When creating a website, there are initial decisions to be made that can positively or negatively affect a website’s success. While designing and developing your website on time and within budget is one of the most important things you can do, understanding the need for a CMS to meet the growing needs of your website is even more important. For those of you on a quest to figure out if your website needs a CMS, you should first understand its form and function.
As stated on Wikipedia, a CMS stands for Content Management System and “is a software system that provides website authoring, collaboration, and administration tools designed to allow users with little knowledge of web programming languages or markup languages to create and manage website content with relative ease.”
Since CMS development is a costly and complicated add-on for any website, it’s important to figure out if you even need one in the first place. First, ask yourself these basic questions:
- Will the website be updated more than once a month?
- Are you planning to run a blog on your site?
- Will non-web developers be updating the content on your website?
- Will several employees be updating your website?
- Do you require the ability to manage your site’s content from remote locations?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then your website would benefit from a CMS. Listed below are the 3 most popular CMS platforms:
WordPress is currently the most popular CMS in use on the Internet, with over 60 million people using it to create their website. It is a free PHP open source blogging tool that has many features, including a plug-in architecture and template system. WordPress is used by almost 15% of Alexa’s “top 1 million” websites, and has over 18,000 plugins to boost website usability. Widgets, blogs, mobile and other features, can be added in an easy to setup and install interface.
Joomla is boasted to be the second most used CMS after WordPress, and is one of the most popular PHP open source CMS’s, boasting over 25 million downloads, and millions of websites currently running on its free platform. The software is used to create and build a variety of websites, and has over 8,600 free and commercial extensions, with more available from the official Joomla Extension Directory. It is recommended to have a professional developer create a Joomla site.
Drupal is another popular open source CMS platform that is written in PHP and distributed under the GPL license. Drupal powers over 7 million websites and applications across the world, and is built, used, and supported by an active community of people around the world. The Drupal core installation can be used to build just about any type of website, and has more than 9,500 free community-contributed modules that are available to extend Drupal’s capabilities, add new features and alter Drupal’s behavior and appearance. Although Drupal says no programming skills are required for basic website installation and administration, it is recommended to have a professional developer create a Drupal site.
Knowing what a CMS is, and knowing which platform is right for your website is a decision that should not be taken lightly. All three CMS platforms mentioned above are great products, and we are not attempting to show partiality to any certain product. The next step you should take is talking to a professional web development company to see which CMS will work the best for your business. Following these simple steps will help you make the right decision when planning and implementing your website development strategy.