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Website Building 101: CMS Selection

Acorns
January 2, 2023

Picking the right CMS for your site

The oakpool team has been building websites in one form or another for well over a decade. We have come a long way from James’s 5th-grade computer science class in 2002, where he made his first .html site. If only the link to that page was still available…. mercifully, it’s not.

Building a new website can be an exciting and rewarding process, but it can also be overwhelming with all the options available. Here is a non-exhaustive list of options of Content Management Systems (CMS) for building a new website, along with pros and cons for each:

WordPress

WordPress is a powerful content management system that powers over 60% of all websites on the internet. It offers a wide range of templates and plugins that allow you to create almost any type of website, from a simple blog to a full-featured e-commerce store. However, it does require some technical knowledge to set up and manage, and you may need to hire a developer for more advanced customization.

 

Webflow

Webflow is a visual website builder and CMS that allows you to design and build professional-grade websites without knowing how to code. It has a user-friendly interface, a wide range of design options, and integrations with popular tools like Figma, Google Analytics, and Mailchimp. However, it can be pricier than some of the other options on this list.

 

Squarespace

Made famous by a brilliant podcast sponsorship campaign, Squarespace is a popular website builder. The platform  offers a wide range of templates and design options. It's known for its simplicity and ease of use, making it a good choice for those who are new to building websites. However, it may have fewer advanced features than some of the other options on this list.

 

Wix

Wix is another popular website builder that offers a wide range of templates and design options. It's known for its drag-and-drop interface and wide range of features, including the ability to add animation and video backgrounds. However, it may not be as customizable as some of the other options on this list.

Shopify

Hands down the best option for eCommerce clients. Shopify has built an empire on on ease of use, ease of design, and ease of integration with third party platforms.

Custom build

If you have the technical skills or are willing to hire a developer, building a website from scratch can give you the most control and flexibility. However, it can also be the most time-consuming and costly option. Down the road, it can also lead to unnecessary complexity that can be solved by using an off-the-shelf content management system.

While thinking about which platform to use, there are a number of additional considerations to make. We recommend outsourcing this work to specialists such as ourselves (of course we do 😅) and when doing so, the additional considerations include:

Cost

Depending on your needs, building a new website can cost anywhere from $3K on the lowest end to over $100K for complex custom builds. We find that for most companies, building a new website will cost between $10K and $30K. 

Timing

How quickly does your company need this site? You may be able to pay up for speed, but generally speaking, a new site build will take at minimum 60 days from start to finish. 

Ultimately, the best option for building a new website will depend on your specific needs and budget. It's a good idea to do some research and consider what features and capabilities are most important to you before making a decision.

If you’re looking for help with a new site build, we welcome the opportunity to learn more about your needs and explore how we can help turn your vision into a reality. Use the link below to schedule time with our team – we’re always happy to chat. 

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