To update a website yourself, you need a Content Management System (website software that allows you to change the content using your browser). The top 3 Content Management Systems (by download and installations) in 2011 were Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal (one important thing to remember about “free” open-source CMS’s is that the CMS is indeed free but there is always a development and design cost associated with building a good site).
So, let’s look at the pro’s and con’s of each CMS and how we think they relate to our customer’s needs.
- The admin section is fairly intuitive and easy to learn with help.
- Lots of website design templates are available to make your site look great.
- The developer community is strong and has had high growth in recent years.
- The admin section does require a bit of training to master.
- Less coding skills needed to build a website but still necessary for anything more than a basic site and customising can be tricky.
- Not as powerful as Drupal with less free and commercial modules and plug-ins.
- Very developer friendly. There is almost no limit to customization.
- It is very powerful and there are thousands of free and commercial modules and plug-ins available to add features and functionality.
- Site design is quick and easy due to the all the themes and templates that are available.
- Drupal is already used on some very large websites and back-end infrastructure, e.g. VRT in Belgium.
- The developer community is very strong and produces robust upgrades and hundreds of new functions and tags. A good indicator of the growth of Drupal can be seen in the graph below:
- It's not easy for a beginner to use. Some coding knowledge is required to build the best sites.
- It is perfect for larger sites and very scalable.
- The Admin interface is very powerful but can therefore be a bit daunting for beginners.
- Designed to be as easy as possible to use. The idea is that you don’t need to customize it.
- It is easy for beginners to admin and manage sites built on Wordpress.
- It was originally intended purely for blogs but is evolving slowly into a full CMS (though it is not there yet!)
- Less development time needed to set up a basic site.
- Not very customizable so not very developer friendly.
- It is open source but the developer community is a bit fragmented so upgrades can sometimes be buggy and crash existing sites.
- The functionality is a bit limited and it is hard to add webshop/shopping cart functionality.
There are several options available and every project has its own unique requirements. For this reason, we always take time to analyse the customer’s needs and then suggest the best solution for them now, and going forwards.
This is a great image to give a quick overview. Thanks to DeviousMedia for the excellent infographic!
What do YOU think? Submit your comment below!