Many of my friends who have small business setups come with a standard query … “How to make a simple, low budget website ?”.
There are quite a few specific aspects to deal with here :
The solution should be low cost – : As the business might just be a start up and not very profit making.
Small setups and new ventures might not be in a position to afford a technical help continuously for putting data / updating on the website. An employee of the company would be expected to handle content management of the website too, and that employee may not be a highly paid technical professional.
There would be hardly 2-20 employees who would need some platform for emailing and communication too.
For years I kept researching on the most feasible solutions in this area. WordPress is my favourite CMS package and I was sure that even a layman user can be easily trained to post contents on a site made with WordPress. But there were a few problems here as well. Firstly, the user was not comfortable with the “wordpress.com” domain and wanted one of his own. Now, even if they have bought a domain of their own, they would require a hosting space for WordPress CMS. For this either they will have to set up their own server (which will make the costs very high) or subscribe to a hosting facility available with the popular hosting service providers. This also needs some initial investment and the problem does not end here. Initial setup of WordPress CMS cannot be done by a layman, non-technical user.
Hmmmm … m sure u can imagine now, what kind of issues developers have to deal with specially when layman users are not able to understand simple things like “Domain name is different from web space and both have to be purchased ” & “Site development charges are different from domain name and hosting charges” etc !!!!
After doing a lot of brain storming, I finally realized that for the above requirements there was nothing as simple as Google Apps. Once they have bought their domain, a small business needs to just set up Apps and they get email, sites, groups, contacts, videos etc (and lot more ) features for free.Though some of the users did require training for making sites on Google Apps but most of the others were able to manage that after some 5-10 days of initial practice. Now, I recommend them to go for a Google Apps solution. Well, I understand that most of them feel that m biased in favour of Google Apps but still the fact is that I have come to this conclusion after years of research.