Web Design

Website design: What CMS to choose from?

17 July 2023 Maxence Pezzetta

In a previous article, we touched upon the advantages of choosing a CMS for the design of your website. For latecomers or simply to refresh your memory, you can find the article here: Why choose a CMS to design your website?

Table of content

Good questions to ask when designing your website and choosing between CMS

Specifications

Of course, just like at the beginning of any project, you must establish the expectations of your website and establish your web strategy with real specifications. Why though? First to see what you actually want: website design, new features, business reports, blog posts, multilingual content management, etc. This is an essential step in the design of your website.

Also specify if you want:

  • A blog
  • A corporate/showcase website
  • Online shop (e-commerce)
  • Forum
  • Etc.

With these specifications, your web designer will have a realistic view of what you expect from them, which lets them propose a site that will best meet your needs. Many projects are poorly defined at the beginning, which can cause changes or delays in the design process and therefore cost you extra.

Website design is like a giant game of pick-up sticks: every time you change/remove something, it calls into question the entire website structure. We cannot repeat this enough: preparation is essential.

Your budget

Some CMS are more expensive than others. When designing your website, you may prefer to choose a more economical solution, but one that will eventually allow you to invest more money in order to obtain the desired final product.

Listen to the tips of a web developer

A website is a bit like a new baby: we want it to be perfect, with all the desired features (realistic or not). We often see people take certain directions that were initially discouraged by their web designer, ultimately leading them right back to the originally proposed concept.

For the design of your website, the designer will advise you on the best CMS to use according to your specifications. They’ll find the right solution for your project.

Choosing your CMS for the design of your website

Wikipedia offers a list of existing CMS.

Depending on the type of site you want to create, a lot of choices are available to you.

  • A blog = WordPress, PluXml, DotClear ...
  • A corporate/showcase site: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, SPIP ...
  • Online shop (e-commerce): WordPress (WooCommerce), Magento, PrestaShop, os Commerce, VirtueMart ...
  • Forum: PhpBB, PunBB, VBulletin ...

Every CMS has its own features. Here is a brief description of 5 major CMS: WordPress, PrestaShop, Magento, Joomla and Drupal.

WordPress

To date, WordPress is the most used CMS with a 24% rate of utilization. Note that this % is very important because it is estimated that about 70% of websites are not built on a CMS. While WordPress started out as a CMS for blogs, it has developed over the years to allow for the content management of an entire website.

Today, WordPress is a comprehensive platform that offers several modules such as establishing secure pages, creating articles and pictures and managing menus  (among other things). So you can build a blog, a showcase site, an e-commerce site or even a forum with WordPress. Adaptable to multiple computer languages, WordPress is a highly flexible, while remaining easy to use.

Prestashop

PrestaShop is a CMS used specifically for the design of e-commerce sites. Its ease of use and management are highly valued by its users. Over 300 features are also available on PrestaShop such as catalogs and statistical analysis tools.

Magento

Magento is an e-commerce content management system that allows for large-scale catalog and pricing management. Promotions can be installed without using advanced technical knowledge, and shops can be customized.

Joomla

Joomla is an open source CMS developed using the language PHP. Joomla facilitates the posting of content on the web, while offering the opportunity to build galleries and e-commerce sites. This CMS can be used to develop web applications and websites.

Drupal

Drupal allows for the creation and management of various websites, be it a blog, an information site or a collaborative website (forums). Drupal is an intuitive CMS that allows for easy interface management and gives lots of information for the user.

After listing the main CMSs, you probably can guess that each web developer will have their favourite CMS for website design: the one that they know best and are most accustomed to. I would say that for me this is a sign of confidence and efficiency. Even though your Uncle Frank told you that he heard the best CMS was Joomla, I advise you not to listen to Uncle Frank.

Your web designer is a professional in the creation of websites (Uncle Frank may be a pro as well, but not in web design). A professional web designer will know how to best advise you. If you yourself are creating your website or blog, I suggest you first check community reviews, number of users, technical support forums, and frequent developments (extensions) to be sure you have an effective support system in case of a problem.

One last little big piece of advice in choosing a CMS for the design of your website

If you need to make updates regularly, or publish articles and pictures, I recommend you ask to test out the user interface to see if it suits you before making your final choice.

Finally, what CMS do you recommend for website design?

"WordPress for showcase websites and for small and medium sized online shops, Magento for bigger e-shops. "(Laurent- Designer & Web Developer at MLBW)

As I’m sure you’ve understood, My Little Big Web recommends the use of WordPress due to its ease of use and its many features in managing websites of all sizes. Moreover, the websites: Focus on French Cinema and Navette Ski Montréal were all created by My Little Big Web using WordPress.

And you? What CMS do you recommend for the design of your website?

Do not hesitate to contact us at 514 572 7758 or via our contact form if you would like to talk to an expert who will answer all your questions.

Maxence Pezzetta
Cofondateur et Spécialiste Web Marketing et acquisition de clients Diplômé d’une double Maîtrise en Marketing et Communication, Max cumule plus de 10 ans d’expérience en Marketing digital. Ancien employé de Microsoft, sa mission est de « mettre le Web à la portée de tous » pour aider les entreprises à améliorer leur présence en ligne.
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