We use all kinds of content management systems during the course of our work and the long in the short of it is that many of them are the ‘best’ if placed in the right situation. This article looks at a few of the most common web CMS along with a few of their advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s start with WordPress
WordPress is one of the greatest success stories of the Internet and now runs more than 25% of all the websites in existence. It’s made tremendous leaps in the time since its inception as a blog platform, and since we use this one more than any of the others we would be lying if we didn’t admit that it was multifaceted, continually evolving, and with some powerful qualities.
From a purely coding perspective, however, it is very rarely, if ever, as elegant as it might be. Expanding the functionality of the CMS depends upon use of plug-ins many of which add to code bloat and provide security vulnerabilities. The amount of updates WordPress go through is enough to test anyone’s patience, too!
Like WordPress, Joomla! has a core following of deeply committed developers singing its praises. We can use it but would rarely choose this as a CMS of choice simply because it was designed as a one-stop shop, and while it does many things reasonably well it does few things exceptionally well. It suffers from a slightly larger volume of hacking issues than WordPress which adds to the burden.
Drupal development tends to be more expensive than Joomla! or WordPress, and that’s partly because the possibilities of this CMS are wider. It is almost limitless what one can build with Drupal, and we particularly like the ability to add highly minimal, user-friendly content management portals for brands who really aren’t that web savvy. It can be expensive to develop however, and certainly takes more time than WordPress by some considerable margin. Where most relatively savvy WordPress site owners can end up taking on a lot of the management tasks themselves, this simply isn’t possible with Drupal which requires either in-house developers or the continual presence of web professionals for its ongoing management.
Slightly lesser-known Expression Engine is another CMS that we use from time to time and usually enjoy doing so. American software giant Ellis lab, are behind this modular platform. It is not open source which means one must choose either freelancer, commercial or non-commercial before signing up. Its feature set is impressive, hence its adoption by large brands like Apple Sunny and Warner Brothers to name a few. Expression engine is increasingly mature, offering decent support, and is relatively well protected from malware.