Content Management Systems have become one of internet’s most powerful web developer tools since PHP. In a market where websites need to go to market faster and developing them needs to be less tardy, many developers find an easy answer in Open Source Content Management System or CMS. But the market is flooded with several worthy players and spending time to evaluate the right CMS open source or licensed, for your website has never been more critical.
What is a CMS?
Wikipedia, describes a CMS as follows:
“A web content management system (WCMS or Web CMS) is a content management system (CMS) software, usually implemented as a Web application, for creating and managing HTML content. It is used to manage and control a large, dynamic collection of Web material (HTML documents and their associated images). A CMS facilitates content creation, content control, editing, and many essential Web maintenance functions.”
But simply put, a CMS is an application which one can use to Create, Update and Delete Content.
Why do you need a CMS?
There are several possible reasons for using a CMS, but the main reason for using a CMS is to make creating and editing of content simple and easy. Content doesn’t just include text. Sometimes the content you need on a site is a contact form or user authentication system. The trick is to find the CMS that provides the functionality without sacrificing ease of use for you and for your customer.
A good CMS will allow you to spend more time focused on the design of the front end than on implementing extensions or functionality.
What to look for in a CMS?
A Content Management System will help you manage the content in a dynamic manner. It will be
- Flexible and offer Ease of Customization
- Extensible via Plug-ins and Modules
- Optimized for Performance and Speed
- Will keep your data secure
- Provide Documentation and Community Support
- Emphasize on Web Standards and Best Practices
However the key point to be considered is that a good CMS should also help you promote and monetize your content.
Comparison of the Three Major Open Source Content Management Systems in the Market
WordPress is one of the most widely used blogging platform and CMS on the planet. At last count, WordPress has been powering more than 18.9% of the web. It and many of the associated themes and plugins are freely available as Open Source Code under the GPLv2 license . In short, this means you can freely modify and distribute the code without paying licensing fees.
- The community around WordPress is lively and helpful.
- It is very easy to setup and start using.
- Lower cost of ownership ad effort in terms of technological know- how and initiation.
- This has the highest number of themes and plug-ins available for any CMS out there.
- For complex requirements, you have to rely on other systems or major plug-ins. Which are not completely seamless
Unlike WordPress, which started out as blogging software and went on to become a full fledged Content Management System, Joomla started off as a CMS and was a spin off from Mambo. Although Joomla does pack a wallop when it comes down to meeting your CMS requirements, it does require a bit of getting used to and that’s why it powers 3.1% of the Web.[a7]
- Great support and documentation available.
- Built with CMS based sites kept in mind.
- Easy to roll out complex site navigations.
- Learning curve is a bit steeper and requires patience to understand the works.
- Plug-ins and Themes are not as seamless as one would expect
It is also used for knowledge management and business collaboration. This is the oldest CMS amongst the three and has a community that is fiercely loyal. It is extremely developer friendly and has well documented help. It is the CMS of the techie which comes bundled with a lot of power. But with all this power comes a complexity which becomes difficult to master. It presently commands a share of 2.13% of the Web. [a8]
- Well Documented Support Center
- Strong base with excellent core features.
- Community of Techies who know their CMS.
- Extremely steep learning curve.
- Lesser plug-ins and themes, it is assumed that the nuances you want can be implemented in-house.
Evaluating content management systems (CMS) can be an overwhelming task, the choice of right CMS will depend on your needs, which include your target audience, security of data, scalability, and even your familiarity with using CMS interfaces.
Srishti Innovative has gained expertise in building state of the art websites and portals [a9] using the wide array of open source and licensed CMS. Some of the key web projects that we have created using open source CMS are – Sacmetro, Build Chatter, Go Football, Wendy Bellisimo, Octangle, Chealthpartners and Rubinresor . To get more information on which CMS is best for you, please feel free to contact us.[a10]