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    Wix vs. WordPress vs. Shopify vs. Squarespace

    Choosing the right content management system (CMS) for your specific business needs can be a daunting task to say the least. The good news, is that now more than ever there are literally dozens of viable and robust options available at your disposal.

    However, the flip side of this is that navigating the sea of information can quite easily give anyone some serious sensory overload.

    That’s why we’re here.

    We’ve brought you a list of four of the most popular, mainstream content management systems with the hope that you’ll gain some insight into the various platforms in order to make the best decision for your specific business needs.

    This is by no means an exhaustive list — so you won’t find dozens of options available to peruse. What you will find is insightful and focused information on the pros and cons of some of the most popular platforms out there that account for the majority of the CMS market.

    Enjoy!

    Wix

    Wix has been on the scene for quite some time now and has upped their advertising game, showcasing the various celebrity and influential individuals who use the platform.

    Wix markets primarily to the creative millennial entrepreneur type (just check out their advertising images on their website). So if you’re a travel vlogger, fashion blogger, or someone just starting out and looking for an easy user-friendly platform, then this is definitely the best option for you.

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    Pros

    • Fairly user-friendly.
    • Mobile optimization
    • ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence)
    • Cost-effective.

    Wix offers five package prices ranging from $5/month – $25/month. The basic plan allows you to connect your domain and comes with 1GB of bandwidth and 500MB of storage.

    The second-tier offers double the bandwidth (2GB), increased storage (3GB), a free domain and removal of Wix ads.

    Users can upgrade to their most popular third-tier plan for $14/month and get unlimited bandwidth, increased storage (10GB), removal of Wix ads, a $300 ad voucher as well as a site booster and form builder app.

    The e-Commerce option is the fourth-tier package and offers upgraded storage (20GB) and an online store and the fifth tier option (the VIP Package) offers “VIP Support” as well as Priority Response and a Professional Site Review in addition to the aforementioned benefits.

    Wix advertises as a free website builder, however anyone vaguely familiar with content management systems knows that the catch is  most of the important features will require upgrades.

    Also worth mentioning is that the site booster, form builder, free domain and ad vouchers aren’t included if you decide to move forward with a monthly subscription, so the costs will be additional.

    This platform is great for individuals without extensive design knowledge. It’s ADI (artificial design interface) which includes professional text, images and more makes it a cinch for individuals don’t have to have extensive coding knowledge or skills.

    Additionally, Wix boasts the “most innovative drag and drop website builder”,  and over 500 designer-made templates including the option of video backgrounds, parallax scrolling (take a look at Firewatch’s website for an insane example) and animation.

    For those looking for more advanced coding capabilities, these again are available with an upgrade which according to the platform includes “a website builder, reliable web hosting, top security and the best SEO” in addition to a “dedicated Support Team”.

    Cons

    • SEO
    • Not ideal for those looking for more advanced, robust or versatile options

    While the platform boasts itself as “SEO compatible”, the truth is it isn’t the most ideal option available on the market if this is one of your primary strategic goals. Some have complained that it doesn’t allow you to really knock it out of the park with SEO because while there are designated areas for SEO best practices, , “it’s just not ideal to get your traffic to your site through Google searches”.

    This could be perhaps due to fact that Wix is a self-described website “for developers, by developers” – so they really haven’t knocked it out of the park with making SEO easy-peasy and user-friendly much like competitors such as WordPress (their Yoast SEO plug-in is divine).

    Nevertheless, they do offer a blog full of information on optimizing your website with SEO best practices and tons of in-depth articles on the topic

    Wix is hands-down the most cost-effective and straightforward starter option. However, users should be aware that you could very easily start paying as much as you would for a more premium platform only to get stuck with a less superior one with the same price tag.

    WordPress

    WordPress is hands down the most popular and widely used content management platform due to its versatility and endless integrations and plug-ins. The biggest question we get asked is, Why WordPress? WordPress has nearly 60% of the market share amongst other CMS-based websites. WordPress has continued to grow its reputable brand year after year and is recognized as one of the most flexible tools for website management. With over 75 million websites using WordPress, we believe that WordPress is the clear go-to web development tool. Visioneer’s Hosted WordPress Solution allows our clients the ability to set up their own website, import an existing WordPress site within minutes or have our amazing team of designers do the work for you!

    Pros

    • Open source
    • Cost-effective
    • User-friendly
    • SEO friendly
    • Access to in-depth analytics & reports

    WordPress offers endless design options available at your fingertips, mobile optimization and analytics. They’re also extremely SEO friendly due to the fact that they’re so user-friendly, their designs are simple and work to enhance the user experience and they are easily crawlable by search engines.

    WordPress can be tricky for individuals who don’t have time or interest to commit to learning a bit of code.

    We offer a Monthly Maintenance packages as well as website live chat, built-in appointment scheduling widget,  and even a review generation services to help improve your online reputation. Here are a few more technical details about our hosting solutions.

    Cons

    • Security
    • Permissions

    Within conventional wordpress installation’s security flaws are present due to the fact that it makes it more of an ideal target for hackers. However with Visioneer’s Managed WordPress Solution we have partnered with Google to offer a top notch secure product which gives our customers piece of mind that their business website is protected.


    Shopify

    Shopify is pretty much the go-to platform for e-commerce companies and businesses who rely heavily on conversions. It’s designed specifically for this purpose and as a result, it excels where other platforms fail due to the fact that it has a more focused target demographic and niche.

    Pros

    • Drop ship options
    • Somewhat user-friendly
    • Made for e-commerce
    • Shopify shipping
    • A more seamless integration with other selling channels and payment platforms

    This platform excels at getting inside the head of the e-commerce minded individual in so many ways it’s kind of ridiculous. They also offer convenient opportunities to capitalize on sales from other shops with their drop-ship program and options.

    Many users will appreciate that they’re able to add products from other companies to their shop and take a commission without having to deal with the hassle of shipping and handling.

    Think of it like a step up from your  Etsy shop. There’s no extensive design or coding skill or knowledge necessary and it offers users the ability to accept credit cards instantly with Shopify payments and seamlessly sell on additional platforms such as Pinterest and/or Amazon.

    Shopify shipping also saves you time and money, increasing your conversions by giving you access to more accelerated checkouts.

    If you’re looking to branch out of your Etsy shop and build a more personalized and professional brand and you have a solid track record of sales, then this is the place for you. If you don’t have all your ducks in a row and you’re not geared up and ready to go with your selling, then there are other options available that are more suitable for your needs.

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    Cons

    • Not the most cost-effective
    • More of a learning curve

    To be honest with you, there really aren’t a boatload of cons when it comes to the Shopify platform. A few individuals have complained that the 14-day trial is less than ideal and the fact that once it’s over you’re immediately locked out and forced to upgrade is a bit much.

    However, you can have access to monthly plan options and to be honest, I think that Shopify is well aware that they have a superior product in many ways (especially for e-commerce businesses) and as a result, they aren’t pressed to be competitive with their pricing.

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    All in all, the platform features a robust set of offerings and is an ideal option for anyone with a business heavily based on sales and numbers.

    However, creatives that are often drawn to other platforms such as Wix or Squarespace should know that if they’re just looking to just grab onto a platform where they can simply throw up a portfolio of for exposure, then this is definitely not the most ideal option.

    However, if you’re putting up a platform to get direct conversions such as an artist looking to increase sales or an e-commerce company, then Shopify is going to be your best bet on this list.

    Squarespace

    Squarespace is heavy into advertising and mainly markets their services to artists and creative entrepreneur types. Squarespace is the superior platform if you’re company is in an industry focused on visuals and aesthetic. This is where they excel.

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    Pros

    • User-friendly
    • Shop feature
    • Award-winning templates.
    • Comprehensive set of marketing tools

    Squarespace is one of those platforms that does contemporary minimalism best. Users also can rest easy that they won’t feel as bombarded with an endless sea of design and template options as often is the case with so many other platforms.

    However, what they can count on is a robust, visually engaging platform that will give your business the competitive edge and absolutely ooze professionalism. As the platform boasts, users get the chance to “look like an expert right from the start” and with the visually stunning design layouts they back up their statements 100%.

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    Cons

    • Limiting

    To be honest, there aren’t many cons to this visually geared platform, especially if you’re coming from the creative industry. However,  if you hit more along the lines of a type-A personality with a design background, then chances are you may have an issue with the lack of options available in comparison to other platforms.  

    But hey — some find this ideal (such as myself) and it really just depends on your cup of tea.

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    Conclusion

    Finding the perfect content management system to fit your specific business needs can often feel like finding a needle in a haystack. With so many CMS options available of varying capabilities, specializations and prices, companies more than ever are finding the ability to navigate the ever-expanding sea of  information at their fingertips an essential habit to master.

    This  list is by no means  an exhaustive end-all-be-all of course and there are dozens of viable competitors not listed within this article such as Drupal, Joomla! and more that may very well work better with your strategic goals.

    The important concept to take away from this is that there are pros and cons to every CMS and the only way that you’re going to be able to really understand which is the best for your particular needs is by using a strategic combination of research and trial and error.  

    Hopefully, we’ve at the very least enlightened you a bit on the pros and cons and have left you feeling more informed on the subject matter than you were when you stopped by.

    We would love the opportunity to chat with you about our Managed WordPress Solution

    Have any other suggestions for awesome content management systems not listed in this article? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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    4 Ways A Content Management System Can Help Your Business Today

    Content management systems broke down barriers upon mainstream acceptance allowing anyone with a bit of common sense to create highly intuitive, functioning, visually aesthetic, user-friendly web content.

    Choosing the right content management system for your business can literally make or break your digital presence and content strategy.

    So, if you’re one of the individuals out there in the world-wide web still stuck in the dark ages, we’re here to show you all the various benefits that content management systems can have on your business and its growth.

    Now let’s get to the basics.

    What is a CMS?

    CMS stands for content management system. CMS is a software or group of programs that are used to help manage the creation and organization of digital content.

    Most content management systems also work as web content management systems (abbreviated WCM or WCMs), which specifically deal with management of web page content related to issues such as indexing and retrieval.

    When it comes to content management systems, most of them have a front-end interface known as a content management application (CMA). A CMA is what allows individuals who are less-than savvy with web development and coding to manage their content in a more user-friendly fashion.

    To date, the most popular content management system by far is WordPress. It by far dominates the market in terms of content management systems with a whopping 59.4% market share.

    Even more crazy is the fact that WordPress literally is powering 26.4% of the web with companies such as The New York Times, People Magazine, Forbes and National Geographic all using this popular CMS.

    Yep. It’s kind of a big deal.

    When you use a CMS such as WordPress or Blogger, chances are you’re using it because you weren’t trained in web-development, and its user-friendly controls enable you to achieve your results without a massive headache.

    They make the process easy and straightforward because literally anyone, even a 14-year-old kid can use a CMS like WordPress or Blogger.

    There are two main types of content management systems. They are:

    1. Proprietary software
    2. Open source systems

    Proprietary software is software that has been developed by a specific company and is distributed for sale, usually requiring a paid license.

    Open source software is typically made available by project communities and available for use without the added burden of pricey licensing costs. They can be just as robust as proprietary content management software. Notable examples of open-source CMS are WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal and Magento.

    How to choose the right one

    There are several important factors to take into consideration when it comes to choosing which content management system is best for you and your business.

    Individuals such as bloggers and artists looking to establish brand awareness and build an online community often look for different features in a content management system than large enterprises or e-commerce companies.

    Are you going to be handling a lot of the responsibilities associated with your online content?

    If so, you’ll definitely want to take into consideration how much programming experience you have under your belt. If the answer is not that much, then no worries, you’re in the majority. This simply means that you need to look for a content management system that is extremely user-friendly.

    If you work for a major enterprise, and have a team of developers and writers at your disposal, then you’ll want to find a CMS that can support all of this and function properly with all of these components in mind.

    You’ll want a CMS that is expansive and can handle business growth, versatile and offers optimal levels of security.

    However, when it comes down to it, there are 4 ways fundamental ways that all content management systems can help any business, big or small, regardless of their nature.

    4 Main Ways Content Management Systems Can Help

    1. THEY GIVE YOU FULL CONTROL.

    To put it simply, content management systems just make everything easy. Gone are the days when you must have a background in web development, visual design or coding in order to manage online content.

    Content management systems offer easy publishing tools and help to make edits and revisions a total breeze. They include multi-level folder managements, and options to categorize your content and include tags so that everything is neatly organized and searchable.

    Remember the days where you had to research and enter specific code in order to embed a video or image into your page, then trouble shoot when you had a syntax or placement error?

    Platforms such as WordPress will allow you to embed pictures and videos by simply copying and pasting the image URL source directly into the text box. Then, you are able to customize the size, placement, description and alt tags all conveniently in one spot.

    If you’re looking at it from less of a content development stand point and more of a web development perspective, they prove just as fruitful.

    Popular CMS platforms such as WordPress offer users customizable themes and categorize them in terms of industry so that you can easily find one that suits your unique profession. You can customize font, colors, setup, arrangement and so much more.

    Many content management systems also offer their own built-in analytics tools. Others offer extensions for such tools or plug-ins for more robust versions. These allow you to track engagement and conversions all conveniently in one spot.

    2. THEY INCREASE EFFICIENCY

    There’s no denying the simple fact that content management systems improve workflow. Everything is to the point and automatic.

    They enable fast, efficient updates to a blog, page or site and convenient, user-friendly tools and options for enhancements and optimization without the need to understand coding, web development of visual design.

    They also help improve efficiency when it comes to user-management by offering multi-leveled tiers of access and categorizing users based on stated preferences and permissions. You can have managers with full reign of the platform or contributors who are able to simply add content without the ability to modify or delete existing content.

    From the content creation standpoint, platforms such as WordPress even offer post-scheduling options which help you to create a consistent and reliable flow of fresh content. Social sharing options are often also included in these packages, removing the pain of having to cross-promote on each individual platform.

    Content management systems save you time and money. Point blank.

    3. THEY CAN HELP INCREASE YOUR SEO RANKING

    Content management systems also help to increase your organic search ranking in several ways revolving around relevancy, enhancing the user-experience and SEO best practices.

     

    Relevancy

    Fresh content is critical to your website’s SEO rankings because it increases indexing opportunities. This is why so many business have developed such an interested in blogging because they see the potential that these frequent updates can have on their organic search rank.

    A solid user-friendly content management system will help contributors to keep your content freshly updated and also facilitate external contributions and user-generated content. If your content management system is complex, tricky or doesn’t offer features to help enable your SEO efforts, then you need to find a different one.

    User experience

    The user experience is a vital component in your website’s organic rank.

    When your content management system enhances the user experience by having features that let’s say enhance mobile optimization, you get higher conversions, higher engagements and more traffic.

    Google sees this and goes “Hey, people like this—I’m all about giving the people what they want—so I’m going to give this to more people”.

    Features such as on-site search queries, tags and categories for specific content such as FAQs and Help pages and multi-level folder and file organization work to build trust with search engines. Users find these aspects favorable and as a result, search engines see your content as more credible and reliable.

    SEO best practices

    Content management systems also work because they help in the implementation of SEO best practices. Gone are the days where you have to be a whiz kid to get in on the SEO game.

    With content management systems, you can create custom URLs, keyword enhanced H1s, H2s, rel canonical tags to avoid duplicate content issues and even optimize your visual content with the click of a button.

    WordPress is amazing when it comes to this. The platform seamlessly integrates these options into the user experience giving you the option to add alt tags, descriptions and keywords to your images, as well as include location tagging and more.

    It also boasts a wide array of extensions and plugins such as Yoast SEO to assist in these efforts.

    4. THEY CAN IMPROVE BRANDING AND THE SPREAD OF BRAND AWARENESS

    When you choose a robust content management system, you are able to open up access to all sorts of features and options that were previously only accessible to developers and coders.

    Need a visual theme that’s in line with your brand identity? You don’t have to be an expert in HTML or CSS in order to do this. You don’t have to write pages and pages of code. You can literally just click on one of the endless customizable themes that so many of them have to offer.

    WordPress has several options available for even their basic, free package.

    With a good CMS, you can enhance the user experience and customize it to your liking so that your content is optimized to cater to your demographic in the best way possible.

    It facilitates the creation of fresh and user-generated content, which increases engagement. When you have consistent and fresh content that is regularly engaged with, you are increasing your indexing, improving your SEO rank and establishing your business as an authority.

    Other common features such as custom forms help with list building and social sharing tools also help to easily facilitate the distribution of your content and business by effortlessly spreading brand awareness.

    CONCLUSION

    Content management systems hold the keys to the success of your digital presence. They broke down barriers by enabling everyday individuals and business owners to take control of their digital presence.

    A good content management system has a practically immeasurable ROI. They work optimize workflows, give you full control over the creation, implementation, editing and distribution of your content and they enhance the user experience and can help boost your organic search ranking, domain authority and identity.

    When harnessed in the hands of a savvy individual, they really have the power to growth hack your business in ways you never could before.

     

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