Alright, let's dive into the exciting world of building a business website! Today, we're going to talk about a crucial aspect: choosing the right Content Management System (CMS). Trust me, this decision can make all the difference. You don't just want a website that looks good, but one that performs like a rock star while giving you the reins to control it.
Think of it this way: the CMS is the engine that powers your website. It's the brains behind the beauty. With the right CMS, you can effortlessly create, edit, and manage your website's content. Want to add a new page? Easy-peasy. Need to update your products or services? Piece of cake. And the best part? You don't have to be a coding whiz to do it.
In today’s episode Simon Harvey and Daniel Kleber will show you how a great CMS can be a game-changer for your online presence. It's like having a secret weapon that empowers you to build a website that not only wows your audience but also puts you in control.
So, how do you choose the perfect CMS for your business? Let's get cracking and find out!
Join marketing experts Simon Harvey and Daniel Kleber on Authentic Marketing, the weekly podcast that provides proven marketing tips to improve your marketing efforts and help your business grow.
Subscribe to our weekly episodes dropping every Thursday on your favourite podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other.
Book a consultation with our Authentic Engagement coaches to help you navigate through the jungle of the business world: demodia.com/sales-marketing-review
Demodia Instagram: instagram.com/demodia_digital
Demodia LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/demodia
In a world where everybody's got one, you might think that websites seem easy to set up and run. But when it comes to setting up a website for your business, you know that making your site fast, keeping it secure, and making sure the content is readily maintainable by your marketing team is not actually as simple as it seems. One of the key factors in creating a successful website is choosing the right technology and content management system or CMS to power it. With so many options available it's overwhelming for many small business owners. Today we're going to take a look behind the scenes of your website. We walk you through the process of selecting the right web development technologies and CMS for your business website from open source platforms To pay as you go solutions, we'll discuss the pros and cons of them all. So, let's dive into the world of web development and discover the secrets of creating your maintainable website. Let's get started. Hi there, and welcome to the Authentic Marketing Podcast in association with Demodia, where we give you actionable advice and help you create marketing that works. I'm your host, Simon Harvey, and as usual, I'm joined by my co host, Daniel Kleber. Hi there, Daniel. Hi, Simon.Daniel:
So, Daniel, I hear that you've been trying your hand at HTML coding this week. How's that been going? Well,Daniel:
not too bad, thanks. I did some HTML coding while I was at university, so there's nothing new, but it's amazing how quickly standards like HTML and CSSSimon:
have evolved. You can't say that. You're still well young. You've only been out of university a year or so. IDaniel:
mean, it's almost two years. Even though it's just a few years now, everything I learned seems like it's already outSimon:
of date. Yeah, it is funny that someone as young as you should say that, you know, I'm not going to tell you how long I've been coding for, but you know, the thing is, you're right, though, you know, what we all thought was the best and most modern ways to create a website five years ago, or maybe even two years ago, these days, you know, things are completely different and out of date now, the technology and the techniques are just changing so fast. It makes quite an exciting space to work in actually. But if you don't do it every day, you know, it is, it's overwhelming to stay on top of all those changes and stay on top of everything generally. Yeah,Daniel:
you're absolutely right. For those like me that need to make updates to our website and landing pages. We need something that makes things simple. I don't really want to play with code more than I absolutely have to.Simon:
Many people, I think, feel the same as you. So that's what we're going to actually take a look at on today's episode. You know, what makes a good CMS or content management system as they're called, and how to build and maintain a website for your small business without needing to go into all that coding.Daniel:
Well, for all you listeners out there that don't know what a CMS is, a CMS is a content management system. It is used to create and manage content like websites and blogs, and it provides tools and features that everyday users like us can use to create content, edit pages, organize our site, and publish things. Mm hmm. The purpose of a CMS is to enable users to easily control and deliver their digital content. And the best part is that you don't need to have extensive technical knowledge or coding skills to use a CMS. Yeah, that's absolutelySimon:
key in there. One thing to think about is that every CMS offers different features depending on the provider that you're looking at. And that's a key thing when you're starting to set out your website. You need to choose a CMS based on your own unique needs and goals. So I'd recommend that the first place most people need to start is, is by doing some research and finding out what these tools can do and, you know, what they actually need for their own business. So there's a huge variety of platforms out there. Many of those are suitable for small to medium sized businesses. And I think probably the most well known of those that most WordPress. Oh yes,Daniel:
WordPress. I had a chance to use that during my studies in university. Lucky you, or shouldSimon:
I say unlucky you.Daniel:
I think it's a pretty handy tool for people who don't have much coding experience and are new to CMS systems. Yeah,Simon:
joking aside, it is a really great tool to start with for small companies. And it's often the first CMS that many people think of. One thing that I would say though, in there is that it might not be the best choice if you're running a business. Free is good, but this does come with a lot of hidden costs. And when you start to actually build this up and put together a site that needs to be trusted and reliable, you start to pay for themes. You need to pay for hosting. You need to get backups. You need to maintain the site. You need to maintain your theme and your design. All those sorts of things can really start to add up. And for those reasons, I think there's quite a few newer hosted platforms that are coming to the market now. So a couple that I'd also recommend that people take a look at out there are Wix and Squarespace, for example, you know, they provide some really great tools for small businesses that are looking to build sites. They come with tons templates or themes as they're often called, and they're very much drag and drop when it comes to actually building the site. Of course, the other thing with them being subscription services, which is really, really nice is that they take care of all the things like backups and upgrades and things for you, so you don't have to worry about all that sort of stuff. You know, you're far less likely to have a hacked website with one of those than you are with a self hosted WordPress website, for example. So any others from your perspective that you can think of, Daniel, worth mentioning? Um,Daniel:
you shouldn't forget to mention Shopify. Oh, of course. Yeah, yeah. It is also a well known platform for building web shops. But I say that Shopify is more for companies that want to build themselves small e commerce websites. Yeah,Simon:
that's definitely a good catch. Shopify is a really good choice, actually, if you're trying to sell things online. You know, that does provide all of those e commerce functionalities that many of the others don't inside there. The last one that's... Definitely well worth a mention in here is HubSpot. You know, they're not always known for their web platforms. It's not the first thing that typically comes to people's mind, especially if you're a small business in there. But for a very cheap price, they now provide a really good CMS that they've brought in in the last couple of years.Daniel:
Yes, HubSpot is a great tool that actually includes two systems, a CRM and a CMS. And those are completely integrated.Simon:
Yeah, I think that'sDaniel:
important. Creating and maintaining content like websites, landing pages, blog posts, and emails can be done really easily by marketers. Once everything is set up, you can completely customize it for your company's needs. And you don't need to have any coding experience. HubSpot lets you create content using user friendly features like a drag and drop editor. And it is designed to publish high quality content really fast. Mm hmm.Simon:
Yeah, no, definitely, I think HubSpot's a great choice that gets forgotten by many people. So, we've talked a lot about the theory of setting up your own website for the last couple of minutes, but how about let's jump into a few practical steps and talk about how you'd really do this now. So you can do the same thing with most of the website tools that we've mentioned before, but how about we spend a few minutes going through the steps that someone needs to take to set up and create their own website using a tool like HubSpot. So we've been talking today about creating your own website and the things you need to look at in a CMS and now it's time I think we take a more practical look at things and look at the steps that you need to actually create your own website. For simplicity, we're going to talk about how this works for HubSpot, but of course the same basic things apply whether your CMS is Wix or any of those things that we discussed earlier. So, Daniel, get us started. Where do we begin with all of this process?Daniel:
Well, at first, I would say you need to come up with your domain name and DNS. This is not something you do in your website itself and is beyond what we want to talk about today, but it's an essential first step. Once you've chosen your site name, you need to link that to HubSpot to tell it that it's going to host that site. After that HubSpot will ask you to choose a theme that you can use to createSimon:
your website. Yeah, I think that's important, you know, it gets into some of the technical stuff here, but DNS is ultimately the sort of the foundations of everything when it comes to a website. You know, many simple hosting providers will help you set that sort of stuff up, but it is important to look into those things. Yes. So, you know, just to explain some of the other bits for the, you mentioned a theme at the end there. And I think that's key. You know, theme is basically just a template that you can use to create your website with the theme contains, you know, pre made modules that you can use to create different elements inside your website. Uh, and in the case of HubSpot and many of these others, there's. Often free themes that you can just pick up and install into the site at no cost. The other thing that's well worth looking at though, are commercial themes. Free ones are great, but having something that's supported, so that you can actually potentially develop on yourself, can also have benefits if you're running a business. Sorry, Daniel, yeah, carry on.Daniel:
Thank you for the explanation, Simon. After choosing your theme, you can create a navigation and a footer, which will be used for all website pages you create within your HubSpot system. When you're done with that, you can start creating your homepage using the pre made modules in your theme. Using those, you can create an initial page within less than, I would say, a fewSimon:
hours. Yeah, this is a great thing with a lot of these drag-and-drop website builders that have themes. It really doesn't take you very long to get going. They're great. The other thing is that for those that do have coding experience, HubSpot particularly allows you to edit the source code of any of those individual elements within the theme, just using raw HTML. Uh, so if anyone is really adventurous and they, they fancy the possibilities of developing their own widgets, you can use HTML or in HubSpot's case, it has its own language called Hubble inside there, and you can build up some really impressive little custom elements. So that gets us a basic website Daniel, but um, what about highlighting other very important aspects, you know? But how about things like mobile friendliness? I know that's something that's very key these days. Yeah,Daniel:
nowadays most people access all websites through their phone or a tablet. So this is now a really important aspect that you need to consider.Simon:
Yeah, absolutely. The other thing about mobile is that these days Google in particular sets its page ranking based on the mobile version of your website. So it's going to look at the mobile web page first. And, you know, if it can't read that mobile version or it can't make sense of the flow inside there, then your pages are just really not going to rank well. So mobile is not only important both from the user experience, but also from a Google ranking experience. Um, any other best practices you can think of inside there that people need to consider?Daniel:
There's a few things to consider. Most importantly, your website has to be responsive to different screen sizes. That means that it needs to automatically optimize its layout based on the device a visitor is using to view it. You need to use a mobile friendly navigation and optimize the page loading time by compressing images and videos. You also need to think about touch friendly elements. Don't use very small elements that are hard to tap when people view them on a phone. For example, make sure buttons on your CDAs and forms are all clear and easy to click.Simon:
Yep, some very good points inside there. We'll talk more about forms and CTAs in a couple of episodes when we look more at lead generation in there. But one thing I would add is I can already see many of you out there already starting to panic. So I'd say, you know, that if you use a hosted site and you purchase a ready made theme from a reputable source, all these things have already been taken care of. So you're not going to have to worry typically about these things. We're just letting you know about this sort of stuff. So having created your site, the next thing I'd say you need to do is test, you know, test, test, test. You need to try it on lots of different browsers. And that's something that a lot of people forget, you know, majority of people use Chrome when they're looking at a desktop and they use Safari when they're coming in through mobile, the other one to consider, I would say is edge. So make sure you at least test with all of those things and then check them on different screen sizes too. So check them on an iPhone, check them on an Android phone and make sure you check them on a tablet or something like that. Yeah. It's essential that you make sure that everything works as expected for all your visitors, no matter where they're coming from. Yes,Daniel:
it is very important to make sure that your website's functionality all works. That brings us to the next very important point, ensuring that your marketing team has the ability to edit and update website content themselves without the need for a developer. If you want to be agile and execute campaigns quickly, This can be vital.Simon:
Yeah, that's something that a lot of people forget. You know, empowering your marketing team really is key. You know, tools like WordPress are great, but what we found from experience is they still involve a lot of HTML coding. You still need to almost be a developer in there or have some of the basic skills in there. More modern tools like we've been discussing through today hide a lot of that functionality though and allow marketers to do pretty much everything themselves, which is really key as well as editing pages. The other thing that you want to think about as well is the ability to monitor their success.Daniel:
Yeah, with tools like HubSpot, each page has its own analytics view so that once your homepage is published, you can see exactly how many people are visiting. There's also an overview dashboard so that you can monitor the success of your overall site.Simon:
Yeah, exactly. I mean, there's tools like Google Analytics out there that many people use and I definitely recommend. But again, going back to simplicity for marketers. The modern version of Google Analytics is really complicated to understand. You know, it gives a lot of power and a lot of data inside there, but if you just want some basic statistics, like who's viewed a particular page or how well your site's performing overall, something like HubSpot or some tools with built in dashboards are far better for just general marketing users. I would say I think probably with that, we've covered most of the initial steps that you need to go through to set up a first company website. As I said earlier, it might seem overwhelming at first, but if you use a hosted CMS like something like HubSpot, it's going to take a lot of the hard work out and the ongoing maintenance effort is going to be almost zero. So your life is not going to be too difficult. And the key thing is then that you can focus on the customer experience. So thanks very much for your time today, Daniel, and thanks for going through that with us. No worries,Daniel:
Simon. Thank you also for your time.Simon:
Thanks as usual to Daniel for your thoughts and comments. I think my main takeaway from our conversation today was this. Don't just use WordPress. This used to be the go to platform for websites. It was cheap and it was simple. But the reality is these days with so many hosted options available, it's going to cost you far more in both time and effort to set up and maintain a WordPress website for your business than it will be to use one of the many alternatives that are out there that we discussed. So if you're having problems setting up or optimising your website, then you can hire an authentic engagement coach. Just go to Demodia. com to hire a coach that will show you how to increase the effectiveness of your website, and will give you an easier way to grow your business. So it's time again for some concrete actions that you can take away to help improve your website and drive business at the top of your sales pipeline. So your action for today should only take a couple of minutes to complete, but it's going to give you a whole bunch of information that will help you improve your online presence. I want you to test your website and find out what's technically working and what's not. So this is actually a really easy thing to do. All you've got to do is go to demodia. com slash website hyphen grader So that's demodia. com slash website minus grader So when you get there, just type in the URL of your current website And then the page will do the rest for you. Once you click on the submit button, the site's going to measure various aspects of your website's performance and provide you with various detail metrics and recommendations that you can use to improve your visitor's experience, uh, increase your rankings and improve some of the technical and security elements of your website. Give it a try, it literally just takes a few seconds to get the results back and then you can pass those on to your web developer or website person inside and get your website performing at its best. Building a website for your business can seem overwhelming at first but once you know the basics you'll have your site up and running and generating new leads in no time. So that's Podcast. Thanks for listening and don't forget to bookmark the podcast and share it with your friends and colleagues. We love to share our knowledge so we can make your business succeed. See you next time.