That’s the number of currently active websites on the internet.
It’s fair to say we’ve never had more information at our fingertips. There’s so much to see and do, we’ll never get around to viewing it all. And, while this choice has exploded in recent years, the way these sites are delivered to us has seen rapid shrinkage. In fact, most of these sites are created and delivered on a handful of platforms called a CMS, or Content Management System.
What is a Content Management System?
A content management system manages the creation and storage of your website’s digital content. Whether it’s text, pictures or videos, they offer a robust and convenient way to organize, customize and even make sweeping changes. The best part? You can alter the look and feel of your website without having to tinker under the hood with any HTML code.
To give a specific example of how it works, GD Commerce runs on the Shopify platform. This powerful CMS and ecommerce platform hosts over 600,000 online stores, as well as countless other websites. It’s quick and easy to use, with extensive tutorials and video guides hosted on the Shopify site. If you’ve got a product to sell online, it’s a great choice to host your store. And, if you’re looking to give your site that extra special professional sheen, GD Commerce is standing by to work with you to make it happen.
In this blog, we’re going to take some time to look at the different CMS platforms available, with some brief notes on their strengths and weaknesses. This will form the first in a month-long series in which we take a deeper dive into Shopify, comparing it to the closest rivals.
The Different Content Management Systems
Looking to set up an ecommerce store? Shopify offers an off-the-rack solution to your needs. The user interface is clean and easy to use, with little to no technical expertise needed to get a basic store up and running. Where Shopify really shines is in customer support. Representatives are available 24/7 via phone, email or web chat, while an array of Shopify University guides can talk you through more advanced topics. If you want a unique look and feel for your site, the Shopify Theme Store currently has 160 themes to choose from, some paid and some free.
One of the main selling points of the Wix platform is that it offers users more than 280 themes to choose from. However, once you’ve chosen your template, you can’t easily switch to a different one. You’ll need to start again from the beginning if you want to give your website a different look. Down the line, if you’re looking to switch to a different CMS platform, you won’t be able to export your theme as the code is custom to Wix. There is also no native blogging app, meaning you’ll need to look to plug-ins to host a blog on your app. Despite these negatives, Wix is a cheap and cheerful option that works for simple websites.
Perhaps the largest operator in this space, WordPress is home to literally millions of sites as well as the most active development and support community online. It hosts the largest catalogue of plug-ins and themes and can be pretty much customized any way you’d like it. With this flexibility comes drawbacks. WordPress developers can make a lucrative living because it can be prone to suffering from bugs and outages due to its heavily customizable nature. Different apps and plug-ins are updated, sometimes leading to compatibility options for users and sluggish performance online.
Famed for their beautiful presentation and stunning themes, Squarespace is known as the platform of choice for visual artists, portfolio sites and colourful blogs. Though it’s nice to look at, it’s not practical for websites that require layered menus as there’s only one layer of sub-navigation available. With their expensive ecommerce plans, it’s recommended to avoid Squarespace for planned online store.