A Comparison of CMS Platforms

When it comes to CMS platforms, there are three that stand out as the most popular of the field: WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. All of the systems boast fast and intuitive services as well as being open sourced. As much of a benefit as this is, it does make the decision making process more difficult. The initial choice is very important, as most people do not switch between platforms and tend to stay with their first choice. To make your decision easier, we have compiled an overview of each platform.

WordPress is one of the best options for newcomers to the field, made obvious in the fact that it is far and away the most popular, with over 140 million downloads. It excels in sites and blogs that range from small to medium sized. Manual installation time runs about 5 minutes and the entire time it takes to set up a blog or website can be under an hour. WordPress offers over 2,000 free themes and 27,000 free plugins, allowing a large array of professional-looking options. Another advantage is the extensive community support that springs from the millions of users.

Cons: WordPress is designed more to support small and medium sized sites, so the larger your site gets, the more server resources are required. Also the framework can difficult to manipulate.

Overall: If you are a newcomer with limited technical knowledge, this platform will be ideal for your needs.

Joomla requires slightly more technical knowledge particularly in coding, but is excellent for e-commerce or social networking websites. It offers excellent native support for online stores and is relatively simple to set up. It is a nice middle ground between the more basic WordPress and more technically complex Drupal. Manual installation takes around 10 minutes to complete. With about 30 million downloads, it also offers 900 free themes and 7,000 free plugins.

Cons: Joomla is free, but does not offer a free hosting server such as with WordPress.

Overall: If WordPress is too basic for you, but you are not ready to tackle Drupal yet, Joomla will be your top option.

Drupal may be the most complicated to work with, but also the most flexible, with even the root files editable.  It boasts the most powerful CMS. It does stand at the lowest downloads with just over 15 million, which may simply be a reflection of the technical knowledge of the typical users, as the platform is the most technically advanced. Performance is topnotch with swift response and page loading time. Naturally this may vary as plugins are added. Manual installation takes around 10 minutes to complete. It offers over 1,800 free themes and 24,000 free plugins.

Cons: While the software is free, Drupal does not offer hosting on their servers, requiring you to purchase your own web hosting and domain name. Finding support also can be difficult, as the system requires some in-depth knowledge.

Overall: If you have a basic knowledge of coding/programing languages and are looking for ultimate flexibility, this platform will be a perfect fit.

A Comparison of Live Chat Options

Offering a live chat option for your customer service is very important. It shows that you are fully equipped to offer the best service and immediately answer any questions that might arise. But which service to use? For your convenience, we have taken a look at some of the top options out there and summed up their features.

 

BoldChat

16,000 customers and 80,000 users.

In the top five for LinkedIn followers, with 1.63 k followers,

Depending on the size and outreach of your business, you can select different levels of live chat software to best fit your needs. With the Pro version, you can use the company’s chat engine for engaging your niche of customers. The Premier version allows administrators to distribute chats on the basis of the availability and proficiency of the operator. This prevents the always-frustrating situation of the customer being passed from person to person in search of someone to solve their problem. There is also a free option offered. As with most free versions, the customizability and scope is limited, but this allows you to test the service before committing to the full price.

Olark

11,000 customers and 55,000 users.

In the top five for social media, with 5.71 k Twitter followers

Offers a 14-day free trial to get a feel for its workings and how it will relate to your business needs. It saves chat history indefinitely and allows you to see the visitors’ browsing activity to help visualize their needs and specific search. You are also able to use eCommerse integrations to view a customer’s shopping cart value and content. This comes in especially handy when you are chatting with them, so that you can offer them promotions, upsell items, or hone in on their specific question.

LiveChat Inc.

12,500 customers and 52,000 users

In the top five for social media followers, at 9.24 k Twitter followers, 15.5 k Facebook followers, and.79 k LinkedIn followers.

The service offers many benefits such as a login option via Facebook and the ability to share screens for better customer interaction. An interesting option it provides is the ability to see what the customers are typing before they have sent it, which can help with slow typers and providing fast responses. The chat window is also available on mobile devices, allowing more versatility. There are many available options from a starter pack to an enterpriser plus pack.

Zopim

120,000 customers and 600,000 users

In the top five for social media followers, at 5.35 k Twitter followers, 66 k Facebook followers, and 750 LinkedIn followers.

An excellent choice for startups and private businesses, Zopim is economically priced and very customizable. You can choose a template or craft the design of the chat box yourself. The set-up is quick and easy and the service works well with most web-based services. The analytic information offered is extremely helpful for tacking chat logs, data, and such. It does offer a free version, but it is restrictive and makes the chat boxes appear to be offline when they are not attended by an operator, which may turn visitors away, believing that they do not have access to support.

LiveAgent

20,000 customers and 500,000 users

This service is popular among small to middle-sized businesses. It offers a core live chat application, online self-services portals, ticket management, and change and license management. It has an intuitive system that includes useful options such as adding notes or rules to conversations. LiveAgent is scalable as your business grows.

Pure Chat

45,000 customers and 243,000 users

This service is instinctive and simple to use for both the customer and operator. The chat box is fully customizable. It is accessible as an app for IOS, Android, and Kindle, offering freedom and flexibility for your operators. The chat transcripts can be saved and stored for later review and strategic planning. You can set up pre-filled responses for frequently asked questions. The service’s focus is primarily the live chat and as such it is designed to integrate with most websites. You may need to hire a developer for the integration and more detailed customization, but most of the program does not require extremely tech-savvy users.

Shared Hosting Compared to Virtual Personal Server Hosting

Virtual personal servers or shared hosting – which one is right for you and your business’s needs?

Shared hosting does not allow customization, but maintenance cost and responsibility is spread out among the other users you are sharing with.  It is the most common method of hosting, where CPU time, memory, and disk space is shared between all of the users.

This method will be ideal for users who are looking to save money (such as if your start-up business is on its first legs and has a low beginning capital), if you will have a small employee base (shared hosting limits the amount of emails accounts you can set up), if you are expecting small numbers of daily visitors (around 500 daily), and plans to host only your website and maybe a blog or two.

Shared hosting offers the advantage of economy.  For less technically savvy users, it is a relief to have maintenance handled by the server.  As your website expands, you are able to add on additional storage space and there are wide possibilities for installing software, virtualized software included.

Disadvantages can include limited resources, the possibility of having your website’s performance affected by other sites on the server, potential scalability and backup issues, possibilities for security issues, a limited customer support, and having to configure firewalls for various applications.

The shared hosting that we offer comes with many benefits such as unlimited disk space and data transfer.  Check out our unique and economical plan.

VPS hosting allows full customization, but comes along with the responsibility of maintenance.  This host is ideal for businesses with secured data and resource-heavy applications.

VPS hosting will be right for you if you are looking to expand your company, will be using confidential secured data, expect notably increased traffic, intend to add to your employee base (thus needing a greater email capacity), and have plans for hosting multiple websites, blogs, etc.

There are many advantages in virtual hosting, such as the large amount of space and bandwidth, the freedom to change your subscription, extensive scalability and backup options, the ability to configure as you wish, extensive and dedicated customer support, and customizable firewall configurations.

Disadvantages include the need for a dedicated system administrator to stay on top of maintenance and updates, the typically higher price, and certain applications can be fussy in a virtualized environment.

We are able to offer you a very reasonably priced VPS hosting without cutting any corners on the features.  Check out the details.

Web Analysis Services: SmarterStats vs. Google Analytics

An important part of maintaining and optimizing your website involves keeping an eye on your traffic. You need to know what users are looking for when they come to your site, how long they stay, the last page they visit before they leave, and the average amount of time spent on your site. This information is irreplaceably helpful when it comes to highlighting areas that might need improvement or successful page designs you might want to emulate throughout your website. The two most popular services for this analysis are Google Analytics and SmarterStats. The main difference between the two is that Google Analytics is a script-based analyzer, while SmarterStats is a log-based analyzer. What does this mean? We have complied a comparison of facts to help you make the educated and informed decision that will best service your website’s specific needs.

Features unique to SmarterStats:

SmarterStats has the advantage of being managed and installed on your own server and can still be used on firewall-protected corporate internet, reassuring you that you are receiving the whole picture of the statistics. It is able to reprocess historical data from log files and locally process or reprocess log files. It reports on spider and bot activity, server errors, and status codes. SmarterStats provides access to raw data for custom report building, uses SEO reports for analyzing search engine ranking, and offers analysis of competitor reports.

Features unique to Google Analytics:

Google Analytics is able to collect information through tags and uses its integration with Google AdWords to gather more information. It provides Real Time user data, goal configuration and tracking, and visitor flow report.

Features shared by SmarterStats and Google Analytics:

Both analysis services are able to report on paid search campaigns, banner and traditional marketing campaigns, and offer geo-targeted reporting. They analyze visitor session and navigation paths. Additionally both services offer free versions of their programs. The SmarterStats free version limits the use to a single site and one SEO campaign. Google Analytics free version has a limited amount of pageviews it will track. Larger sites with high traffic are required to purchase more of a package.

When it comes to accuracy, Google Analytics can misrepresent or underreport some statistics. The two services process data at different intervals, with Google Analytics using a 30-minute window while SmarterStats uses a 5-minute. Google Analytics only records data on pages with a tracking code. When it all boils down, SmarterStats is more accurate because it reports every request to the server instead of just what tracking code tags.