Do you need a CMS? Which one?
web development

Do you need a CMS? Which one?

This is a crucial question. There are basically two kinds of websites: those with CMS and those without CMS.

“And what is a CMS?” you may ask. CMS stands for “Content Management System”. Clearer? Probably not.

Let us speak plain English: when you have a website that includes a CMS you can modify its content easily. You access to the “backend” of your website, enter your edits and boom! your site has new content.

On the contrary, when you don’t have a CMS you will need to pay for the help of a professional web developer to make any little change in your website. Not nice.

So, as you can see, having a website that includes a CMS is a very important thing. Be careful, because most of the trendy websites (Javascript-based) do not include a CMS and are very difficult to manage after day one.

Now, you ask, “Is there just one kind of CMS?” Nope, you have a lot of them. The most popular CMS are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. Let’s have a quick look at them.

First important note: all three are Open Source. This means that they are free, not that they are not secure. Open Source standards can be extremely high. The White House website, for example, uses Drupal.

 

WordPress.

WordPress is a CMS originally born to build blogs, and since so many people have a blog it is therefore the most used out there. Will it be the right CMS for you? It might be, if what you plan is to have a personal blog.

What about a more complex website? WordPress can offer you decent solutions for small projects, but it will not be the best option if you plan to scale your small website in the future (example: add e-commerce features, integrate with third-party applications, etc).

So what are the CMS options for bigger projects or for small ones that plan to scale in the near future? Basically Joomla and Drupal.

 

Joomla.

Joomla is the like black sheep of the CMS industry. Initially very promising, WordPress and Drupal have eaten its lunch and now Joomla is just a tool for nostalgics. Does it matter? Yes, it matters a lot: the future of any Open Source platform depends on the strength of its community of developers. If there is not a vibrant community of developers, there is no future for the platform.

 

Drupal.

Finally we have Drupal. We must say that after trying WordPress and Joomla, we are Drupal enthusiasts since many years ago.

Drupal is “the CMS”. It has by far the best development community worldwide and it is extremely versatile: it can build since the simplest website to the most complex one.

The great thing of starting with Drupal is that you are building a project with unlimited possibilities for growth:

Let’s say today you just need a 3-page website. Easy with Drupal. Let’s say in two months you want to add a shopping cart. Easy with Drupal. Let’s say in six months you want to integrate your website with a Marketing Automation solution like HubSpot or Marketo. Easy with Drupal. Let’s say in one year you want to translate your website in three languages. Easy with Drupal. Do you get the picture?

Remember: having a CMS with your website can save you a lot of time, money and troubles. Having the right CMS from the start will save you the frustration of having a limited CMS and the pain of a CMS migration in a couple of years.

 

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July 19, 2016

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