Choosing your platform
Website design has evolved from something done only by developers, to something that has the potential to be executed by any business with the right system. However, when it comes to deciding which platform to build your website on, it can be difficult because of the sheer amount of tools to choose from.
That’s why we have compared some of the biggest and best CMS’ out there to help you decide which platform is the best fit for your business.
This is the one CMS that everyone has heard of. According to W3 Tech, WordPress is used by 34.8% of all the websites, giving it a content management system market share of 61.6% and making it the most widely used of all the CMS systems. It's also one of the cheapest, as WordPress is completely free - that is, until you look into the additional costs needed to fully optimise the software.
One of the greatest strengths of WordPress is how quickly and easily you can begin blogging. The format is very similar to a word processor, so if your knowledge of blog post creation is limited, you should be able to build a blog successfully with their easy-to-use content editor.
However, the downside to this ease of use is its limitations - while you can create some decent looking blog posts, it doesn’t allow for a deeper level of customisation or optimisation. WordPress isn’t designed for lead generation, so in order to use it to your full advantage, you’ll need additional plugins that will allow for the use of more modern formats and calls-to-action.
You can’t technically make landing pages either, as WordPress only allows you to create web pages and blog posts. While these can be repurposed for landing and thank you pages, they don’t possess anywhere near the level of functionality needed for an effective lead-generation website. Again, you’ll need a lot of plug-ins to do this more successfully, and you’ll need to consider if this extra effort is worth it.
Wordpress is an excellent way for a business to easily begin publishing on the internet right away and it is one of the most affordable ways your company can do this. However, because WordPress needs a lot of plug-ins to be fully optimised, it's not the best option for businesses who want an all-in-one platform, or a website that generates leads successfully.
Used in over 2 million websites, Joomla is one of the most popular CMS’ used today. It is built on a model–view–controller web application framework that allows you to build excellent websites.
Joomla’s interface is powerful yet easy to use, making it popular with a lot of businesses. However, its disadvantage is that it is very much a middle of the range system. It isn’t as easy to use as systems such as WordPress or HubSpot, and it isn’t as developer-friendly as other platforms.
On top of this, it lacks a substantial amount of features. Joomla’s community offers lots of modules to use, but they are difficult to find and even more difficult to use, meaning that a lot of add-ons are needed to maximise the software’s potential.
Joomla is an excellent option for businesses wanting to create a professional website quickly and with ease. However, if you know that you will need a variety of extra features, we recommend considering another CMS that will give you access to them.
An eCommerce giant, Magento is one of the most popular CMS choices for businesses in this field. It has a wide range of features that allow its users to manage multiple stores in a variety of locations, as well as supporting multiple languages, pricing and currencies. A strength of the software is that its highly scalable and is able to handle rapid business growth unlike a lot of other eCommerce systems.
However, it struggles as a standalone CMS and requires users to add numerous extensions to meet their needs, which isn’t ideal for those companies that want an all-in-one system. This is made all the more frustrating when the cost of Magento is considered - it may not be the best choice if you need a powerful CMS, or if eCommerce is a secondary requirement for your business.
Magento is an excellent tool for solely eCommerce businesses, however it doesn’t possess the features necessary for businesses that need a more encompassing CMS.
Wix is a cloud-based web development platform with which you can easily create HTML5 and mobile-optimised websites. The software is available for free, with the option to upgrade to various premium plans.
Wix offers its users an easy drag-and-drop site builder to create small websites, and offers hundreds of free templates for its users. However, a downside to this is that these templates can’t be changed easily, so once you’ve chosen your design, you won’t be able to alter it.
On top of this, Wix has a reputation of being terrible for SEO. Optimising a website built on Wix for search engines can be difficult for reasons such as no option to customize canonical tags or product URLs. Wix websites can often contain unnecessary code bloat, which is particularly bad because it affects page speed - something that Google uses to rank your website.
Wix is a good platform for small businesses who want an easy-to-use CMS that does the basics of website design well. However, we don’t recommend its use for larger business looking to improve their SEO strategy and suggest researching other options.
Shopify is mainly used for running an eCommerce store and if this is a main component of your business, your content will be managed by Shopify through bespoke theme customisation and the blogging platform.
Shopify is an excellent marketing tool, and excels at SEO and Google Ads. However as a standalone CMS, it is much less flexible than its competitors and doesn’t allow for much customisation. On top of this, it can become quite costly - especially if you are a small business.
Shopify does eCommerce extremely well. However, if eCommerce isn’t your primary concern, it can be limiting as a standalone CMS. We recommend it as an integration - not a full CMS solution.
HubSpot CMS is an excellent all-rounder for a multitude of different businesses.
Because it is a complete marketing solution, HubSpot allows for personalised creation of all aspects of your website, including blogs, forms, landing pages and much more. Each of these can be customised in line with your business and brand, meaning that you have complete creative freedom. An advantage that HubSpot has over its competitors is that anyone is able to create with it and you don’t need to be an IT or coding expert to do it.
This is what puts HubSpot ahead of its competitors - it is much easier to use than rival systems. It even has its own Academy where you can access lessons on how to use different elements of the software, as well as general marketing and sales knowledge.
HubSpot excels with proper implementation and critically, it’s easier to use than many other marketing automation tools.
At Axon Garside, we can help you implement the software and teach you exactly how best to use and optimise it for your business through a training programme directly tailored to your needs.
For more information on how we can help you improve your business with HubSpot,