Web Content Management System (CMS) is the backbone of all modern websites so it is important that you understand the options. These can be off-the-shelf systems like WordPress that allow for many customizations and extensions or systems that your website designers or developers create themselves. In addition, some projects require a custom-built CMS for very specific needs.
Everyone has their own advantages and disadvantages, so the following will give you a brief overview and understanding of how a given CMS can affect the success or failure of your site through a few large and potential options.
The standard CMS will allow non-technical users to modify the content of the website and add more technical user features or make changes to the SEO configuration.
Drupal is a large tech CMS that seems to be losing its grip on WordPress of late. Drupal is used as a more flexible starting point but it lacks the usability of WordPress from a user perspective.
This is a developer’s CMS and it works well as a starting point for building a complex, although I advise you to try before you buy. Although Drupal is the second most popular CMS system for larger sites, it is important to be aware of its advantages and disadvantages.
Umbroco is a free CMS solution based on the Microsoft .NET Framework. It is another highly capable platform that allows easy management of website content. One drawback of Umbroco is that it requires a lot more technical skills to customize and add functionality than the WordPress, Joomla or Expression engine.
Joomla is a full-featured web content management system that can power everything from a few pages to a large portal-style site. Joomla by nature is easy to use for simple tasks but can be confusing for large sites and has considerable learning curves when compared to products like WordPress and expression engines.
Joomla was once a leading CMS but has lost market share in WordPress in recent years. From our experience at Bowler Market, we know that users are less comfortable with Joomla than with WordPress and as a result its popularity has declined.
ExpressionEngine is a commercial content management system. It is a highly capable system and supports standard out-of-the-box pages, blogs, discussion forums, ecommerce and mailing lists. The system supports modular extensions to extend additional functionality.
As a commercial product, ExpressionEngine provides technical support that goes beyond what is available with free options.
WordPress is a free blogging platform and content management system that is currently used to power 75 million websites. It is intuitive, well documented and easy to learn ropes and so it is an ideal arrangement for most small business websites.
WordPress supports RSS feeds and has a wide array of plugins and extensions that enable you to create feature-rich websites that can be created from scratch without Herculesan effort.
WordPress has a rich network of theme developers who provide templates that expand WordPress core functionality and facilitate the development of a website. These can be a gift and a curse and it’s important to make sure your developer chooses themes that support your needs. Otherwise, you may be boxed into what their theme wants to do instead of what you want them to do.
WordPress currently runs about 25% of all websites and 50% of the top 100 blogs, so it’s a well-proven system.
In addition, WordPress accounts for about 50% of all CMS websites. The ubiquity of WordPress has caused some security issues with some of the late popular plugins, which means the system needs to be maintained, although this can be done with relative ease or with a small monthly fee.