Custom CMS vs. WordPress for Small Business Websites

When you want to create a site for your small company, the first thing you would probably think about is to do a quick online search. While browsing the Web, you would get hundreds of offers for an “easy-to-manage, cheap, and quick” site. Without having enough experience, you may come to the conclusion that creating a website for small business is a piece of cake. However, it would be wrong. With this publication, we continue our series of articles on how to build a website for small business.

Obviously, the best way to create a successful website for a small company is to use CMS. But how to pick the right CMS for your small company site depending on your business goals and budget? We will try to answer this question.

Determine Your Business Goals

Small companies deal in thousands of business fields. One article is definitely not enough to cover all of them. However, we will try to come up with a universal approach, which will determine what customer activity you should expect on your site. Generally, there are several requirements that are common for every small business:

  • The ability to sell online (allows the visitors to purchase a product/service)
  • Show business reputation (demonstrate that the company is worth dealing with)
  • Business representation (provide contact information, showcase service or product, mark the location, or portray the brand)

Here are three main types of businesses:

1.“Test-drive” business. We have put this kind in a separate category. For example, if a business needs to test the idea before making serious investments.

2.Traditional business. Some examples of such businesses are candy shops, home appliances, or flower boutiques. This is the most common type. Here, visual looks would be secondary to the actual content as visitors come for particular services/products.

3.Experiential business. For example, interior design, real estate, etc. Such websites focus on providing expertise or services, rather than selling particular products. Here, the informational content is less important than visual impressions.

If we dive deeper into each business’s peculiarities, the requirements to the site start to vary. From this point, the question is “What kind of site worthy of your business?” Generally, there are several solutions available. Let’s discuss each of them in more detail.

What is WordPress?

Probably, WordPress is the word which keeps showing up in your search results each time when you type how to create a website in Google. So, you may wonder what is it. WP is a blogging platform and collection of ready-to-use instruments which provides the ability to create sites with relative ease. Imagine that you have several parts, and the guide how to put them together. Also, WordPress provides the ability to work with both custom designs and templates (ready-made visual elements). Basically, WP has everything you need to create a standard website and nothing more. In particular, your website would be able to have such elements and sections as Portfolio, Products, Blog, About us, and Contact Information. However, it will require an additional tuning if you want to add some additional fields or integrate something more complex (user-generated content, score system, etc.). Such tuning may be costly.

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Any Alternatives?

Now let’s see what are some other options to build a website for a small company.

1.Custom Platform + Custom Design. This solution is best for the service-driven companies that can’t afford to look like the others. As we mentioned above, WP is is a pre-defined blogging platform. So if you want a really unique and one-of-a-kind website, you will need to use a custom CMS. A custom platform will also provide you with a custom Admin panel without overburdening or useless functions. However, this option will require some additional investment.

2.WP Platform + Custom Design. This is a more flexible solution that suits both Experiential and Traditional businesses (especially, if their budgets are limited), and, in most cases, don’t need any out-of-the-box functions. It allows enhancing a basic functionality with custom visual design and some extra features. At the same time, this solution requires additional tuning of the standard WP functionality.

3.WP Platform + Template. This one is only good for small standard or  “test-drive” businesses, whose marketing is not based on online reputation. It is the most simple solution on how to create a website. Firstly, you can pick a free WP theme (or buy more advanced one), upload your content and images, and put it onto a hosting (also, there is a free WP hosting service). This option is definitely better than nothing. However, a template will not bring you out of the sea of your competitors and will not make your company shine.

 

Finding a Reliable Web Developer

If you consent to the WP basic functionality, then look no further. Using WordPress to create a website for small business is really easy and requires almost no investment. However, as for custom platform creators, we would recommend you to look for awarded, experienced, and professional web developers. Such companies will not offer you a cheap solution. However, they are capable of building a site worthy of your business.