The Nerd Side Of Life

How to Choose a Website Engine? 7 Criteria for a Good CMS

Whether it’s a website, blog, or online store, the platform your resource runs on is incredibly important. This is a kind of foundation on which the ease of use, control, customization flexibility, and of course, loading speed depends on. 

Let’s take an example. Imagine you want to book a 15 passenger van rental Seattle for your road trip. You just need to find a suitable car rental website and fill out the search form. After that, you will receive a list of all the deals, and you can choose the best rental car to your liking. Well, the whole car rental procedure will take you a few minutes. However, provided that the website engine is well optimized and offers excellent page loading speed. 

So, this goes to show that choosing an engine is critical when starting a website. And if earlier most sites were created as a set of static HTML/PHP pages, today you can use the content management system (CMS) for that. These are special platforms that allow you to make the required changes using administrative panels. 

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But how to choose a CMS that would meet all your requirements, be easy to manage, and require a minimum of costs in the process of maintaining a web project? The following criteria will help you make the right decision!

  1. Technical requirements 

This is a very difficult question to answer if you are not versed in web programming. The thing is that some CMS are very resource-demanding, even with minimal traffic. As a result, you may need a dedicated server for a small corporate website with only 100 visitors per day. High resource requirements can lead to slow performance, while website loading speed has an impact on rankings and conversions. In addition to all this, you may need specific scripts for the engine to work properly, and they may not be available on the selected hosting. 

Stephen Phillips on Unsplash
  1. Community 

The more people work with the same platform as you, the more likely you’ll find professionals who have already faced similar problems and successfully solved them.  Moreover, the larger the community, the higher the chances to find talented developers. If necessary, they can help you create an ideal website according to your purposes.

  1. Technical support 

This criterion makes sense if you decide to purchase a full-fledged CMS platform. Before making the final choice, you should definitely ask how things are with the solution of possible technical problems.

In some cases, the developer company helps in solving most of the issues related to the work of the CMS, which eliminates the need to involve third-party specialists. Unfortunately, sometimes technical support only provides updates and fixes for errors related directly to the product. That is, everything else is available to you for an additional fee.

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash
  1. Design templates and modules 

Such platforms as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal make it quick and easy to install a design template, thereby changing the look of your website in minutes. And this is very important, as some CMS are difficult to set up. That is, you will need expert help even for simple design changes. Plus, you will need to pay them. 

It’s also very important that the possible design options have a responsive layout. They will be equally convenient to use both on PCs, laptops, and mobile devices.

Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
  1. Administration interface 

Creating and managing pages, updating content and inserting images, attaching documents and multimedia files – you need to do this all through the admin panel. And it’s unlikely that small businesses have enough finances to have a professional administrator who will constantly deal with this. 

Therefore, you need to choose an engine whose admin panel will be easy to learn even for an inexperienced user. Fortunately, now you can try to work with almost any popular CMS in demo mode, and you shouldn’t ignore this opportunity. So, you will appreciate the functionality of the administration interface and gain valuable experience that will be useful to you in the future.

  1. SEO opportunities

It’s very important that the engine supports basic SEO capabilities or allows you to do this through additional plugins. The main options are: 

  • support for user-friendly URLs;
  • integration with web analytics systems; 
  • adding meta tags. 

This is important because the quality of website optimization affects its search ranking and traffic. After all, traffic is the most important indicator for any site and commercial project.

Photo by Lavi Perchik on Unsplash
  1. Expanding capabilities 

Most CMS platforms allow you to customize the initial configuration while adapting it to the needs of a particular project. But if your site develops, sooner or later you will have to go beyond the general functionality and think about expanding the possibilities. 

In some cases, this can be a problem. The easiest way is when it comes to the popular open-source system. For example, WordPress has many free add-ons that extend its functionality. The worst-case scenario is if the site runs on a custom engine. In this case, you will have to pay to develop even those features that are available on other platforms by default.

Finding the best CMS for your website is a simple task. It’s an easy-to-administer engine that fully meets your requirements, doesn’t have redundant functionality, and provides sufficient potential for future scalability. So, check out all the options available based on your business needs and personal requirements. Also, always research the CMS thoroughly before investing your time and money in it.

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