Our thoughts on Content Management Systems
If you run your own website or you are thinking of getting a new website developed, you will probably have come across the term content management system (CMS).
A content management system, often abbreviated as CMS, allows you to create, manage, and modify content on a website without needing to know anything about web design. For example, instead of us needing to manually add or change your content, you can just input your content using simple forms yourself and the CMS handles displaying it on your website.
That’s the basic gist of it, but your CMS can do so much more than just manage content.
What CMS is right for you?
This is a really great question, and it's one that in many cases is decided by the web developer you choose to create your website, unless you have specific requirements for specific CMS.
Different CMS platforms have different strengths and weaknesses and, in most cases, the best solution is to simply use the most appropriate tool for the job. At Problue Solutions we work with a variety of different CMS systems depending on the circumstances, but tend to specialise in and learn more toward Drupal. Below is a brief outline of Drupal and the biggest CMS available, WordPress.
WordPress is the most widely used CMS in the world, with almost 60% of the entire CMS market share! That’s a huge number of websites running WordPress. Why is it so popular?
- Ease of use – WordPress has always positioned itself as being one of the easiest to use CMS systems for the website manager/content author.
- Plugins- there are thousands of plugins available to do all sorts of different things, however not all are free.
- Themes – as with Plugins, there are thousands of themes available which can be purchased, instead of designing the website from scratch.
The barrier for entry for a web developer creating websites using WordPress is relatively low compared to something like Drupal. There are a multitude of ‘page builders’ that allow for the creation of websites without knowing any coding at all, and with all of the plugins and themes that are available a developer can quickly create a WordPress site with relatively little knowledge or experience.
We are big fans of Drupal, it’s a highly sophisticated and very flexible and robust framework for developing everything from basic websites right through to advanced complicated web applications. Drupal has a very small market share compared to WordPress, but it is favoured by larger companies and government agencies, why is this?
- Enterprise class – Drupal is considered to be enterprise software; large companies favour the technical ability of the platform.
- Modules – as with WordPress Plugins, Drupal has modules – however all Drupal contributed modules are open source and free. There are less Drupal modules than Wordpress plugins, so the developer may have to create their own modules.
- Themes – As with WordPress, Drupal also has themes. However, with Drupal a theme tends to be just a starting point for a layout/style and there is normally a lot more work required to manually code the design. This takes more time but offers a lot more flexibility.
As you have probably guessed, the barrier for entry in developing a Drupal website is much higher than WordPress. This means that in some cases it can take longer to develop something with Drupal, but the more advanced functionality, better security and general robustness of Drupal makes this worthwhile in our opinion. Drupal has also caught up to WordPress in ease of use for the website manager/content author, with both platforms now on a par in this respect.
There are many other CMS systems available as seen in the graphic above, all with own quirks and advantages. As we said at the beginning, it’s best to use the right tool for the job. At Problue Solutions we have found that Drupal tends to be the most appropriate CMS in the majority of cases, but we look at each project individually, and if you choose us to develop your website we will ensure we use the right CMS for you.