Content Management System (CMS) platforms have gained tremendous popularity in last few years. A good CMS allows you to easily setup and manage a dynamic website that you can modify or edit anytime from a simple and user friendly backend system. Gone are the days when you had to get deep into html codes for even the simplest of content changes and had to deal with every page individually. CMS platforms like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla have evolved into powerful software solutions that can take care of any kind of software development requirements.
However with all the 3 top CMS being excellent in their own way and a plethora of other CMS options, business owners, especially those who are less tech savvy, often select the wrong platform for their website. To avoid this you either need to hire CMS development services or have enough knowledge of the various platforms to choose the right one.
Given below is a brief overview of the three major CMS platforms, along with their benefits and drawbacks and which one to choose when.
WordPress is undoubtedly the most popular CMS platform today. Originally developed as a blogging platform, wordpress has, over the years evolved into a complete CMS with help from more than a million free plugins available in the wordpress marketplace and a plethora of premium third party themes that today, incorporate every imaginable feature a CMS may need today.
The highlights of wordpress are its simplicity and user friendliness, SEO friendly structure, super easy update process, availability of free plugins for virtually any functionality, availability of free and premium themes for all kinds of websites. In fact with wordpress you can have a full feature website with hundreds of pages, without doing a single line of coding.
On the flip side, if you want a website with advanced user dashboard and other custom functionalities, you will have to either do custom development or choose a different CMS.
As a thumbrule choose wordpress for any small to mid sized website projects. Avoid wordpress if you want an ecommerce website or one with complex structure of features. If you want a simple to manage website, wordpress is your best friend!
Drupal is another free CMS software that should primarily be used for enterprise level website where the content structure is vast and complex and where advanced level and automated features are required. Drupal can be overwhelming for new users and requires a steep learning curve.
The benefit of Drupal is its versatility. You can build any kind of website (customer portals, ecommerce sites, social networking sites, forums, etc) with multiple users and advanced features. Drupal is also generally considered to be more secure than either wordpress or Joomla.
A serious drawback of Drupal is its complicated functionality. A drupal website would required significant development coding to suit your needs.
Use Drupal when toy want an enterprise level website with complex data organization.
To put it simply Joomla is somewhere between wordpress and drupal. It is also free and has the option of one click installation like wordpress. It also has a community with free and premium extensions and themes. Joomla is more complicated than wordpress but simpler than Drupal.
The advantage of Joomla is the extent of control it gives on your website. It has inbuilt options for modifying any part of your website be it content, menu, page elements, users, etc. Joomla also has better integration options for ecommerce or social networking.
But since Joomla gives so many options, it requires lot of steps for even the simplest of things like publishing a page. This makes Joomla’s backend more complicated than wordpress.
Use Joomla if you have a fairly large corporate website to build or if you want to incorporate social networking or ecommerce with your CMS.
All the 3 CMS platforms are good and you can’t go wrong with any of them. But choose any of these CMS depending on your needs (level of complexity, usage and features) and the expertise of your developer. For example if you or your developer is an expert in wordpress development, you can build any kind of website with wordpress.