Which CMS Is The Right Choice For You?

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Which CMS Is The Right Choice For You?

 January 23rd, 2019

What exactly is a CMS website?  A CMS (Content Management System) is software that allows you to control and manage your website content without having any technical training.  Don’t forget about plugins either as they add to the features and content you can have.  What is a plugin?  A plugin is an addon application that adds one or more features to your website.  An example of a plugin would be adding the ability to do e-commerce through your CMS.   

So which CMS is right for you?

Before we talk about some of the most popular CMS software available, you need to decide what you want your website to do, what features you will need.  For example, are you going to have a blog?  Do you need a shopping cart? Does the CMS have plugin support for additional features that may not be included by default?  

Here are 5 of the most popular CMS applications.

WordPress

WordPress is by far the most popular CMS.  So large in fact, that it has the largest developer and end user community.  There are numerous sites for support and wordpress has a ginormous amount of plugins and themes.  WordPress has made it so easy to use that of all CMS software, it requires the least amount of technical knowledge in order to use. 

However, while WordPress has an easy to use interface, changing the core of the framework will require some skill, or a developer to assist you.  Moreover, if you do make changes to the core framework, upgrading to a newer version of WordPress can be considerably challenging and you may in fact not be able to do so.  Thus, it is not recommended to make any changes to the core framework because, like all CMS software, vulnerabilities can happen and keeping your CMS up to date is crucial to prevent hacking.  WordPress is free to download and offers many premium add-ons available for a fee.  Moreover, there are providers that provide 1-click installs of wordpress to make installation that much easier for you.

Joomla!

Joomla just might be the compromise between Drupal and WordPress.  Joomla is easier to operate than Drupal, but offers more flexibility in site development than WordPress. Joomla websites can be quickly setup without significant support.  However, some technical knowledge would be helpful.  Despite being easy to use, Joomla is used to develop complex websites, such as those with eCommerce and built-in social networking.  Joomla was designed to perform as a community platform and it features strong social networking. 
Joomla is extremely customizable and comes with a large selection of templates, styles, and a wide range of services and options, that are available as built in functionality. Joomla is free to download and provides a variety of premium features available for purchase.

Typo3

Next to WordPress, Typo3 is the second most popular open source CMS. Typo3 is an enterprise management system and is constantly updated and kept current by a team of experienced developers. Typo3 is a great solution for large corporate portals and e-commerce platforms.  However, you more than likely will want to hire a developer to maintain this CMS and your online project.  While Typo3 has a huge community to help beginners with questions,  it will require training and much more effort to maintain.  

The amount of functions offered by Typo3 makes it possible to implement any kind of online project.   This comes however at a considerable expense for installation, configuration, and maintenance.  In this case, end users are usually having put in more effort than they need to.  If the entire range of features offered by this CMS isn’t required, then website operators would generally be better served by a CMS with easier use and less features. 

Drupal

Drupal is a powerful and flexible CMS for developing the most complex websites, such as those with multiple users, community platforms, enterprise sites, eCommerce sites, and more.  While flexible, it can often require a high-level of programming knowledge to take advantage of its flexibility.  Developers should have a basic knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP, and Javascript/JQuery in order to build and troubleshoot any site built with Drupal.

The level of expertise needed to operate Drupal does come with benefits, however. Drupal can create more advanced websites and is perfect for websites that need to be flexible enough for expanding site features in the future, adding customized functionality, complicated forms and work productivity.  Drupal is free to download and premium features are available to purchase.  Remember that users who lack the technical know-how to build a Drupal site might find themselves paying for technical support.

Magento

While not as popular as the other CMS systems previously listed, that does not mean that it is not worth its weight.  Magento is yet another fast emerging e-commerce script and an open source CMS that uses MySQL and Zend PHP databases.  Magento is a feature rich CMS that gives online merchants the leverage to control the look and the content, as well as functionality of the e-commerce site they own. Coming in with a highly intuitive administrative interface, it utilizes great search engine optimization, powerful marketing as well as catalog management tools so that the online merchants have the power to create or edit sites that best suit their business needs. 

Choose Your Host Wisely

Once you have made your choice, your next step is to determine if your hosting company supports your CMS.  Always contact a hosting company and ensure that all of the features of the CMS are supported.  Also, during this process, it can also be helpful to ensure whether or not a hosting company has installation tools to assist you, such as the ability to perform a 1-click install of the CMS without having to manually upload it and configure it.

In Conclusion

Lay out everything before you begin looking so that you are prepared for choosing the right CMS.  What functionality will your site need and how well does your hosting company supports your choices.

If you have any questions or need assistance choosing the best CMS for you contact us.