Would having direct control over your website content improve your communication?

I would say. a website with a content management system or CMS driven website would enhance your communication..

A CMS is two websites in one: the front end, seen by the public sometimes with a simple editing layer and the back end, an administration console with secured access.

There are thousands of CMS on the market. Which one to choose? We will narrow the choice down to the three major open source ones.

In the spirit of the Web, open source came about as a reaction to the many proprietary closed-source CMS that locked you in with a particular agency. It meant hefty fees and the loss of all your information if you wanted to change supplier. In open source, as the name indicates, the code is accessible and free to use, under the GNU General Public License.

Open source has the further advantage of thousands of enthusiasts and developers involved.

The top three open source CMS software are, in order of popularity, WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.

Each has its pros and cons, rooted in their origin and development history. There is no right or wrong CMS; the question is rather right for what and for whom?

wordpress logoWordPress, the most popular CMS, was launched in 2003 as a blogging platform. As it grew in popularity, the community added traditional CMS features.

drupal logoDrupal, the third most popular CMS, started as a students’ small website framework in 2001. It quickly developed when released as an open source framework. It has grown into an extremely flexible platform for websites, forums, blogs. Functionalities can be extended by adding modules.

joomla logoJoomla, sitting in between these two, was launched in 2005 as an offshoot of the CMS Mambo. It is very powerful yet remains reasonably easy to use. Joomla has commanding native functionalities such as the access control level allowing the creation of user groups authorising them access to defined areas of the website. Third party extensions will add functionalities, for example making a fully-fledged e-commerce website.

Ease of use

WordPress

The original WordPress users were bloggers with no technical knowledge, so it developed into a very intuitive and easy to use platform.

Joomla

Joomla have made great improvements in making the administration more intuitive. It is user-friendly and makes managing large amounts of data quite easy.

Drupal

Drupal requires a fair amount of technical knowledge and the learning curb is quite steep.

Content creation

WordPress

Creating content in WordPress is very straightforward. It offers three default content types, posts, pages and media. These are complemented by widget that can be used quite creatively.

Joomla

Content in Joomla is stored as articles, that can be used for all sort of things and placed in different pages and in different areas of the page using modules.

Drupal

The most powerful element in Drupal is to create and define your own types beyond the default ones, namely articles, forums, polls.

Multi-lingual support

WordPress

WordPress offers plug-ins to make the website multi-lingual, available in over 53 languages. Popular plug-ins are also available in multiple languages.

Joomla

Joomla comes with the native capability of having multi-lingual website without the addition of a plug-in; all that is required is to download and install the language files.

Drupal

Drupal supports multi-lingual website.

Maintenance

WordPress

WordPress adopted rolling release, which means frequently delivering small updates to the software, as in Chrome or Firefox, as opposed to point release in which the new version must be reinstalled over the previous one.

To streamline the process, WordPress allows for one-click automatic updates.

Joomla

Joomla have adopted rolling release and also allows for automatic one click updates, including for many add-ons.

Drupal

Because it can be customised, it would not be practical for Drupal to opt for rolling release. Instead, they have major and minor version releases.

Security

WordPress

WordPress popularity has made it the main target for hackers. Add-ons are the weakest link in the chain; popular ones are frequently the target for hacks and malware.

Joomla

Since 2010, Joomla has tightened its core security and has seen very few core vulnerabilities thanks to a dedicated Joomla Security Strike Team. Again, add-ons are the weakest point.

Drupal

As with WordPress and Joomla, the most vulnerable areas are the add-ons, here called modules.

It must be said the greatest cause of risk in any of the three are users and administrators, and within these, the weakest point usually is the password.

Conclusion

There is no right or wrong CMS system; the choice will depend on right for what and for whom. The decision will depend on such factors as the intended type of website, company brochure, e-commerce, forum, or a mix, and how comfortable the client feels with the levels of difficulty in one system rather than another.

Web Consulting Team are Joomla specialists, having worked with and for Joomla since its inception. We also work with WordPress.

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