Earlier in the week we talked about the basics of a Content Management System (CMS) - what it is, the features of one, and a basic overview of the vendors available. Today, we will be comparing the types of CMS in detail, and comparing the providers so that you can choose the best option for your business.
Becoming increasingly popular due to the rise of blogging sites, open-source systems are community-driven CMS options. Companies like WordPress will release a source code that is then worked on by a huge network of developers, resulting in a constantly improved and updated CMS. The other benefit of open-source is likely the most important one - it is totally free to use. Whilst hosting and customisation is not free, if you are well-versed in the language you can easily take the code and customise it to your website with no cost at all. Due to this, it is no wonder that the open-source provider WordPress claims to ‘power 28% of the internet’ with its CMS.
This solution is not perfect, however. If you are not a programmer, you will then need to hire a third-party developer to customise and host the CMS for your site, and this can become as expensive as other CMS options. Open-source websites are also notorious for templated designs, which can lead to a cheap feel to the website unless you pay for customisation/are a skilled developer already.
WordPress - A massive open-source website creation and CMS software written in PHP. Some of the biggest names in blogging use this site, namely the New York Times’ blogs and mashable, and it is incredibly powerful if used well. It is currently free to use the source code.
Joomla! - The second largest CMS provider currently, Joomla! is slightly more technical compared to WordPress, but provides a huge host of installations and improvements that can be applied to the CMS that other market leaders do not provide.
Drupal - Developed by a student community, Drupal is an open-source CMS that has a huge emphasis on community support, forums and updates. It is more flexible than other options, and the installation is much more basic compared to the other CMS’s.
These are systems that are usually built and hosted by a single company. Usually requiring either an upfront or monthly fee, the CMS source code is not usually released to the public. This results in your business totally relying on one company to host your CMS, along with updating it and ensure you are getting the best service.
All this comes with convenience. The time and effort required for either yourself, or paying another, to customise an open-source solution is a large reason why many turn to the more simple proprietary option. They will be pre-built, and then customised by the same company to provide a unique looking site.
The main drawback of proprietary systems is the cost. They can reach high costs over time, and so many small or low-profit sites may not be able to afford this option, which is the main reason media and blogging sites may use providers like WordPress instead.
Purchasing Proprietary CMSs
A proprietary CMS can often be purchased from an established web developing company, especially if you are currently getting a site developed with them. If this is the case, the CMS can come packaged with the site, and will be integrating and customised already. Ask your developer about a CMS package if this hasn’t been discussed already.
Sharepoint- This is a CMS that integrates with Microsoft Office, and is mainly sold as a document management and storage system, with customisations available.
Altitude3.Net - Altitude3 is a electronic business development platform with the same functions as a typical CMS. It communicates with other systems to provide a organised system similar to a CMS, and provides the ability to develop both desktop and mobile solutions.
At Ansta we prefer our own CMS solution to deploy sites as we believe in giving our clients the most flexible solution to exactly meet their needs, allowing us to totally customise the CMS around the client.