Are Free Websites Any Good?

The answer to all those questions is “Yes”, but some free websites are better than others. They all run on databases containing the content of your website which is displayed in web pages using templates which you choose. They are known as content management systems (CMS).

Popular

According to a recent survey by W3Techs, WordPress has a content management system market share of 54.8%. The next is Joomla 8.7%, Drupal 7.2%, vBulletin 3.5%, Blogger 3.5% and Typo3 at 2.1%. Another 47 have between 0.1% and 2.0% and a further 70 have less than 0.1% of the market.

So WordPress is the most widely used content management system. According to WordPress over sixty million people have chosen WordPress.

WordPress seems to have far more choices of themes or templates, over sixteen hundred themes on the WordPress site alone plus many other independent sites listing their own themes.

A big advantage is the number of “plugins” covering every possible requirement by a web master. These extend the functions of a website. Plugins include ecommerce, forms, galleries, media, SEO, cache and needful things you have never even thought of. There are some twenty-three thousand plugins.

Would WordPress suit a business?

Because of a number of high quality ecommerce plugins, WordPress will suit a business. However a large business with a million products would justify a custom designed website with custom designed ecommerce.

The WordPress themes or templates are all customizable so no two websites will look the same even if they use the same theme.

A large business would employ its IT department to customize its content management system. Many businesses use WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal in that way.

Easy to install

The well-known content management systems, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and others, can be installed with a few clicks from inside the hosting control panel. Less popular systems may need to be downloaded from another site and uploaded to your site.

It’s true that a default home page of your website will be online in minutes, but that’s before you add your content.

Easy to use

WordPress is the most popular CMS because it is easy to use, but they all work in similar ways. You just type or paste your content into the editing screen for each web page. Images can be uploaded from within WordPress and sized to suit.

In WordPress, if you get tired of a theme, you can switch to another without losing any of your text or images.

Plugins can be installed from the WordPress dashboard. But if changing from one ecommerce plugin to another the product details may need to be exported first and imported into the new plugin.

Are websites portable?

Because they are all on databases from which the content can be exported and the images that you upload can be downloaded, all CMS websites are technically portable.

You can transfer your website to any host who uses the same CMS.

However it may not be possible to obtain the content and templates from such sites as Weebly, MrSite, etc. who own the templates.

Conclusion

Site builders and CMS allow people to create websites without any knowledge of HTML coding or programming.

Every modern website should have a content management system so that the web master can easily keep the website updated. It does not matter whether the CMS is free or you pay a web designer to provide it. You should have one.

Best CMS of the Decade

As essential it is to have a website to boost the image of your business, so much so essential is maintaining and keeping it updated. Imagine you giving your business card to someone, who then visits the website address mentioned and finding that all the information on the website is old and irrelevant! This kind of incident will simply smear the image of your business. Thus, a content management system is an essential part of maintaining a website.

If you find your site content needs to be changes and modified frequently, the best solution is to get the best Content Management System (CMS) of the decade and use it to your benefit. The best CMS today is WordPress and because of its evolving nature, it keeps getting better everyday. CMS is an easy method of managing your web content without the need of technical know-how. In other words, it is online software that works like your library and keeps track of all the content for the website.

Though there are many other CMS that claim to have very good features and indeed they do them some amazing utilities, WordPress beats them all. Some of the other popular CMS are Drupal and Joomla.

Key features of WordPress

  • Easy-to-use: WordPress is for everyone. You do not need to be tech savvy to use WordPress. The CMS is such designed that it offers all the essential features in the simplest manner.
  • Themes: If you want to change your theme every time you update your website, WordPress will make sure that there are more than enough templates to choose from. Better and newer themes are released in WordPress almost everyday.
  • Plug-ins: Plug-ins are like little software inside the CMS each of which provides you a special and unique feature. You can change the look, functionality or usability of your website with the help of one of the many plug-ins available in WordPress.
  • Open-source: WordPress works on an open source platform and thus is cheap. There are many web developers who are constantly upgrading the features of WordPress and making it readily available for the users.
  • URL customization: If one of your aims of using CMS is to get good rankings in search engine optimization, then having the keyword in the URL is one of the best ways of boosting the same. WordPress allows you to customize your URL so that you can put in the keywords you want in them.

If you think that maintaining a website is a tedious job and you are not up to it, then you can get in touch with an offshore development center that works with the technology. These offshore companies help you use WordPress to the best of what it offers. Outsourcing is especially beneficial to large businesses as these companies help in custom development of your website and can use their technical expertise to your benefit.

What Makes Drupal the Best CMS for Your Website?

When you are looking for a website for your business or for online marketing of your personal services, what can be your first question? It can be, “Which tools and technology are the most suitable for your website?”.

There are many technologies for website development and design. The most popular tool in the market nowadays are Content Management Systems (CMS) which are developed using PHP as the base programming language. There are many content management systems in the market these days, but the most popular are Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla.

Now, let us get back to the question. Which tools and technology are the most suitable for your website?

To get an answer for this question, you would probably need to ask some questions to yourself.

  1. Do you want to make a site with dynamic content which will change frequently?
  2. Do you want to be able to easily manage your content?
  3. Do you want to be able to expand your website in future without switching to other technology?
  4. Do you want your website highly secure?
  5. Do you want not to spend money separately on the features of your website?

These questions can help you decide the right tool for your website.

If all your answers are YES, then Drupal can be the best choice for your website.

What is Drupal?

Drupal is an open source content management system maintained and developed by a community of over 1,000,000 users and developers. It’s distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (or “GPL”), and anyone is free to download it, use it and share it with others. The community is constantly working to make sure Drupal is a cutting-edge platform that supports the latest technologies that the Web has to offer. The Drupal project’s principles encourage modularity, standards, collaboration, ease-of-use, and more.

Drupal’s History

Dries Buytaert began the Drupal software as a message board in 1999. Within a year, it became so popular that more people became interested using and contributing to Drupal, so the project was made open source. In 2001, Drupal.org came online and by the year 2005, the Drupal gained momentum and became popular as a Content Management System.

Now Let us see what makes the Drupal outstanding among the most popular Content Management Systems.

  • Drupal is a CMS but it is also a content management framework, giving you the more power, speed and flexibility.
  • Drupal package powered by core modules which gives you the simple sites right out of the box without the need of programming knowledge.
  • Drupal provides thousands of contributed modules which enables you to create almost any feature on your site. For example, by using only a few powerful modules like Views, Rules and Ubercart will get you a commerce site quickly set up.
  • Drupal also allows you to make custom modules for your specific needs.
  • Drupal has a very active community, with a number of IRC channels, forums, and even face-to-face Drupal events. There’s also a community-generated documentation that is constantly being updated and improved.
  • Its security related contributed modules like Content Access, Field Validation, Doorman, LoginToBoggan, Captcha, Spamicide etc. help make your site highly secure.
  • Drupal has great SEO modules like SEO Tools, XML-sitemap, Google Analytics, Content Analysis, Pathauto, Metatag etc.

Click here to know more about Drupal

Drupal is used by many big organizations, institutions. It is also used by governments of USA, UK, France, New Zealand, The Prince of Wales.

I hope the information given in this article will help you choose the best option for you and/or your client’s websites.

Why Joomla Is An Ideal CMS For Your Website

Undoubtedly, Joomla is one of the most popular and trusted CMS or Content Management System in all over the world. It allows you to build, organize, publish content over the website, or blogs. It’s powerful enough to run a website without facing any trouble. Nowadays, it is considered as an award-winning CMS with plenty of free themes, templates, and plugins that make your web development work easier than ever before. It helps to give a customized look to your site, which you actually want to give with even less technical knowledge. Here are a few more reasons to let you understand that why Joomla is an ideal CMS for your website.

Multilingual: Joomla supports multiple languages that help to create a website in different languages that let you reach out to wider audiences than before. Its multi-language support proves that it is actually a perfect CMS to use.

Perfect To Create An Ecommerce Website: Planning to start an online business looking for a right CMS? Joomla is the right option you can trust that makes your setup easier with great functionality and special customization even without spending much in terms of time, money and manpower.

Not Too Technical: Don’t worry, if you are a non-tech savvy person. It’s because for creating a website on this CMS you don’t need to deeply delve in the pool of technical knowledge. You can easily complete your task by following some simple steps with very basic computer knowledge.

Vast Community Support: Joomla world’s best and most used CMS offers a great help portal, which never let you lost in the technical world. It has a community of developers around the world, who are ready to provide full support to you in all manners.

Easy Updates: Joomla as a most popular CMS update its software with new features on a regular basis, which help you to update your site and improve its performance. Therefore, it is considered as an ideal CMS for your website.

Content Management: Managing content for a website is actually a big task to do. It’s because to get the great result you have to present your content in a responsive manner and for this no option is better than Joomla. It will make your content management work easier.

What’s more, are you expecting from a CMS to do for you? It allows you to add as much as functionality you want to add to your website for better results. Therefore, it is a perfect choice, which you should give a try.

Why Moving To Drupal CMS Is a Great Advantage

Whether you are a webmaster, a business owner or a developer, it is very important to have a web technology that can help you to create a site that can help you to remain competitive in the market and at the same time meet the demands of your customers. In fact, selecting a CMS is the first step to create a functional website and it can really be a daunting task. Drupal CMS is an open source platform that has powered millions of websites and applications. Since it is fully flexible and extensible, and you have great access to a huge community of active developers worldwide, it can help the developers quickly build and customize the project according to the client’s requirements.

Drupal and its plenty of opportunities:

Drupal CMS development can be used to build community web portals to personal websites, social networking sites to e-stores, from resource directories to newsletters. It is a strong web platform that allows various organizations to address specific requirements to create a stronger online presence. With this platform you can have an easy access to twenty nine thousand modules and about two thousand different themes that can be used to develop customized websites. Thousands of add-on modules and designs have made Drupal development the most preferred choice of designers as well as developers.

A comparison with Joomla and WordPress

We all are aware of the fact that each web development platform has its own features and functionalities. WordPress is a good pick for the beginners and it works well for blogging or mid-sized websites. Joomla on the other hand is a very good platform that can be used for ecommerce websites and requires some technical knowledge when it comes to coding. Compared to both these two platforms, Drupal is the hardest and the most powerful CMS among all and it is suitable for all types of websites and is the easiest CMS for moderation. It is also considered while creating ecommerce sites as an addition or modification of Drupal templates is easy and does not take much time to create tailor made apps.

Some advantages of using the Drupal platform:

Rapid and Agile: Web 2.0 development is at the core of Drupal and it offers clean markup code, content management, forums, search, page and blog publishing and many more.

Highly scalable: Drupal is highly scalable. If you start with 5 pages initially, you have the option to grow to 5000 pages without requiring changing anything. The security and performance parameters can easily be changed from the Admin console.

Free modules available: There are more than 16000 modules available from the community that makes it easy to add specific features to your site. From security, CRM and social media to SEO, backup, migration or performance and more there are various modules available that make it easy to add latest features.

3rd party integration: A huge community of developers and theme designers has created numerous feature rich templates to help you realize your website’s vision. Responsive layouts, stock graphics, aesthetics, fonts, color schemes and layout editors make it easy to work with 3rd party themes. Adding ecommerce modules or integrating payment gateways is also easy as Drupal is open to lots of APIs and modules.

Advanced Enterprise CMS Solution For Effective Data Management in Companies

An advanced and improved enterprise content management system (CMS) helps in streamlining the process of document management within an organisation. Whether you are talking about capturing, managing, accessing, integrating, measuring or storing information, an ECM proves to be of much help to you. Be it your company web or mobile site, a feature-rich and scalable content management system can help you manage your online content very easily. Remember that the most effective way to communicate with your clients nowadays, is through your mobile or website. So, enterprise CMS solution is important to store and update all valuable content in an organised manner.

Having an enterprise content management strategy for effective storage, distribution and management of content, is crucial. Given below are some of the benefits of using an enterprise CMS for effective management of data in your organisation:

• Management and collaboration: The main goal for installing an ECM is to manage a company’s documents properly. And the best part about using an ECM is that you can search important documents by simply typing in the keywords. This way it becomes much easier for you to choose files instead of spending time searching for files in folders, endlessly. Moreover, every organisation needs a system wherein there is no need to track each document individually. The best ECM solutions ease up this process by offering facilities that lets you create a designated route for documents which needs approval and review by an appropriate personnel. There are ECM systems which are synced with Microsoft Office and can also send alerts as to which individual needs to check a document and which document needs editing.

• Streamlines scheduling: An effective ECM provides you with all the details about a content status, that is, whether a piece of content has been published, reviewed, organized or is in draft. This makes it easy for you to understand as to what to update and what not to.

• Comes with permissions and protocols: A great enterprise content management system comes with various types of publishing permissions and protocols. This helps in securing and protecting data from unauthorized sources. After all, it is essential to protect critical company documents from hacks. Therefore, it is essential that access to documents is given to only specific employees. Some of the ECM systems also offer auditing options. This allows you to see specific activities such as who has viewed a particular document, when was it viewed, who has shared which document with whom, and more.

• Enables easy upgrades: A good content management system can help you maintain a site very well. In addition, even if you need to update the CMS software or add features or tools, you can simply go to the CMS, which has a common architecture, and just make the necessary changes, as required. Without a structured content management system, that would mean going through hundreds of individual pages and making changes, which is a lot of work.

All in all, a good enterprise CMS is of huge importance for any business website. Moreover, since businesses are focusing on enterprise mobility, an advanced and scalable ECM is even more required in order to manage documents across various devices and platforms.

Why Isn’t Your Website Working For Your Business?

KEEP YOUR WEBSITE FRESH

Fresh website content is important in encouraging people to revisit your site and can help give you the edge over your competition. Why would anybody come back to your site if it hasn’t changed in months or especially years?

One of the best things about online marketing is the ability it gives you to respond to market changes, new business opportunities and your customers requests. Would you wait until your current brochure is used up before you make new ones? The same holds true for your website.

PLAN FOR THE FUTURE

If your site is more than a couple of years old, it’s a reflection of where you’ve been rather than where you’re heading. Redesigning your site gives you the opportunity to express your current message. It gives you the chance to think about where your company is heading and set new goals for success and plan for the future.

YOUR COMPETITION

Surfers usually make up their mind about a site within a few seconds of visiting a site. Your website needs to out-do your competition or you’ll lose valuable clients. Spend a bit of time analyzing and looking at your competitor’s sites. Then decide how your website compares to theirs. If theirs is ‘better’ than yours then it’s definitely time for a redesign.

ATTRACT VISITORS

A site redesign can help you attract more visitors in a number of ways. Building search engine optimization into a new site is much more effective than trying to increase your findability once a site has been built. It’s amazing to think how many websites still get built without any goals for growth being set. With firm goals and an understanding of your visitors you can make informed decisions on how the site should look, work and sound.

WEBSITE CONTENT

Having relevant content is one of the most important things about having a web presence. Relevant content means providing content that is interesting and useful to your site users while supporting your company’s goals.

Content needs to be written specifically for the web. Why? Because people don’t read a website like they read printed material. Most people scan over web pages trying to determine if the page is going to be of any use. Only once they have decided it looks useful will they start to read the page and even then many people just skim read.

This is why web copy has to be short and to the point. The main concepts need to stand out and not get hidden halfway down the page.

SEO & ONLINE MARKETING

Lastly, a website redesign can be a great marketing and PR tool for your business. Having your website redesigned is a great opportunity to contact your existing customers, potential customers and the press. It gives you an excuse to contact them and let them know what you’re doing, what’s new and that you’re keeping things up-to-date.

Benefits Of Using CMS To Create Your Website

Businesses are increasingly turning to the internet to market their products and services. This allows them to reach a much larger audience when compared to traditional means of promotion, like billboards etc.

Most small businesses avoid setting up a website because it seems too costly to afford and too technical to manage. This is where CMS (Content Management Systems) can help out. CMS is an easy-to-apply web design and development interface that can be easily learned and applied. Below, we list out a few major benefits to using CMS to design your website.

• It is very user friendly.

This is the most important feature of CMS. Not everybody has the technical knowledge to operate computer software effectively. Having software that almost anyone can use to edit and update a website makes things a lot easier for those who are unfamiliar with the technical aspects of web design.

• A website can be made search engine friendly right from the start.

When developing with popular CMS providers such as WordPress and Joomla, you are offered many features like page titles, meta descriptions and headers, to optimize your website for search engines. A number of keyword focused links can also be placed in the content according to your requirement.

• Analytics are easily obtainable.

Analytics offer businesses a screenshot of what visitors think of their websites. With the help of CMS, website admins can log into their accounts and get instant analytical information regarding user behaviour, like time spent, bounce rate, point of origin etc. This gives businesses a better picture of customer requirements and allows them to update their marketing efforts accordingly.

• CMS can be used by multiple users and across multiple devices.

With CMS, a number of users can log in and update the website anytime and from anywhere, without the requirement of any special software to be installed on their devices. Some CMS software even allows you to upload pictures via your smart phone.

• The website owner has full control of the website.

By using CMS, the website owner gets full control of the website. This ensures quick access and easy-editing of the website, any time. As a business, you won’t have to rely on external web design agencies for small edits on your website.

Designing and launching your website using CMS need not be a herculean task. Let us help set it up for you, while you focus on growing your business.

Pre-Made Vs Custom WordPress Themes – Which Is Right for Your Business?

So you’re all set to launch a website built in WordPress? Of course, you have everything planned out including the appearance of your website and the necessary functionality. You may have also decided which theme and plugins you are going to use. But building a website is so much more than just deciding on the themes and plugins you’ll be using. The ever-growing competition makes it very difficult for an emerging website to establish a strong online presence. Not only you need to have a beautiful and a fully functional website but also need to establish a unique brand identity.

WordPress, being the most popular platform to create websites, comes with a wide variety of themes and plugins. Whether you are building a portfolio website, a food-oriented website or an online store, you can easily find a relevant theme.

However is it what you want? Can you build your website with a pre-built theme? Or you want to give a touch of uniqueness to your website with a custom theme?

Well, some webmasters integrate a pre-made WordPress theme to their website and build the rest of the website according to it where others get custom theme developed from a WordPress development company to add an exclusive look to their final website.

Since no two businesses are same and have the same requirements, the choice of pre-made or custom WordPress theme narrows down to personal choices. Therefore, we have compiled a quick difference of pre-made and custom WordPress theme to help you make the right decision for your company.

Pre-made WordPress theme

Pre-made WordPress themes are those themes that are developed by other developers and made available online. These themes are readily available on the official WordPress websites as well as on third party sites. The major benefits of using these themes are the affordability and future-proofing.

Though some themes are bit costlier than the others, they still fall under $100. Pick out any theme and you will find a reasonable price tag hooked with it. In addition, there are a wide variety of themes available to choose from. No matter what the niche of your website is, you are sure going to the most appropriate theme.

Future-proofing is another popular reason of integrating a pre-made WordPress theme. Although not every WordPress theme is developed in keeping with the same industry standards, the best ones are available with around-the-clock support, regular updates and customizations.

Downside of using pre-made theme

The downside of pre-made WordPress themes depends on who you purchase the theme from. Is the developer renowned? Does he/she follow the coding standards while building a theme? Also, you need to check whether they offer support 24/7 or not. If you find answers to all your questions, you can definitely go with a pre-made WordPress theme.

Custom WordPress Theme

Why is there a need to get a custom theme developed when you can have a reasonably priced theme made available online?

A custom WordPress theme has a wider approach to building a website. Not only will you be having a unique design to represent your business online but also you’d be the sole person managing it. So straight out of the box, you get a great benefit of setting yourself apart from the rest.

Custom WordPress theme means custom look and functionality. You can easily add or delete any functionality according to your preference and needs. Need an image slider, add it. Doesn’t need a navigation menu in the header, chuck it.

Downside of Custom WordPress Theme

The biggest downside of using a bespoke theme is the cost associated with it. Building a bespoke theme costs you hundreds of dollars especially when you are hiring a WordPress development company to perform the job. This itself is a major deal breaker for a majority of webmasters.

Another important thing to consider is the occasional updates. Is your theme going to require updates to address any bugs and problems in it? If so, you better pick the right developer who can offer you affordable services including occasional updates.

Wrapping up:

Pre-made themes are easily available and do not burn a hole in your pocket. Therefore, if you are short on budget, you can always go with such themes. On the other hand, if budget is a secondary thing for you and you think you can afford occasional updates as well, a custom theme is the right fit for you.