Content Management Systems: What They Are and Which One is Best for Your Website
Choosing the right Content Management System (CMS) can be the difference between being able to easily maintain your website and having to call a professional for every update.
It determines how you create content, how secure your website is and how much you need to spend on maintenance.
In this post, we’re going to discuss the three most popular Content Management Systems or CMS for short. We’ll cover their pros and cons along with how to choose which one fits your website best.
Let’s get started.
What is a Content Management System?
A Content Management System or CMS is software you use to organise and post online content. Some examples include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Magento.
In the old days of the Internet, web developers created individual .html files for each web page. They would then upload these files on their web host. It was a time-consuming process
Updating a link on your navigation bar used to take hours. You would have to change the link on every single web page and upload all the files again. Rinse and repeat this process for all the changes you made to your website.
Content Management Systems make managing websites a hundred times easier. In a nutshell, a CMS neatly arranges your website’s design and other important elements.
Whenever you make a change that affects the entire website, you only have to process it once. It will update all your web pages for you.
If you’re creating content for a specific page, it separates the content body from website-wide elements like the header, footer and navigation bar.
That might not sound important, but it stops you from accidentally deleting or changing something.
For example, a new member joined your team, so you want to update your website’s Our Team page. You can add a photo and a short bio without affecting the other pages on your website.
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System. According to a recent survey, it’s powering 26% of all websites.
Out of all the Content Management Systems available, 59.4% of users choose WordPress. It’s used by both small businesses and major corporations.
Things You Should Know About WordPress
It’s easy to get started.
WordPress is the easiest to use content managing system, making it perfect for people with little web development knowledge.
If you choose to use WordPress, you could have your website up and running in minutes. In fact, plenty web hosts offer a one-click installation option. You click a single button, and your web host will set it up and generate a username and password for you.
Afterwards, all you have to do is start creating pages and posts.
You can easily customise WordPress.
WordPress plugins are software that performs a specific function for your website.
As of this writing, there are over 56,000 plugins you can choose from. Whatever feature you want for your website, you can rest assured there’s likely a plugin for it.
When choosing a plugin, it’s important to keep your top goals in mind. Do you want more subscribers to your newsletter? Do you want to generate better leads?
Let’s say you want to make it easier for potential and current customers to contact you. You could add the WP Live Chat Support plugin.
It adds a live chat function to your website that allows customers to chat with you or leave you a message when you’re offline. No need to sign up for anything or to open a new browser.
You have access to thousands of resources.
Since WordPress is the most popular CMS, there are plenty of resources that can help you improve your website.
There are thousands of free and paid themes you can use. Once you download these themes, WordPress also makes it easy for you to customise colours, headers and other design elements.
Whenever you encounter an issue with WordPress, you can do a quick Google search. You’ll then find unlimited helpful articles that can help you solve the problem.06
WordPress is often targeted by hackers.
As the most used CMS worldwide, WordPress is often subject to attacks by hackers. The CMS does take measures to minimise vulnerability to such attacks. These measures include letting users known when there’s a new security update and quickly fixing issues.
However, at the end of the day, WordPress can only do so much. You are still responsible for your website’s overall security. If you lack knowledge in this department, it would be better to seek professional help.
Joomla is a free Content Management System used to create online content. It’s the second most popular CMS. 6.6% of CMS users chose to use it according to a recent survey.
Things You Should Know About Joomla
Joomla requires more coding knowledge than WordPress.
Most web hosts also offer a one-click installation option for Joomla. You won’t have any difficulty setting up.
The similarities end there. Joomla’s user interface is more complicated and isn’t entirely suited for beginners. When creating pages or blog posts, you would need to do more coding compared to WordPress editor.
It’s recommended for creating social networking websites.
Joomla is the best CMS for creating a social networking website. You can let members upload photos and video and chat with each other.
You have to keep in mind that installing all these additional functions requires above average programming knowledge. It would also require more space and bandwidth from your web host. You may need the following:
- help from professional web developers who can set-up everything for you.
- a bigger, faster and more expensive web hosting package.
You have access to a large Joomla knowledge base.
Whenever issues are encountered, users can log into the Joomla! Community Portal to find a thriving community where you can ask for help and support.
Granted, there are more WordPress articles online, there are still plenty of blog posts about Joomla that can help you answer your questions.
You can also find Joomla themes and plugins.
Again, since Joomla isn’t as popular as WordPress, there aren’t as many themes and plugins for it. That doesn’t mean you can’t find ones that will suit your purposes.
For example, if you want to make it simpler for users to share your content on social media, you can add the ampz plugin. It lets site visitors share your posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
Drupal is possibly the most powerful Content Management System available at the moment. It’s perfect for websites that have huge amounts of content.
According to a recent survey, Drupal is the CMS of choice by 2.2% of users. Like WordPress and Joomla, it’s open source software that you can start using for free.
Unlike WordPress and Joomla, Drupal asks you to fill out a form during the configuration process. You need to enter your site name, email address and more.
Things You Should Know About Drupal
Drupal requires more coding knowledge than WordPress and Joomla.
Creating content on Drupal is more difficult than doing so on WordPress and Joomla.
For example, if you wanted to update your footer, all you have to do is enter the changes you want to make and save them. WordPress and Joomla will then update everything for you.
Drupal’s dashboard is not as user-friendly with some customizations requiring coding knowledge. First-time bloggers or non-experts might find the learning curve too steep.
It is known for its security.
Since it’s used by government departments and major businesses, Drupal stepped up their game on the security end of things.
Every time there’s a possible security breach, Drupal immediately announces it on their official website and provides a solution.
Hackers also make fewer attempts to attack Drupal since it’s not as popular as WordPress or Joomla.
You can install plugins and themes with Drupal.
This is another thing all three Content Management Systems in this post have in common. You can look for themes and plugins you can download and install on your website. However, like with Joomla, there are fewer plugins and themes available for Drupal.
The good thing is, some WordPress plugins have a Drupal version.
Yoast is one example. It’s a popular plugin that makes search engine optimisation simple for beginners. It checks your content’s title, meta description and copy for readability, keyword density and more.
It’s commonly used in WordPress, but Drupal users need not worry about finding a similar plugin since there’s a version for them.
How to Choose the Right CMS for Your Website
Based on what we’ve discussed so far, WordPress seems like your best bet.
It’s the most popular CMS because it’s the easiest to set-up and use. Other CMS like Joomla and Drupal offer greater functionality, but most websites don’t require that many features.
You can find WordPress resources whenever you encounter issues. You can also choose from more plugins and themes compared to Joomla and Drupal.
But choosing the right CMS isn’t only about going with the most convenient option.
You have to examine your current situation and needs. Before deciding which CMS to use, ask yourself the following questions:
Do I have the necessary skills to use this Content Management System?
You might have your heart set on using Drupal, but what if you don’t know a programming language? Sure, you can take the time to learn a programming language but that would take up too much time–time you could’ve otherwise spent working on your website.
If you lack programming knowledge and don’t have time to learn, WordPress might be the better option for you. Even if someone else builds the website for you, you can take over and maintain it yourself afterwards.
Do I have enough resources to use this Content Management System?
Let’s say you still want to use Drupal. You’ve accepted that you’d rather focus on running your business, so you’re going to let someone else create and run your website.
Unless your website is massive, hiring your own in-house web development team might be out of the question. The workload might not be consistent enough to justify hiring someone full-time.
Outsourcing to a web development company is a better option. You can reach out whenever something needs to be updated. It will be similar to having your own web development team, but you won’t have to spend as much.
Whatever your decision is, make sure it still meets your budget restrictions.
To summarise, you need to consider these factors before deciding:
- Skills required
Content Management Systems (CMS) play an important role in our websites’ operations. They determine how we create content along with the resources we need to maintain them.
WordPress is the easiest-to-use and most popular CMS. Whenever you need assistance, you won’t have difficulty finding resources and technical support.
Joomla is between WordPress and Drupal in terms of ease of use. You need beginner-level programming knowledge to get started. It’s highly recommended for social networking websites.
Drupal is the hardest CMS to use out of the three discussed in this post. It makes up for the difficulty by being able to support websites with huge amounts of content.
When choosing a CMS, keep your resources and needs in mind. You might want to use one CMS when another actually fits your budget and skills better.
Cornerstone Digital is a web development company in Sydney. If you want to determine which CMS is right for you, we’d be glad to help you. Call us on (02) 8211 0668 or email us at [email protected]
A self-professed book and digital marketing nerd, Darlyn Herradura focuses on building trust between customers and businesses with the written word. She understands that creating valuable content is the best way to get found online and happily spends her time doing that.