Businesses have a large amount of information they need to manage — both for their internal processes and for their customers. Your website is an important tool to manage your customers’ expectations and deliver content and information relevant to them. Typically, this information is housed on a website, which can be managed by a content management system (CMS). Content management systems can assist businesses with web design, website content hosting, and more. The list of content management systems and website options available in the market can be daunting — each platform has its own strengths and limitations. From simple blogging tools to robust e-commerce and enterprise setups, you can find a CMS for nearly any purpose, but choosing the right one for your needs may make a significant difference in your ability to fulfill your business needs.
There are multiple factors to consider while creating a website for your business, including:
Decide what you want your website to accomplish. Will you be primarily providing information, or also selling products and services online? Defining clear goals beforehand will help you better forecast your costs and select a CMS platform that will best suit your website’s needs. For example, if you only need an electronic brochure of your services to inform current and future customers, an easily set up CMS platform like WordPress would provide you with all the tools you need — which can simplify the process and help you save money along the way.
Consider functionality. Every business has unique needs. Therefore, every business’s website will require different functions to complete the tasks and host the content relevant to their business and their customers. Because of this, a large element of developing a website is understanding which functions are essential to your business, and ensuring the CMS platform you choose can complete those tasks. Take a look at your favorite websites for inspiration and write down a wish list of how you would like your new website to function. Talk to your web designer about the pros and cons of each desired item, as well as the alternatives that are available to you. Be sure to think about how your target audience will experience the site, and consider whether your envisioned website layout will help or hinder the intended customer experience. It’s important to make responsiveness a priority in your design, as many, if not most, of your website visitors will be viewing from a mobile device.
Determine must-haves. After figuring out what you want your website to accomplish, you may find that choosing features and functions can be a difficult process. Group the list of features you’re looking for into must-haves, should-haves, and could-haves. By arranging desired features by importance, it is more likely you’ll find a CMS with essential features your company can’t live without at a price they can afford. Additionally, this will give you a good idea of what the website development process should look like, and how long the project will take.
Avoid buyer’s remorse and be smart about your budget. Website development varies dramatically in cost, depending on the complexity of the project. Take the time to plan ahead and define your requirements upfront to avoid overbuying or underbuying. The last thing you want is to have a CMS that is more or less than what you need — follow the previous steps to avoid the associated financial risk.
Define who will maintain your new website. Although most CMS platforms are straightforward and user-friendly, your new website manager should be well acquainted with the technology. It is possible to break a CMS website by mistake — which can be quite costly to repair. It’s important to select one or two people to learn how to use your new CMS platform well and take full advantage of all the tools it has to offer — including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is vital to the success of your new website investment.
In today’s digital world, having a website is vital your business’s success. Additionally, plan ahead for predicted or expected growth—will the CMS you selected support that growth? After considering your budget, objectives, as well as your current and future needs, your path to success will be less daunting and more focused.
If your business needs help developing a website, contact Pulse Marketing Agency today for a free 30-minute consultation.