In part I of this article we looked at website building platforms such Wix and Shopify as well as WordPress. In part II we look at Business Catalyst, Magento and Craft CMS.
BC (Business Catalyst) is a hosted (Saas) based CMS. BC is owned by software company Adobe(pumped up Adobe). It combines a complete range of tools for building and managing a business website, including email marketing and CRM as well as ecommerce features.
Because it is a privately owned SaaS application there are no maintenance or security issues to worry about. They are all taken care of automatically. It’s a product popular with graphic designers who are familiar with Adobe’s other products, such as Creative Suite and Muse.
With BC you pay a monthly fee to Adobe or an Adobe partner for web hosting and access to the CMS. Additional functionality can be added through free or premium apps which are available from the BC app store.
With so many functions and features built in, BC gives designers and front-end developers enormous flexibility in designing websites and web applications without backend or database coding. It may be best to view WordPress as a publishing platform, where as BC is a comprehensive all-in-one-business/e-commerce platform.
Craft CMS is a relatively new CMS built by the people at Pixel and Tonic. As opposed to WordPress (originally developed for publishing blog posts) and BC (originally developed as a business solution), Craft CMS was designed and built specifically around the management of content regardless of format.
Novices can build BC or WordPress sites with relative ease. However, BC and WordPress sites tend to look the same due to the use of common themes and templates .With Craft you will need the services of a professional web developer.
Craft is better suited for more complex and larger websites which require extensive customisation and unique requirements. Compared to BC or WordPress, Craft offers far greater flexibility and scalability compared to the CMSes and website platform builders already mentioned.
Craft offers almost limitless opportunities in how to structure a website and its content. Craft is not limited by preformatted themes or templates. You start with a blank drawing board, create fields for types of content you need for your website, then organise it into structures.
Like WordPress Craft is built in PHP. It does come at a cost of around $US 200, which is marginal when you are talking about websites worth thousands of dollars.
Magento is a dedicated ecommerce platform. It’s considered the most popular platform for building ecommerce websites with a market share of 24.6% according to Datanyze. It’s used by large organisations such as Samsung and Nike as well as by smaller businesses.
Hosted online ecommerce stores provided by vendors like Shopify are a good solution if you have limited technical skills and can’t afford a developer. They work out-of-the-box with minimal setup and provide user-friendly interfaces to get products online quickly. However, their ability to be customized and meet unique requirements is limited.
Magento is an open-source PHP and MySQL platform with one of the most robust and complex backbone, highly customisable, relatively easy to learn and user-friendly to manage. It can be resource heavy, so shared hosting is unlikely to meet your requirements. You are likely to need cloud hosting or have a dedicated server. If you are serious about selling online and need a robust, scalable and customisable solution then Magento should be on the top of your list.
Magento’s other benefits include:
There are multiple tools and platforms on the market for building websites. Deciding which one is best depends on your business and the type of website you require. Each platform mentioned has its range of pros and cons. Blick Creative can help you evaluate which one is best for your business.Blick works with most CMS tools on the market. We specialise in four of the leading CMS applications, including WordPress, Business Catalyst, Magento and Kraft CMS
By Mark Schiffer