There are various Content Management System (CMS) options available for new website; but the most well-known names today are WordPress, Drupal and Joomla! All these 3 CMS are open-source software formats, free to download and use, as well as easy to customize. Each has a broad range of add-ons, themes, plug-ins, templates and extensions. Each CMS has their own loyal user following. And of course, all 3 CMS have their share of pros and cons.
When WordPress began, it was a simple and smart blogging tool. With its growing range of themes, plug-ins and widgets, it has become a complete CMS tool, used for many websites. Compared to other CMS platforms, not much technical expertise is required to use WordPress.
Even a novice can manage a simple site setup using WordPress in a short time. Numerous themes and add-ons help you enhance and personalize your website, even if you’re not too familiar with Coding and Web development. With several WordPress communities and forums online, if you ever need support, you can rest assured that you will have it.
WordPress is the least secure CMS and many WordPress sites have been infected with spam. Being the most popular, it is comparatively easier to hack. WordPress fixes and patches get released often, so many issues are found in WordPress due to them.
Popular examples of sites using WordPress interface are The New York Times Blog, PlayStation Blog, NASA Ames Research Center, Mashable, etc.
Drupal is a powerful tool, and known as the most developer-friendly CMS that is used for complex, advanced sites. It requires expertise and experience to operate. In the past when using the old complex format, Drupal developers were personally hand-coding every element of any website.
The new Drupal 7 is more user-friendly, with updated enhancements that make it simpler for developers. However, Drupal can’t beat WordPress in user-friendliness overall. This CMS framework is managed by a large group of Drupal developers to improve the Drupal platform.
Drupal is used for versatile sites that require complex content to be carefully organized, and also for community platform sites with multiple users. Being the most secure CMS of all, with the least hacks or exploits, Drupal was chosen by The White House for its website, a grand privilege indeed.
“Joomla!” is a Swahili word, meaning “all together” and is a CMS that powers various websites. Joomla! is the mid-level CMS, between the developer-oriented Drupal and user-friendly WordPress. It caters to everyone – novices, end-users, technical experts, designers and developers. Joomla! boasts of a big online community. With a simple installation and setup, Joomla needs a small investment and slight effort to start.
With each upgrade, Joomla! displays steady improvement in its features, with a long way to go. Handling a very large website with Joomla! does get confusing. From the point of today’s developers, Joomla! is not the 1st choice for CMS.
Joomla! supports E-commerce, social networking and community platforms, like Social media networks for MTV, Harvard University and iHOP.
So which CMS is best for you ?
There’s no definite answer here; it depends on the primary objectives of your website, technical proficiency, financial budget and long-term goals for your business.
For a simple blog or non-technical client, WordPress is ideal since it’s a flexible platform and is friendly for non-developers. If you are creating a complex or large site that needs lots of customization, Drupal would be the best choice. For any site with an average size, or in the learning curve, Joomla! is perfect. If security of your site is quite important, in the case of e-Commerce websites for instance, Drupal or Joomla! are preferred options.
When it finally comes down to it, choosing the CMS for your website depends on your personal tastes and the specific needs of your business.