When prospective customers want evidence of your proficiency at delivering products and services, they turn to your website for a virtual tour. Then, of course, converting them from visitors to paying customers is your goal. A great website can do just that.
On the other hand, if your website is difficult to navigate or doesn’t impress, you could be losing potential customers every day.
So if you own a business that needs an updated web design in Paramus, NJ, Wyckoff, or Hackensack, the web design team at TNTMAX in Bergen County is here to help you navigate the role that the right CMS tool can play in making your website more user friendly and effective bringing in more business – and more money.
What makes a website good? Ok well that’s a loaded question – and us web developers and designers love to debate it passionately.
But, for the sole purpose of comparing website ideas for businesses, we’ll be sticking to one over-arching web design element to ensure that your business is left with a site that won’t require technical skills to manage once the website is completed.
A content management system, or CMS, makes it possible to edit, store, and retrieve a website’s content without needing knowing how to code. A website’s content management system, or CMS, refers to the back-end management of your site’s entire library of text and graphics.
Having efficient CMS tools is especially important when it comes to regularly-updated content such as events and blogs. A web development company like TNTMAX can even develop a custom CMS for your company, allowing for an intuitive interface for your back-end site management.
With content management services from TNTMAX, your website is not a static digital brochure – it becomes a dynamic marketing tool that fosters community around your brand.
WordPress is perhaps the most well-known example of a content management system. However, depending on the nature of your business or the digital marketing strategy you envision, there are other CMS tools that TNTMAX can integrate with your website.
Drupal, Kentico, and Sitecore, for example, are other content management systems that might better complement your company’s digital marketing. TNTMAX is fully-versed in the specific development languages of WordPress, Drupal, Kentico, and Sitecore.
However, there are thousands of CMS available on the market. How do you choose the best CMS for your business’s custom web design? We’ll help you make an informed decision by listing some pros and cons of Open Source CMS compared to commercial CMS. Next, we’ll discuss the difference between custom CMS solutions and prepackaged ones. Finally, we provide a checklist for businesses to run through after they have made a CMS choice.
Deciding between Open Source CMS vs. Commercial CMS for Web Design for Paramus NJ Businesses
Your website is more than an online showroom. Other business functions such as database management, marketing automation, customer interaction, e-commerce, and analytics can be integrated into your website. When used properly, these functions can improve productivity, drive website traffic, and increase your company’s revenue. Considering this outcome, deciding what CMS for web design is integral to your business success.
Open source CMS:
Open source refers to a code that is free for anyone to download and use. Web developers (like us at TNTMAX) can modify the code to add functionality based on what your business needs. Because it’s open source, input and collaboration of many developers over the years have improved CMS’s in this category.
You may be aware of the “Big Three” open source CMS, so-called because they power the vast majority of CMS websites today. They are WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. To try and name all the others would be a futile exercise. There are just too many.
- They are frequently updated and improved. Since so many people use them, bugs are reported and addressed quickly.
- Developers continue to develop and release new plugins and templates to extend their functionality, enabling websites to do more.
- There are communities, tutorials, and tools all over the net that can provide answers to your website issues.
- Open-source is cheaper.
- Your website’s code is freely available and nefarious hackers are busy studying it for loopholes to strike at the right moment. (It’s important to have a good security system in place for your data – consult with an IT firm like TNTMAX to know how.)
- Too many installed plugins can break your website.
- Plugins and templates aren’t always free.
Commercial (enterprise) CMS:
In the case of commercial CMS, a company creates the code and licenses it out to paying customers. The code isn’t available to users for modification. In exchange, the CMS company is responsible for managing and updating the system and has a dedicated support team to respond to queries. Popular examples are Adobe Experience Manager, Microsoft Sharepoint, and Oracle WebCenter.
- A reputable organization’s CMS goes through an extensive investigation for quality assurance.
- System updates are frequent.
- A team of developers keeps the system many steps ahead of hackers.
- They provide personalized support
- An industry-specific CMS addresses the common website requirements for that industry. As opposed to searching for a qualified developer to build your specialized website from scratch.
- Requests to add new features to the CMS are usually not allowed.
- It may take some time to fix bugs depending on the response level of the support team.
- It’s more expensive. You pay a license to use it.
- You are locked in. A system change involves moving to a new platform completely.
Difference between prepackaged CMS and custom CMS for web design
We know how much businesses in the New Jersey area range from small scale to large enterprises. The needs of each class when designing websites are expectedly different. What makes a custom CMS more suited to one business and not another? Let’s explore…
Prepackaged (Template) CMS:
The easiest way to design a DIY website is to use templates. Web developers and designers have taken to creating templates and making them available for free or for purchase. In response to demand, business models have sprung up with website themes and templates as their main product.
Attracted by the features of a selected theme, a business owner like yourself buy a template, customize it for your company, and link it to your business domain. Fiddling with the underlying code is unnecessary if the website looks and behaves as it should.
Another option for DIY is to use website building services such as Weebly, Wix, or Squarespace. These services are usually a combined package consisting of the theme, drag-and-drop customization, web hosting, and email for a fee.
- Building a website with templates is fairly straightforward and quick. You can have your site up and running in under an hour if you are tech-savvy.
- Customization to add more functionality is possible by using plugins.
- Many templates have built-in features you may never use. And yet, the coding for these features exist on the back-end, affecting site loading times.
- Modifying a template’s code may become a problem when the theme is updated.
- There are limitations to the extent of customization possible. One really can’t build “the next Facebook” with available templates and plugins.
- Your website’s theme is also available to others, so you may find many other businesses with very similar-looking websites.
Custom CMS websites are designed to match your needs exactly. Be aware that a custom CMS doesn’t necessarily mean it is proprietary. It’s just one of the many issues you’ll need to discuss with your developer during the project discovery phase.
Another issue to consider is whether your website CMS is built from scratch (true custom CMS) using programming (language of their choice) or that your website is built using templates that will be customized.
- A properly designed custom website should run quicker than one built with templates and forced to submission.
- Your website is built with the nature and needs of your business in mind.
- Only you and your team will have access to the underlying code.
- When security standards are adhered to, a truly custom website is more secure than one made with open source code and numerous plugins.
- Your website is unique. With your developer’s backing, you have complete say over what your website looks like and how it functions. Virtually any functionality can be built in, a necessary quality for a business projected to grow in the near future.
- Professional developers will build your website and ensure it is optimized for search engines.
- A custom CMS website requires more time investment for its design and development.
- It is more expensive than prepackaged CMS solutions.
- A basic website does not need the custom CMS treatment.
CMS web design for businesses: A checklist
Flexibility and future expansion
The ability to customize a website as your business grows (or needs change) is a desirable feature. Custom CMS websites are the most flexible of them all. On the other hand, drag-and-drop website builders are the least flexible, although, you can add extra functionality with plugins.
An approximate 2-5 year projection should help you decide whether a custom Web CMS is the way to go.
Functionality and usability
A functional website is easy to update. Moreso, the ease with which your website’s content can be edited will contribute to the freshness of your business’s marketing messages.
Your marketing content has immeasurable potential. It affords you the opportunity to project your brand and values that resonate with your customers. There are a few avenues to get your message out and new ones are sure to be introduced in the future. With a properly integrated website, you can take advantage of images, videos, podcasts, written content, and whatever new formats, with ease, saving you or staff members energy and time.
For customers and website visitors, purchasing decisions are made based on how useful the content of your website is to them, and not how attractive your themes are. Easy to publish marketing content has a ripple effect.
There is a world of difference between reinventing the wheel when designing your website and boring visitors with “more of the same.” After seeing the same template (design and format) for the 5th time, one stops paying attention. It wouldn’t matter that your products are unique or you offer a party bus experience, your prospective customer could lose respect for your product and services based on the lackluster attention devoted to your digital home. Especially in creative industries, your website is an interactive business card and portfolio to demonstrate the type of attention to detail that your company will provide.
Issues around plugin usage and open source CMS have already been discussed. A website that is regularly maintained and updated is best. Your level of security should match the nature of your business, the same way a lemonade stand has different security needs from a jewelry store in real life.
Business owners should understand what it takes to keep their kind of website secure and do everything according to best practices. While you’re busy with business, hackers are busy with theirs too–looking for gaps so they can pounce. Consider working with a professional team of IT providers to manage your web security needs.
Giving visitors and customers a unique experience on your website signals your authority to solve their problem. An intuitive website guides a user, predicting their every move and keeps them spellbound. Also, providing opportunities for users to input necessary information that helps qualify their problem and generates a preliminary solution tailored just for them has the power to tilt them over the edge into making a positive decision.
Think of how a real estate website provides a 3D walkthrough of a listing for the customer instead of a static 2D picture? Or an online fashion store that allows visitors to input details about their body’s features and outfits to mix and match. By generating outfits that would suit the user best, said visitor is motivated to get the look for real. Such high-level features require a custom CMS.
In short, custom CMS supports the innovative minds of ambitious business owners who want to help their customers in the most unique ways.
Still not sure which CMS tool can deliver the best user experience for your website? Turn to Bergen County’s TNTMAX for web design in Paramus NJ, Hackensack, or Wyckoff for your Garden State business.
Our designers place a premium on getting to the core of a client’s needs. Walking the tightrope between what a client dreams for their website and what would achieve their business goals. All the CMS solutions we’ve discussed have their limitations, however for medium to large scale companies, a custom CMS is the best fit under the right circumstances.
For companies with modest needs, the best CMS is one that owners or staff can update both in terms of content and software with the least hassle.
Make sure to research any company you are considering to provide a custom CMS for web design. Or choose TNTMAX, we strive to be the best in the borough.
TNTMAX offices are located in Wyckoff, NJ, though our remote team handles IT solutions, digital marketing, and custom web design for Paramus, NJ, Hackensack, NJ, and surrounding Bergen County Cities.