Choosing a website platform is an important decision for the online presence of your business. A website platform is essentially, “what your website is built on.” The platform is the foundation of your website. It’s generally recommended to select a website platform with a CMS- content management system.
A CMS allows you to create and update website pages without having to know website coding language. Updating or creating a website page within a CMS is pretty much along the same lines as typing and formatting a Microsoft Word document.
Commonly Used Website Platforms
WordPress is certainly the most popular website platform available. Roughly, 40% of all websites are powered by WordPress. The interface is user-friendly and they are a vast number of plugins to help you easily add functionality to your website. Here’s a glimpse at a few wildly popular WordPress plugins:
- Yoast – for search engine optimization
- WooCommerce – a powerful, extendable eCommerce plugin that helps you sell products online
- NextGEN – for image galleries
- Gravity Forms – adds lead capture to your website
- Jet Pack – to help increase website traffic, website load time, all while adding a layer of protection from website hackers.
The good news about WordPress is you do not have to be familiar with website development to have a great looking website loaded with functionality. Gone are the days of having to know computer coding skills to be able to make updates to your website.
WordPress is widely known for its ease-of-use to non-techie users. You can easily add pages, images, blog posts and much more. It might actually be somewhat challenging to find a function that is not able to be done with a WordPress plugin.
Another important factor of WordPress is that it’s not going anywhere. It’s the one website platform that has the most manpower behind it. Significant amounts of people are currently writing new plugins and improving the plugins already available. Kind of like a fine red wine, WordPress just gets better with time.
Drupal is a large scale website platform. It is somewhat similar to WordPress in the sense that they are both content management systems (CMS) allowing users to manage the content of their website while displaying it in a clear, logical manner.
One of the things that Drupal is praised for is its security. Many large-scale operations requiring high levels of security are managed through Drupal. The most famous of these would have to be whitehouse.gov. Drupal, can be quite difficult for non-experienced website builders to use.
Magento is a high performance and scalable e-Commerce website solution or large-scale online businesses. Magento offers versatility, advanced search engine optimization features, real-time product and sales tracking paired with the ability to connect with 3rd party vendors to maintain relationships and increase sales. Magento is mobile friendly to the tablet and smart phone user and full of helpful features to the e-merchant and online customer such as digital coupons and promotions.
Joomla is another website platform option. Launched in 2005, Joomla is reviewed as more difficult to use than WordPress though easier than Drupal. The main use for Joomla is e-commerce as well as social networking sights. Joomla is also preferred to WordPress for larger scale operations. Some of the more famous sites to be built using Joomla include The Harvard University website as well as the website of The Hill.
Weebly offers a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor with drag & drop functionality to build websites quickly. Weebly started out as a blogging site just like WordPress. Like nearly all of the other platforms available, Weebly offers themes and templates to help you get started on your endeavor. Weebly also offers an e-commerce service to help businesses begin to sell their products over the web.