What is content management? Content Management Systems, or CMS for short, are a way to super power your web site. The first generation of web sites were typically coded in HTML and offered limited functionality unless you were a programmer or had custom code created for your web site. However, the second generation of web sites (or Web 2.0 sites) have progressed to the point that a person unskilled in coding can still have access to great website functionality such as blogs, social networking and database-driven content by utilizing a content management system.
To those visiting the “front-end” of your web site, this “back-end” functionality is invisible to them. In other words, it is impossible for most people to distinguish a WordPress website from an HTML web site because they look the same. However, there is more power, more flexibility, more security and a longer web site lifespan in a content management system web site than in an HTML web site.
Many CMS options are available, but three main content management systems stand out from the others. WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are the frontrunners because:
- They are open source. The core software is free to download and use. You are allowed to make changes to the coding yourself if you want. Many web designers eschew open source systems in favor of proprietary content management systems for their clients. But this forces you, as their customer, to return to them for support and website modifications. Don’t fall for it! There is no reason for you to use a proprietary system for your web site unless you need very advanced or specific functionality requirements.
- They are extensible. Although the core software of a WordPress, Drupal or Joomla CMS is already pretty cool, the beauty of each of these three content management systems is that they have plugins and extensions that allow expansion of your web site even further. These plugins include e-commerce applications, multi-language support, event calendars, social media integration and much, much more.
- They are well supported. Each of these has a vast community of developers and users who support the software, share and contribute ideas, help each other with support and troubleshooting issues, and contribute new plugins to expand the abilities of the CMS.
- They are well constructed. These content management systems work consistently well. They have clean, non-buggy code and they don’t adversely affect SEO value. Tens of millions of people are currently using one of these three systems for their web sites, and this number looks to increase further as users realize the benefits of using either WordPress, Joomla or Drupal.
Kropmark Design is experienced in designing web sites in each of these content management systems, but we tend to recommend the WordPress CMS for the following reasons:
- WordPress websites have the easiest user interface
- The WordPress CMS has the best blogging system (blogging is a great tool for businesses to connect to customers and increase their SEO imprint)
- WordPress websites are easy to customize
- The WordPress CMS is endorsed by Matt Cutts of Google for it’s clean code and SEO capabilities
Each content management system has positive and negative aspects, so it’s important to ask the experts at Kropmark Design whether the WordPress, Drupal or Joomla CMS would be the best fit for you.
Image by Kropmark Design.