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).