Content Management Systems (CMS)
If you’ve been following our content closely, then you’re likely aware of the fact that we’ve talked at length about how to create and manage your site using a content management system. We’ve been sold on these platforms for some time now, hailing them as just about the coolest thing since sliced bread. However, they’re still new to the area, and if you’re feeling a bit lost, you may have no heads nor tails about where to begin finding a competent CMS.
First, we’ll give you the rundown on the three most popular CMS currently on the market: WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. We’ll be including some basic information about each, and in later articles, we’ll even hand over some nifty tips on how to use the three of these utilities. So without further ado, head on down below!
If you haven’t yet heard of WordPress, we’re not exactly sure what rock you’ve been living under. Well, WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems, powering more than 20% of the web. Something like 60% of all blogs that exist on the web today are running WordPress, making it easily the most popular CMS around. It comes with a lot of benefits, but before we hit that section, let’s first give you a basic rundown of what WordPress does.
WordPress is a CMS with an overall blog focus. This means it’s largely meant to be used by those that want to create and manage a personal or business blog. It’s very simple to add posts and media using the system, but creating static pages is a little harder than with some of the other options we’ll be discussing today.
Not so great with the static pages, and typically only functions as a blog. Complexity has been shirked for a simpler interface, which may annoy some of the advanced users. Also, the interface is somewhat clunky, though getting better.
If you haven’t yet heard of Drupal, we’re willing to bet you’re one of those people that’s happy with WordPress and isn’t likely to be swapping ship anytime soon. However, if you’re new to the content management system game and are still weighing your options, Drupal is a powerful and free way to go. The platform offers all of the same functionality that you’d expect with WordPress, only with some minor twists.
For instance, Drupal is a lot more focused on actual website creation, as opposed to blogs. That being said, it’s still incredibly simple to turn a Drupal site into a blog. The platform is open-source and boasts a large number of plugin ecosystems, additional resources and support. It’s not got the same level of community support as you’ll find with WordPress, but on the whole, you’ll still likely find a solution to any and all problems you may have.
Loads of plugins and additional resources, bolstered by a more powerful focus on website creation. Template-based website layouts make it simple and quick to fashion together a working model.
Steeper learning curve than WordPress, and not nearly as much support. Not as many themes or plugins as with WordPress, either.
And last, but not least, we have our final contender: Joomla. It’s like Drupal, has been around for a while using a more static-page based approach that relies heavily on templates and pre-fab arrangements. This is an excellent way to go about creating a website, and with a wealth of available templates to choose from, we have no doubts that Joomla is capable of handling any and all creation needs.
Joomla was born out of the original Mambo CMS, which split-up due to some lengthy discussions about what a free software should actually be. The end result was an extremely community-driven content management system that comes stock with a thick, impressive interface and a sturdy network of nearly professional users.
A very strong community of users that know what they’re doing with the content management system. Most are professionals in the tech industry, which means you may have to become involved with the community, but you’re very likely to get a solid answer to solve your problems.
Not nearly as many plugins as the other two, and additional resources are a bit hard to find. You may find yourself doing-it-yourself more often than not with Joomla.
So what CMS do I need? Still feeling lost?
Let us give you some pointers:
If you’re not as inexperienced and want something with a little meat on its bones, shoot for Drupal. It’s more robust, but comes with a similar level of support and materials. For the truly gung-ho, use Joomla. You’ll like the complexity, and you’ll also appreciate the very dedicated community of users that will guide you through those first few steps.
If you’re looking to run a blog and don’t want to get your hands dirty with any code at all, WordPress is your best option as it comes with a wealth of free themes. Moreover, it is very easy to setup since most modern web hosts offer 1-click installation of WordPress through a control panel.