In order to try and save a little bit of money there is often a temptation to get your website designed and developed by a small company, a freelancer or a friend of a friends nephew that’s just graduated from university. Often freelancers and small developers just don’t have the experience they thought they did and what seemed like a money saver can become an expensive repair job as you will often need to start from scratch again.We have heard these unfortunate stories time and time again and we have found that going with smaller companies and freelancers is often a short-term approach for ultimately what is a long-term project. Realistically a website is an ongoing project and it is important to partner with an experienced and established company that will be there for the long term and has the experience to offer you ongoing support and advise.
- How long has the company been designing and developing websites?
- How many clients do they have?
- How many employees do they have?
Without good quality support, you can find yourself in a predicament where you need to then outsource to an additional developer to fix the problem that you have encountered. This can lead to an extraordinary amount of frustration, wasted time and additional expense on your part..
- your emails
- your domain name
- your hosting
- how to use the content management system of your website
- ecommerce setup
… and now for the more in-depth review
WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system. It started out as a platform exclusively for blogging, but has grown and advanced significantly over the years. Today, over 40% of sites using CMS’s are using WordPress. In addition, over 60 millions websites are using WordPress which shows just how popular it is. WordPress offers many advantages to those looking to create a website or a blog, including the following:
Of course, WordPress isn’t perfect in every way. Some common complaints about WordPress are that if the site grows to large, it can require significant server resources to keep up. The framework of WordPress is also difficult to change, so those looking to make back-end changes to their websites may have some trouble using WordPress.
These concerns are much more significant for sites that start getting hundreds of thousands of visitors per day, at which point a more robust server may be required to run the page. However, for a beginner, this is probably the most suitable platform to build a site.
Drupal is the second most popular content management system available today. It is a fully open source program, which many people prefer, especially those who are more technically minded.
The Drupal platform is extremely powerful, and is less resource intensive than that of WordPress. Drupal can be set up for anything from a simple blog to a content portal used by large corporations. Some of the most significant benefits to Drupal include the following:
Drupal is the most powerful content management system out of the box, but with that power comes some additional difficulties for the website owner.
Having at least basic knowledge of HTML, PHP and other common web programming languages is highly recommended for anyone considering using Drupal. You don’t need to be an expert, but being able to troubleshoot error messages, and identify problems with coding will be a significant benefit.
If your website grows beyond a basic blog or small business page, you’ll likely require some technical support to run it properly. If you don’t have those skills yourself, that may mean you need to hire someone, or outsource the support of your page. Another potential concern is that since Drupal requires some in depth knowledge of the programming and technology behind it, finding support can be more difficult. If you run into a problem, you may have to pay someone to log on and help you fix it.
Joomla is often thought of as the compromise between WordPress and Drupal. It is a powerful content management system, which can run smoothly on most web servers without any problems. It doesn’t require the same level of technical experience to run as Drupal, but it still offers many of the extra features. Like Drupal and WordPress, Joomla does have a lot of plug-ins and themes available to choose from, so you can customize your site to look and function in any way you desire. Other reasons people choose Joomla include:
Many Joomla users love Joomla because it is powerful, yet easy to use. Joomla has done an excellent job at combining the benefits of WordPress and Drupal, and adding in some great features of its own. It has been growing in popularity over the past several years, and it is likely to continue to do so. Joomla seems to have found a big market of people who are ready for something a little more powerful than WordPress, but easier to manage than Drupal.
Fans of each of these three content management systems will argue fiercely that the one they prefer is the best option out there.
The fact is, each situation will require something different, and taking the time to look at all your options is the best way to go. For those looking to set up a small, personal blog, or a website for their small business, WordPress is likely the way to go.
If you’re setting up a site which you believe will grow rapidly from day one, and require extensive features for the users, Drupal may be more in line with what you need. Joomlais great for those somewhere in the middle, or anyone looking to add social networking to their pages.
It isn’t an easy choice to make, but if you take the time to look at your specific needs, and have an honest look at your own technical abilities (or your willingness to pay for technical support), you can make the right choice.
Levin Mejia runs down the design tools you should be experimenting with in the coming year.
There are many web tools around that can help you with all sorts – how to start a blog or new website – or provide some much-needed web design inspiration. Prototyping tools can help us solve design problems before writing even a single line of code. Prototypes bring our ideas to life, and in doing so can change the way we design. Today's clients want to see interactive prototypes; these show the concepts in action and help them see how their ideas will take shape.