Which content management system is right for you?
Metallics Web Design specializes on content management systems. We truly believe each and every website project should be launched with a powerful content management system.
If you are new to our website design industry, this article is going to help you. With such an intense amount of data being published every day online, this is a great deal of innovation today helping business owners have complete control over their content.
So many to choose from...
It doesn't matter what type of business you manage, today there are many applications to help you publish your services online. The problem is not knowing which program or software to use. These applications (we 'design' geeks) call them "Content Management Systems" hence the shortname "CMS". The name describes perfectly what it does. A system that manages online content, wow that was redundant!
What can a CMS do for you?
These complexed systems can be intimidating at first, but when you start working or publishing content online daily they can be your best friend. We can use content management systems in many forms, here is a list of things they can do:
- Building Websites
- Maintaining Websites
- Selling Products Online
- Marketing & SEO
- Social Networking
- User Access Administration
The list can go on forever, but the purpose of our article is to help you understand how to choose the right CMS.
Popular content management systems
Below we will list the 3 most popular content management systems, some CMS are licensed based software due to the outstanding customer service & community support. Not to worry we will also take a look at some open source "free" platforms.
I am hoping you know what 'open source' means? You can read more about Open-source software on wikipedia. It's basically a free & open software that allows other programmers and developers study, change, improve and even distribute the software.These platforms under-go constant enhancements so that front-end users can always access the latest version with more features.
Drupal Content Management System
Drupal is an open source content management platform powering millions of websites and applications. It’s built, used, and supported by an active and diverse community of people around the world.
Great things about Drupal
- Revision Control — You can configure Drupal to save a new version of your pages every time they are editing. That means that you can go back to view or revert old revisions if you want.
- Excellent Documentation — Documentation includes the official handbooks, the massive API Reference, numerous tutorials, blogs, videos, and podcasts, and the excellent new book Pro Drupal Development. There is even a Drupal Dojo community where you can learn how to become a Drupal ninja.
- Large and Friendly Community — With so many major sites using Drupal, it's not going away soon. For an idea of the size of the developer community, take a look at the long list of community-contributed modules.
Learn more about the new Drupal 7
WordPress Content Management System
WordPress is web software you can use to publish a website or blog. WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time. WordPress started as a free blogging platform, where users can easily create blogs using templates. It has grown so much that it now provides more than just blog templates, it has evolved into a powerful "content management system" with a strong community constantly building plugins & features to enhance project demands.
Awesome things about WordPress
- WordPress has comment moderation built in, which translates to zero comment spam.
- Super simple to configure & publish online thanks to the myriad theme packs.
- WP spits out extremely standards compliant code for better SEO.
- By popular request, WordPress is a free software.
- Huge community support.
- WordPress has a very user-friendly administration panel.
Again the list can go on for a while, but the fact is that compraring these features can be very tough, mostly because they are always in constant change. They update versions often and many new features are added all the time.
Learn about WordPress
Expression Engine Content Management System
ExpressionEngine is a content management system developed by EllisLab. The current version is 2.4. ExpressionEngine is intended to be simpler to use than other content management systems; for instance, it requires no knowledge of PHP, and has extensive online documentation.
We truly love Expression Engine, mostly because it's flexibility to work well with any creative website design, it does not force you to work on a fixed structure or template like many other CMS are doing. It's highly scalable, thanks to it's massive support for plugins & addons that can be easily installed and configured to fit your client needs. Even though Expression Engine is not an open source project and it relies on a license fee, we still find it amazing and it's definetly worth paying the license. The beautiful UI Admin panel makes it super fun to publish content and manage the overall website structure.
Cool things about Expression Engine
- The community is growing extremely fast & there is many plugins & addons available.
- The CMS is extremely secure with many configurations for anti-spammers & hackers.
- It's a paid software which comes along with an amazing customer service & support.
- Flexibility is key. You can build an entire social network thanks to its massive scalability.
- Quick & Easy configuration.
So which one should you use?
Yes, we only introduced a couple of the many popular CMS out there. I know you are still unsure which CMS to really use? A simple answer to that is by asking yourself this:
What is my budget? What do I really need on my website?
"If they all have similar features, how do you truly measure which one is best for me?"
It's clear that if you want a very complexed website filled with features such as a search engine, taxonomies, online products, google APIS, user administration, multimedia management & more, you might need to think about a powerful & secure CMS such as: Drupal or Expression Engine.
If you are looking for a simple and fast development solution for bloggin or managing simple functionalities like a Blog, news articles, comment interactions or photo galleries.. We highly recommend you use "WordPress".
Development & Configuration
The work involved within the configuration of your CMS can vary. With a very complexed website the plugins & addons could be available or not. If they aren't they need to be customized and built from scratch. This will affect the amount of work involved and the cost.
In the other hand if we have a small website with some features that are available we find it much easier to deploy and configure thus making the website launch faster & at a lower cost.
I really hope this article gives you an idea of what is out there, what a content management system can do for you and most importantly understanding how to choose one. Thank you!