Which CMS is best for your next Web Design Project?

May 30, 2016
lauren@tomatocreative.com.au

cms-blog

There are 3 platforms that I trust for my website designs and each has it’s pros and cons. All make it easy to manage your website content. Ultimately the choice comes down to the needs of the brief, but here is a quick outline. If you wish to discuss your specific project requirements feel free to get in touch by completing the form on this website.

Squarespace

The simplest of the 3 platforms. Easy to edit and stylishly designed from the get go, Squarespace is the perfect choice for small business sites requiring all the standard features such as blogs, galleries and contact forms.

Pros:
  • Easy to update, all in one solution (price includes hosting, updates & themes)
  • All upgrades and security handled by Squarespace which means reduced maintenance costs
  • Search Engine friendly templates
  • More cost effective in the build stage due to faster setup times
  • Responsive and mobile friendly websites
  • Can also be used for basic eCommerce sites.
  • Excellent customer support
  • Many great features are already built in including events, social media feeds and galleries.
Cons:
  • Less scope for customisation (say for booking engines etc)
  • For eCommerce, Stripe is the only payment gateway available in AU. That said, you can include Paypal buy now buttons or I can integrate your Etsy store into your chosen template.
  • Hosting cost is subject to fluctuating Australian dollar.
Costs:

Hosting: with Squarespace from $144USD/yr
Email hosting: from $60USD/yr if required
Themes, updates and SSL are inclusive.

If you are interested in trying out Squarespace I offer an extended free trial. Contact me to find out more.

WordPress

I’ve spoken before about the benefits of WordPress as a CMS. WordPress has been around for a very long time and has a huge following. Suited to businesses both big and small, WordPress is a truly scaleable solution.

Pros:
  • Large user community worldwide
  • An incredible amount of out of the box plugins are available to save on custom programming
  • You can use your choice of host for both website and email (read about my preferred wordpress host)
  • Search engine friendly.
Cons:
  • Increasingly I am finding security to be an issue with WordPress. It’s not so much site’s getting hacked but the constant upgrades to plugins and themes that are released to combat them. This equals increased maintenance costs as updates can often clash with different site features.
  • Specific plugin costs can add up (though many are free)
Costs:

Hosting: 3rd Party – allow $149AU yr hosting (includes email hosting)
Theme/framework:  Can be a flat fee of $50 or from $69yr
Plus… any premium plugin licences required depending on your needs

Shopify

Whilst both Squarespace and WordPress can support eCommerce, Shopify is by far the best choice for a professional online store.

Pros:
  • Safe and secure platform backed by solid customer support.
  • Used by over100,000 active global retailers
  • A great range of features available with their standard monthly plan.
  • Its easy to sell gift cards and generate discount codes through your store
  • You can process credit card payments directly through Shopify, Eway, Paypal or other gateways
  • There is the option to process in-store purchases with Shopify POS so you can integrate your online and bricks and mortar store
  • The reporting is second to none and can be used to optimise your site
  • The built-in SEO is a great feature and allows you to control keywords, page titles and descriptions
  • Constant software upgrades without interruptions
Cons:
  • Can be expensive if you are unsure of what type of turnover your store will acheive
  • Although Shopify has many fabulous add ons, many cost from $10USD/month

Hosting cost is subject to fluctuating Australian dollar.

Pricing:

Hosting: All inclusive from $29USD/mth (hosting, updates, SSL)
Email hosting: from $60USD/yr if required
Theme: Free – $180USD one off cost

If you are interested in trying out Shopify, I offer a FREE unlimited trial which means you only start paying once your store has launched. Contact me to find out more.