The world is becoming more digital today. Nowadays, we do not have to go to the shopping mall to buy something — everything is available online. There are e-commerce sites that provide grocery products, apparel, gadgets, books, you name it. E-commerce sites are one example of media-rich websites. Such platforms must be user-friendly and simple to navigate. But at the same time, this simplicity shouldn’t come at the cost of quality and functionality.
Media comprises all types of visual, audio, and other dynamic elements. Altogether they create a huge impact on the viewer so that they want to interact with the content. Therefore, any website that is full of videos, images, graphics, links, and other interesting features, is media-rich. What does it take to build such a website?
CMS is used for organizing websites or other information resources on the Internet or individual computer networks. There are hundreds of available CMS systems. Due to their functionality, these systems can be used by different companies. Despite a wide range of features available in a CMS, there are common characteristics for most types.
- It generates pages on demand. The three pillars of such a system are an editing module, a database, and a presentation module. When queried, the presentation module generates a content page based on information from the database. The information in the database is changed using the editing module.
- It generates pages when editing. Systems of this type make changes to the content of the site while editing pages. They create a set of static pages. This way, the interactivity between site visitors and the content is lost.
- Mixed type. As the name implies, this type combines the advantages of the first two. It also relies on caching. The presentation module generates a page once, and then after a while, it will load several times faster from the cache.
Among the most popular CMS systems are WordPress (63,5%), Shopify (4.9%), Joomla (3.7%), Drupal (2.5%).
CDN relies on multiple servers with cached data that are dispersed all over the world. CMS and CDN are often used together for improved data rendering. When the visitor requests data from the site, they interact with a CDN first. This system relays data from the server that is the closest to the visitor. This way, it speeds up the connection and load time of the site. CDN can be integrated with WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!, Magento, and PrestaShop.
Since СDN helps to decrease the time for page loading, it makes customers satisfied with the services. After all, it is a known fact that if a page takes more than three seconds to load, the customer abandons it. Once used together with an uploader, it contributes to an even better user experience. Not only will it take much less time to load the webpage, but it will also allow for file optimization. In turn, a well-optimized fast website ranks higher in search engines.
The way the website looks plays a vital role in attracting customers. It is crucial, because the page’s visual component is what catches the human eye at first. Videos, pictures, banners, text content, sound effects, color palette are all design elements. They should correspond to the overall theme of the website, and are indeed important. All the above-mentioned CMS systems can also serve as design tools since they come with a variety of templates for building a site from scratch.
WordPress allows site owners, editors, authors to manage their sites and publish content without any programming knowledge. The system uses PHP and MySQL. They are supported by almost all hosting providers. In addition to using templates and themes, you can also customize the page’s design as you see fit.
Drupal is used as a framework for web content systems. It is written in PHP and uses a relational database as data storage. Using it you can build various types of sites — blogs, news portals, information archives, or social networks. The default functionality can be accelerated by connecting additional extensions — modules. It has a wide range of properties: flat lists, hierarchies, hierarchies with common ancestors, related categories.
Joomla has good functionality out of the box that will allow you to create business card sites and even portals. If this is not enough, additional components are available in the Joomla extension catalog. These components are usually used when you need to add a new type of content to the site and manage it in the admin area.
Other popular tools for building a website include Weebly, Wix, Gator. When it comes to interface design, it’s worth checking Figma.
Hosting is a service that allows companies and individuals to post their content on the Internet. So when we say hosting, we mean web hosting. There are many different options, levels, and types of this service, as well as its providers.
WordPress Hosting is a type of shared hosting specifically designed to host WordPress sites. Using it, your server is configured in a certain way that is most suitable for your website needs. You get immediate access to ready-made pre-installed plugins for caching and security, for example. Among its functions are also
- Scanning and removing malware;
- Built-in speed and performance tools;
- Managed and automated tasks;
- Daily backup and instant data recovery.
Summing up, the very first step to setting up a media-rich website is choosing a CMS and a hosting provider. Moreover, CDN also has an impact on the quality of the platform, as slow websites result in customer churn. In general, a media-rich website requires a lot of effort to make it successful.