Your content management system (CMS) is an important consideration for your website. You need a solution that’s dynamic and professional, aesthetically pleasing, has plenty of functionality and—perhaps most importantly—is easy to update and maintain.
Today, you can find plenty of open-source CMS platforms to power your website. Many developers rely on the top three of these solutions—Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress—to create attractive, full-featured websites for their clients. Here, we’ll take a look at these platforms, and compare the features and benefits.
A general overview
Each open source CMS brings something different to the table. Drupal leans toward the developer-friendly end—some programming experience is required to take full advantage of the software, but the end result is powerful, complex sites with advanced capabilities.
Joomla represents the middle ground, with more user-friendly options than Drupal, but still featuring extensive developer-oriented capabilities. And for super-easy, drag-and-drop website creation that may not have the detail of Drupal, but can still create clean, functional sites, nothing beats WordPress.
Features and functions
The extremely user-friendly WordPress boasts a huge collection of themes, along with plenty of plugins and widgets to enhance website interaction. While this CMS can make even the most non-technical user feel comfortable, it also has the capacity for developer improvement. Many designers use WordPress for clients who prefer to pay for the initial design, but manage future updates themselves.
One of the main attractions of Joomla is its social networking features. Designed to operate as a community platform, this CMS is great for e-commerce and social marketing. With Drupal, users receive powerful organization for complex content, with advanced tagging and categorization functions. The platform works well for online stores, specialized designs, and sites with multiple users.
Choosing your CMS
When deciding on a CMS, consider the technical expertise that’s required to run the various platforms. Small businesses and entrepreneurs with limited IT budgets may be attracted to WordPress for the ease of creating and maintaining impressive-looking sites without technical knowledge, while mid-sized companies may want to invest in a designer that uses Joomla or Drupal (or enlist their IT departments to adopt these systems), since they allow for unique website creation.
In any case, each of these CMS platforms are free—so you can cross “cost” off your list of criteria for the CMS decision.