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Website development: platform selection

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Website development: platform selection

Which platform should I use to create a future website?

The first question that a future website owner asks themselves (after the question of cost, of course) is which platform they should choose to build their project. Should it be a custom-coded website, built on a framework, or perhaps based on one of the CMS options, or would it be simpler to use an online website builder?

Let’s go through each option one by one. First, we need to understand the nature of the website because each goal has its own solution.

Custom-Coded Websites

Custom-coded websites are developed for large e-commerce stores, news aggregators, blogs, government portals, and major online projects. The cost of such websites is high due to their complexity and labor-intensive nature.

Creating such projects requires hiring a dedicated team (with embedded skills such as PHP, Smarty, JavaScript, CSS3, HTML5, and MySQL database construction), as well as UX/UI designers, front-end developers, testers, and internet marketers.

These websites have strict security requirements. Additionally, high-speed performance and clean code are essential. Another distinguishing feature of custom-coded websites is their uniqueness: there are almost no limitations on the design and functionality of the future site.

Since the code of such websites is written from scratch, they can handle heavy loads without compromising loading speed. This is achieved by developing a unique website architecture tailored to specific objectives.

Framework

The next option for creating a website is using frameworks, with Symfony, Laravel, and Yii being the most popular choices. Frameworks are commonly used by specialists aiming for business logic and high performance. Such websites have similarities to custom-coded ones but offer greater flexibility for customization. The cost of these websites is also high compared to CMS options but lower than custom-coded projects.

CMS (Content Management System)

CMS is the most suitable method for creating websites on the internet. It is suitable for various types of websites such as portfolios, business websites, blogs, online stores, corporate websites, and other internet projects with moderate to low traffic. There are numerous CMS options available, both free and paid, each with different functionality and purposes. The most popular ones include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, OpenCart, PrestaShop, 1C-Bitrix (for the Russian-speaking market), Magento, and many others. Among them, WordPress holds the top position, being used by 42.6% of all websites, which accounts for 65.2% of the CMS market, according to https://w3techs.com/.

CMS stands out from the other platforms mentioned above due to its simplicity. It essentially provides a constructor with ready-made solutions for various tasks. The advantages of CMS websites include:

  • Fast website development, typically ranging from two weeks to one and a half months.
  • Lower cost compared to websites built on frameworks or custom-coded projects.

However, they may have limited functionality (requiring additional plugins) and are vulnerable to system weaknesses. The large and active CMS community quickly addresses such vulnerabilities, making CMS platforms reliable. It is important to regularly update and maintain CMS installations to ensure a secure website. You can find more information about website technical support in our article.

Website Builders

The most popular website builders include Wix, Tilda, Readymag, and Shopify.

Website builders are online services that allow you to build a website using pre-designed templates without the need for designers or developers. Website builders do not require programming skills or knowledge of web development. Additionally, you do not need to purchase or configure hosting, as the website is automatically hosted by the service. The cost of such websites is relatively low and typically consists of the subscription fees, which are usually billed monthly or annually.

The disadvantages of website builders include:

  • Inability to host the website on a different hosting provider.
  • Limited customization options as you are restricted to the features and templates provided by the website builder.
Website development: platform selection
Shopify store example

Conclusion

In conclusion, when considering the platform for creating a future website, there are several options to explore. Handcrafted websites are suitable for large-scale e-commerce platforms, news aggregators, and government portals, as they offer unparalleled customization and security but require a skilled team of developers. Frameworks like Symfony, Laravel, and Yii provide a balance between business logic and performance, making them a popular choice for complex projects. Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal offer simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and a wide range of functionalities, making them suitable for various types of websites. Lastly, website builders like Wix, Tilda, Readymag, and Shopify provide convenience and affordability but come with limitations in terms of customization and SEO optimization.

Choosing the right platform depends on the specific goals, requirements, and resources of the website owner. Each option has its strengths and weaknesses, and it’s important to evaluate them carefully. Whether it’s a meticulously crafted handcrafted website, a framework-based solution, a CMS-driven platform, or a user-friendly website builder, the ultimate aim is to create a successful and functional online presence that aligns with the objectives of the project.

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