Wordpress, Squarespace, Lumen, which CMS for your website
Published 1 year ago
When going through the process of creating a website, the first question you need to answer is which CMS (Content Management System) will you use to create it with? There are a number of deals available on the market and all of those options can become confusing. My goal here is to clarify the choices at your disposal in order to aid you selecting the best solution for your needs!
In this article, I will be presenting three different platforms taking into account their ease of use, their price, and their accommodation methods.
Drag and Drop
Let’s start with the easiest to use, the website constructors such as Drag and Drop, which consists basically of clicking on an element on the list and sliding it into the construction window of your website in order to position it correctly. At first glance, nothing could be simpler. Having a good grasp of this program can take a few short hours and building a professional-looking website is easy, it will only take you a few weeks, no experience required. You should, however, spend a considerable amount of time working with this type of platform in order to be able to master all of its available functions. The code is frequently blocked, therefore, it becomes difficult to add functions or visual elements that are not already included.
Generally, these platforms are all organized under one article management system or an E-Commerce (which averages a higher membership fee). For the remainder of the content on your site, such as: the services you might offer, the introduction of your team members or your portfolio, you will need to adapt the design and manually add these new components. Drag and Drops are mostly limited in terms of automatically generated dynamic content which is more widely accepted, but can become an issue for other people. When you initiate the creation of your website, you’re invited to choose a theme which will serve as the base. These templates are visually attractive and professional, but it can be difficult to preserve this design in its simplicity once you go through the personalization process. The elements may not fit properly in the places where you would like them to.
When it comes to pricing, Drag and Drop averages around $180/year for the most basic memberships and can reach around $300 for the E-commerce memberships; this price usually comprises accommodation as well as a domain name and hosting. I recommend this type of platform for personal projects or small businesses in the process of starting up and have a limited budget. Squarespace and Wix are Drag and Drops that have become very popular recently.
Let’s move onto the mid-range platforms: WordPress.org. This CMS is one of the most popular options, we estimate that it’s used to create more than 25% of the websites currently in circulation, which is a considerable number. Created in May 2003, WordPress is, as of today, on version 4.9. It’s an open source, meaning free and easily usable and modifiable for everyone. Even though it’s free, WordPress doesn’t include a large number of functions by default and you’ll only have the ability to create pages and articles which will appear on a very minimalistic site. To create a more technically and visually advanced site, you will need to acquire a template and plugins. The most basic templates are free, but you will generally be spending between 30 and 80 dollars in order to add all of the functions you need.
This system of plugins is what contributed to the popularity of WordPress. However, their devloppement is not supervised by WordPress, as such, any developer with the necessary competences can create and sell their own plugin or template, and sometimes you can encounter some incompatibility problems because of that. The differing behaviours of the respective templates can be another disadvantage, their documentation isn’t always well made or even existant, and it can quickly become convoluted and unusable. The same thing goes for plugins; developers aim to serve a vast clientele while incorporating as many functions as possible in their program. Some of these functions may be very specific and circumstantial. This excess of charges in menus and interfaces soon become confusing and difficult to decode.
What’s more, the installation and programing of WordPress can be difficult. Even though the steps are simplified when you subscribe to a shared hosting, the remainder of the construction of your site will become complicated. It’s not uncommon to get stuck trying to work with one or more plugins that don’t perform correctly and without a customer service agent to figure out the problem, frustration ensues. A number of web agencies do offer to take charge of the creation of your website on WordPress at a reasonable price. It’s important to recognize that the majority do little to no programing. They will happily set your WordPress template along with the corresponding plugins, on condition that they exist. They are more technicians than real web developers in this situation. In this case, be certain not to pay a higher than usual asking price for this type of service. The price should generally be between 1000 and $5000, depending on your needs, not including the hosting and domain name price which will cost you around $100/year. Although it’s extremely popular, I actually don’t recommend using WordPress for creating your website. The time and money investment can be consequential and the final result can be disappointing, particularly for those who wish to venture into E-commerce.
As a last thought, I would like to speak to what I call the Rolls-Royce of web design. Custom CMS are programmed by a team of passionate developers and designed for their own agency’s exclusive use along with their clients’. This option is certainly the most powerful and flexible solution. One of the main advantages resides in customer service and the support of the development team who are highly advanced in their field of work. On top of their fast and excellent service in times of need, working with a high quality web agency allows you to obtain a website tailored to your needs. Watch out, however, for each agency may have their own system, for this reason, you should assess their services and the quality of their functions of their CMS before proceeding. The major disadvantage of this custom service resides in a higher asking price. At Light Studio, we have developed and offer our clients “Lumen CMS”. Which is an administrative website interface optimized for SEO purpose and completed with an ergonomic and user-friendly interface. In addition to assuring the procuration of all the functions needed, Lumen CMS was designed to create good performing and functional websites in very little time, this allows us to offer extremely competitive pricing. The advantages of our platform are many and the additional functions are endless. If Lumen CMS seems the right fit for you, contact us to receive your free estimate!
I hope this article as helped to answer your questions. Please don’t hesitate to comment and give us your feedback or inquire further!