There is a big rush to develop websites using a CMS. Using a Content Management System make adding new content really easy. They also allow the web site owner to add complex functionality to their sites without having to know coding or hire expensive web developers.

If you are a web developer, you may be finding that your clients are demanding that they have more control over their sites and want to add and edit content without having to pay web developer fees for every small change. You may lose your clients if you don't offer CMS built websites. Even if your clients are editing the content themselves, building sites with a CMS allows you to change and edit content without spending hours coding. It also allows you to add features that you may not have the time or knowledge to develop.

If you are a client hiring a web developer, you should at least know the basics of how the site is developed. You want a flexible and expandable site with the option of adding and editing content yourself. You also need to be concerned that you can find a new developer that understands your system if the prior developer is gone.

Your hosting company may also offer their own version of a CMS for building and editing websites. These systems are very popular with small business owners and bloggers that don't require extensive websites. The functionality may be limited with these sites and it may prove difficult if you want to move your site to a different hosting company.

Choosing the right CMS right from the start is important because changing it later can prove difficult.

Things to consider when selecting a CMS

What is the most popular CMS?

Well, hands down, WordPress CMS is the most popular. Of all the websites on the internet, around 25% of them are built on WordPress. Joomla comes in second, but at only at around 3%. Drupal is next at 2%. There are others such as Blogger , Magento and TYPO3, each around 1%. Then there are hundreds of others. Many CMS systems are focused on eCommerce for displaying and organizing products and setting up shopping carts and online purchasing. These numbers can bee seen at: http://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/content_management/all

WordPress does have the highest percentage, but realize this is off all the websites. Thousands of WordPress sites are used by owners of very small websites that do little more than write blogs or have a five page company website. This skews the percentages so it is difficult to grasp what CMS is used for larger websites.

It may seem logical that you use the most popular CMS, right? Not necessarily.

PROS

  • The popularity of WordPress means that there is an enormous support group out there. If you have a problem or a question, you can find thousands of others that have had that same issue, though you may find it troublesome to dig through all the posts with similar problems.
  • You will easily be able to replace your web developer with another one that knows the system if it comes to that.
  • There are a multitude of plugins that can be installed for WordPress. You will likely find one that will do what ever you need.

CONS

  • Since WordPress is so popular, its vulnerabilities are more widely known by website hackers.
  • There are numerous WordPress plugins that conflict with other plugins causing problems with the site. Many of the plugins introduce security risks as well.

Which is easiest to install?

As far as installation, WordPress is fairly easy. Thousands of people set up WordPress sites without extensive knowledge of PHP or databases. Most major hosting providers will have one click setups to install a WordPress site that creates the database and installs a particular template.

Joomla has a fairly easy installation process. You just need to be sure that your hosting company meets the minimum requirements for hosting a Joomla site. Hosting companies will also have a one click setup for a Joomla CMS installation as well. As long as you find a template that you like, you can setup and manage a Joomla site without having to know PHP or database management.

Which CMS one is easiest to use?

This is a tough question because it really depends on what you are accustomed to. Some people think that WordPress is more intuitive, others think this about Joomla. Drupal is not as intuitive and the initial setup is better done by someone with web development knowledge.

It is a good idea to have a working knowledge of HTML, CSS and basic SEO practices when using any CMS.

Which CMS is the most secure?

Any CMS system can be hacked. Open source CMS systems like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are particularly vulnerable, as anyone can see the underlying code. Even encrypted high-security web sites built with knowledgeable developers an be hacked.

Take steps to keep your site as secure as possible. Always keep up on the latest updates. Limit the plugins or extensions that you install. Use the plugins and extensions that are recommended through the official websites for WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. Use secure logins and passwords and don't hand them out to anyone.

Site's with numerous registered users, multiple contributors and administrators are more vulnerable. Keep the number of people that have administrative rights to a minimum. Change passwords if someone leaves. Don't printout the passwords and leave them laying around, throw the list in the trash or send them via email.

If you have content that is especially high-security, you should consider something other than an open source CMS.