You need a website, but where do you start? How do you make sure you get what you need for your business now and in the future?
There are many different aspects to a website that you need to consider and each decision will impact you down the track, so it is worth doing a little homework so that you can ask the right questions when talking to a potential website developer.
Below are some of the main elements that you need to consider from both a functional perspective and cost.
Proprietary vs Open Source CMS
In today’s web development world, the vast majority of websites are built using a content management systems (CMS), which makes it easy for you to manage the content and appearance of your website.
Think of a CMS as the “core” or “framework” of your website. It serves as the backbone architecture that glues together a web page’s text and images in a way that allows you to update / manage your site without touching any programming code.
Propriety means a firm owns it and it will usually have a licence fee. Open source means it is usually free to develop web sites in.
So which one should you choose? We have summarized the main benefits and disadvantages for each below.
|Open source CMS||Proprietary CMS|
Ongoing Costs – Maintenance and Hosting
The development of your website is only the first step – although the most important / vital step.
Websites require regular updates and maintenance to protect against new security risks and to ensure your website continues to work with browsers that are constantly updated.
You also need to ensure you have a good backup solution and continued security monitoring to prevent your site from being hi-jacked or infiltrated in any way.
Look for a website development company that will offer ongoing maintenance support to ensure your website does not become out-of-date and vulnerable to hackers and other risks.
The same as “oils ain’t oils”, not all hosting is created equal. Many hosting companies offering “cheap” hosting plans have hidden pitfalls that you may not realise until it is too late.
Once you have invested hard earned dollars to create your website, why handicap it by putting it on a sluggish and poorly supported hosting platform? Just as you pay regular insurance and maintain your vehicle, you need to invest in keeping your website protected and running optimally at all times.
Cheaper hosting companies will often cram hundreds if not thousands of websites onto a single server – which means your website is struggling to operate while sharing minimal resource amongst hundreds or thousands of other websites.
A poor hosting platform can result in many issues for your website including:
- Too much down-time where your website is not available to your customers
- Poor or very slow support
- Your site running very slowly
- Your site running out of memory and throwing errors
- Your site being “shut down” or “suspended” by your hosting company due to “resource abuse” if your site is consuming too much memory or processing power
- And much more
In addition, cheaper hosting companies will often either not support or charge additional for things such as website backups and malware detection / removal.
How easy is it to manage your web site once it is built
Websites can look fantastic from the outside, but under the hood they may be difficult to navigate and update.
A well designed website will have tools in the administration area that make it easy for non-technical people to add more content and keep the site looking great as time passes.
Will the site grow with you into the future?
Part of developing a website should consider how your business is likely to evolve and ensure that whatever platform you are using, it is flexible enough to grow and change as your needs and goals also grow and change.
You do not want to be stuck with an inflexible website that has to be scrapped and built again if the direction of your business changes.
It is a vital part of the website development process that you spend time considering all the needs your business may have in the future and ensure your website solution can grow to fit.
If you have any questions, contact Pinical to make sure you make the right decision for your business.