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Choosing the Right CMS (Content Management System)

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Why should I use a CMS?

To answer this question we put together a flowchart to help you decide when a CMS platform is the best choice for your project.

Do you need a CMS for your Site?

CMS-platform-choices

Does it offer what you need?

The main focus of your research when looking for the perfect CMS platform should always be the functionality needed to perform what you need. Yes there are other important things to consider in a content management system such as SEO capabilities, social media sharing, cross browser capability, mobile and tablet friendly, template management and module positions, database security, and for this reason we put together a list of the most used CMS platforms and functionalities available so you can make an educated decision when choosing the right CMS platform for your project.

Most Used CMS Platforms

Calculated from the top million websites on the internet

most used cms systems

Wordpress

Who is using Wordpress?

  • Time
  • MTV Newsroom
  • The Ford Story
  • MSNBC TV
  • Nicholls State University
  • TechCrunch

Wordpress Features and Benefits

  • The world's most popular bloggng system and content management system.
  • Simple interface
  • User Friendly
  • Extensive web library of templates and plugins
  • Online community
  • Small learning curve
  • It's Free
  • Easy to install and update
Disadvantages of Wordpress
  • Limited article posting controls out of the box
  • Navigational structure is determined by the layout template you chose
  • As with any open source CMS a large community of themes and plugins also means source of vulnerable code.
  • Lack of basic user and advanced role management capabilities. This could be extended thru plugins, but would be better if already included in the core.
  • Reports show low performance when handling high database or number of pages.
  • As with any open source CMS, plugins and extensions sometimes are not updated and supported.

Joomla

Who is using Joomla?

  • Harvard University
  • Porsche
  • Linux
  • The Hill
  • University of Notre Dame
  • United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe UNRIC
  • MTV Networks Quizilla
  • iHop Restaurant Chain

Joomla Features and Benefits

  • Offer sophisticated hierarchies that can easily support more than two-level hierarchies.
  • Built in user and advanced role management capabilities
  • Build in multi template capabilities
  • Deep level navigation, section in sections
  • Build in responsive which means mobile device ready in Joomla 3.0
  • Extensive web library of templates and plugins
  • Online community
  • It's Free
  • Easy to install and update
  • Built in functionalities requiring less plugins than WordPress
Disadvantages of Joomla
  • As with any open source CMS a large community of themes and plugins also means source of vulnerable code.
  • Bigger learning curve
  • Javascript and CSS can get bulky meaning slower loading time (up to Joomla 2.5).
  • SEO unfriendly out of the box but greatly enhanced with plugins.
  • As with any open source CMS, plugins and extensions sometimes are not updated and supported.

Drupal

Who is using Drupal?

  • London.go.uk
  • MTV
  • The Economist
  • The White House
  • California State Senate
  • FedEx
  • Energy.gov

Drupal Features and Benefits

  • Create Dynamic Designs
  • Extensive API Support
  • Advanced users management
  • Organize Content Easily
  • It's Free
  • Search Engine Friendly
  • Mobile Ready
Disadvantages of Drupal
  • Script is not very user-friendly and requires advanced knowledge to install and modify.
  • Non friendly interface, so there is a bigger learning curve.
  • If your website is very large, the script will generate a big server load(Could be reduced with plugins).
  • Not compatible with other software due to being a fairly new content management system.

How to Ensure that the CMS will be Search-Engine Friendly

  1. Meta Tags
    Being able to easily edit the meta tags are critical to ensure the SEO vitality of any CMS.
  2. Custom HTML Tags
    The CMS will offer extra functionality either built-in features accessible through menu options or manualy editing of the HTML in the text editor to add heading or subheading tags or nofollow links.
  3. Anchor Text
    A good CMS should handle custom input of category or global navigation links, and customizing the anchor text on internal links.
  4. URL
    Poor URL means poor SEO. A CMS that is search engine friendly should allow URL editing and not use dynamic urls.
  5. Categorization Structure
    Category structure is as important as URL structure, customization therefore it is vital, and should be no limits on how pages are accessible.
  6. Pagination
    A great CMS should provide great admin controls (nofollows and meta noindex tags) to direct link juice and crawl attention to the most important content.
  7. 301-Redirect
    CMS's unfortunately lack on feature. 301's are critical to redirect old pages or expired content.
  8. Image & Alt Tags
    Allow to easily edit, and replace ALT tags and images names as links providing indexable and relevant content to search engines.
  9. CSS Exceptions
    Allow for manual exceptions so users can modify headline, strong or list element appears visually
  10. Caching Options
    Extraneous database connections can overwhelm a server if caching is not in place, so most CMS currently offer caching options.

Common Mistakes When Choosing a CMS

List of most common mistakes when choosing a CMS platform.

  1. Not doing your research
  2. Allowing the IT guy to pick your CMS
  3. Not understanding the features and benefits of each CMS
  4. Not understanding the disadvantages of each CMS

Do your Research Before Choosing a CMS Platform

Before investing in any CMS platform we advise you to create a list of the most important features, functionalities, so that you can make an informed decision. and for that reason we have created and included here a CMS platform cheat sheet free to download, so that you can easily track and chose the appropriate CMS platform.

Multimedia Designer - Xander works on all things digital. Web design/development, video editing, web animations, app design/development, whatever. Ideas go in, pretty things come out. He graduated from the Digital Media Arts College in 2013 and loves Interaction Design.

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