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How to choose a platform for website development?

Deciding the price point for your website is a tough decision for most businesses. Given that there are budget constraints, and so many platforms to choose from, how does one evaluate the cost of developing a website? 

Use this checklist to simplify your decision-making, and choose the right backend to develop your site, and transfer your domain. If you choose to hire a developer for your website, here is a simple set of questions you can use to further ensure your needs are being met. 

  1. Will your site be transactional or non-transactional, i.e. e-commerce enabled? 

  2. Are you targeting customers from many countries? 

  3. What platform should you choose –a self-serve, or a custom development? 

  4. How often do you plan on refreshing the website, and the content such as images, and videos?

  1. Ecommerce-enabled: While it is tempting to either use a template from e-commerce companies such as Shopify, Woocommerce, WordPress or others, it is important to ensure that they are functional and offer you support when something goes wrong or is not functioning properly. Hiring a developer will ensure you can relay your concerns in advance and get the right support in a timely manner. Many of these platforms offer support only when you cross a spend threshold; else, you need to be able to learn how to troubleshoot and communicate with different support teams to resolve issues. 

  2. Users from different countries: This is an important consideration for a number of reasons. While English is the standard language of communication, globally, for many businesses, communicating trust, and reliability also comes with the language. If you are going to be serving multiple countries, ensure your website can support language translations in the future 

  3. Self-serve versus custom: As a new business, it is important to get your website up and running. To that effect, there are a plethora of options available, such as Wix, Elementor, and so on. Self-serve is certainly more cost-effective than hiring a developer, it is equally time-consuming. As a new business owner, your time might be better spent hiring a developer once you have ensured they can indeed deliver the results you want them to do. 

  4. Frequency of updates: If you are an ecom brand, you are likely going to be updating content and information fairly regularly compared to someone in the services industry. Therefore, having a backend which supports this comfortably is extremely important. Ensure the self-serve product you buy, or design you have developed has a Content Management System, or CMS built in to enable you to make changes, quickly and intuitively.  

There are many aspects of a website design which are considered a given by most business owners but need a skilled developer to ensure these are being taken into account while choosing a UX for your website. While your website is your brand identity, a common mistake people make is forsaking speed for a beautiful-looking website. To avoid these errors, also read up on our guide to ensuring you have a fast-loading website.