Comparing Content Management Systems

Content management systems or CMS are a great way to create and maintain websites. CMS make it easy to edit, modify and organize a website, all from a central interface. Currently, WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are three of the most widely used content management systems.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 8.54.10 AMOriginally created as a blogging platform, WordPress is now the most popular content management system on the planet. More than 60 million of the world’s websites were created using WordPress. Part of its popularity is due to its ease of use. Installation is simple, as most web hosting companies offer apps that will download the software directly to your site. There are thousands of themes available and many are free. An abundance of plug-ins and widgets make it simple to customize your site. Another benefit of using WordPress is the free community support. If you’re having issues with your site, chances are there’s a forum that can address your help topic. Finally, if you’re just looking to create a basic site or blog, WordPress will host it for free. But if you’d like a domain name other than yoursite.wordpress.com, they also offer basic domain and hosting plans for as low as $25 per year.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 8.54.58 AMDrupal is another good choice for content management. It is more technically advanced than most CMS. As a result, you will need some basic web programming knowledge in order to use it effectively. Typically, web pages created with Drupal tend to load faster than those created using WordPress or Joomla. However, adding too many plug-ins can slow down your response time. Drupal sites can also be customized using plug-ins. Drupal is open-source and free to download. However, unlike WordPress, you will need to purchase a domain name and hosting in order to launch your site.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 8.54.39 AMJoomla is another free content management system. But there are two features that really make it stand out from WordPress and Drupal: social networking and e-commerce. Joomla makes it very easy to set up social networks and creating an online store is a breeze. Like WordPress, Joomla offers an array of plug-ins. It is less technical than Drupal, and even offers a free help portal that makes it easy to get tech support questions answered. Joomla is free to download for use on your own servers, but you’ll have to find hosting elsewhere.

There are benefits and drawbacks to all three of these content management systems. WordPress is the clear choice for beginners. If you’re setting up an online store or social network, you may want to go with Joomla. Websites with large amounts of dynamic content will likely perform better with Drupal. Bottom line: you really need to take a look at the needs of your website and your personal skill level before deciding which CMS will work best for you.

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