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Which Content Management System Is Right For You?

January 4th, 2016 by

With so many options available it can be hard to find the perfect platform for your needs. We explore three CMS options you may want to consider for your site.

You know you need a website, but you’re trying to sift through your options to see which will work best for you. You may want to hire a developer to build the entire site, but that route might be out of your budget. You may consider using a cheap website builder, but then again that might not give you everything you want for your site.

So what other options do you have? Where can you go to build your website?

Behold, the Content Management System (CMS).

What is a CMS?

A content management system is an application that allows you to create, edit and publish content for your website. Most CMSs today are capable of building an entire website, as well as taking care of the behind-the-scenes work such as navigation, maintaining databases and security settings.

With a CMS you can easily make changes to your website. Instead of having to search through lines and lines of complicated code, you can simply use the CMS to add new and edit existing content on your website. This makes for a great environment for non-technical users that want to manage their own website.

Will a CMS work for me?

A CMS is a great option if you don’t have extensive knowledge in coding or building websites. Most CMSs are fairly easy to work with and come with a user-friendly interface included. You can usually implement a theme that you like for free or for a relatively low price.

If you don’t have a lot of technical skill, you may be limited with what you can do on your newly-built site. A CMS is great for a blog or other simple website that doesn’t require in-depth back-end knowledge. However, with a CMS, you may run into issues if you want to change anything significant on your site, or carry out a complete overhaul.

A CMS is perfect if you are making constant changes to the content on your site, e.g. a blog or online portfolio. Many photographers and freelancers will also choose a CMS as they’ll be updating the content on their site on almost a daily basis.

Which CMS should I choose?

If you’ve decided that a CMS is in fact the route you want to take, the next step is to find the right content management system for your needs. Each CMS has its own pros and cons, and different ones  suit different needs. We’ve provided you with a brief background on three of the most popular CMSs available:

WordPress

WordPress is by far the most widely used CMS. Although it originated as a blogging platform, it has grown into a fully functioning CMS that powers millions of websites. WordPress is based on PHP and implements plugins to add functionality to each website.

WordPress has thousands of unique themes available, with hundreds of developers working to create new ones every day. Many of these themes are free for WordPress users, and most are easy to follow and provide a solid framework for your website.

WestHost offers Premium WordPress Hosting, which is designed to create the perfect environment for your WordPress site or blog. With added security, increased speed and additional free templates, our WordPress hosting is a no brainer for website owners.

Check out this blog post for more information on WordPress.

Pros:

  • WordPress has a huge widespread community involved in making the CMS better. This also means a great deal of documentation and tutorials are available online.
  • While some of the themes and plugins cost money, downloading the CMS is 100% free.
  • The user-friendly dashboard makes it easy for anyone to manage the content on their site.

Cons:

  • If you don’t take the necessary precautions, a WordPress site can be vulnerable to security issues.
  • Downloading WordPress can be difficult for some people to figure out. Note: WestHost provides clients with an easy way to download WordPress and instantly have all the files placed on your server. You can find this option in your control panel.
  • WordPress may be over the top for a very basic website.

Popular websites using WordPress:

  • TechCrunch
  • Fortune
  • BestBuy

Joomla!

Although nowhere near the level of WordPress, Joomla! has created a strong following, especially among the developer community. Joomla! is a great option for building functional websites with a powerful backend. Many businesses also choose Joomla! for its inventory control systems and business directories. Several corporate websites and portals use Joomla! for their CMS.

Joomla! is open source, so it’s freely available to everyone.

Pros:

  • A powerful infrastructure creates a capable platform for everything from small businesses to large corporations.
  • The active Joomla! community continues to improve the CMS!
  • Tons of documentation and support available online.

Cons:

  • Joomla! can be on the more difficult side when it comes to getting to grips with the interface.
  • Lack of themes/plugins when compared to WordPress

Popular websites using Joomla!

  • Harvard.edu
  • The Hill
  • Linux.com

Drupal

Drupal is another great option for your CMS. Its strong online community has created a sound environment with forums, IRC channels and face-to-face Drupal events. Many large companies have chosen Drupal due to its extensive features and available add-ons.

Drupal’s easy-to-use interface creates an easy way to organize, edit and manage the content on your website.

Pros:

  • Strong following that contributes to online support.
  • Over 6,000 modules you can use to customize your website.

Cons:

  • Lack of available themes.
  • Certain aspects are complicated and take some messing around to figure out.
  • Can be overcomplicated for basic sites.

Whichever CMS you decide to go with, make sure to host your website with WestHost! We offer cheap domain names and web hosting for WordPress, Drupal and Joomla!

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