Category Archives: Joomla

CMS Platforms – WordPress, Drupal and Joomla!…oh my!

CMS Platforms

Those new to the online CMS world are often inundated with new terminology, product and company names, as well as uncertainty regarding costs and fees. In order to help break through this initial wall of confusion, we wanted to provide readers with detailed information on the key differences between the major CMS platforms. Given our significant experience in web development and CMS, we hoped to provide some insight into these systems as they create the core of your content management strategy and are the key to driving increased and repeat business. As with any sector of the digital economy, there are countless numbers of CMS systems, thus our overview will touch on the “major players” in the industry and highlight a few advantages of each system.

WordPress – Out of all of the CMS systems, WordPress is one of the few that many web users may have come across or even used in the past. Whether it was a long-forgotten blog you made about trying every single pizza place in New York City or a more recently created website to provide guests information about your upcoming nuptials, WordPress (and Blogger, now owned by Google) are two of the most frequently used personal blogging platforms. WordPress has since grown to be a full featured and highly customizable website application and an incredibly powerful CMS system for business and is very easy to use, given its consumer focused roots. WordPress can be used for a variety of CMS applications including intranet/extranet, a community portal, a web store, as well as a resource directory for documents, images, media and an online ticketing system.

Drupal Drupal was created from the ground up as an enterprise level CMS system. It benefits from having an incredibly open and active open source community that contributes thousands of free add-ons and layout themes for others to use. Drupal can be used to meet a wide range of corporate and professional needs, including social networking, wiki/knowledge base, as well as standard content management including resource directories and organizational web presence needs. Drupal is able to scale to any size business or organization. In fact, the City of Los Angeles recently migrated 20 of its public facing websites from Oracle to Drupal. Not to be outdone, the Australian government’s Drupal based CMS system recently went live as well.

Joomla! – Joomla! is a key player in the CMS world. It has built a significant following since its founding in 2005 and today can boast that it’s been downloaded over 50 million times. Joomla! is highly extensible and has won numerous awards including multiple “Best Open Source CMS” commendations. Joomla! has a strong set of core modules and features as well as a wide range of open source add ons and plugins. Joomla!, like other systems, offers the ability to create a company intranet, a community portal, and a web presence for any size organization.

The single most important factor in selecting a CMS system is you. The current needs of your business, as well as the ability to build in future expansion options, are the most important criteria when selecting a CMS system. At Shift One Labs, we have a long history of working with our clients to design and build the ideal CMS system, whether it’s just for pizza or the entire government of Australia (or, more likely, somewhere in between).



The Weblog Blog

Creating a name for a blog, much like a company (to say nothing of naming a child), carries with it a great deal of weight. For a new blog, the name should indicate the key topics that it will discuss (such as web development and e-commerce for example), and, hopefully, add a bit of personality as well. At Shift One Labs, we are big fans of Arrested Development and in honor of the Bob Loblaw Law Blog we’ve decided to name our blog the “Weblog Blog.” Much like our namesake we take our job very seriously, and much like the Arrested Development series itself, we try to find the humor in any situation.

While ubiquitous today, blogging is a relativity recent development. Just a decade ago the word was so new that it was named the “Word of the Year” by Merriam-Webster. The term “blog” is actually an abbreviation of the term “weblog” which itself is a combination of two terms: “world wide web” and “log.” Log, in this sense, meaning a list of activities that have taken place. The earliest blogs were, often times, simply a sequential list of updates to a website, in some cases to help users find particular pages or information that may have moved. At the same time, with the rise of personal web publishing tools (many of which allowed users to create websites without in-depth knowledge of HTML) combined with greater access to the internet led to a boom in personal web publishing – the “online diary” that is still very common on sites such as Tumblr.

Blogging today has grown and expanded far beyond its humble origins. Today, there are hundreds of blogging and CMS platforms to choose from. Key players in the industry include WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal. Each has its own particular set of features. Determining exactly which system is best for your business depends on a variety of factors as well as your long-term goals. At Shift One Labs we have extensive experience assisting clients with these types of decisions, whether you are in the process of implementing a large-scale CMS system or simply creating a humble law blog. No matter your goals, we can help make them a reality.

With the rise of social media, some have wondered if blogging is still a viable option to help increase brand visibility. There is a very easy way to test this – the next time you search on Google, see how often a specific tweet or Facebook post appears in the results. Most likely, they will be ranked below websites and blog posts on the same topic. While social media should certainly be part of your online presence, a well-written, regularly updated blog is one of the best ways to communicate with current and potential customers and allows for a more expansive forum to discuss your brand and value proposition. We’d love to help you build the perfect platform to help expand your business, and if you need a good lawyer, we can help you there too.