However, it’s not like some businesses that just buy up all the competition, leaving no competitors to go up against. They’ve actually done it through the hard work of getting their CMS right, making it a perfect balance of being user friendly and customisable, being an open-source CMS.
But why is it so popular? Well, it is flexible, you can do almost anything you need to on there. If you can’t do it directly on WordPress, you can almost guarantee that someone has created a plugin that will assist you. And whilst that may sound complicated to some, we can assure you, it is not.
Why? Because that brings us to our next point. It’s easy to learn. WordPress has hundreds of tutorials available to talk you through everything you could need to know. Even if they release new features, you can guarantee there will be a walkthrough ready for you to get you up to date, and it is all done in a basic way that allows you to follow step-by-step at your own pace.
And finally, it is free and open-source. However, there are certain plugins and themes that you will have to pay for. But to set up a basic website, will cost you nothing. Now if you’re a coder, you could probably do a lot of upgrades yourself, but if not, then it’s not that expensive to get what you need to take your website to the next level. And even if you don’t want to pay for certain things, there are usually free versions of some plugins, they just don’t go as in-depth with some of their features.
So there you have it, our top three Content Management Systems to think about using if you’re wanting to start your own website. There are plenty more CMS out there, with new platforms popping up all the time. So keep an eye out, do your research, and we’re sure you’ll find just what you need. But, if like me, you’re a little lazy sometimes, then using one of the CMS from this list based on your needs, will not see you wrong.
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