Creating a Website For Your Startup: What You Should Know

By Pablo Tapia

12.01.2020


You have a product or service and a business plan that you are ready to show the world. You already know that it starts with developing an online presence and you might have an idea of what CMS you want to use or you might have absolutely no idea. And that’s okay. There are many ways to develop a website. Each business has unique requirements that it needs in a website. So before you jump into a CMS system or hire a developer, you should understand which development route is the best for your company, as well as knowing the best practices in the development process that are crucial for a successful website.

1) CMS platform

Using a content management system is a great option for many businesses developing their online presence because it houses all website content in one place making it easy to manage. CMS tools are also user-friendly, making website management simple, even if you don’t have much technical knowledge.

These platforms also make scaling your website simple with access to hundreds of plugins, so you can easily grow your website and business. At 45/RPM, some of our favorite cms platforms are Craft CMS, Wordpress, and Drupal.

While CMS is great for extending functionalities with plugins, it’s not great for building an application from scratch because CMS does not have the backbone flexibility that a new application needs. Overall, a CMS platform is a great place for many companies to start, users just need to be aware of its limitations.

2) CMS e-commerce or an e-commerce tool

Deciding which development software to use also relies on if you need e-commerce capabilities on your site. Many CMS platforms have functionalities that extend to e-commerce.

For example:

CMS e-commerce makes it easy to extend your existing platform. The caveat is that you’re limited to the capabilities of the extension.

If you aren’t using a CMS then you just need an e-commerce tool like Shopify or Squarespace. The type of e-commerce you select depends on the size of your inventory, and how much time and money you can invest in customization.

3) Headless CMS

Headless CMS is not for every business, but it is a great option for many startups. With headless CMS developers can decide which technology to use for front end development, so they are not restrained by templates or applications. The benefit to headless CMS is developers can create the website exactly how the client wants it without having to worry about if the requirements will work with the application or platform being used.

For new companies, this is a great option because the website is completely unique and they will avoid having the same web design layout that many other companies have because they all use similar templates on sites like Wordpress, Squarespace, or Wix etc.

After You Pick a Path, What’s Next?

Consider hiring a developer

If you have a tight budget and you are trying to decide “Should I hire a developer” or “Should I spend more on software”, we are here to tell you: hire a developer. In the long run you can cut software subscription expenses by utilizing the skills of a developer because many developers aim to use open source tools to avoid unnecessary costs. Another major benefit of hiring a developer is you have someone with the expertise to extend the functionality of your project. The developer can also provide guidance on how to continue to expand and if your platform choice is the best for that particular scenario.

After You Decide The Best Option: Plan, Plan, Plan!

At 45/RPM, after our development team researches and decides on the best path for development we plan the website creation from start to end before any actual development begins. First, our team creates a list of requirements that needs to be fulfilled on the site. Then we develop a flow map of all the requirements, so we can visualize them and to make sure each requirement can be done before development begins. The map is a blueprint of the website functionality. We do this for a few reasons. A preliminary map identifies any risk or red flags, so we don’t come across a road block half way through development and have to restart a project. Restarting a project is expensive and time consuming, but by putting in more prep work we can eliminate the potential risk of starting over. Outlining the development process also allows us to include clients in the process and easily explain the technology and tools that we will be developing and using. Creating clear communication between developers and clients from the get go leads to a more streamlined and efficient development process. So if you are working with a developer to create your website, ask for a detailed plan and to be a part of the process!

In today’s online environment there are numerous avenues a company can take to develop their online presence. Each avenue has their pros and cons depending on what you’re trying to accomplish with your website. So, before you decide on a path, make sure you do your research to discover the development tools that will best accomplish your business goals.

Let 45/RPM help you decide on the right development path for your business. Click here.