It is not a myth that the foundation is the least visible of the parts of a building but it is the most important part of any building, so much so that when the foundation is faulty, the building can be concluded to be faulty. This is the reason I am talking, today, about the foundation of your online head office or your online fortress AKA your website. In as much as I am a strong believer in getting your business online as quickly as possible, especially with the current realities accentuated by covid-19, I am also of the strong opinion that it must be done right, so you don’t have regrets later on.
Your website is a very important part (if not the most important part) of your online presence. So care must be taken to have one that will stand the test of time.
So what are the factors to consider before choosing the platform on which your website is built?
- Relative cost: Yes, for your cost comparison to make any sense, it must be relative to competition. If you want to build your website on any platform, the first thing, I think, you should consider is the relative cost of setup and maintenance. Don’t focus on just the setup cost and ignore the recurring maintenance cost as this could become burdensome overtime.
- Flexibility: How flexible is the platforms you are considering in terms of change in your taste, presentation style and trends. If the platform is rigid, then you would have problems on the long run, as they say that the only thing constant in life is ‘change’. So always have ‘change’ in your mind as you choose the platform on which to develop your website. In this wise, getting a developer to do a customised website with proprietary coding is a no, no in this era of constant change. It is always better to go with a content management system (CMS).
- Scalability: How quickly can you scale up (or scale down as the case may be) the features and functionalities of your website? This is a very important consideration given that your business requirements may grow or shrink faster than you envisage. The platform you have considered to build your website on should be scalable enough to provide the required extensions in a jiffy, as the turnaround time may be a critical determinant of the success or otherwise of your business in the near future.
- Google friendliness: Yes you heard me correctly. It is no more a fable that Google is the main driver of internet search. It is the biggest and by far the most popular search engine on the globe. If your website would be found as quickly as you would desire, it must be built on a platform that is Google friendly and SEO compliant.
- Responsiveness: This refers to the ability of the platform to adapt to the different devices via which visitors and users access your website. It is appalling to see how some websites look on mobile despite their beautiful rendering on computers. The platform you choose must be natively responsive such that it is intelligent enough to adapt to the idiosyncrasies of each device.
- Nearness of the next web designer: This is a very important factor when considering a platform on which to build your website. How close or otherwise is the next designer if anything happens to (or between your company and) the current web developer or designer. This is where I strongly advise that you choose a known and popular content management system (CMS) platform as opposed to individually coded options.
In conclusion, let me state here that haven been in the IT industry for almost two decades now, I have seen companies change over and over again their IT infrastructure and this is usually at great cost to the companies. That is why care must be taken to get it right and choose infrastructures that you can grow with. In the area of website and blogs, WordPress have proven to be the platform to beat. Having your website on the WordPress platform ensures flexibility, scalability, relatively cheaper cost, Google friendliness, device responsiveness and availability of developers and designers to assist with all the changes and tweaking you may require. If you must choose a platform on which to build your website, choose the best, choose WordPress.
Tunde is the founder of Webend Online Marketing Services, a Nigerian based online marketing agency with a global outlook. You can reach him on +2349014501924. Visit webendonline.com.ng for more on how you can be served.