In this day and age, we are blessed to have a large amount of content management system’s (CMS) to satisfy all our web build requirements. However, deciding which CMS is right for both you and your business can sometimes be easier said than done. With websites ranging from brochure and ecommerce, there will be a CMS that best suits your requirements. Below is a list of CMS’s that are popular in today’s market and how they can enable your organisation to achieve its online goals.

A website is a living breathing touchpoint for your current and potential customers so, in order to drive both sales and improve awareness, it’s imperative to have a strong online presence. Now so more than ever it’s the main way of showcasing what your organisation can do. Given its importance, it is imperative that it sits on the correct platform.

Open Source CMS vs Proprietary Software

The most popular and common CMS’s used today are open source, meaning that the fundamental source code is open to the public. This immediately highlights the flexibility, usability and customisability of these platforms. As a user of an open source CMS, you are able to revise the core files of the software and improve the platform to best meet your needs. If you are feeling generous, you are able to share with other users around the world and help advance their website when they next update it. Essentially you have the freedom to use, change and share open source products as you please. On the flip side of open source software is proprietary software. Here we are presented with a CMS that has been developed by a particular company and distributed as a commercial project. The use of proprietary CMS’s is facilitated through the purchase of a license and the source code is not available to users. There are arguments for both and of course the correct solution depends entirely on your requirements as a business. Below is a table that indicates some factors that can determine exactly when each of these CMS types would be best for you:

             Open Source

              Proprietary

When you require a quick and agile web build which can often be led by a basic template design.Your online presence is important but does not make up the totality of your business.
You do not wish to pay for development time – if you have the time and expertise you can create your own website from one of the many themes available on the web.You do not require custom functionality for your site, just need front end design.
You have a unique idea and custom functionality is a must have requirement of your website.You want to just pick a provider and rest assured that it is running in the background for future years.
Your online presence is your business and you have the intention to invest your time enhancing and improving your website.You don’t want to have to constantly keep up with bug and security updates and would like a fully integrated service hosting plan.
You are able to add on various enhancements that further increase the capability of your website.You have no interest in the technology behind it and just want to take care of the content

 The Rise of the Open Source CMS

It is clear from the above table that open source CMS’s are flexible enough to meet most small and large business website requirements. Although the standard platform may not be enough to facilitate your goals exactly, there is always the ability to upscale and customise the CMS to suit you better that any pre-built system.
Three of the most popular CMS on the market today are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. Each have been around since 2000, 2005 and 2003 respectively. This ultimately means that they have been worked on by various developers and the source code shared numerous times over stimulating the organic growth we are experiencing today. At present the current market share of WordPress stands at 59%, Joomla at 7% and Drupal at 4.5%. Note that of the aforementioned figures these CMS’ sit as the top 3 worldwide, including many proprietary software providers such as SilverStripe (0.5%) and Sitefinity (0.1%).
It’s impossible to ignore the rise of the open source CMS and they show no sign of slowing down. Each of these three powerhouses of the content management system world have different benefits that help achieve your business goals. However, each of the CMS’ have their own benefits that are worth exploring to establish which CMS is best for you.

What you need to know

  1. WordPress is a CMS that is the chosen platform for over half of the world’s websites. The possibilities are endless when creating a website. You can build a simple website yourself easily. Or for more complex builds, most web developers are well versed in the ins and out of WordPress and can create your perfect site for you.  It is growing each year and is getting both more intuitive and accepted every time that it’s updated. The support community surrounding WordPress is second to none and the amount of free plugins is higher than any other CMS. Managing content with WordPress is as simple as possible. You create a page, add it to the menu, post something on it and see your content on the front-end of your site. All this combined adds up to a distinguished CMS platform.
  2. Joomla has been described as the perfectly balanced platform, finding a happy medium between customisation and user friendliness. Despite this, it is actually a more complex than WordPress. If you have no experience in this platform, it is imperative that you dedicate time getting acclimatised to the platform. Setting up each page, positioning modules and configuring layouts can be exacting on those with limited experience. Joomla provides access to extension developers and community which have come up with many stimulated solutions to common web development problems that may be harder to resolve within WordPress. Joomla CMS is a good choice if you have the spare time and eagerness to learn its peculiarities.
  3. It has been said that you can do almost anything with Drupal and it is increasingly surprising how flexible it is out of the box. There are many instances where you find yourself having to custom code in other open source CMS’ that Drupal have ready-made solutions for. However, it is essentially a CMS that has been built by developers for developers and thus learning to operate this platform can be rather time-consuming and requires dedication. It is a good option for large scale websites who are able to assign full-time administrators.
         WordPress             Joomla            Drupal
Large scale themes and premium themes available to useUpdated regularly by providers so is constantly evolvingOut of the box functionality and customisations
Large amount of integrated plugins on offerIt is easily localised and translated across different languagesResource demands such as hosting are made far easier.
Low learning curveFreeFree
Simple and up scalable platform
Wide support community
Ease of use
Most popular CMS on the market
Free

So, which CMS is Best?

Throughout this article it is clear to see that there are many solutions available to those who require a website to be built, be this from scratch or by using a theme. However, a picture that is becoming clearer in recent years is that the need for proprietary systems are diminishing (as proved by their market share). In their wake, Open Source content management systems have become increasingly popular, with WordPress leading the way. It comes as no surprise given the community that has grown with this platform since the turn of the millennium. It is seemingly the most flexible, usable and supported content management system on the market. Although each web build will have its own bespoke requirements that could be satisfied by more than one of the platforms available. WordPress has demonstrated why 60% of the world have chosen it to propel and evolve their website, in industries where landscapes are constantly changing.

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