Choosing my design tool
1. Online website publishers
For a first website, the simplest solution is to use an online website publisher offering all the elements needed to create it: the hosting, the domain name, a tool to design the pages and content of the website, technical support and maintenance, email addresses, etc.
All the technical aspects are included, you don’t need to have any website-building knowledge. There is no software to buy. The interfaces are intuitive in order to be accessible to anyone.
This solution is sufficient for a corporate or showcase website. Many publishers offer a basic free version enabling you to test the possibilities. You can then enrich it with paid options according to your needs. For around twenty euro / month, you have access to e-commerce functions and get rid of the unsolicited adverts,
A few examples of website publishers: Wix, Jimbo, Weebly, webnode, 1&1IONOS, etc
2. Content managers
A simple website publisher is not always enough, especially if you want to offer your visitors a subscriber page with online payment functions, or if you need to work on your search engine optimisation in depth to stand out from the competition.
In this case, more complex solutions are available. These are called content managers. You will need some technical knowledge to manage your website, but you will also have access to more functions and customisation options than with a website publisher. The content management software (CMS) and hosting are then separate.
- Wordpress is the most popular and user-friendly CMS. It is free, however, you will still need to pay for the hosting separately. Many paid or free extensions (=plugins) enable you to enrich it, such as WooCommerce to create your online shop.
We strongly advise you to choose a host offering the automatic installation of Wordpress in 1 click, such as one.com, 1&1, OVH, EasyHoster, etc.
- Another popular CMS is Joomla, which operates on the same principle as Wordpress. The basic CMS is free and can be completed by free or paid modules according to your needs. Joomla offers more functionalities than Wordpress but it is also more complex to learn how to use it. It requires prior experience in building websites or developer skills.
- If your website includes thousands of pages, requires fast loading times or high-level security, a CMS such as Drupal will be more suitable. However, to use this CMS you need to be able to code in order to personalise it and update it, or you can call upon a developer to do it for you.
3. Having your site developed
If you have a budget of several thousand euros and an ambitious digital strategy, you can call upon an agency or developers who will be able to design a bespoke website and content management software for you. You will then need to draft specifications describing your needs (functionalities, graphics, etc.), submit them to several agencies and compare the quotes and services offered to select the most suitable service provider.