There are more and more free platforms out there, which small to medium sized businesses can utilise to build their online presence, improve communication and do more themselves. Below we have listed 5 platforms that are popular among our clients, in fact 4 of them we use ourselves!
Undoubtedly the most popular and usefulÂ¬Â¨â€šÃ„â€ platform with our clients is the Content Management System (CMS) WordPress. The fact is, WordPress is easy to use, easily extendable, good for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), adaptable in design and maintained by a large community of developers.
Check out some of the sites we have worked on recently:
Perhaps not as well known as WordPress, the second most commonly used platform for our clients is an open source ecommerce platform. ZenCart is designed to give users an easy interface, tons of features and a good support community. Although it is not the easiest of platforms to develop with, we have found once the online store is set up, it does prove easy for our clients to run.
Here are a couple of stores using WordPress
Third on the list, is the incredibly powerful and adaptable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) SugarCRM. For small to medium sized business, Sugar gives a huge array of options, an easy to use interface with multi language and with over 1,000,000 downloads, there is a strong community ready to provide support.
These days more and more people are using Gmail for their personal email, but did you know that you can use Gmail for your business too? Businesses who need up to 20 users can get a free account including Email, Instant Messenger, Online Word Processor, Spreadsheets and a Calender. The great thing is you can use the services with your business domain name, so your email will still be @yourcompany.com rather than @gmail.com.
Learn all about it here
The final platform on our list is for doing Email Marketing, MailChimp just about makes it on here due to its free option for up to 500 subscribers. MailChimp offers a great interface, tons of free email templates, good reporting and more. It is certainly worth considering if your business needs to publish a monthly newsletter.
Check it out here
There are plenty of other free platforms out there, which ones are you using?