5 Most Popular Content Management Systems

August 18th, 2017 in Development cms content management system content management systems drupal joomla magento wordpress

The five most popular content management systems have earned their stripes by being usable, intuitive and flexible. These three characteristics are essential in any CMS, because most often they will be used by non-experts: your web developer builds the site, but your internal comms team or secretarial pool will keep it updated over years. A CMS needs to make sense to them.

A content management system does exactly what it says on the tin (if they came in tins): it is essentially a sort of software application which enables you to access the files and pages of your site in a graphical way, so that you can tweak text, upload photos and add new areas to your site. It will often let you alter the look and feel of your site a little, too – although it’s often best to leave this to your designer.

There are several options for your CMS, and your exact choice will depend quite heavily on what you need to do with it. But the most popular CMS platforms available are tried, tested, and where your search for the perfect CMS will begin.

 

WordPress has become the daddy of CMS platforms because it is free, open source and improbably versatile. WordPress offers free sites at wordpress.com, but many professional sites install the WP platform on their own servers and build a site from there. Because its base code is freely available, developers are constantly building new features for it – meaning your site can be made to do more or less anything, and be controlled easily within the very intuitive WordPress interface.

 

Google Sites, however, is making a plate for the market WordPress had almost sewn up. Like WP, Google Sites lets you change design templates, associate a site with a given URL, edit pages as you would with Word documents and generally build and manage a website with a minimum of fuss. The platform may have fewer features than WordPress, but it is growing all the time – and has the huge benefit of integration with the proliferation of Google services, from Mail to Search, that so many of us use daily.

 

Magento, meanwhile, is custom-build for ecommerce websites. Where both WordPress and Google can handle ecommerce with the addition of tweaks and plug-ins, Magento is a specialist CMS explicitly designed to manage products, sales and payments straight out of the box. This specialist aspect gives it a real edge when it comes to websites looking to make an immediate splash in the crowded world of ecommerce – and it’s go-to for anyone looking to build such a site.

 

Joomla is, like WordPress, free and open-source – that is, it costs nothing and its base code is available for anyone to edit and change in order to add new functionality (and provide their bright ideas to other Joomla users). It’s the second most used CMS in the world after WordPress, and shares many of its features. Databases power both WordPress and Joomla, but the latter provides a lot more flexibility in terms of which type of database you can use – if your server cannot handle the specific database type required by WP, Joomla may be your saviour.

 

Drupal, too, is similar in many ways to both WordPress and Joomla – it’s free, open-source and expandable. But it’s also a web application framework, meaning that unlike its rivals its designed as an environment in which users can build not just sites but web apps such as calendars or email systems. This gives it a very important USP in the current digital landscape, since web users are increasingly demanding that sites have real utility, as well as looking pretty and providing basic information.

 

We may not have made your final decision for you, but we’ve hopefully set out the stall of each of these platforms – why not call us today to discuss further what CMS your team will need to use once your site is complete? Depending on your and their precise needs, there’s a reason to use each of these five most popular CMS platforms.

 

Contact Image Plus for CMS Support and Web Development

If you’re unsure about what Content Management System to use for a new or upgraded website then speak to our experts. Our Web Developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.

Contact us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at info@image-plus.co.uk.

 

Top 5 E-Commerce Web Design Trends for 2017

August 9th, 2017 in Design, Web e-commerce web design

E-commerce website trends in 2017 are related to, but also diverge from, the more general web design fashions. Much of this difference, of course, is simply due to the separate functionalities required of an e-commerce site. You wouldn’t build a bungalow the way you would a skyscraper. Websites are the same.

The primary purpose of an e-commerce site, not surprisingly, is to drive sales. How you do this online is all about how a website looks, and how that appearance guides and empowers the user. E-commerce web design trends are equal parts style and substance: they both keep things fresh and make them functional, enhancing the user experience.

So what are the latest trends? As dedicated followers of fashion, we’re glad you asked.

 

1) Responsive Design

This one shares most with the general trends elsewhere in web design: a responsive site is one that can be viewed optimally on many devices and platforms, and with mobile a very big thing now this is essential. It’s extremely important that your e-commerce website looks good on a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer: you want to maximise your customer base, and responsive design is the way to do it.

 

2) Material Design

If responsive e-commerce design is primarily about function, material design is about aesthetics. Put simply, this e-commerce web design trend builds on a language introduced by Google in 2014, and focuses on card layouts and responsive animations. This is perfect for an e-commerce site, since the grid system of material design offers the perfect way to arrange products simply and easily. This helps your user find what they want quickly.

 

3) Menu Placement on the Left

This is another trend driven by Google. The service has begun to place its menus on the left, and so ubiquitous are the service’s platforms that users are automatically beginning to expect this. Intuitive navigation is a key means of ensuring your visitors become customers, so following this trend makes a lot of sense. Look for ‘hamburgers’, too – the three-line horizontal button which, when tapped or clicked, expands the menu. Hiding your menu in this way gives you more space for content when you need it.

 

4) Bright and Vibrant Colours

Web design in general, has been inundated with blocky colours of late: less pattern, more bold hues. E-commerce can make real use of this trend to highlight key areas of content and simply stray fresh when it comes to look and feel. Do away with whites and greys –  try reds and yellows. At last web design is fun again!

 

5) Lots of Images

Your e-commerce website is your new shop window – and no one likes an empty window, right? Let your customer see your products, and be unafraid of leaning heavily on original photography. Likewise, don’t just limit yourself to product shots – use attractive photography of your products in situ, being used and generally looking great. Release your inner artist.

 

Contact Image Plus for Website Design & Development

Drop us a line to learn more about where we’re taking our e-commerce clients this year. But there they are in a nutshell: the top five e-commerce web design trends of 2017!

If you’re looking for a web design company in Coventry, Warwickshire and would like some support with a website or mobile website, then please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.

Contact us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at info@image-plus.co.uk.