When it comes to web design for your business, which details are important to you? If you’re like most of the business owners we meet with, you’re probably concerned about the look of your website, and whether you can use the layout and content to attract new customers from Google and Facebook.
What business owners tend not to think about is the platform their new websites will be built upon. Most have heard of WordPress, Drupal, Magento, and Shopify, but they don’t get concerned with the specifics. They want a good website, and good results, but don’t have the time or technical expertise to worry about the various applications involved.
That’s understandable, but as a business owner you should ask at least a few questions about the engine that will run your next website. That’s because the platform or content management system (CMS) you choose – or that your web designer chooses for you – will affect the performance and profitability of your site.
To help you understand why, and to frame the right kinds of questions, here are a few things you should consider…
Different Web Platforms Have Different Uses
Although platforms can often be adapted to multiple uses, most have a core function. For instance, WordPress was originally built for blogging, while Shopify is geared only towards ecommerce. This matters because you might need lots of different plug-ins and third-party software solutions to make your website do what you need it to if you make a poor choice early in the web design planning process.
Each Platform Has Its Own Costs
Some website platforms, like WordPress, are free to use and have whole communities of developers offering low-cost or no-cost plugins and add-ons. Others might require a small startup investment but have big monthly fees. Figuring out what you need, and how it fits into your web design budget, should be something you determine before choosing a platform.
Your Choice of CMS Will Affect Performance and Security
Because the platform you choose will be part of the underlying code for your business website, it’s not hard to understand why the speed of your web pages, the stability of your site, and security of your data are all going to be affected. This is particularly important if you’re going to have a complex site with custom programming or transactional features, so talk to your web designer about the way the platform they are planning on using fits with the functionality you need.
Some Web Designers Specialize is Certain Platforms
Most web design firms have internal preferences for various platforms, and some will only work with one or two systems. This means they will naturally steer you in those directions. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if you end up with an uncommon platform it might mean you are going to be stuck with that same web designer for years to come.
You don’t have to become an expert in different website platforms or programming languages to ensure you get the setup that’s right for you. In fact, you just have to be willing to ask a few questions and think ahead to the future.
To be sure you’re moving towards the website you need to help your business flourish online, read through our articles on web design and online marketing for Wisconsin businesses. Or, if you’re still confused, contact our creative team today to schedule a free website consultation. In just an hour, you could get a whole new perspective on what it takes to make the internet work for you!