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Choose Your Platform

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One of the first things you need to think about before starting your new web project is what platform is going to drive your website. What is going to be the delivery method for the content of your website?

To help make this crucial decision, ask yourself a few questions. Who’s going to be administrating the website? How often will we want to make changes? What will those changes be? Do we have the resources to make these changes internally?

It’s a crucial decision. Choose the wrong path and your website could be obsolete in as little as 2 years’ time and you’ll be looking at starting the whole process again. Choose the right platform and have a website that’s a joy to use, is a lively hub of information and can be easily upgraded as and when you need.

The two main content delivery systems I’ll be looking at here are Content Management Systems and eCommerce solutions.

Content Management

Are you constantly needing to update the content of your website adding pictures, extra pages or Blog articles? You need a Content Management System.

The one CMS system you’ve probably heard of is WordPress which has almost a 50% market share. WordPress is a free, open-source tool that’s both easy to use and effortlessly upgradable. It’s our platform of choice for these reasons but isn’t the only option available.

Your web company may have their own lightweight tool that can be used for making simple changes specifically geared towards your site which may turn out to be a simpler option.

eCommerce

For those of you that are selling your goods and services online you need an eCommerce platform to help you organise your products and shopping cart.

The market leader in terms of an eCommerce platform is Magento and like WordPress the amount of features ‘out-of-the-box’, ease of use and upgrade options make this a sensible choice for anyone wanting to start their own online shop.

While not the only choice for eCommerce, it’s definitely the best platform I’ve used and the only consideration for those wanting a stable and secure online shopping solution.

Conclusion

The final thing to think about is if you need to use a pre-existing platform at all? All too often we see heavyweight platforms used for lightweight applications. A brochure website with no CMS features can be used for website big and small and are often quicker to complete than their CMS counterparts.

In the burgeoning world of mobile this lightweight approach is most apparent. We’re constantly seeing resource-light sites being rewarded by Google and visitors alike as fast-loading, uncluttered websites out-perform their counterparts.

Choosing the right platform before you start a web project will save time and money and ultimately leave you with better end product.

Stats from http://trends.builtwith.com/

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