Many sites today utilize a content management system for various reasons. A CMS can help your site get running quick; a CMS organizes and maintains data easily for webmasters and visitors; and, many systems are extensible with a wide variety of third-party plugins, widgets, and applications. With such powerful benefits, choosing to use a CMS seems standard anymore; but, which CMS is right to choose?
What is needed from a Content Management System
First it would be appropriate to know what is needed from the content management system. Does the site need to be able to provide streaming content like videos, or will content storage need to be supported by specific databases? Is there a specific language needed that the developers are more proficient? What kind of license is needed – Open Source or proprietary?
These are some important questions to consider along with any other project specific concerns. Wikipedia provides a large list of content management systems, but many sites use WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. These three are Open Source licensed systems.
Benefits of WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal
Using a CMS that is common with many other sites gives the added benefits of being provided additional software that the community has developed. This includes themes, plugins, and other addons to extend service and performance from the CMS.
WordPress is an easy-to-set-up, easy-to-use CMS. It is designed around PHP and allows the configuration of themes and extensions. Computerworld.com states that it has over 21,000 plugins. It has been in existence since May 2003 so has a large community of support. Development follows a hierarchy and allows quicker implementation of official decisions.
WordPress does have some problems. It’s multimedia support for videos and other media is subpar. Mobile usage is still being developed for greater efficiency and easier use.
Joomla is another CMS based on PHP. It expands beyond MySQL databases into PostgreSQL and Microsoft SQL Server. It is more integrated for mobile device usage. The design of Joomla is to allow webmasters limited on time to create a full functioning website for many different platforms with limited needed maintenance.
Joomla may be a little difficult for some to initially acclimate. This process however is countered by another large and supportive community.
Drupal has a more technical-based community. It is designed for larger projects with nearly 20,000 plugins. It is designed to be very flexible in the needs of site usage. The community is quite large and helpful.
This flexibility in Drupal can be a problem for some who are not as technically savvy. It can be worth though to learn how to use this software as it can be designed to work for many needs like multimedia or interactive web apps.
In summary, finding the best Content Management System for any site depends on the needs of the site and the understanding of the webmaster. For quicker and easier setups, WordPress is a great place to start. For a little more involved site for desktop and mobile performance, Joomla can provide the tools needed for the job. For sites that require a custom look and feel for visitors, Drupal can give the structure needed to begin.