Content Management Systems (CMS)
Content Management Systems (CMS) are a standard requirement for most clients these days. They provide an intuitive interface for a website owner or employee, even with limited expertise, to add, modify, and remove content from a website without the intervention of a developer.
Over our 15 years in business, we have seen many CMS's come and go, however, there are a few that have stood the test of time and are highly popular with developers and users alike.
Our experience with using a variety of CMS's has given us significant insight as to what works and what doesn't when it comes to a user’s interaction with the CMS and what can be produced front-end on the website.
These insights lead us to develop our own ExtraCMS in 2010
The popularity of CMS based applications has significantly increased over the past five years. Through thorough testing, we have identified a core set of CMS options that we would recommend.
However, our research into this field has given us the ability and understanding to be able to easily switch between or adopt new CMS's at a client’s request.
Let’s take a look at the forerunners...
Magento is the leading software for users looking to create professional eCommerce stores. The open source CMS was launched in 2008 and offers a fantastic solution to create quite complex eCommerce solutions.
Unlike other CMS solutions, it boasts a huge range of functions dedicated to eCommerce operations. These range from marketing, product management, customer management and online payment integration. Magento offers a sophisticated out the box CMS for web shops.
We are highly adept at creating functional, aesthetically pleasing Magento eCommerce sites, that generate our clients a huge return on investment and vastly improved sales figures. Our 8 years experience leading the way in Magento development has given us a wealth of experience, not only in the CMS itself but also in how users shop and interact and engage in a purchasing scenario.
WordPress is the most popular CMS on the market with around 18 million installations worldwide. It was originally developed as a blogging system but evolved rapidly as developers created plugins that offer further customisation and flexibility.
The software boasts a large user community and, due to its open-source nature, there is an enormous selection of themes & plugins at your disposal.
Its critics will say it’s a little complex and potentially confusing to use. However, we feel for small to medium businesses or organisations it's a viable solution.
Initially developed as a student community solution, the modular CMS Drupal is now available as a fully-fledged open-source CMS. It offers a lightweight basic installation, which can be extended with modules.
The incredibly flexible, modular layout is very popular with its users offering extensive opportunities for customisation. However, while it offers a large spectrum of extensions, implementation can often be difficult and requires expert knowledge.
Particularly popular in the US, Joomla! is the second most popular CMS. Unlike WordPress, Joomla offers more comprehensive functionality as standard without the need for extensions.
Good news for users without an IT background is that Joomla! offers fantastic documentation in the form of community-supported handbooks and active user forums.
Joomla! features an object-orientated software design with a user being able to implement plugins, components and modules as they wish. Some will say Joomla! is a little too complicated and the ability to edit from the front and back-end is bothersome.
A note on Open-Source Software
Numerous CMS's are available as open-source software. This means the code is freely accessible and can be viewed by everyone. Since users are able to make changes and improvements as they wish, an open-source CMS can also be adapted to an individual’s requirements. Open-Source applications are often very well supported by communities of developers providing maintenance & development services. In some cases, a user can take advantage of a range of bolt-on applications or plugins to enhance the functionality of their chosen CMS. This is a feature that makes them very appealing to most novice developers.
As an alternative to Open-Source software, you could opt for a Proprietary Software. Here a CMS will be developed by a company and distributed as a commercial project. In most cases, use of Proprietary Software will involve licensing fees and the code is not made available to the user.
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