With a host of open source and premium CMS platforms available, the average affiliate is spoiled for choice when it comes to developing their affiliate website. We take a look at some of the best open source CMS platforms available and the things to consider when developing your affiliate website.
It wasn’t long ago, way back in 2002 that I had first started building websites for a commercial reason. It was a long and a tardy process as I sat with MS Frontpage, carefully designing the layout tables, the header menus and so on. A few change in one page meant the menu had to be manually updated across other pages.
Compare that to now and technology has rapidly evolved ensuring that we can focus on the aspects more vital. Having a website for an affiliate is quite an essential aspect of affiliate marketing. There are other ways to be a successful affiliate too, but in this article we focus on the publishing platforms for websites.
Open source, lots of support and a great ecosystem built around it. Need we say more?
WordPress has evolved over the years and retains the number 1 position when it comes to blog publishing. With a few hacks and tips, you can even extend this ability to develop fully functional websites as well. The WordPress system is easy to use, making it the perfect platform for affiliates with nothing to little experience in php coding and is the perfect platform for experienced webmasters who need to extend the functionality beyond.
Plugin support. Plugins for wordpress are nothing but snippets of code that when combined with wordpress gives additional capability. There are both free and paid plugins.
The advantage of using wordpress is the fact that most SEO experts have adapted to wordpress there by giving out not just tips but have also built plugins that gives your website the much needed SEO kick.
Drupal is often referred to as WordPress on steroids. This is indeed true as Drupal is a very good CMS system that is built for the advanced webmaster with a good development experience. Unlike wordpress, Drupal takes into consideration various other elements to build a really robust website.
The Drupal community continues to keep the entire project open source. This is good if you are low on cash or not willing to invest too much upfront money into developing your website, the downside though is the fact that since it is not very commercial, the development of the modules and extensions are a bit limited when compared to WordPress.
Because of Drupal’s vastness, it can be made to run almost any kind of website. There is a large community, so finding help or modules should not be a problem. In short order, one can have a very feature-rich site up and running. Drupal also makes it very easy to keep custom modules, themes, and the core Drupal files up-to-date which is a huge bonus. Almost every menu and sidebar and little configuration can be changed without changing the theme. It has thousands of modules that can add on to its functionality.
Drupal can be intimidating to just logon to the system as an administrator. There are so many options and configurations and strange names like taxonomy that you don’t know where to start. Theming Drupal can be a large challenge if you are not a programmer.
However, don’t let that deter you as the Drupal community is quite strong and help is always a forum click away.
If you want to create a community or a network with a membership area, newsroom, forums, articles, input from external authors etc… then Joomla is a good choice because it is made to be that way. Creating a navigation structure is easy, once you understand how it works and it doesn’t require knowledge of html. You can set articles to expire after a time, activate dates, authorname, breadcrumbs etc.. Thus, Joomla gives you a lot of power in your hands and that is noticeable in the admin section where there are so many options that you get dizzy the first time you go in.
The core system is very complex which demands a lot of resources from the server. If the database is not tweaked for better performance and you add a couple of fancy external plugins, chances are that the site breaks down starting from 50,000 visitors a day or more. If you are born to be very popular on the net, it is important to keep this in mind, therefore best involve a web developer with experience in high traffic sites to tweak the system.
Another flip side to Joomla is that it extremely commercial, especially in critical elements such as modules, plugins and hacks. So if you are looking to host your site using Joomla, be sure to have a bit of cash handy.
In conclusion, bear in mind that every website’s need and functionality is different. Any of the above publishing platforms works good and the choice to use them primarily depends on factors such as competency, time you can spare to modify the platforms and of course the budget.
- Themeforest: A good market place for wordpress related themes. Price of a wordpress theme ranges between $20 – $50
- Webhosting: We recommend Hostmonster simply because of their realistic pricing, value for money and good support services. Hostmonster also offers paypal payments, which makes it even more easier to purchase.