Businesses that are beginning a new website or looking to enliven their current sites may be wondering which content management system (CMS) is right for their companies. Three of the most widely used systems on the Internet, and included in our CMS comparison, are Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress.
All three of these open-source software systems are free to download, and the constantly updated and improved functions and options make them easy-to-use and customizable for individual businesses. Each CMS has a helpful community of users that will provide technical support, and each is a sustainable platform for the foreseeable future. However, despite the common basic structure of these open-source communities, each CMS has its own list of features and best uses.
Intended mostly for building complex websites, Drupal requires more expertise and a larger time commitment than some of the other CMS options. This system is based on making new features available through numerous modules that can be intertwined in a variety of different ways that create unique and secure websites. By designing a vast array of modules that can be combined in any number of ways, Drupal is perhaps the most advanced, versatile, and most customisable of all the CMS platforms available.
Drupal is best used for websites that require the organisation of complex data or for a community of users, such as an online store. This CMS provides the ability to tag and group information and groups quickly and easily, and it has plug-ins that provide security and back-up to these organisational systems.
Of the top three platforms, Drupal is probably the least popular because of the level of knowledge and skill involved. Many corporations require the assistance of a web developer when beginning with Drupal, but more recent updates to the CMS have made it friendlier for new users.
With a slightly greater popularity than Drupal, Joomla is a more middle-of-the-road content management system than both Drupal and WordPress in terms of features and ease-of-use. This makes it popular with corporations and individuals who are interested in creating websites with some complexity, such as those featuring social networking and e-commerce opportunities. While Drupal can also support these applications, Joomla has made the process more user-friendly in design and maintenance.
In a relatively short amount of time, a new user can study the Joomla content management system and learn its terminology and structure. With the ability to sort and share content in a flexible structure, Joomla allows users to create fairly customized websites within the confines of its system. In addition, this CMS supports online shopping and social networking more strongly than WordPress.
Joomla offers a large number of modules that can be integrated into a website, but it can be difficult to sift through the many module options to find the perfect one, and it can be even harder to find maintenance support online for the chosen modules.
Easily the most popular content management system on the Internet, WordPress began as a simple blogging platform that transformed itself into a CMS with add-ons, themes, and plug-ins. This system’s popularity is unsurprising because it is the most user-friendly for beginning web developers and designers. WordPress even allows users to paste text from a Microsoft Word document directly onto the site, saving time and energy, while Drupal and Joomla do not. The intuitive structure of WordPress allows most website creators to manage their websites without instruction and with little support. In fact, WordPress offers detailed tutorials for reference on its homepage.
Best used for blogging and brochure-style websites, the WordPress content management system focuses its attention on the aesthetics of a website rather than organisation and complex functionality. However, this system does support comments, bookmarks, and RSS syndication.
Although it is the simplest CMS to maintain on an individual basis, WordPress requires frequent updates to its core platform. When these updates are downloaded and installed, they often break the links connecting a website’s plug-ins and widgets, thereby breaking down the entire website. This could potentially derail a company’s website until fixes are finished and the site gets up and running again.
With a variety of content management systems available, website designers and developers have several options. Whether they choose to use Drupal, Joomla, or WordPress, each CMS has distinctive features, advantages, and disadvantages. Drupal remains the most complicated to use and maintain, but it also creates some of the most complex and functional websites available. The intuitive design options of WordPress are more suited for beginners, but this CMS does not have the same advanced capabilities as some of the other systems. Joomla sits between these two systems both in terms of complexity and features available.
All three of these options can be downloaded and used for free or installed in a matter of moments via Softaculous, available with our Australian web hosting.