In the ever-evolving landscape of web design and content management, choosing the right platform for your UK small or medium-sized business (SME) is one of the first important decisions you’ll have to make in your digital journey.. With many options available it can be a bit confusing to know where to start. Among the top contenders, WordPress stands as one of the most popular and versatile content management systems. Lets compare the pros and cons of WordPress against other CMS options, so that you are better placed to know which route to take for your UK business.
WordPress: The Powerhouse CMS
Pros of Using WordPress
1. User-Friendly Dashboard
While it’s not as intuitive as a drag and drop website builder (eg Wix), WordPress is fairly easy to use straight out of the box, and features a user-friendly dashboard, making it accessible for both beginners and experienced users.
2. Vast Plugin Network
WordPress has tens of thousands of custom plugins that you can use, many of which are completely free, that allow you to customise and shape your website as you wish.
3. Good SEO customisation and options
WordPress, by the customisable and self-hosted nature of the platform, is arguably the best CMS platform for small to medium sized businesses to improve their SEO and have their sites rank on Google.
4. Community Support
Being an open source, WordPress has an enormous, global community that provides support, updates, and security patches.
WordPress allows for extensive customisation, ensuring your website reflects your unique brand.
Cons of Using WordPress
1. Learning Curve for Advanced Customisation
While beginner-friendly, it’s not without some learning curve. To truly customise your site and utilise the power of WordPress and all of it’s options you will need to learn and experiment with the platform a fair bit.
2. Maintenance is a must!
All of the individual parts of your website (themes, plugins, etc) all need to be updated regularly for security & performance reasons. This can mean there is more admin for WP site owners vs other CMS platforms.
Other CMS Options
Joomla is another popular CMS known for how flexible and extensive it is. It’s not for most businesses, but if you are looking for advanced features and are/have a developer then this could be a good fit.
Drupal is a robust CMS with a strong focus on security and scalability. It can work for bigger, enterprise-level websites.
Squarespace is a very user-friendly platform that offers allows you to simply pick a template and customise it. It’s fairly simple in it’s features and customising options vs WordPress, but a good choice for a startup or freelancer looking for a simple site.
Wix is a beginner-friendly platform with a drag-and-drop builder, suitable for those with little or no experience in web design. Similar to squarespace, it’s really just personal preference which one you prefer.
How to Choose the Right CMS for Your UK SME
1. What are your website goals?
Determine your website’s objectives, such as e-commerce, blogging, or portfolio showcasing.
2. How much technical skill do you have?
Do you, or your team, have any web design experience? If not, how much time are you willing to invest in learning a new platform or CMS?
3. Budget and timeframe for your website build
How much are you willing to spend on your website, both in the initial build and then in the monthly maintenance?
How quickly do you need your website up and running? Wix or Squarespace will be the fastest to get up and running. WordPress will be a little bit slower, but still fairly quick to get set up with. The other options will likely require more time to build out your business website
4. Future business direction
Think about your business’s future plans. What do you want to do with the business moving forward? Does that mean that you’ll likely need to upgrade or edit your website in the near future? If so, then you’ll want to look at something like WordPress due to the almost limitless customisation options.
5. Will you be writing blog posts?
- WordPress was primarily designed for blog writing when it was first built. Therefore, it is perfect for websites that want to have a blog attached to it for posting business updates etc.
- If SEO is a priority for your small to medium sized UK business, choose a CMS with strong SEO features like WordPress.
The choice between WordPress and other content management systems for your UK SME ultimately depends on what your specific goals are and what your future plans hold. WordPress is a great choice for most due to its user-friendliness, extensive plugin network, and strong SEO functionality. That said, some businesses will not necessarily be best suited to the platform. It’s important to do further research on the main CMS options listed in this article to decide which is going to suit your needs the best. Don’t rush this decision! Taking the time now to make sure you set up your site with the correct CMS will save you countless hours of headaches if you rush into something and end up having to move your website to a new CMS in future.
Prefer a professional touch? We, as WordPress developers ourselves, build custom, high quality websites for SME businesses across the UK. We bake in SEO best practice, premium plugins and more into your site, giving it the kickstart that it will need. Learn more about our UK web design services here.