Content Management Services (CMS)
The Good, The Bad & The Verdict
Web Design Clients
Additional work samples
What are Content Management Systems?
Content Management Systems (CMSs) are websites that provide multiple users with the ability to easily manage (create, edit, archive, publish, and distribute) website content or data. Many of today's most popular websites run off of a CMS, due largely to their ease of use, modular design, and valuable management tools. Designers, programmers, and clients alike can easily add articles and content to a site if it uses a CMS system.
Without a CMS, in most cases, a web programmer would have to manually connect to a server and change the site's code in order to edit the content. With a CMS, responsibility for the site's content can be spread out as needed. Similarly, the modular design of a CMS allows media, widgets, or entire pages (or even an entire website design) to be quickly removed or changed. Best of all, making those changes can be made live immediately, as removing media, widgets, or pages generally does not break the site.
The most popular open source content management systems available today are listed below along with their key features, benefits, downfalls, and our experts’ verdicts:
Flexible, Extendable, Powerful.
- There is a huge pool of community resources available to provide support, with over 200,000 members.
- Joomla is free open source software.
Much like WordPress, Joomla offers a massive number of plugins (known as “Modules” or “Components”), which can dramatically improve the functionality of your website.
Joomla isn't quite as simple for users to edit content (like WordPress) and it has some quirks which can add extra time and management to the project. It’s also missing some out-of-the-box features that WordPress has, such as quick post previews.
While Joomla was previously our go-to CMS due to its flexibility and wealth of plugins, WordPress has sped past Joomla in every respect. It’s simply not worth investing your time and money into in 2020.
Enterprise-Level Content Management.
- Drupal is also free and backed by a massive community (like Joomla and WordPress).
- Ability to manage multiple websites and templates from one place.
- Almost all plugins are completely free.
- Has the greatest capabilities for advanced and complex sites without the need for much custom coding.
Drupal has out-of-the-box capabilities for massive, complex, and/or multi-site projects. Drupal enables us to effectively manage your site on a level above most other content management systems. Additionally, the way Drupal incorporates plugins allows the plugins to closely work together in ways that most CMSs cannot.
Drupal's ability to manage complex sites comes at a cost: it is also quite complex. The default administrator UI can be overwhelming for the unfamiliar, so we advise letting us create a streamlined UI to avoid unnecessary confusion or mistakes by your staff.
Drupal is an excellent choice for those companies interested in an enterprise-level site with complex features. If you’re looking for a lot of functionality at a lower cost, Drupal can be your best friend.
Ecommerce with Expandability.
- Magento is both a CMS and ecommerce platform.
- It offers a more powerful ecommerce platform than using a standard CMS with a shopping cart plugin.
- Small business and enterprise level hosting are available, both include technical support.
- Integration of multiple user types, allowing for discount pricing per group.
Magento is an excellent ecommerce platform with most out-of-the-box features you'd need for a typical online store. This content management system puts your site’s sales first.
If your site isn't going to be ecommerce-focused, or you’re already using a CMS and can easily add an ecommerce plugin, setting up a Magento-based site probably isn't worth the time.
While Magento was cutting-edge on release, many other platforms have since taken their crown.
Magento was once the best out-of-the-box ecommerce platform you could get for free. There are better options to go with today, like WooCommerce or Shopify.
Why are CMS Platforms so Vulnerable?
People believe that since WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and other publishing platforms are such popular CMSs, that it makes them the safest options from hackers and malicious bots. This, however, is 100% false. Open source CMSs may be the best options to manage your website, but they can have a lot of security flaws if not deployed and managed correctly.
Why are Custom Management Systems Such a Popular Target for Hackers?
Open source CMSs don’t cost anything, making them the most widely used. Hackers install a CMS website on their own servers and try to diagnose vulnerabilities within the system. Once a vulnerability is identified, hackers can use it as a virtual gold mine. They can create a process to make an automated system to launch mass-scale attacks on a targeted CMS.
Another issue is the administrator panels for CMSs, which are—by default—left in plain sight. Webmasters that don’t hide their administrator panel are a more vulnerable target than those who do. Additionally, a lot of webmasters use weak passwords which can be bruteforced by hackers to gain access to the administrative panel.
Why do we recommend an Open Source CMS?
Although content management systems can be vulnerable due to inherent flaws, there are also several benefits to using them:
- CMSs are exceptionally customizable, allowing web developers to meet their clients’ unique needs when creating their website.
- They have user-friendly backend systems that allow anyone who isn’t experienced with programming to edit their website and create content.
- CMSs may come have their vulnerabilities-especially outdated, unpatched ones-but since they’re open source, our team at Green Group Studio can patch and fix these types of issues.