Based on your business / organisational or communication needs you may need anything from a simple content website, blog, forum, shopping cart, business directory or something custom written for your needs.
I normally start with the following questions:
- What is your AIM with this website?
- Who will updated the website?
- How often will it be updated?
- Do you need to sell / take orders or receive payments from the website?
- Do you need to integrate with any other system?
- Who is your biggest opposition on the internet?
- Where (geographically) is the majority of your clients?
- Do you have an electronic database of past customers?
Once we have this information I can suggest a website that will best fit your needs ranging form any of the following (or more) systems:
Content Management Systems (CMS)
Content management systems are the tools we (or you) use to update websites. Some (most) editing tool are online and require very little official training and to some extend can be used by every online user and the end results depend LARGELY on your creativity & time available.
Some of the most often used CMS systems are WordPress, Joomla!, Blogger, Drupal & TYPO3.
Most systems have their pros & cons and the majority of the websites we build in on ImpressPages and Wordpress.
- Is VERY easy to learn as a non technical user
- Very easy to update (dag & drop blocks to edit)
- Full mobile complaint
- Require a lot less disk space than Wordpress
- Does not have a large developer base and not lot of extra's.
- Market standard
- Most often chosen by developers & designers
- Large developer base and endless options & modules.
- Have admin tool getting time to get used to
- Page layout & templates can be complicated
- Needs more disk space
- Needs daily backups & regular system updates & support
Blogs & Forums
Blogs and forums are used then you wish to interact with your users and get feedback on articles you post.
- The focus is on the article and normally is based around a well written articles with supporting images or pictures.
- It is created by the owner / webmaster / admin person.
- Users may provide feedback on what is published.
- The focus is on allowing the users to start the discussion or topic.
- Discussions are less formal, may or may not contain images and is less formal
- Normally moderated by admin staff
Shopping Cart Systems
When you need to sell more that one product and users will have to "add products to a cart" in order to calculate how much the order will be the best solution is normally to run a shopping cart on your website.
Some systems go as far as managing the orders, tracking stock, managing discounts & promotions and normally will integrate with one or more payment gateways to take payment by credit card easier.
A business directory website normally gives the owner the following functionalities:
- Multiple categories in which to list
- Member profiles with contact details
- Admin tool to allow members to list & update their own listings
- Membership management system
- Billing or admin system
- News, promotions or banner systems
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