Website Platforms: What Is Best & Why Does It Matter

video-27Hi, I’m Mark Steinbrueck with OurChurch.Com, and on this video I’m gonna talk about website platforms and address the question, “What is the best platform and why does it matter?”

So the first thing that you need to do is determine what your needs are for your website.

By doing that, it will help you understand what you need out of a website platform. So if you say to yourself, “I need to be able to have online event registration, or I need to be able to have a blog or an eNewsletter or shopping cart,” that will help you in your research of website platforms in determining whether or not those website platforms will be able to provide that functionality.

Second thing to take into consideration is whether the software is online or it’s a desktop software.

Online software simply means that you don’t store the software on your computer, but you login to a website using username and password to be able to access the backend of your website and make changes.

Desktop software, on the other hand, is stored on your computer. So that means that you have to have that software and that particular computer to be able to make updates. This also means that if you have a web team, of multiple people, every single one of those individuals needs to have that software on their computer that they are going to be using. So it limits you in exactly where you can access it from, you probably can’t do changes from a smart phone or tablet. And it also it makes it more difficult to add people to maintain the website.

And then lastly, if you want to have additional work done by people that are not part of your organization, whether it be tech support or having someone do SEO for your website, going with a desktop platform, makes it nearly impossible to do that, so you certainly want to select an online platform if all possible.

Next thing to take a look at is whether or not the software is proprietary.

Certainly you want to use an online software platform, and if all possible, try to find one that’s not proprietary. The proprietary simply means that, the organization that hosts the site, also owns that software so you can’t take the website with you when you want to leave.

Now if you’re not planning on keeping your website for a long period of time, or if simply the cost of a particular hosting package and the software that it comes with it is proprietary, fits your budget, then maybe going with a proprietary software is something that is reasonable and will fit your needs. But if you can, try to find some kind of software that you can take, that means that you can take your website with you, if you were to choose to leave and go to a another host.

The next thing to take into consideration is the ease of use.

Research how easy a particular software platform is to use. Go online and see if there’s any online reviews. Talk to other people who may have used this, and these conversations and advice, can save you a lot of time in using a sub part platform.

In the same sense, research the support of the platform:

  • Can you even get support?
  • And if so, do you have to pay for it?
  • Is it free or is it a pay per incident or pay per month or what kind of fee structure is there?
  • How quickly can you get responses when you are looking for support?
  • And then also, how do they provide support?
  • Is there phone support?
  • Is it email support?
  • Is it only through the help desk?

Take a look at those things so you know what to expect if you select a particular platform.

So I hope that this has given you a good understanding of what things to take into consideration when selecting or researching a website platform.

  1. Determine your needs for a website.
  2. Then look at the online software versus desktop software. And if all possible select an online software.
  3. Also understand the drawbacks and limitations of proprietary software.
  4. Research the ease of use as well as the support that has been provided for a particular software.

And I hope this has been insightful and informative.

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Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as .

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