It still amazes me how far behind the pace some of these platforms are in terms of usability and SEO (search engine optimisation).
Some of them are so bad that it would almost be funny if they were not costing the businesses using them a lot of money!
A Bad Platform Is…
- One that makes updating content a headache and only doable by a technical person
- One that reproduces your entire website on a separate live domain which is freely accessible by humans and search engines
- One which uses horrible url’s full of meaningless querystrings (?id=xxx&page=1234…)
- One which will only let you adjust page title and meta tags on ‘top – level’ pages
- One which uses such a convoluted way of performing 301 redirects that it makes adding in manual ones virtually impossible
- One which the stock answer from the developers is ‘No’ to every change request (or even worse ‘Well, it’s on our schedule and we hope to be getting to it within the next 3 – 4 months…’)
A Good Platform Is…
NONE OF THE ABOVE!
I had the misfortune recently of helping a company with the online marketing efforts who were using a CMS and eCommerce platform which had all of the above ‘features’.
Having moved to the platform 6 months prior to my involvement and losing all (yes I mean ALL) of their search engine rankings they wondered what the issue could be.
The Moral of This
Deciding on an eCommerce (or CMS) platform when starting out on your ecommerce adventure is a big decision so, do your research, try to speak with existing users of the options you are considering, and, if a web development company, speak to more than one company.
Getting 6 or 12 months down the line with an inadequate web platform could spell disaster for your business, or at the very least mean a lot of inconvenience for you in switching at a later date.