A website. And a good one at that.
There is no wrong way to build a website for your business, but it’s easy to agonize over the decision. There are just too many ways to do it, ranging from the cheap to the absurdly expensive. It can also be hard to understand all of the downsides of a platform, especially when they typically only advertise the good. Let us break it down for you so you have the tools needed to get your business’s online presence started. Methods to build websites generally fall under three categories: 1) cloud-based drag-and-drop builders, 2) hand-crafted, and 3) content management systems (CMS). Each method has its pros and cons, and what works for one business might not work for another.
The most basic option: cloud-based drag-and-drop
As a business owner researching websites, you’ll probably be familiar with the most popular cloud-based drag-and-drop builders: Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace. These builders allow business owners to create websites without any web development experience and can be very affordable (even free, if you are okay with ads). However, these platforms aren’t sustainable and lock you into their services. As the traffic to your website grows, you might notice it getting slower and slower, and these services don’t give you any upgrade options for server speed. Plus, you aren’t able to migrate sites build with these platforms to a standard hosting environment where you are given complete control. If you want to move your website, it’ll require a new one with a different method to be built.
The option that fulfills your wildest dreams: hand-crafted
With hand-crafted websites you’ll have to hire a developer to build your website, but you’ll be able to get exactly what you want: sleek, modern design, eye popping animations, and super-fast load times. The downside is that you’ll have to probably keep that developer on retainer as content is static and must be edited within the code. With both hand-crafted websites and websites build with a CMS, you’ll need a web host (such as GoDaddy). They range in price, but it is possible to start with a cheaper, slower server and upgrade when you need it.
The option that marries all the best features: CMS
For CMS-based websites you can choose from dozens, if not hundreds, of themes already created by third party developers. There are even plugins that can help you build custom pages for your website. You can also hire a developer and have nearly the same creative control you get with hand-crafted websites. Plus, all of your content is stored in a way where you can update it as easily as you would a Word document.
If you decide on a CMS-based website, there are many platforms out there to choose from. The two we recommend are WordPress and Drupal. WordPress is the most popular CMS available and is maintained by thousands of developers worldwide, meaning there are plenty of different themes and plugins for you to choose from. It’s also the easiest platform to update content. Drupal is more secure and ideal for websites dealing with sensitive information, but it is hard to update and has fewer themes and plugins for you to choose from. You’ll likely need someone experienced in Drupal on staff to do the content updates for you.
What we do
Most websites built by UMG Agency are powered by WordPress, giving you the freedom to manage the website how you want to once the initial build is complete. We can help you capture your vision for your business and create a website that meets all of your needs.
Austin Clift is a front-end web developer at UMG Agency.