What is a CMS and do I need one?

No it's not a stupid question... and yes you do.

A CMS or Content Management System is an easy to use interface for managing content on your website to keep it up to date.

A content management system is used to give structured content management features to a site such as the ability to store documents, news articles, images, video and any other online content type imaginable. They can be used for anything from a simple 3 page website right unto a fully functional online shop with thousand of products and hooks into things like Google Shopping.

There are many Content Management Systems to choose from but the top three across the web are WordPress, Drupal & Joomla. 

So what's the difference?

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution here; it depends on your goals, technical expertise, budget and what you need your site to do. For a simple blog or brochure-type site, Wordpress could be the best choice (while very friendly for non-developers, it’s a flexible platform also capable of very complex sites). For a complex, highly customized site requiring scalability and complex content organization, Drupal might be the best choice. For something in between that has an easier learning curve, Joomla may be the answer.

At SoS Webdesign we can build or maintain sites in all 3 of these platforms but we tend to use Joomla for the vast majority of our projects simply because of the flexibility and scalability it gives to our clients and that the learing curve for them if they want to post updates themselves is relativly short.

 DrupalJoomlaWordpress
 drupal logojoomla logowordpress logo
About Drupal is a powerful, developer-friendly tool for building complex sites. Like most powerful tools, it requires some expertise and experience to operate. Joomla offers middle ground between the developer-oriented, extensive capabilities of Drupal and user-friendly but more complex site development options than Wordpress offers. Wordpress began as an innovative, easy-to-use blogging platform. With an ever-increasing repertoire of themes, plugins and widgets, this CMS is widely used for other website formats also.
Ease of Use Drupal requires the most technical expertise of the three CMSs. However, it also is capable of producing the most advanced sites. With each release, it is becoming easier to use. If you’re unable to commit to learning the software or can’t hire someone who knows it, it may not be the best choice. Less complex than Drupal, more complex than Wordpress. Relatively uncomplicated installation and setup. With a relatively small investment of effort into understanding Joomla’s structure and terminology, you have the ability to create fairly complex sites. Technical experience is not necessary; it’s intuitive and easy to get a simple site set up quickly. It’s easy to paste text from a Microsoft Word document into a Wordpress site, but not into Joomla and Drupal sites.
Features Known for its powerful taxonomy and ability to tag, categorize and organize complex content. Designed to perform as a community platform, with strong social networking features. Ease of use is a key benefit for experts and novices alike. It’s powerful enough for web developers or designers to efficiently build sites for clients; then, with minimal instruction, clients can take over the site management. Known for an extensive selection of themes. Very user-friendly with great support and tutorials, making it great for non-technical users to quickly deploy fairly simple sites.
Best Use Cases For complex, advanced and versatile sites; for sites that require complex data organization; for community platform sites with multiple users; for online stores Joomla allows you to build a site with more content and structure flexibility than Wordpress offers, but still with fairly easy, intuitive usage. Supports E-commerce, social networking and more. Ideal for fairly simple web sites, such as everyday blogging and news sites; and anyone looking for an easy-to-manage site. Add-ons make it easy to expand the functionality of the site.

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