Are You Using The Right CMS?24 Oct
Content creation and marketing is at an all time high. Marketing content to current and potential customers is not only cost-effective it is also one of the best ways to engage your customers. Aside from coming up with effective content one of the primary problems facing web development and marketing teams is managing and storing the content created. Luckily, there are some very friendly content management systems out there making things easier for everyone.
Perhaps the most well known CMS is WordPress. WordPress came on to the scene in 2003 as an open-source CMS primarily used for blogs. In the last decade WordPress has become the CMS of choice for bloggers and full blown websites. Currently, WordPress is used in more than 60 Million websites and is one of the more user-friendly CMS platforms available. WordPress is a free platform, requiring only that you have your own hosting to use WordPress with your own custom domain. There is a very active community around WordPress with many developers creating WordPress themes and plugins for advanced functionality.
WordPress is based on PHP and MySQL, and is used to create dynamic content quickly and easily. The built in blogging and post creation makes it easy for almost anyone to create new content and make it look great. It also helps those without coding skills to simply manager their own website. While some more advanced features and functions of WordPress do require knowledge of PHP, CSS, and HTML WordPress is widely regarded as the best CMS in the marketplace.
Drupal is another popular PHP-based CMS used by a number of individuals and businesses. Drupal is also open-source and boasts a highly active community that assists with development of themes and add-ons as well as basic support. One of the shortcomings of Drupal, however, is that the theme system is more complicated than other CMS’s and Drupal can be difficult for those unfamiliar with web development or CMS usage.
Drupal does have its advantages tough, with over 6,000 modules (add-ons) allowing for high extensibility. The Drupal community is also very active and it’s easy to find educational and learning materials for beginners of those looking to hone their Drupal skills. Drupal is used by organizations such as The Economist, Examiner.com, and The White House.
Joomla! is an extremely popular CMS used for front-end websites and back-end networks. The Joomla! development community is highly active and users can find over 7,000 extensions for Joomla!. Joomla! is free and PHP-based, yet one thing about Joomla! is it lacks high quality themes that other CMS’s have, including WordPress. In a world where visual appeal is just as important as the written content on the page Joomla! falls behind a bit. Joomla! does allow for authentication OpenID, Google, and LDAP along with several other platforms.
Some of the websites run with Joomla! include Harvard University and MTV.
The CMS platforms mentioned above are the most widely used and well known. However, there are many others out there that are worth a look including:
- Umbraco (.NET based)
- SiteCore (.NET based – more for marketing/customer management)
- concrete5 (used by major universities and highly visible companies)
- ExpressionEngine (PHP based)
Employing a solid content management system can make content creation that much easier, even for those unfamiliar with web development or design. It’s important to choose a content management system that fits your needs the best as far as cost, ease of use, and learning curve. If you’re looking to create a new website, move your website to a new platform, or are looking for simpler way to manage and promote your content definitely keep these CMS platforms in mind.