In this digital age, you need more than a static website to establish a strong digital presence. You need to create fresh content, make use of email management systems and leverage search engine optimization to market your product/service to your target audience.
These are the reasons why most small businesses today create websites with a content management system (CMS). However, choosing a CMS platform can itself be a challenge with so many open source and commercial options available in the marketplace.
So for a small business with a small team of employees and a specific budget, what’s the best CMS to get started? In this post, you’ll learn about the different CMS options available and instances where they are suitable; the details will help you make the right decision.
WordPress is one of the simplest CMS to choose to create a small business website. Adding pages, images and posts is relatively simple through the WordPress dashboard, and businesses can choose one from the thousands of WordPress themes if they can’t afford to hire a web designer.
The browser based program allows owners to access their site from any remote location and on any device. It’s pre-coded for search engine optimization and the permalink setup allows your posts to get indexed in search engines. WordPress includes all kinds of plugins for marketing including social media plugins and contact forms.
Technical experience is not required and it’s intuitive to setup a site quickly. Content can be pasted from a Word document into the HTML editor of WordPress; something that can’t be done with other complicated CMS platforms. Sites hosted on wordpress.org require businesses to purchase a hosting package and a custom domain.
Drupal is a powerful CMS framework that can provide a solid foundation of small business websites that host a lot of content. It has been known for its ability to organize complex content types and powerful taxonomy.
Most small businesses think that security is something they shouldn’t be concerned with when choosing a CMS platform. Unfortunately, this is where they get it wrong. Cyber criminals around the world are focusing their efforts towards breaching small business websites, and sites hosted on CMS with weak built-in security often get compromised; consequences range from loss of reputation to legal liability. Drupal leads the way when it comes to CMS security.
And like WordPress hosting, Drupal hosting allows you to grow your small business website. Arvixe points out that this CMS has flexible hosting options including shared, VPS, dedicated and cloud servers available. Some service providers feature 24/7 managed Drupal hosting support which is backed by a team that not only understands hosting, but how Drupal works as well. Small businesses that have had their websites hacked in the past can gain a sense of security with Drupal.
Joomla is an open source community based CMS platform that has strong social networking features. It provides greater flexibility than WordPress, but falls short when it comes to being versatile as Drupal. It supports eCommerce, social networking and more.
Joomla also offers a wide array of extensions, which in most cases are free, and the paid offerings are priced quite reasonably. Joomla is also one of the few CMS platforms that allow front-end editing. Also, small businesses can choose pre-made themes.
What’s right for your business?
There is no simple answer to this question. The best CMS depends on what you want to do on a small business website. If it’s basic content you want to post, then you would be probably better off with WordPress. However, if you want to host webinars, list 1000s of products, etc. then Joomla or Drupal might be a better choice.