Choosing the right technology for your website is a crucial step.
Being online is essential today!
A website allows you to be easily found by everyone worldwide, creates a corporate image, enables fast communication with your customers, and much more… In short, it undoubtedly brings benefits to businesses of all types, whether large or small.
But not all websites are the same!
There are various types of websites (showcase, blog, e-commerce, etc.), but, above all, there are many technologies with which to build them.
For the non-professionals, knowing how their website was created might not matter; what’s important is that it works! But knowing a bit more can make a big difference.
When building a house, we always ensure that the best materials are used!
This should also be the case for websites. It’s good to rely on experts in the field, web developers, or web agencies, but it’s better not to blindly trust and insist on understanding how the project will be executed.
For example, much is said about WordPress, a fantastic platform (this site is built on WordPress) when used correctly, but it’s not the only or always the best option.
WordPress, yes, but how is it used?
WordPress is the most widely used platform worldwide for website development. It allows for very good results with a low time investment, thus lower costs compared to other solutions.
But there’s a right and wrong way to use it.
WordPress is so widespread that there are thousands of free and paid themes to create a website, and developers often take advantage of it.
Selling a WordPress site for €2,000 “developed” by purchasing a €50 theme and slightly configuring it is borderline fraud… Yet it happens, and quite often.
For this reason, it’s better to investigate a bit about what you’re having built, ask questions, and be persistent in knowing how the final product will be realized.
Personally, when I choose to use WordPress, I develop the theme and plugins dedicated to the project entirely from scratch. This allows for having a unique, performant, and secure site without significantly impacting the final cost. An experienced developer, with the right skills, can create a complete WordPress theme from scratch in a few weeks, not more.
In addition to this site you are reading, I can give you the example of Bikeitalia.it, a truly enormous site, with peaks of users exceeding 4,000 at the same time. Well, that site is based on WordPress, but the theme was built from scratch.
So, WordPress is not bad at all, provided it’s used correctly. This will prevent unpleasant surprises like performance drops or, worse, security vulnerabilities.
You can use React, Angular, or Vue, or even Gatsby, a framework based on React that allows for creating beautiful websites in a short time. In this case, however, the content management will be completely different, often more complicated.
But if you want to focus on performance, this is undoubtedly the best choice.
A third option is proprietary CMS. Many web agencies and developers have their own website creation systems.
These can be good or bad solutions, depending on the developers. In any case, since they are developed from scratch, they usually allow for maximum configuration.
You can do whatever you want without having to adhere to the laws of CMS and frameworks.
However, it’s necessary to ensure that these frameworks are up-to-date, not stuck in the past.
Here are some tips to understand if they are up to today’s standards:
If the page URL ends with “.php”, “.asp”, “.html”, or something similar, it means that there is no real routing system on the site, and this does not allow for good URLs, which are more appreciated by Google.
Good URL example: “http://www.yoursite.com/contact/"
Not-so-good URL example: “http://www.yoursite.com/contact.asp"
Indices in URLs
If you see codes and mathematical symbols in the URL, the security of the site may be at risk. Many systems “pass” database indices in the URL, but this can be used by hackers for a direct attack on the database. So, if you see a URL like “http://www.yoursite.com/article.php?id=45", then the system is not very secure.
Another characteristic of systems developed from scratch is that they often don’t have a management for errors, such as the classic 404 Page Not Found. To find out, simply go to a site and enter random text after the domain, for example, “http://yoursite.com/goodbye". If there is a 404 page in the site, great, if you see the server error on a blank and ugly page, then it’s not ideal.
All these little things can make your efforts to create a functional website fail, affecting Google indexing, performance, and security.
An example of a proprietary CMS is Orange CMS, my solution developed entirely from scratch.
If you want, you can take a look, enter the backend, and create and view articles and pages. I have already used it for many sites, and the results have always been very good, superior to WordPress in terms of performance, but it all depends on the features you
I hope this article has helped you understand how to approach the creation of your new website. Remember that the choice of technology is crucial, and you will carry it with you for a long time, so it must be done with method and professionalism.