What to choose: CMS or website builder

Make a website using a CMS or website builder. Choosing between unique and template designs

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READING TIME 10 MINUTES...

We welcome all those who want to start their own business on the Internet, as well as those who decided to update the design of their outdated sites and create a new, convenient, beautiful and selling site!

In this article we will discuss the most important issues that interest most customers at the stage of selecting contractors to create a website. For ease of understanding, we tried to divide these questions into several sections:

  1. What engine (CMS) should you use to create the site.
  2. Whether to make a website using a website builder or not.
  3. Use a template design or make it unique.
  4. What required from performers.
  5. What kind of advertising is this or what to pay attention to when creating a site.

What engine (CMS) should you use to create the site

CMS (English Content Management System) is a Content Management System (website). In IT jargon, a CMS is also called a “site engine.” In other words, this is a web interface that allows you to manage the content of the site (add, edit, delete).

The most popular CMS: Wordpress, ModX, Vamshop, Joomla, Drupal, OpenCart

All interfaces are relatively equally convenient. Differences may be in the amount of preinstalled functionality. But the more it is, the better it is not always. Thus, many modules are often installed on Wordpress, most of which are not used, which has an extremely negative effect on the site’s loading speed. But in most cases, you will have to pay extra for the installation of modules or modification of the necessary functionality. Therefore, we recommend that you consider, together with experienced specialists, what specific functionality you may need in the near future.

The presence of security holes in certain engines, which are rumored, are simply marketing rumors. In more than 10 years of our experience, only 1 Wordpress site was hacked due to security holes. Let's say more: any website engine breaks, if desired, in a few hours. But this work costs money and is very rarely ordered, because hackers will not do this “for cheap”, and none of your unscrupulous competitors will pay big money to temporarily spoil you. It’s easier, simpler and more optimal to use this money to advertise your own project.

Conclusions: Website CMS should be selected by specialists who understand the needs of their clients now and in the future.

To make a website using a website builder or not

Site builder is an online system for creating web pages that will allow people to create websites without knowledge of programming languages. In practice, on the constructor is simply not requires the work of a layout designer, programmer and SEO manager ()

The most popular website builders in Ukraine and the CIS: Tilda, Wix, Weblium, Webflow

Let's look at the pros and cons of creating websites using a website builder compared to websites created on a CMS with a Unique Design (UD).

Creating a website using a website builder or CMS with UD
Parameters for comparison
Website on the designer
Website on CMS with UD
Creation speed
2 weeks
from 1 month
Creation cost (approx.)
up to 500$
from 1000$
Advertising channels
Google Ads only
SEO promotion and Google Ads
Functional
Suitable for most landing pages and simple online stores
Suitable for all types of sites of any complexity

The main nuance of advertising sites on website builders is that SEO optimization and site promotion are not available to such sites due to dirty source code, which makes crawling the site extremely difficult for search spiders.

Conclusions: A site built on a website builder is an excellent solution for clients who are limited on budget or do not want to invest a lot in an experimental project. Optimally suitable for landing pages and not suitable for online stores. The only advertising channel is Google Ads.

Template or unique design

Let's look at the pros and cons of creating websites using a template design compared to websites for which a unique design was developed.

The website on the template will need to be customized (changed) in any case. Often such modifications simply break the entire design and you still have to carry out significant modifications, involving a designer, layout designer and programmer. Over the course of 2-3 years, both a website based on a template and a website with a unique design will require a lot of improvements. Improvements to a “foreign” CMS will be more expensive than improvements to your “own” one. Therefore, after a few years, you will spend several times more on a template site than on a site with UD.

Creating a website using a template design or a website with UD
Parameters for comparison
Website on a template
Website with UD
Creation speed
1-3 weeks
from 1 month
Creation cost (approx.)
up to 600-700$
from 1000$
Number of conversions (orders)
100%
from 120%

The difficult-to-calculate advantages of a website with UD include: the number of clients who, by going to your website, will become regular customers.

When talking about sites with template design, one cannot fail to mention sites on the Prom.ua platform. This is the most popular platform that offers sadly recognizable template stores on its engine. The advantages of this choice include: speed of creation and extremely low cost. The disadvantages: the lack of the ability to customize the design (although the developer has a couple of design solutions), as well as the lack of the possibility of promotion in the free Google search results. This is a good option if you are planning to launch an online store, but are not sure about its profitability and the subject matter of the products.

Conclusions: A website with UD brings in 20% more sales than a template solution.

Example: a website with UD will bring the same amount of sales with an advertising budget of $400 per month as a template website with an advertising budget of $500 per month. Thus, in 4 months, a website with UD will save $400. This means that after 4 months you will recoup the costs of creating a UD compared to a template one, and then you will receive consistently more. According to statistics, most often the difference in conversions is 30%. Don’t forget about the inflated cost of modifications to a template website. Practice shows that a website with UD is definitely the right solution even for the short term.

What is required from performers

Understanding the client’s goal and the stages that need to be overcome to achieve it.

Before starting work on creating a website and an advertising campaign, you need to build the right development strategy, notify the client about the planned budgets, and provide guidance on the timing and stages of work.

2 main indicators of the quality of a website creation studio:

The following IT specialists, the “magnificent ten”, are responsible for creating a high-quality website:

  • Team Lead (project manager/director)
  • Usability specialist (UX specialist)
  • Web graphics designer
  • Brand book designer (logo, style, font)
  • Layout designer
  • Programmer
  • SEO optimization manager
  • Content
  • Copywriter
  • Customer service manager (often his function is combined with team lead)

Example of description of work to create a website

We will try to briefly describe how the process of creating a website takes place using the example of creating an online store.

The customer service manager, as a result of a dialogue with the customer, receives a list of tasks that must be solved as a result of creating the site. Next, Team Lead analyzes the tasks received, the topic of the future site, the sites of future competitors, makes notes and passes them on to their team.

Brainstorming and topic analysis

UX specialist and web graphics designer begin to create a comparison table of 10 or less main competitor sites: their block structure, functionality, points of interaction with the client. After this, the whole team studies the information received and brainstorms. During which the path of a potential client through the site, his intention (main goals, hidden intentions, questions, desires) are analyzed, as well as the functionality and modules that will need to be created on the site are discussed, the optimal solutions implemented by competitors are analyzed and selected.

Prototyping

At this stage, the UX specialist and web graphics designer create a black and white block structure of the site, which they show to the customer before starting to create a design in color. After all, at this stage, corrections in the structure will not require significant effort. This approach saves time and reduces the cost of creating a project. At this stage, the SEO manager also informs you what functionality is needed on the site from his point of view.

Design creation

Based on the approved prototypes, the designer begins to create a web design for all blocks and pages of the site. First, the design of the desktop version of the site is created and approved. After this, the designer begins to create an adaptive design for mobile resolutions (the appearance of the site on smartphones, tablets, ultrabooks). At the same stage, a brand book designer is involved if the company’s brand book (corporate style, logo and fonts) has not yet been created. In parallel, a copywriter begins working on prototypes and design sketches; he creates selling headlines, text, and appeals to the client.

Layout of web graphics

The layout designer converts the drawn design (pictures) into a view (code), which the programmer will later apply to the selected site CMS (site engine). At this stage, the designer, programmer and layout designer come to joint compromises that allow, with minimal deviations from the created design, to implement a layout for “stretching” it on the CMS.

Application of layout to CMS, programming, development of necessary functionality

At this stage, the programmer uses the layout blocks and applies them to the CMS. The programmer also develops the necessary functionality that is not in the site engine: mailing lists, banner rotators, integration with 1C or other CRM systems, etc. At this stage, the SEO manager, if necessary, asks to make the necessary corrections to increase the site loading speed, as well as other corrections that will only be noticeable to search engines.

Filling with content

After the site has been created and approved by the customer, the content designer and copywriter begin filling it out: creating a category structure, creating products, filling out information pages (description, delivery, about us, etc.). At all stages of website creation (prototyping, design creation, website launch, content filling), the dialogue with the customer, in 90% of cases, is led by a customer service manager.

SEO optimization

After creating and launching an online store, conducts a detailed analysis of the site and gives tasks for making changes:

  • for the programmer (correcting the structure of H-tags, adding micro-markup, OG and Twittercard markup, creating correct sitemaps, correcting other SEO errors);
  • for a copywriter (writing SEO texts according to the created core).

This is a very simplified structure of the stages of creating an online store. We hope that a superficial understanding of these processes will allow you to immerse yourself more in creating a web resource that should bring you the main profit in later life!

Often, high-quality usability (ease of use of a site) brings greater returns than a very beautiful, but impractical design. Often a great design is terribly laid out and the finished site looks much worse than in design. But even more often, the information part of the site suffers due to the lack of a sufficient amount of content (text, photos, videos). Clients often think that a web design studio can completely create an interesting website on its own and without their active participation. Which, in most extraordinary topics, is, of course, a mistake that leads to less brilliant results than they could have been.

Conclusions: When ordering website creation services, look at the design studio’s portfolio, and also ask for successful cases of advertising projects. Always ask questions. Experienced specialists must clearly describe what, how, when and why will be done.

What to look for when creating a website

The advertising strategy must be developed and agreed upon with the customer before the site creation begins. Because the choice of site engine depends on it:

If the chosen advertising strategy includes website promotion in Google organic search, then you need to immediately think about the website structure necessary for this: a section of articles, news or a blog. The structure of text information output depends on its type:

  • News, usually in the format of a latest news block, are posted on the main page of the site. There is also a separate page for them with a list of all news. If we are talking about a news promotion, then a link to it is often placed on the main top banner of the site.
  • Articles are posted in the same way as news, but often a thematic link to them is added to the product page (for example: on a vacuum cleaner there is a link to the article “how to choose a vacuum cleaner”) if the site has the structure of an online store. By the way, article promotion is almost the only way to promote a white website.
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