The five most popular content management systems have earned their stripes by being usable, intuitive and flexible. These three characteristics are essential in any CMS, because most often they will be used by non-experts: your web developer builds the site, but your internal comms team or secretarial pool will keep it updated over years. A CMS needs to make sense to them.
A content management system does exactly what it says on the tin (if they came in tins): it is essentially a sort of software application which enables you to access the files and pages of your site in a graphical way, so that you can tweak text, upload photos and add new areas to your site. It will often let you alter the look and feel of your site a little, too – although it’s often best to leave this to your designer.
There are several options for your CMS, and your exact choice will depend quite heavily on what you need to do with it. But the most popular CMS platforms available are tried, tested, and where your search for the perfect CMS will begin.
WordPress has become the daddy of CMS platforms because it is free, open source and improbably versatile. WordPress offers free sites at wordpress.com, but many professional sites install the WP platform on their own servers and build a site from there. Because its base code is freely available, developers are constantly building new features for it – meaning your site can be made to do more or less anything, and be controlled easily within the very intuitive WordPress interface.
Google Sites, however, is making a plate for the market WordPress had almost sewn up. Like WP, Google Sites lets you change design templates, associate a site with a given URL, edit pages as you would with Word documents and generally build and manage a website with a minimum of fuss. The platform may have fewer features than WordPress, but it is growing all the time – and has the huge benefit of integration with the proliferation of Google services, from Mail to Search, that so many of us use daily.
Magento, meanwhile, is custom-build for ecommerce websites. Where both WordPress and Google can handle ecommerce with the addition of tweaks and plug-ins, Magento is a specialist CMS explicitly designed to manage products, sales and payments straight out of the box. This specialist aspect gives it a real edge when it comes to websites looking to make an immediate splash in the crowded world of ecommerce – and it’s go-to for anyone looking to build such a site.
Joomla is, like WordPress, free and open-source – that is, it costs nothing and its base code is available for anyone to edit and change in order to add new functionality (and provide their bright ideas to other Joomla users). It’s the second most used CMS in the world after WordPress, and shares many of its features. Databases power both WordPress and Joomla, but the latter provides a lot more flexibility in terms of which type of database you can use – if your server cannot handle the specific database type required by WP, Joomla may be your saviour.
Drupal, too, is similar in many ways to both WordPress and Joomla – it’s free, open-source and expandable. But it’s also a web application framework, meaning that unlike its rivals its designed as an environment in which users can build not just sites but web apps such as calendars or email systems. This gives it a very important USP in the current digital landscape, since web users are increasingly demanding that sites have real utility, as well as looking pretty and providing basic information.
We may not have made your final decision for you, but we’ve hopefully set out the stall of each of these platforms – why not call us today to discuss further what CMS your team will need to use once your site is complete? Depending on your and their precise needs, there’s a reason to use each of these five most popular CMS platforms.
Contact Image Plus for CMS Support and Web Development
If you’re unsure about what Content Management System to use for a new or upgraded website then speak to our experts. Our Web Developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.
Contact us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.