Choosing the Best CMS For Websites in 2019

O8 Content Management System

In order to improve the experience of handling the information stored on your website you need a Content Management System (CMS) that fits your business needs and automates the process to optimal levels of efficiency.

Choosing a CMS for your website is one of the most important decisions your company will make in terms of web design and development, not only because each one requires specific experience and mastery of detailed skills but also due to the very complex and time-consuming web development effort necessary to change it once you’ve had it implemented for an extended period.

The exponential growth evidenced year after year in the digital landscape signals that 2019 will be a crucial year for websites to employ successful content administration in order to stand out and make the user experience (UX) smoother, intuitive, and useful for visitors.

These are the things to take into account when choosing the CMS that will power your website this year:

  • Category of Content Management System
  • Needs of Your Team
  • Which Content Management System?
  • Available Support

Reviewing CMS Categories

Content management systems are usually divided into two distinct categories:

On-site CMS

This means the CMS is installed on your own servers and your team has absolute control over every single aspect, from security to encryption to the entire display architecture.

This is the more efficient but complex and costly alternative. Even if you choose a CMS that’s open-source and free, your team will still need to tackle every single issue and bear the costs of upkeep. This also means your team needs to be comprised of professionals knowledgeable in the chosen system.

However, by installing the CMS directly on your server, your team will control every detail, which means content will be managed faster and up to any standards set by the company.

Any serious business should consider on-site content management systems in order to ensure the best results for their efforts.

Software-as-a-Service / Cloud-based CMS

By housing your CMS outside your server – whether it be a cloud or software stored by a third-party – your team will lose a lot of decision power and control over many aspects of the entire content management process and infrastructure.

While the level of input surrendered will vary, several key areas of work such as security, encryption and in some cases display options will be supervised outside your company’s locus of control.

This option means reduced costs and softer requirements in terms of experience, but given the lack of flexibility should only be considered by beginners or individuals and not serious businesses.

This is the first decision your company should make in terms of how to proceed. Given the complexity of the issue, it is crucial that management and the decision-makers involve the entire team in the process. After all, the developers are the ones who will be managing the content, the marketers the ones who will use the content to drive traffic, and the sales team the ones who will need to use that content to convert customers.

For large or medium businesses, an on-site CMS is the logical step. However, that still leaves the company with a large number of options that beg proper consideration.

That last point is the main reason to establish a list of priorities and needs from every department.

Needs of the Team

The CMS will have a significant impact on the cross-functional work carried out by the developers, but also the tasks and goals of all customer-facing departments, such as marketing, customer support and sales.

Now, more than ever, with the increasing number of options available in 2019, choosing the right CMS should come down to in-depth consideration for the needs of all involved teams.

It’s imperative for management to compile a list of things every department considers important for the CMS, then develop a matrix that will establish priority. By organizing the process like this, the decision-makers can actually assess and compare all the alternatives and choose the most effective option.

A simple matrix can help organize ideas, see which points overlap at least partially, and help reach a compromised but efficient decision.

 

These are a few of the things the different stakeholders may want to weigh in on:

  • Is the visitor-facing layout easy to navigate? Are there plenty of themes and visual alternatives available? How much control will the company have over the “look and feel” of the website?
  • Is the back-end management and upkeep intuitive? Do current company developers have the experience to optimally use the CMS, or will training or new hires be required?
  • What are the costs? What kind of investment is planned in terms of choosing a CMS? Which alternative is the most cost-effective?
  • How flexible and scalable is the chosen product?
  • Is the CMS open source and backed by a large and healthy community of supports consistently creating features for the product? What kind of plugins and add-ons are available and how much do those align with current company goals and tactics?
  • How compatible is the CMS with modern browsing?
  • What kind of integration options does the CMS have? Does it work seamlessly with apps and software the company will need to use on the website?
  • Are there outside factors to consider, such as potential relationships with a specific company that develops a CMS or even clients that may have a preference? Should these corporate politics be taken under consideration?

Creating the matrix will allow stakeholders to rank their needs and establish quantitative priorities that can be used to choose the best CMS based on a balanced compromise.

Which Content Management System?

Once the company has established a list of priorities in terms of what it actually needs, the decision-makers can proceed to compare them against available options in order to choose the most appropriate one.

As mentioned before, any serious business should lean in favor of on-site management in order to ensure the best possible results.

One of the most important factors mentioned among the typical considerations is whether or not the CMS is open source.

Open source means the code is openly available to the public at no cost, which in turn leads to a large number of third-party developers creating interesting features that can be integrated to the original product. Even if the company who originally created the CMS goes out of business, the product will continue to be viable due to the network of outside support that can sustain it, which means the product will most likely remain in a state of continuous improvement.

So, which one to choose?

If your company intends to have a strong web presence and present a smooth UX to visitors, there are two main open source alternatives that need to be considered:

  1. Drupal:

This is considered the best choice for highly advanced and secure websites. This CMS can easily tag, organize and categorize content, but it requires a greater degree of expertise to properly operate and take full of advantage of its ability to create rich and complex pages.

It also comes backed by several features, both inherent and third-party, that can help improve your website in a number of areas, such as:

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  2. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
  3. Auditing capabilities that can help boost website performance
  4. Multilingual translation support
  1. WordPress:

This is the most popular choice by far, powering over 30% of all websites worldwide. This open-source CMS is widely considered the most intuitive, efficient, and easier to install alternative, with a large community of supporters constantly creating third-party integrations that increase the number of features.

While there are several other alternatives out there, these two are the open source leaders in the field, and for good reason. The available features, ranging from usability to security, combine to create the best results in terms of user experience.

No doubt the matrix of needs will come into play when making the final choice, but the decision must be taken carefully and with no rush given its magnitude and impact on the overall operations of the business.

[For a more in-depth comparison between the two, please visit our post Drupal vs Wordpress: Best CMS in 2019]

Available Support

Finally, remember that regardless of which CMS you choose to power your website in 2019, you’ll need to be constantly vigilant and ready to face any potential issues that may arise.

Be sure to grant your developers the necessary freedom to do their work and continue learning, as they will be your first line of defense should anything go wrong.

Likewise, you can consider employing the services of third-party experts that can provide 24/7 support at a fraction of the cost involved in hiring a full team of developers.

All these options are equally viable, as long as your company has plans in place to address obstacles, issues or even critical mishaps.

We are Origin Eight

We are seasoned web developers who understand that website endurance depends largely on a functional structure, a smooth design and effective content management. We know how to make sure your visitors will want to stay and engage. We will work tirelessly to help you:

  • Build a professional website
  • Audit your current website for issues with performance
  • Guide you every step of the way in your website redesign
  • Create a user experience that impacts, persuades, and creates value
  • Ensure your website is efficient, powerful, and beautiful
  • Boost your business by creating a website that works
  • Provide 24/7 support for all your CMS needs

Contact us for more information or browse through our services to find out how we can help you.

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Joseph

Joe is a strategic communications professional with a decade of experience in public relations, public affairs, lobby, digital marketing, and media and stakeholder engagement.

He has worked both in the public and private sectors in a variety of roles ranging from journalism and brand strategy development in large industries such as banking and consumer electronics, to film production and written content generation.

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Drupal vs Sitecore: It's 2019, Which Should I Choose?

It's 2019, Should I Choose Sitecore or Drupal?

"Sitecore vs Drupal" – it's a tricky topic, but one differentiator is critical:

Drupal is free, and built by a worldwide community. Sitecore has licensing fees, and is built by a company.

So what? Some will mention how Sitecore saves development costs by providing more features "out of the box" in its core

However, Drupal already has a "box" that you can pull things out of – it has building blocks called "modules" that you can use to extend it. It's a trivial effort to pull the building blocks out of the box and assemble a site – you get more room to be original that way. Yes, Sitecore is customizable, but Drupal's building blocks are evolving at a faster pace.

Drupal's core components are still lagging behind a bit, but it's catching up. Below is the Drupal 8 roadmap provided by Drupal's founder, Dries Buytaert (source). NOTE: these features already exist as modules (the "building blocks" of Drupal) – Drupal has been slower to incorporate such features into its core because it has been a highly customizable framework.

Screenshot 2018-05-03 17.45.12.png

Don't get me wrong, though. Sitecore is an amazing platform from several standpoints. If you have a sufficiently staffed digital marketing team with the right mindset and knowhow to really take advantage of its testing and optimization features, it can be a very powerful tool. Problems can arise if your marketing team is not trained in Conversion Rate Optimization and other aspects of Digital Impact Optimization, because to a degree a tool is only as good as the tests that you run. But its optimization as well as integrated dashboard features can be very nice for certain marketing teams. There are plenty of ways to do the same thing in Drupal, but again it's not as "out of the box." 

Both platforms are strong industry leaders and solid choices for the right customer. Contact us for further help making a decision about either platform – we promise to be as unbiased as we can!

Why Drupal Remains a Leading CMS in 2019

Web development

The digital landscape is changing, and with it are increasing demands on content management systems (CMSes) and organizations to keep pace with consumer needs. Users are demanding more personalized experiences, greater connectivity between devices, and more interactive elements in their web experiences. Organizations want websites that grow with your digital technology and business needs and help you achieve your goals.

In this blog, we cover what features you should look for in a CMS and why Drupal is one of the strongest options on the market in 2019:

1. Drupal As A Web Experience Management System

2. Targeted, Personalized User Experiences And User Interface

3. Contextual Digital Experiences

4. High Tech And Innovative Marketing Tools

5. Leading Tools For Metadata And Taxonomy

With over one million users worldwide, Drupal is one of the top website solutions because of its robust and flexible infrastructure, innovative design, and open source modules. Drupal also gives organizations access to countless free tools and information to help you get the right features, functionality, and design.

Drupal 8, the most current release, will turn 4 years old on May 19, 2019, and already it has moved in the direction of being a leading platform to meet the demand for interactivity, personalization and scalable tools. Its powerful built-in modules make it easy to use right out of the box. As well, Drupal users gain access to a seemingly endless offering of dynamic, flexible, and ever-evolving modules that pay dividends as organizations look to integrate new tools for analytics, optimization, e-commerce, marketing, and automation.

 

[For a more in-depth explanation of the process behind choosing the right CMS, please visit our post Choosing the Best CMS for Your Website]

 

1. Drupal as a Web Experience Management System

Drupal differs from much of the competition in that it makes it easy for organizations and marketers to integrate third-party tools. This is because the Drupal CMS has made a point of being a flexible platform that performs more like a web experience management system – giving you the ability to integrate your favorite customer relationship management (CRM) software, such as Salesforce, or inbound marketing platforms into your website, rather than making you use proprietary automation and analytics tools. This is why Drupal is a clear choice for organizations that want to seamlessly integrate your preferred third-party technology with your website.

 

2. Targeted and Personalized User Experiences and User Interface

Websites are both your storefront and salesperson, and while clicks might be good, visitors to your website who convert into customers or donors are even better. Drupal 8 has built-in user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) tools and modules that support the needs of the modern customer for personalized, interactive, and targeted experiences when they visit your website. Drupal 8’s advanced system also makes it easier for your development team to build and maintain your website, sparing your team countless hours of frustration and, possibly, expletives.

Quick UX and UI Definitions

Briefly, while UX implies all of the elements of a website that a user interacts with and how pleasing they find that experience, UI is how someone interacts with a website, such as through web pages, menus, or buttons.

How Drupal Leads in UX and UI

There are several built-in and contributed modules that supercharge Drupal, making it the best choice among content management systems for these reasons:  

  • Personalization – give your users the experience that’s right for them using one of several content personalization modules for Drupal, including Personalization Module, Browsing History Recommender, Commerce Recommender, and Context-Menu Block.

  • Enhanced caching capabilities – Drupal leads in terms of page loading efficiency and speed thanks to BigPipe and other caching optimization modules.

  • Responsive design – whether a visitor to your website is using a smartphone, tablet or desktop, Drupal 8’s out-of-the-box responsive web design scales and modifies to fit their screens.

  • Social media modules – easily connect online customers to your Twitter and Facebook social media feeds from your website with one of Drupal’s several social media integrations modules.

  • Contextual blocks – drag and drop blocks to rearrange the appearance of text and images on your website. You can also repeat the same block in multiple regions throughout your page, giving you greater design flexibility.

  • Comment fields – Drupal 8 allows you to display comments on different parts of your page, and you can have more than one type of comment, such as private notes to users and adding comments to comments.

  • Multilingual functionality – these features are built right into Drupal 8 core and give you the power to translate your site or have the language displayed on your website shift depending on the user’s geographic location.

  • WYSIWYG editor – a much-appreciated feature that allows users to sneak a peek at how the text and images they’ve entered into the text editor will look before pushing the “publish” button.

  • Quick Edit – type directly into a text editor in Drupal to cut down on the time required for adding and uploading content to your website.

Enhancing your UX and UI is akin to cleaning shop so that you have a more presentable, inviting, and efficient store for your customers to visit and staff to work in. The nice thing about laying your storefront on a Drupal foundation is that you’re pretty much guaranteed to be working on solid ground.

 

3. Contextual Digital Experiences

Drupal 8 gives organizations the tools they need to create tailored customer experiences. Your website should meet the needs of your visitors, guiding them towards that all-important purchasing decision from the moment your webpage loads. And, as Forrester notes, in today’s market, that means using customer-centric interactions that make each visitor to your site feel like their experience has been tailored to meet their individual needs. It’s essential that your CMS support the growing demands on software and design, including acting as a consistent guide across the customer journey.

Access to robust APIs is one essential ingredient all websites need if they’re going to win the top prize at an online marketing fair. The amazing thing about Drupal is that its international team of expert volunteers continually updates and improves upon years of insight and development already built into the Drupal machine.

The release of Drupal 8 heralded in several new APIs, which simplify and streamline the development process, as well as making a website more intuitive for customers:

  • The RESTful Web Services API in Drupal 8 supports a decoupled Drupal site; the communication between native mobile iOS/Android apps and a Drupal site; and, integration with web services.

  • Render API enhances the user experience through faster page rendering, and better caching protocols.

  • Drupal 8’s Translation API can adjust language on your website depending on where your viewer lives.

Added to this, Drupal’s flexible interface makes it easy to mold it to fit almost any systems architecture with tools and features that improve the experience of customers and programmers.

 

4. High Tech and Innovative Marketing Tools

As static websites fade away and are replaced by dynamic content across many different digital touch-points, organizations are looking for a CMS that stays in step with new sales and customer engagement technologies. E-commerce is another area in which Drupal excels. Drupal has been seamlessly integrated into the commerce platforms of companies like Tesla, IBM WebSphere Commerce, Magento, Puma, and Motorola to drive sales through better customer interactions.

The Google Analytics module allows you to collect all-important customer data and make adjustments to optimize how well your Drupal site speaks to and engages your target market. 

 

5. Leading Tools for Metadata and Taxonomy

According to a 2017 Forrester report, semantic structure plays a key role in the working lives of content authors and managers. Auto-tagging tools, such as Drupal’s Metatag module, allows you to add meta tags to your website automatically – an asset for search engine optimization (SEO). Drupal’s Metatags module also allows you to shape how your content appears on social media sites with such APIs as Twitter Cards for Twitter and Facebook’s Open Graph protocol, giving you the ability to share consistent messages across platforms.

Another key asset for websites in 2019 is having a flexible and intuitive taxonomy system. Drupal’s built-in taxonomy system is designed to simplify how you organize your content, with the help of keywords. This intuitive content classification system has obvious benefits: it makes it easier to organize information on your website, including by theme, and to navigate to search terms and set viewing options. Drupal’s flexible taxonomy system is designed to support the growth of your organization, so you can continue to add more content and features to your website without bursting your CMS’s seams.

--

Get the right support from Origin Eight’s Drupal and CMS experts. Contact us for a free consultation. 

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Kenneth

Kenneth wears many hats for the company but his main responsibilities are administrative assistance, human resources, AP, and AR. Prior to joining Origin Eight, he worked remotely for several web design and marketing clients as a freelance executive assistant, online researcher, and project manager. 

He earned his Public Administration degree from the University of the Philippines-Diliman where he was an active member of political organizations.

Kenneth loves spending his free time playing fingerstyle guitar, watching any ancient times documentary, and sleeping. 

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Drupal vs Wordpress: Unbiased Review of The Best CMS in 2019

Drupal 8 vs WordPress

We love both Drupal and WordPress here at O8 – we work with them about half-and-half on a daily basis across many industries, which gives us tons of great insight into the advantages and pitfalls of both platforms.

We often help people choose between the two platforms, because there really is a right tool for the right job in many instances. We've done everything from big projects for The Juilliard School, Estée Lauder, Cornell University, and many others, to small projects for local startups and nonprofits. So, let's go through some of the instances where each platform excels, based on our deep knowledge and experience.

 

When Drupal Makes Sense: Complex Work Environments or Project Needs

Often for higher education, government, or the enterprise

Both higher ed and government tend to have a bias towards Drupal, as does the enterprise. Drupal historically wins out in government, hands down -- see this huge list of sites and countries across the world using Drupal. Drupal tends to be great for more complex projects. What's a complex project? Here are some examples:

  • You have a large authenticated user base that needs to log into the site and perform complex tasks, such as creating user generated content in forums or user communities.
  • You have complex content needs, i.e. content beyond your garden variety of blog posts, news articles, standard site pages, landing pages, a staff directory, etc. For example, a course catalog, content that comes from microservices or REST,  multiple levels of permission on content for different user roles,
  • Complex integrations are a must, such as integrating with other web services, microservices, an iPhone app, or other complexities. Drupal is generally better-suited and easier for developers. 
  • Configuration management. This is important and doesn't receive as much attention from non-developers as it deserves. If you want to be able to reliably make changes to your live website using version control, Drupal 8's configuration management system is a huge time saver and reduces errors by developers. If you can't have errors popping up on your site after you push a new feature or bug fix, or are generally averse to downtime, Drupal offers a much more professional, enterprise-ready way to push configuration changes. As your site grows more complex, this becomes more and more of a big deal.
  • You have strict security requirements. Drupal is generally better at security, but WordPress can come up to its level with the proper steps and time investment: 
    • Drupal can handle PCI compliance requirements such as database encryption or other complex security situations a bit better.
    • WordPress is so popular now, since it tends to dominate in the personal and small business arena, that the Microsoft vs Apple security phenomenon has emerged: WordPress tends to get hacked more because there are more WordPress sites on the internet, just like Microsoft PCs tend to get hacked more because there are still more PCs than Macs. Also, there are simply more plugins for the WordPress security team to keep up with, which may make it more difficult to identify vulnerabilities.
    • Often, however, WordPress can just as secure as Drupal if you take the appropriate steps and measures, including plugins and practices for prevention, detection, auditing, and security insights. It may take a bit more work, but security can be achieved. Work with a knowledgeable vendor to ensure these measures are taken. The Drupal and WordPress security teams have actually worked together on some vulnerabilities that affect both platforms.
  • You are building a web application. Drupal is better suited for web applications, as opposed to web sites, that need to do complex things, handle complex logic and integrations, sometimes involving a decoupled user interface.

Since it is generally more complex, Drupal is easier to screw up if the programmer or agency you hire doesn't know what they're doing. Larger projects and thus larger budgets tend to benefit Drupal sometimes gets knocked for "usability issues", but they are often easily solved by implementing the website in a way that addresses those issues – Drupal is more of a blank slate, but it's easy to paint well on that slate if you know what you're doing.

However, in higher ed and the enterprise, WordPress can actually be preferable for less-complex needs. WordPress may suffer from a "perception problem" in some of these industries, because it can work for relatively simple needs such as The White House (whitehouse.gov), which has been greatly simplified since the last administration and now serves as more of a (fake) news and propaganda site than a repository of complex content. There are a few examples of other countries and municipalities using WordPress for the more story-, informational-, and news- based content types that it excels at. In higher ed, we have seen a university use Drupal for its main web presence, but WordPress for student orgs and other smaller initiatives, due to its ease of use, simplicity, and possibly less time to train. We've also seen community colleges and smaller institutions use WordPress entirely, often in combination with other systems.

[Web development can be tricky, but not if you understand the basics of building a website. Check out our overview here.]

When WordPress Makes Sense: Everything Else

Often for small-to-medium businesses, publications, eCommerce stores, startups, or nonprofits

WordPress tends to fit these categories quite well. People love its ease of use, it generally has a great reputation among marketers and less-technical developers, and more people tend to have experience with it than Drupal. Here are some examples of situations where WordPress excels:

  • eCommerce. It integrates extremely well with the beautiful, simple-yet-powerful ecommerce solution WooCommerce. Drupal has a decent integration with Shopify, which is a pretty great platform, too, but we think Woo is the way to go if you are a SMB and the rest of your website doesn't necessitate Drupal for any of the reasons described above.
  • Usability and flexibility. It can empower site owners to Just Get Things Done without contacting their web team, if their web team allows proper permissions to do so. Initially this can translate to Just Break Things, but if you have the right agency partner to support you, this hurdle can be worth it, and you'll be Just Getting Things Done in no time. 
  • Lower cost due to starter themes (with caveats). WordPress has a much larger base of starter themes, which give you a visual and functional outline of a website without having to hire a team to design and build your website from scratch.
    • Just like anything that sounds this good to be true, there are caveats and frequent issues with starting from something that someone else built for somebody who is not you.
    • Pushing a theme beyond its intended use can happen often, and you often don't find out its limits until you are well into the project.
    • We have found severe security vulnerabilities in a plugin that a theme used just before launch, making the entire site unlaunchable, because the theme was written with that plugin. We've seen themes that have had to be endlessly tweaked by us and client stakeholders in order to make it fit their vision.
    • Instead of doing a proper wireframing, user experience, and design process, we are left tweaking and tweaking in a very inefficient, iterative manner. That can be "good enough" if your budget is low, but sometimes the temptation to use a lower-cost starter theme rather than doing a custom website design and build can actually cost more and do more harm than good for your website in the long run. 
  • Plugins for everything. Both Drupal and WordPress have a great many community-supported plugins (Drupal calls them "modules"), but WordPress really wins in terms of availability and variety of plugins for the current version of WordPress. 

 

Making a Choice

What it comes down to is this: Drupal is a truer "framework" in that it is a highly extensible, very powerful blank slate. WordPress makes more assumptions, gives you more niceties out of the box, but those niceties can come at a cost of extensibility, or the ability of the website to handle more complex business cases. In the end, though, pick the one you like best, and find an experienced, technical partner who can make the website work hard for your objectives, be it leads, eCommerce transactions, higher ed enrollments, market exposure, or what have you –– a beautiful website that doesn't do anything is just a lifeless brochure in digital space.

We can't overestimate the importance of technical expertise and experience in implementing anything but the most simple website. This quote came to us a few days ago from a prospective client at the University of Minnesota, who has worked in web development environments for a good part of her life:

“If you start out on the wrong foot, you can be in for years and years of pain.”

This quote applies equally to digital marketing acumen -- a new site redesign can tank your SEO, or, without the proper digital marketing strategy, do long-term damage to your business. These issues are all greater and more important than the actual platform that you choose.

 

Contact Us to Help You Make The Right Choice: WordPress or Drupal

 

Similarities | Where Both Platforms Excel

Both platforms contend well with other "as a service" platforms when running on hosted environments such as Pantheon. A major asset of both is that they have vibrant and enthusiastic open source communities, although Drupal’s is arguably more organized worldwide. One thing that is certain though is that both of these CMS platforms have had dramatic growth, and they each improve with every new version. WordPress is making strides in its "block" layout configuration abilities with the new Gutenberg project, which Drupal has had for years, and Drupal has made significant strides in 2018 in its usability for content editors, which WordPress has had for years. 


(Source: DrupalCon 2018 keynote)

WordPress Gutenberg "block" layout

wordpress-gutenberg-blocks.png(Source: Wordpress.org)

There are a lot of similarities, where both platforms excel. You can unquestionably create amazing sites on both platforms. Here are some things that both platforms have in common and do well:

  • Supports high traffic; speedy websites. Can support very high volumes of traffic, and run websites with vast amounts of content. 
  • Security. Can be just as secure or more so than other proprietary platforms.
  • No vendor lock-in. Both Drupal and WordPress have a huge community of developers and companies worldwide who can help if your current vendor is not satisfying your needs.
  • SEO. Very SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly from its core installation. With the right modules and configuration it can dramatically simplify SEO tasks for an organization.
  • Lower cost of implementation. A multitude of out-of-the-box plugins or modules to add instant features and functionality. This is reassuring and speeds up development of your site and lowers costs, since functionality does not need to be "custom coded" or re-built. 
  • Community. A diverse and invested community that is global with a growing number of conferences, camps and local user groups. 
  • Self-managing website. Both platforms are meant to be managed by you. You create the compelling content, follow an SEO strategy, tack on a CRM, and your business, organization, or institution will flourish.
  • Mobile-friendly. Editing and publishing content is easy on your mobile phone, and the platforms are built out of the box to be ready for mobile devices.
  • Much much more! Contact us to walk you through the advantages.

Both CMS platforms are highly evolved and are good bets if you want to future-proof your decision from a technology standpoint.

Future-proofing your investment: 2019 and Beyond

Both platforms offer relatively smooth upgrade paths between major versions. 

Drupal 9 will be released in 2020, and it will be an easy, seamless, fairly insignificant upgrade from Drupal 8. So, if you are on Drupal 8, you don't need to worry about any investments to get you on the next version. 

Drupal 7 will be officially supported until November 2021, but there will be plenty of long-term support partners to help you out if you choose to stay on this platform, even more than Drupal 6

At the time of this writing, WordPress' roadmap includes: 

  • Strongly focused on the second phase of Gutenberg, which involves some restructuring of things like menus and widgets into blocks.
  • Merge the site health check plugin into Core.
  • Provide a way for people to opt-in to automatic plugin and theme updates, as well as automatic updates of major Core releases.
  • Create a WordPress.org directory for discovering blocks, and a way to easily install them.

In 2019, both CMS platforms are a good choice, but the best choice comes down to choosing the right tool for the job at hand.

To make an informed choice you have to do a lot of work in the planning and discovery stages where you lay out what your website needs to do, who will be running it, how complex it will be, who your best vendor is and what platform they are most skilled at, and anticipate what your future needs will be. We often help clients with this tricky requirements-gathering and planning stage.

Still not sure which one's right for you?

Contact us to discuss options! No sales reps here – just technical experts who can help you decide and evaluate your business KPIs and criteria.

 

 

 

 

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Seth

In no particular order... Seth has built websites for famous artists like Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey, led a team as CTO at a social network startup company, presented at Stanford and the International Society for Neuronal Regulation Conference on an EEG study in consciousness, travelled to Tokyo for data center network security assessments, worked on world-class e-commerce software as a software engineer, and provided Drupal expertise for Estee Lauder and their many international brands.

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10 Tips For Creating Great Landing Pages

10 Tips For Creating Stellar Landing Pages

Landing pages are typically standalone web pages designed to funnel visitors to other pages or for lead generation. Your clients/customers may come to these pages from myriad sources including ads, social media or other marketing channels.

The relevant definition of a landing page will vary depending on industry and your business goal, but all stellar landing pages have a few common elements. They are distinct from general web pages in that they should be targeted at a specific customer profile, and they should be designed to drive a certain action. This narrow focus is useful because it allows you to present a clean, easy-to-digest offer to your customers.

With this in mind, we offer the following best practice tips for landing page success:

1. Tune your page for your specific customer. You are fundamentally designing an experience for this person. With that in mind you can craft the most appropriate message to get your desired response.

2. Simplicity in design is paramount. Clean pages with easy to read text and an easy to digest offer will keep the attention of your visitors. In some cases though there might be a need for more in-depth information where it is expected or desired by the visitor.

3. Design the page to encourage a conversion event—be it completing a form, calling your organization by phone, engaging in a chat widget conversation, downloading a whitepaper, subscribing to a newsletter or making a purchase. This factor is crucial in determining your ROI.

4. Make your forms short. Just request the info that you need and no more. This will increase your conversion rate, but may not give you the highest quality leads, so you will need to gauge that according to your target audience.  

5. Limit the number of external web links on the page. Distracting links can sidetrack your visitor, so be judicious with the number and destination of links. Removing main menu and footer links is a strategic step in modeling a decision-making flowchart for visitors.

6. Send traffic to dedicated pages that reinforce the offer. Traffic going to the home page is akin to starting at square one for the visitor—this can upset momentum, and lose prospects. Elaborate on the offer and add more persuasive content with reasons to convert.

7. Create separate landing pages depending on the source. Your different channels will determine the landing page content and any subsequent target pages can be optimized for that channel. This helps with testing and measurability.

8. Test your landing pages. A/B Testing different pages can help you find the sweet spot. Understand statistical significance to be sure that your tests mean what you think they mean. Measure by setting conversion goals in Google Analytics and keep track of key metrics such as live chat connections, email newsletter subscriptions and forms completed.

9. Plan your follow-up response. Whether this is a simple phone call in reply to a form or a sophisticated email campaign designed for converting customers, a proactive approach is required to make this a seamless and “natural” step in the communication process. Also, any response should be timely and appropriate to the offer. It is also your opportunity to extend the conversation.

10. This step can’t be understated—always subscribe to white hat SEO practices. Gaming the system can only be a temporary win and penalties from search engines can be draconian and negatively impact your business in the long term. Keep abreast of the “rules” as they change regularly as search engines become more sophisticated.

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There are many other considerations for creating a powerful landing page strategy for your organization, but following these basic tips will put you on the right path. Landing page optimization never ends, so be prepared to make continual refinements to achieve pages that are more targeted, relevant and persuasive over time.

If you need additional help, we are ready. ORIGIN EIGHT offers complete landing page support services that you can benefit from immediately, from a basic audit of existing pages to a dedicated custom campaign crafted just for your organization.

Contact us for a free, no-risk consultation 1-888-316-3471 or (612) 276-5880