A content management system is a computer application that supports the creation and modification of digital content. Today’s best websites are powered by content management systems (CMS) that are easy to use and allows you to create a powerful website without the need to code.
If you want a cost-efficient solution, that doesn’t cost a lot and don’t take weeks to launch, look no further. The best three options for you will be WordPress, Joomla! And Drupal. Some say there is no wrong choice, you can build your website with any of these, but of course they are different and one may be optimal for your unique needs.
The biggest of the Content Management Systems is WordPress with it’s 58.4% market share. Currently 27% of the web is hosted on a WordPress site. WordPress was founded in 2003 to be a great blogging tool, but since 2003 it grew a bit bigger.
Although it started for a blogging tool, today it can handle almost editing, being an ecommerce site, social networking, news site and much more. It features more than 45000 plugins to help you create the website you really want. If you worry about the cost, don’t do it, because it’s free.
WordPress takes very little time to install and is the most easy to use. It is recommended for beginners, but also used by the pros frequently. It is intuitive and easy to get a simple site running very quickly.
WordPress offers plenty third party SEO plugins to optimize your site content and help you climb up the rankings. You can also easily choose a free theme that are serving mobile device optimised versions of the main site. Responsive sites are a must in most cases. With hundreds of million users worldwide the support becomes great, since there is no problem that someone else haven’t encountered before.
The downside of the popularity, that WordPress sites are the most targets for the hackers. The security have become much better, but there are still vulnerabilities, especially in the 3rd party plugins. The updates are said to benefit WordPress more than you, so some say this might cause some problems for your already running site. The site speed is also a bit slower, since it contains lot of generic codes.
Some big sites using WordPress: The New York Times, TechCrunch, Georgia State University, BBC America, The Official Star Wars Blog and more.
Joomla! is the second biggest of the Content Management Systems tool on the market, released in 2005. It is free, and open source. There are more than 2.8 million websites that are running on Joomla!.
Joomla! targets a more technical experienced audience than WordPress. The more skills required means there are more that you can do. Joomla!’s admin interface is powerful while remains user friendly.
They offer a handful of available extensions for e-commerce, allowing you to keep your products and content on the same place. Joomla! Has a strong developer community that can be reached and continue to launch more and more free plugins and extensions. They offer five category of extensions (plugins, templates, modules, components and languages) to the users.
On the negative site Joomla! has the most limited marketplace for extensions and plugins, that you can choose from. These plugins also tend to seem incompatible at times.
Sites using Joomla: Discover Magazine, Harvard University, Linux, Ikea and more.
Drupal is the next in the big trio of Content Management Systems. It was released in 2001, also free and open source. More than a million websites are using Drupal.
Drupal requires the most technical skills compared to the other two. Best used for complex and advanced sites. Great for sites that require complex data organization, community platforms with multiple users and online stores. There is almost nothing that Drupal can’t handle.
Drupal can do almost anything, being extremely versatile. It is easily expandable and there are modules, where you can tweak your website the way you dreamed. Supports multi-site, and though it is complex to use, many can benefit from a multi-site supporting code.
Caching improves the speed and performance of the website, so you don’t have to fear from heavy traffic and loads. The system is really easily scalable (even more so than it’s competitors), making it a great choice for really busy websites.
Of course the great performance comes with a price. Being the best in performance, the learning curve is really large, and needs a lot to expert. But once you know it nothing can stop you. If you run into some trouble, it is harder to find a decent developer, than getting on WordPress or Joomla!.
Sites using Drupal: NBC, Taboola, Patch, First4Numbers, University of Minnesota, US. Department of Energy, EIT Avionics, and more.