All about Content Management Systems
All about Content Management Systems
This article offers a detailed guide on how to choose the best CMS.
Content management systems information or CMS is a computer program that lets you create, edit, modify and organize web content. CMS have been around since the 1990s, but since that time their features have improved with a lot of tasks now automated. Aside from websites, CMS platforms are used for blogging, e-commerce and shopping, news and more.
Content management systems are used mainly for organizing files, but the features vary greatly. The simplest platforms offer basic features for blogging and website creation, while others offer more powerful features like search, indexing, retrieval, online publishing and more.
Depending on the platform, it might also function as an asset management program that holds files, documents, images and other types of information. The majority of them are also used for revising, customizing and controlling documents and information.
What CMS is Best for You?
Now that you know the answer to the question “what is a CMS?”, you’re probably wondering which is best for you. To answer that question, we’re going to look at the most popular CMS platforms: WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. While the three have different features they do share some similarities:
- WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are all free
- All three have MySQL support, but Joomla and Drupal are compatible with other database management systems
- All three have templates and themes with support for plugins and extensions
WordPress began as a blogging platform but has evolved to website building. It is the most popular CMS platform today, and its widgets, plugins and extensions continue to expand.
- Ease of Use: no technical knowledge required and supports copy pasting of text from Word.
- Features: hundreds of free themes and templates, and is easy for novices yet powerful enough for experts. You can use it to create websites and management control is intuitively set up. Overall it is very user friendly.
- Best for: WordPress is ideal for simple websites and blogging. The availability of numerous plugins extend the platform’s functionality, great for creating complex websites.
Joomla is somewhere in between WordPress and Drupal in terms of capabilities and complexity, and it’s packed with features.
- Ease of Use: setup is more complicated than WordPress but easier than Drupal. If you have some experience with CMS the installation is straightforward.
- Features: developed as a community platform, the feature emphasis is on social networking.
- Best for: Joomla is best used for creating websites with more intricate structures than those on WordPress, and it has full support for e-commerce.
Drupal is a powerful CMS platform designed for large and complex sites. While the platform has taken great strides in improving the user experience, it’s still more complicated than Joomla and WordPress.
- Ease of Use: Drupal requires more technical knowledge than Joomla or WordPress, but it is also capable of creating advanced websites.
- Features: this CMS is known for its high end taxonomy as well as its ability to arrange complex content. Drupal also has top of the line categorizing and tagging properties.
- Best for: Drupal is the ideal solution for creating complex and sophisticated websites and those that need data organization. This platform is commonly used by online stores and various community platform sites.
Which is the Best CMS?
There is no single best answer because as the comparison above shows, each one caters to a specific target market. Rather than try each CMS and decide which one works best, you should consider your goals, budget, technical knowledge and what you want the website to accomplish.
If all you want to do is blog or create a simple website, WordPress is your best option: it is easy to use, and for web developers, offers enough flexibility to create complex websites. On the other hand if you need to create a website that requires scalability and content configuration, Drupal would be the better option. But if you need something more powerful than WordPress but not as complicated as Drupal, Joomla could be the answer.
You also need to look at the platform’s stability and focus, and make sure that it jibes with your own business strategy. Here you might want to create a list of essential features: remember too that these CMS platforms change and are revised frequently so you need to be updated as well. Don’t get caught up with all the features and focus only on what you need. At the same time keep track of your site’s development and if you outgrow the CMS, then it’s time to move on.
When looking for content management systems information you also need to look into the specifics. Apart from the features and ease of use, the CMS platform must offer customer support and services like software patches, strategic guidance, hosting and more. You should also check the community support for the platform, as it indicates the system’s efficiency.