Deciding on which type of CMS to use early on will help you make other upcoming decisions, like web hosting and design.
First let’s cover the two different types of CMS installations, hosted and self-hosted.
A hosted CMS is where you build your website on another company’s website using their builder and content manager. This takes care of the hosting and installation steps. But if something were to happen to that CMS company (change of rules, account suspension, out of business etc.) your business presence and all of your work is most likely toast.
We have a strict policy against putting ourselves at that type of risk. There is a time and place for these sites, but we’ll cover that a bit farther down the road.
Examples of hosted CMS sites are: Blogger, WordPress (.com version), Weebly, Wix etc.
Self-Hosted CMS, on the other hand, is where you build your website on your own CMS installation in your own account with an actual web hosting provider. This way, if something were to ever happen to your hosting provider, you can just move a backup copy of your site to a different host.
There are many more pros and cons to each, but we highly recommend only doing the self-hosted method for your main business web presence.
Now that we know that self-hosted is the better option, these are some of the more common self-hosted content management systems available:
1) WordPress (Content Based and lite E-commerce Sites)
2) Joomla (Content Based and lite E-commerce Sites)
3) Drupal (Content Based sites)
4) ZenCart (E-commerce sites)
5) Magento (E-commerce sites)
6) OSCommerce (E-commerce sites)
Of these options, unless you are building a large E-commerce site, we highly recommend that you build your website using the self-hosted version of WordPress. Some will recognize WordPress as a blogging platform. But in reality it goes way beyond blogs and provides a full featured content management application even able to handle product sales. If you are planning to build a larger E-commerce site (over 1000 products) your project will most likely require much more as far as security and infrastructure which we will cover later on.