Three Factors to Consider When Deciding on a Website Builder for Small Business

Small business owners have a great many things to consider for their business with one of the paramount decisions being their website. While a website may seem like a fairly insignificant decision, it can have a large impact on customer acquisition, operational overhead, and credibility of the business itself. For businesses that choose to take the plunge to build and maintain their own website, there are three major factors to consider: price, templates, and flexibility.

Price

The price of many website builders can have a wide range. Some are free (with stipulations – may require a link back to the provider in the footer) while others can cost upwards of $100 a month. It is important to understand what services are being provided for the range of costs. It is equally important to not be overpaying for unnecessary services. For example, if a business does not support e-commerce, why pay for it?

Templates

Templates are a critical decision point when choosing a website builder for small business. These are the starting point of building a website. They can save huge amounts of time and money by pre-defining the layout and page elements. It is important to determine if the template works with the existing brand of the business (color scheme). It should also be mobile-friendly and it should look professional. Another item to consider is what happens if a business is seasonal? Does the website builder offer the option to easily change the template while retaining all the content?

Flexibility

With many website builders, a template is often the starting point. Typically this template is bundled with images and filler text. It is then the business owner’s responsibility to make it a unique and compelling website experience. When deciding which website builder is best, consider the following: How easy is the builder to use to achieve the desired goal? Does it make changing content easy or is it confusing? Does it require you to drag and drop design elements or does it do all the work for you? The main reason to consider the builder’s flexibility is that if a builder is chosen but difficult to use or does not work the way it should, it can often lead to wasted time, money, and lost customers.

Above all else though, every business should consider building a website to promote their business in the ever expanding web of the Internet. Even a very simplistic website with basic contact information can still be incredibly valuable to customers.

Why Small Business Owners Should Use WordPress for Developing Their Website

Perhaps, you belong to any of these 2 types of business owners:

  • You are aware that your business needs a website. However, you lack the funds or time to create one; or
  • You may have a website, but it is not exactly what you have in mind, so you are always making excuses

If you belong to any of the above, your persistent website problems can find a solution in WordPress.

A number of reasons to use WordPress in running your business website are as follows.

  • WP is simple to set up, run and update. To use it, you do not need any special computer skills or knowledge on HTML codes. You can create your own website just with a reliable Internet connection and web browser.
  • Since you are reading this, you have what you need to start. Go to the WordPress.com site and sign up for free. In as short as 2 minutes, your website will be up and running. You can pay more to host your domain as well.
  • WordPress is a great start-up for small-scale businesses. If the time comes and you want to upgrade your website, you can get a web hosting account at an additional cost.
  • WordPress is beneficial to both your website and blog. While it began as a blogging system a long time ago, as time passed, it has developed into a web content management system with complete features. Therefore, you can use it in managing your website in its entirety, including your blog. You can certainly use WordPress if you just like to blog.
  • There are several, different themes designed by professionals and most of them are free. WordPress themes let you have a professional looking website without the cost and stress of hiring the services of an expert web designer.
  • Programmers across the globe have designed WordPress to be extended with lots of plugins to add functionality to the core system. So, no matter what you need, whether it is a plain contact form or an e-commerce system complete with features, there is a plugin to match your business requirements.
  • WordPress is SEO friendly. According to Matt Cutts, a Google Engineer, WordPress can automatically solve various issues pertaining to SEO. Yoast SEO pluggin, which comes without any cost, makes your site all the more SEO friendly.
  • WordPress is undoubtedly the world’s most popular web publishing system. Aside from being simple to use, it comes with a wide range of professional themes and plugins. According to the latest count, WordPress powers more than 23% of websites.
  • The active and generous WordPress community gives the support that their several users need and allows an exchange of ideas to make WordPress better. Users can connect with the community via the official WordPress forum.

Enhance Your Business By Integrating WordPress With SugarCRM

Think of your enterprise powered by CRM technology, designed to perform and easy to use. Deep industry-specific functionality and an interactive interface, deliver new solutions that endue your business to innovate and stay competitive. Customer Relationship Management software applies to the system through which businesses market, sell, and deliver services to customers. CRM must provide customization which fulfill the needs of the business, whether it is a small, medium or large business organization.

“CustomerPortalPro” is such a platform that allows organizations to quickly and easily create a dedicated SugarCRM Customer Portal which they can access from their WordPress interface, a more secure and efficient way of consuming information and interacting with processes, applications and other users to meet the requirements of specific industry sectors.

This plug-in will help your customers to use several Sugar modules in their WP interface, which you can define from your admin front. It can integrate modules like Accounts, Contacts, Leads, Opportunities, Calls, Meetings, Notes, Cases, Documents, Tasks etc to your WP customer interface for their use.

It will simplify and reduce your task of communicating with your customers through any other means. Your customers would be able to update all the above modules on their own.

Core Benefits

  • You can decide access of which module should be provided to all customers from Sugar side.
  • Customers can access the plugin through username and password.
  • In the Edit and Details layout of Contacts you can set which fields your end customers can view and use
  • To avoid duplicate data entry the email ID, username and passwords are mandatory, also emails and passwords must be unique.
  • You can assign roles to a specific user
  • The assigned user must be configured in WP configuration.
  • The assigned modules to a specific role will be displayed in portal based on the roles.

Industry Specific Benefit

Enabling organizations of any size to capture client related information and analyze the data to achieve excellent quality and ultimate customer satisfaction. Solutions must be such that it can be precisely tailored to meet the exact needs and are highly scalable so they can be extended as your business expands. Successfully building brand loyalty and keeping long-lasting relationships with customers is important to attract and retain customers in the face of amplifying competition.

Self-service is the key to attract consumers today and CRM integrated sites have become an integral part of user interaction with enterprises they do business with. They might be employees, customers or partners who wish to interact with the organization from anywhere around the globe at anytime. A portal such as this provides a convenient way to post service issues and lets you stay open for business around the world. 24 x 7 service will let you deliver a high-quality experience for customers.

Questions to Ask Your Sitefinity Development Partner Before Finalizing

Choosing a perfect CMS development company for your website isn’t just going with the company that can offer you the cheapest solution for your business. When you think about it, selecting the right Sitefinity CMS partner is actually about entrusting them with your entire business. Studies have revealed that any mistake in selection may result in a huge loss in the long run through missed business opportunities and a loss of both time and money. With increased cloud applications being developed and daily activities and operations becoming more and more automated, it is very important to choose service providers who can offer the best solutions for your business.

Here we have discussed a few important questions that you should ask your Sitefinity service providers:

You must be aware that Sitefinity is a fully featured enterprise CMS that is user friendly and scalable. With the right implementation partner, you can have a high performing and rich website.

In which CMS is your team specialized in?

A CMS platform is ever changing and robust and it takes quite a few projects to master the functionalities. So, before choosing your Sitefinity partner, ask them the platforms they have worked on and if their team focuses on Sitefinity and have expertise in it or not.

How many years of experience do you have?

Any software service provider working on Sitefinity recently, will not be aware of the challenges that they face while developing Sitefinity CMS websites. It is important that the developers have experience with the versions of the CMS and have gained huge experience from performing numerous Sitefinity upgrades.

Do you have any experience in integrating third party tools with Sitefinity?

While planning to develop a website based on Sitefinity, you should consider that your development partner should have knowledge in integrating a wide variety of third party tools and systems like CRM software, product databases, maps, data feeds and more. While the third party tools have some existing connectors for Sitefinity CMS, it is also important that your development partner has the ability to write custom integrations.

Are all your processes compliant with GDPR regulations?

Data security, privacy, accessibility is of crucial importance and so many laws and regulations are introduced to address these concerns. The GDPR is being introduced to safe guard the data protection rights of the customers and it is crucial that your partner has experience in assisting your business with compliance.

What is your QA process?

It is very important that while developing your Sitefinity website, your development partner has an in-house team for a formal quality assurance process. Testing should not be the sole responsibility of the developer. A professional team having experience should continue with the testing part while the development is going on.

How do you plan for a project before the coding starts?

Before developing a project, there are some considerations that are specific to CMS implementation and that should be taken care of even before the development process begins. You should know that your service provider creates a blueprint regarding the project before the coding starts to ensure smooth functioning of the project.

Do you have any file backup and recovery system?

Your Sitefinity development partner should maintain a transparent process so as to instill confidence and manage the code and deployment effectively. Find out if they will offer you file backup and any recovery process while developing the project. They should also have a check list while deploying the codes in order to reduce potential downtime.

Do you support a mobile strategy?

Since more and more people are using their mobiles to download application or purchase products and services without even visiting the site, it is very important that your Sitefinity development partner has the skills to develop mobile optimized websites in a hassle free manner. Whether it is about creating an app from various mobile devices or creating a responsive design, an experience company will do it all for you.

Should You Use WordPress As Your CMS – The Pros and the Cons

Since WordPress is popularly known as a great blogging platform, CMS enthusiasts often debate about its use as a content management system. Using the right plugins, WordPress can also be used as a great CMS. The following list is meant for those who like to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a particular CMS:

Pros of WordPress When Used as a CMS:

WordPress is known for being simple to use. It includes pre-installed design options that let users create a template-based blog with plug-ins meant for CMS, by simply clicking a number of buttons. Moreover, you do not need to know HTML to use the website. When it comes to the blogosphere, WordPress is the choice of platform.

WordPress offers enticing choices of menu, which makes the website more attractive and simple to navigate as compared to Joomla or Drupal. It is easy to rearrange menus and pages to best suit your business needs.

Since WordPress has a lot of no-cost themes, you can certainly find a template that is associated with your business. There is an option for users to pay for a premium account using a business credit card to make your site look more professional.

WordPress has the ability to improve search engine rankings. Your site can end up being on the first page of reputable search engine results like Google or Yahoo if you carefully use relevant keywords.

As of the moment, WordPress has almost 13,000 free plugins on its open source platform. WordPress has been recognized as a CMS tool due to this quantity of plugins.

With the use of custom-built fields, users can expand way past blogging, categorizing to use WorPress as a dependable CMS tool. Custom fields such as “Flutter” make it easy to build a CMS, even for those who have no experience.

The Pods CMS plugin lets users create different kinds of content even without any custom-built CMS buttons.

Cons of WordPress When Used as a CMS

WordPress has many attractive templates. However, some users like to design their own unique theme. To do this, they need to be equipped with a deeper knowledge of CSS jargons. Those who know about this may think of using something more robust, like Drupal.

To have CMS design capabilities similar to Joomla or Drupal, WordPress needs lots of plugins. Though these plugins are found on the site, using a lot of them can slow down page load times. Before choosing WordPress as your CMS tool, think about the number of plugins needed as well as how this will affect the functionality of the site.

Since WordPress updates its functionality every now and then, it may not be the best choice for those who go for a more consistent platform, like those who plan on building a CMS on the site.

How Can CMS Website Design Help You to Manage the Website Content?

CMS or Content Management System helps in the creation, management and control of HTML documents, images and contents. Being implemented as the website application, either you or your chosen professional can implement it to create or manage the web content. You can gain more sales only when you have your own website. A user friendly web design will bring more and more customers to increase the sales and profits. With the CMS website design system, you can store, format and efficiently manage the website information. It is the foundation of the website which determines how it will fair.

If you are a small or medium size business then CMS website design is a convenient tool for you. It offers an effective solution when it comes to designing a professional website without any knowledge of technology and coding. With the system, a business can manage the content efficiently.

Reasons for adopting CMS website design

Any startup business owner or entrepreneur is limited in resources and want to find some solution to develop the business. By designing a business website, you save on the budget with CMS website solution. Businesses choose CMS due to variety of reasons:

· If you choose CMS for managing your website content, you can use WordPress web development service which is a very easy solution. By utilizing WordPress web development, you will have a professional and wonderful looking website.

· CMS is not complicated and may be implemented with ease. It offers a lot many tools that an inexperienced user may easily use without any need for technical knowledge.

· The platform offers a complete access to the users in terms of website content. CMS has various platforms and different features with certain basic elements that underline them. Some of worth mentioning features include managing of format, online publishing, design and theme layout, data retrieval, search features and others. These features update the web content file along with updating the version number.

· With CMS, one can store variety of data on their website including video, images, texts, scientific data and numbers. Such data can be managed by the user even if he has no knowledge of coding or any kind of technical training in the administration and editing work.

· CMS is just perfect for the beginners. The startup, the installation needs knowledge which a beginner has. CMS can be easily installed and if any update is needed, it will be done automatically with the help of additional plugins.

· It is cost efficient, affordable way of designing the website. So, if you are in limited budget, you need not hire a professional web designer.

If you already have skills in developing a website, you can still use CMS plugins and tools to update your website from time to time. By designing or maintaining your own website, you will save energy, cost and time. CMS website design helps you to exercise control over your website design and content. Your top priority must be finding a content management system that may store and efficiently manage the website information.

Why Choose Odoo CMS For Your Website

Odoo is a fully web-based application that provides multi user management supporting without any hurdle. It is one of the best open source platforms with a suite of business apps. A well integrated Odoo system helps you streamline your business activities with standardized solutions. Along with apps for various business functions, Odoo also has a CMS option using which businesses can make customer facing websites. But Odoo CMS is up against formidable competitors in the CMS space in the form of WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, the three leading CMS platforms.

Having said that, Odoo has something that other standalone CMS platforms don’t have – the ability to natively integrate with other business systems like CRM, accounting, inventory management, supply chain management, etc. Because Odoo is an ERP suite consisting of various other business apps, it is in a unique position to leverage that for its CMS for businesses looking to have more than just an information dissemination website and looking for a front facing website for the various business applications and systems.

Let’s look at some of these areas where Odoo CMS has the advantage.

1. Easy Inventory Management

Let say you want to display the stock availability of your products on your website for your dealers and distributors, you can do so easily with Odoo using the inventory management module. You can even track inventory in a real time manner using gadgets like mobile phone or tablet, to stay in control from distant places.

2. Better HR Management

Because Odoo CMS is integrated natively with the HR module of Odoo suite, vacancy related details will get automatically updated on the website. With a separate employee login on the website you can update them about their leaves, appraisal, holidays, etc without having to custom develop a separate module for it.

3. Native eCommerce Capabilities

If you want to add an online store to your website, you can again do so easily with the native Odoo eCommerce module. Though other CMSs also have eCommerce options now, they are not as well integrated with other business systems as Odoo. With Odoo all your sales information will be integrated with sales modules, revenue will be tracked in the accounting module and customer details can be managed easily with the Odoo CRM app.

4. In-Built Marketing Capabilities

With Odoo you can conduct surveys and use survey data in your customer interaction, do email marketing natively and provide customer care online through in-built live chat functionality. You can also create events, update event details on the website and promote your event through integrated emailing capabilities.

5. Better Community Management

Want a Q&A platform like Quora or Yahoo Answers on your website? You can use Odoo community module to create such a platform easily. You can add as many users as possible and create a thriving community of followers where you can address their issues or just allow them to create their own content. All this is possible for free with Odoo.

How to Choose an CMS Platform for Creating an Online Business

To help you make a decision, we will look at the features of a number of popular platforms that are most popular in the development of online stores. Some of them are paid engines, and some are free (open source). In this article we will look at free CMS.

In addition to good prices, product range and a number of other factors, the quality of the technical implementation of the site also influences the success of the online store, namely the available functionality and the ability to fine-tune.

A critical factor in the success of e-commerce is the choice of CMS. On what to stop: the simplest solution to start quickly, or deploy a complex and resource-demanding platform with a claim to an online supermarket? Or maybe there is some optimal solution, the golden mean? In this variety it is easy to get lost.

After the launch and at the initial stages of business development in online trading, it seems that the main thing is to make sales and get the first customers. But after the sales flow becomes stable, and the quantity of goods and attendance will begin to grow, you may face a number of technical limitations. Then comes the understanding that the right choice of CMS for an online store, in fact, is far from the last importance for the success of the project as a whole.

After a few months it becomes clear that the sales ceiling has been reached, and in order to move on, it is necessary to expand the range. And to reach a new level of development and customer service – significantly refine technical functionality.

If you initially chose the wrong script online store, not ready for scaling and loads, this task will cost the owner of the business a lot of money. At the same time, in some cases, the implementation of the set goals may be completely unworkable. This means that you have to start everything from scratch.

A similar situation is also the case if a self-written engine is used as a CMS for an online store. Such a development by default will cost several times more, even in comparison with a paid "box" system. No less expensive will be the cost of support, maintenance, permanent bug fixes, etc. In addition, in case of modifications, you will often have to spend the budget on implementing the capabilities that are available in the ready systems by default.

I think you already understood what the wrong choice of a technical platform for starting a business can turn out for a business owner. That's what criteria should be guided when choosing a CMS for an online store.

Patterns of design.

This is a kind of face of your online store, and therefore, this issue must be given the highest priority. In many ways, trust in the seller also depends on this, because the potential buyer evaluates the site, primarily from the visual side. The more paid and free themes available for selection, the more chances to make an online store that will look exactly the way you would like. It should be understood that the same adaptive design has already become a necessity.

Catalog and card of goods.

These are the most important components of the online store, and therefore, when analyzing the engine for future use, this must be given priority. Adding products must be simple, and managing the product catalog is flexible and understandable. It should be possible to customize various attributes, inferring additional characteristics, for example, discounts, etc. Here is a sample of how a good quality product page looks:

Similarly, in relation to the product catalog, you need to pay attention to the ability to control the display of the list of goods and their sorting by using different filters. For example, it can be sorting by price, date of receipt, separate technical characteristics. Such functionality on the part of the user is especially in demand.

Ways of delivery and payment.

Different people have different preferences, and what is convenient for one person will be inconvenient for another. Therefore, the owner of the online store must provide their customers with a choice between different options for delivery and payment. For example, a resident of a large city will approach a method using a courier and cash, but a buyer who lives in the outback will give preference to mail and cash on delivery. Also you need to remember about such an option as the final recount of the purchase price in the basket taking into account the price of delivery. The client must see how much he will pay after the fact.

Extended capabilities.

In addition to the above points, the functionality of the engine for the online store can include a very large list of prospects. Of course, not all of them are critically important, but some directly affect usability, conversion and other factors on which profit depends. This includes the removal of related and recently viewed products, sales hits and novelties, the formation of product sets, the management of orders and customer data, a wish list, flexible discounts, etc.

The cost of maintenance.

This point usually remains unobvious until the business owner is faced with the negative aspects that are associated with it. Regardless of whether you are using a paid CMS for an online store or open source, sooner or later you will need to implement various additional works. And their cost can vary greatly depending on the engine. Usually for a popular system with a high-quality architecture, it is not only easier to find a specialist, but the price of work will be more affordable, as it is dictated by the market.

Free platforms for the online store

There are quite a few available CMS for the online store. At the same time, some of them are already outdated both morally and in terms of technologies, and some are not supported even by the developers themselves. Therefore, we decided to consider the characteristics of those who are in the top three

Despite the fact that the developers of systems are bribed with the promised functionality, technical support and other buns, open-source CMS for the online store is equally popular. The fact is that many of them offer functional, which covers 90% of the needs of a typical online store, and refinements in most cases are of an individual nature, with these tasks are perfectly handled by specialists of the web agency. In this case, there is not much use from the modules available in the basic assembly. The most popular free engines for online stores are Magento, PrestaShop and Opencart.

Magento

One of the most popular CMS for online stores in the US and other Western markets. One of Magento's key advantages is the large number of possible templates, plug-ins and other extensions that greatly simplify the addition of new functionality. True, most of them are paid.

Features of Magento:

  • The developed platform with the big functionality and wide possibilities of adjustment;
  • A large number of available extensions in the marketplace both paid and free;
  • The scalability potential allows you not to be afraid of possible problems when developing an online store in the future;
  • For high performance and speed, you need a dedicated server.

PrestaShop

CMS with open source code, which, due to its flexibility, is actively used in the development of online stores of various levels. At the moment, the creators of PrestaShop have integrated into the system more than 300 functions to solve a variety of business tasks. Virtually everything needed is already available free of charge, and non-standard individual needs are addressed through third-party extensions or additional work.

This engine is a European development and according to the data of Wikipedia the number of stores created on this CMS has exceeded 250 thousand!

Features of PrestaShop:

  • A large number of built-in functionality, which is more than enough for most online stores;
  • A lot of modern design templates, adapted for use on mobile devices, most of which are really high-quality;
  • High speed of work even with a large catalog of products with tens of thousands of products;
  • The ability to scale from a small online store to a large online supermarket;
  • The cost of some modules is higher than the average (60-70 euros), so in some cases it is more profitable to order modifications than to buy a ready-made solution.

PrestaShop is well suited for those owners of online stores who want a project "for themselves", with extensive basic functionality, modern appearance and flexible management.

OpenCart

One of the easiest to manage engines for online stores. The main factor is the ease of mastering the admin panel, the ease of adding and managing goods. True, the disadvantages of OpenCart. Simplicity of start turns out the expenses connected with necessity of constant completions and correction of errors. Web agency specialize in ecommerce solution, responsive web design, custom web development and creation of online shops on different CMS platforms, the development of individual software, servises and etc. It can help you with the solution of current tasks and improvements.

Features of OpenCart:

  • Ease of management of the online store by the user;
  • A lot of plug-ins, both paid and free;
  • The system itself is simple and "lightweight", without problems will work on virtual hosting;
  • Low cost of additional work, since there are many specialists working with this system;
  • Design templates are usually adapted to a specific version of the engine;
  • A large number of duplicate pages that are generated by the engine is one of its main drawbacks.

In general, this option is only for small and limited in terms of functional sites. If you need to develop an online store running OpenCart will require a lot of refinements and the complexity of scaling will be a key problem.

Which CMS for an online store is better?

In general, each of the engines is good in its own way, and when choosing you need to build on the specific requirements of your business. It is necessary to take into account the specifics of trade, available resources and the planned development strategy. Otherwise, the wrong initial choice will result in loss of time and money in the future.

The peculiarity of working with free CMS is that if you want you can download and install any of the open-source engines to try it out in the work. But a person without appropriate technical competencies to make the choice of the engine for the online store will not be easy. Therefore, if you have such questions, and you do not know what to stop at, please contact web agency specialists, and they will certainly help you make the right decision.

Get Your Business Ahead in the SEO Game With WordPress CMS

Search engines are equivalent to god for online businesses! They are the source of traffic and visitors. Without their benevolence, it's not possible for any entity to grow beyond the bonsai height. Clearly, having a high-quality website or web-driven application that is developed keeping in mind search engines goes a long way in serving the purpose of brands. After all, for a business on the web, nothing matters as much as getting a constant stream of online traffic. This is where the real utility of SEO or search engine optimization comes to the fore as it is the way forward for marketing business on the internet.

Further, it's now important for businesses to have high-ranking web pages to perform well in search engines and let more traffic or visitors come their way. This is why every website owners should be concerned with SEO and take efforts to select a right content management system for website development. The selection of a CMS should be done on the basis of SEO-friendliness else your business might not be able to receive the kind of traffic to get propelled ahead in the market. As a business owner, you have to find a platform that is best suited for optimization.

Clearly, the road to online success is not that easy for businesses as they are required to choose the right CMS to get ahead in the all-important SEO game. Over the years, WordPress has emerged as a popular content management system for offering several advantages in the SEO game. Its edge lies in regards to on-page optimization which opens a lot of opportunities for businesses looking for internet marketing at low cost. The CMS is capable of creating HTML pages which search engines can understand with ease. In addition, its SEO-friendly permalinks where links to pages and posts can have keywords help a lot in visibility.

Similarly, WordPress is the kind of CMS that can use permalinks so that search engines, and also visitors, don't have problem in understanding things. The system also comes with the option of setting title tag and headings even without writing the HTML tags in a manual manner. To top it all, this platform enables easy content creation which is why it helps businesses a great deal with optimization. So, businesses using WordPress can create high-quality content in a hassle-free manner and they even won't face any issue with images and videos as well. And lastly, there is also the option to get optimized images in a simple manner.

In overall, we can clearly see how choosing a right platform can open the world of opportunities for a business on the internet. So, you should definitely hire a top WordPress development company and be rest assured of optimization benefits through search engines. You can also feel confident about getting traffic on a regular basis and this is how your business will grow even without investing in internet marketing efforts. This is how the ever-growing competition of the web can be tackled with ease.