Interactive Design

Content Management System (CMS)

CMS stands for Content Management System. CMS refers to a web application (such as WordPress) that provides the ability for multiple users with different levels of permission to manage web page content without the having HTML knowledge. The software manages online content, generates web pages, and allow users to upload and change content without difficulties.

The Pros and Cons of CMS

Pros:

  • CMS is simple. You’ll spend less time writing code.
  • If you don’t want to do your own design, there are several different kinds of themes to chose from.
  • You do not have to know how to code!
  • Content Editing is separated from the design and functionality of the site. The user can edit content without changing the design and coding.
  • Content can by updated much faster.
  • Each user can be given different levels of permission to manage their content.
  • CMS are SEO-friendly. They can also include custom page titles, metadata, and permalinks.
  • Basic CMS framework is free (for the most part). Customizations may add to the cost.

Cons:

  • When using themes, there may me a couple sites that could look almost the same as your website.
  • You lose flexibility – if something you want to do isn’t built into CMS it could be difficult to make.
  • Security: There are hackers out there that can figure out how to break into CMS platforms. Security is the drawback for most CMS platforms.
  • According to the Glass Canopy, “The CMS stores everything separately, then assembles it on the fly when the web client requests a page, which means they can be slow; however, this can be mitigated by using strong, effective caching and Content Network Distribution (CDN) systems.”
  • It can get slow. The more plugins and add-ons that you have, the slower the site will be.
  • Maintenance of the CMS software is difficult. Themes and plugins need to be updated but upgrades tend to break them.

Should I use CMS?

CMS allows you to create a website without the knowledge of HTML and CSS. CMS can drastically speed up development time. It is appropriate to use CMS if you are committed to learning CMS like you would learn a new software or skill. If you need to rapidly develop complex sites for a client, CMS could be the answer for you. If you need to edit content easily on a normal basis, use CMS!

Comparing top CMS platforms: Drupal, Joomla & WordPress

Example Sites:

Ease of Use:

  • Drupal requires the most technical expertise. It is capable of producing advanced websites.
  • Joomla is less complex than Drupal but more complex than WordPress.
  • WordPress; technical experience is not necessary. It’s intuitive and easy to set up a simple site. It’s easy to paste text from a word document into a WordPress site.

Features:

  • Drupal is known for its ability to tag, categorize and organize complex content.
  • Joomla is designed as a community platform, focused on networking features.
  • WordPress is known for the extensive selection of themes. Ease of use is a benefit alone.

What is the best?

  • Drupal is great for complex and advanced sites that require complex date organization and for online stores.
  • Joomla supports e-commerce, social networking and more which has more content and structure flexibility than WordPress.
  • WordPress is ideal for simple websites and for easy to manage sites. WordPress also offers add-ons to make it easy to expand the functionality of the site.

Here is an overall comparison between these three CMS platforms: support.rackspace.com/how-to/cms-comparison-drupal-joomla-and-wordpress/

I learned that WordPress is great for simple blogs and simple websites. Drupal is great for highly customized sites. And for something in between, Joomla is a great option.

A tip for working with WordPress with a client: be prepared to teach your client how to use WordPress. According to DesignM.ag, “Many clients, especially those who are not very tech-savvy, will have no idea what to do without some instruction. For most sites, it won’t require hours of your time, but you will need to spend some time with most clients walking them through the process of editing and adding content.” Overall, if clients are not very tech-savvy, it might take some time for your clients to learn WordPress.

WordPress Formating

Heading 2 Style:    ##  +  spacebar
Heading 3 Style:  ###  +  spacebar
Bullet List:               (-)  +  spacebar
Ordered List:           (1.)  +  spacebar
Bullet List:               (7)  +  spacebar

Featured Image: www.firemoonstudios.com/content-management-system/

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