Which CMS should you choose for a simple website?
What is a CMS?
CMS stands for content management system. CMS is computer software or an application that uses a database to manage all content, and it can be used when developing a website. In simple terms, a CMS is a program in which you can create a website, fill it with content and edit it. In this case, you do not need programming skills. A CMS can therefore be used to update content and/or your website structure. Most CMS solutions are open-source, which means they are free and accessible to everyone. However, some may contain additional paid options, such as templates and plug-ins. The main CMS are currently WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento and Prestashop.
What is the use of CMS?
CMS is a software platform that manages and modifies digital content. CMS are used for enterprises content management software (ECM) and web site management. ECM usually provides multiple users in a collaborative setting. WCM is the collaborative authoring for websites and may contain text graphics and embedded photos/photos video, audio, maps and programming code that displays content and interacts with the user. CMS usually include WCM - functions. ECM is a web template designed for your own site. CMS is a web template which lets you design and manage all types of websites. CMS are also templates for the internet.
A CMS typically has two major components: a content management application (CMA), as the front-end user interface that allows a user, even with limited expertise, to add, modify, and remove content from a website without the intervention of a webmaster; and a content delivery application (CDA), that compiles the content and updates the website.
CMS Installation Types
There are two types of CMS installation: on-premises and cloud-based. On-premises installation means that the CMS software can be installed on the server. This approach is usually taken by businesses that want flexibility in their setup. Notable CMSs which can be installed on-premises are Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla and others.
The cloud-based CMS is hosted on the vendor environment. With this approach the CMS software cannot be modified for the customer. Examples of notable cloud-based CMSs are SquareSpace, Wordpress.com, and WIX.
How to Choose a CMS
The question of which CMS to choose for the site is followed by the second: "How much money will it take?" There are paid and free options. To decide whether to pay or not pay, it is important to consider a few points:
- what kind of site you are creating (landing page, information resource, online store, etc.);
- what tasks should your project solve (for example, someone needs a site for a tick, that is, just to "be on the Internet", and someone - to receive orders);
- free doesn't mean worse.
If the capabilities of the free engine are enough to implement your project, there is no need to opt for a paid product. Focus on the functionality of the CMS first.
CMS selection criteria
Today we are choosing a CMS system for a simple site (one-page site, business card site, portfolio or blog). Even if my idea of a simple project does not quite coincide with yours, it's okay. Reading this article is useful for anyone who wants to create their own website on their own and does not know where to start.
CMS can be divided not only into paid and free, but also boxed and self-written. The former are a ready-made product that can be downloaded or purchased, the latter are developed from scratch for specific tasks. I note right away that the second way, although it will help to realize all your wishes, is more complicated and costly, even to some extent risky, since it is an unused technology, and your project depends on a specific developer. We will focus on the boxed ones, consider some popular CMS and analyze their advantages and disadvantages.
Continuing the conversation about what is important to pay attention to when choosing an engine, I would like to highlight a few basic functions.
It is convenient when the admin panel is simple and functional, and you can work with content both in visual mode and in HTML-code mode. Surely you will not limit yourself to adding images and text, and some tasks will need to be done in an HTML editor, for example, add a semantic tag . A simple and functional built-in editor that allows you to work in both modes, for example, is in WordPress, Joomla, OpenCart, 1C-Bitrix, and, for example, for Drupal you need to install the appropriate module. When choosing a CMS system, check how intuitive and convenient its interface is for you.
Even if you have not yet thought about website promotion in search engines, after a while you will most likely return to this question. So it's better to evaluate how CMS is ready to help you with this in advance. In principle, any engine is equipped with the functionality necessary to work on SEO promotion, the difference is that some features are available by default, some can be implemented using additional tools. For example, adding meta tags (title, description, keywords) is possible by default in OpenCart and is supported in many WordPress templates. In Joomla, meta tags can be added manually or using the SEOSimple extension, in Drupal this can be done using special modules (Meta tags quick, Page title, etc.). To make the right choice of CMS, evaluate how convenient it is for you to implement SEO-promotion functions.
- image optimization (resizing, adding a description - alt and title attributes, etc.);
- sitemap (sitemap.xml) and robots.txt file management;
- integration with analytics services (Google Analytics, etc.);
- generating SEF-URLs (human-readable site page URLs).
Here we are talking about adjusting the engine to the requirements of your project. For example, the standard WordPress features allow you to create a simple blog, business card, or, in other words, a mini-site. CMS Joomla and Drupal offer a wider range of features by default: you can create both a simple project and a more complex information resource or company website. But don't forget about additional tools. For example, for WordPress, you will find a variety of plugins, modules, themes and templates that can solve a wide variety of tasks, and most of these tools are free to install. The same applies to OpenCart, Joomla, Drupal, but paid products prevail here. With the help of various extensions, you can increase the functionality of any CMS-system, however, WordPress is still the leader in the number of ready-made solutions.
It's great when the engine is "omnipotent", but if you do not use even half of its capabilities, do not rush to choose an overly functional CMS. For example, there is no point in creating a simple portfolio on the 1C-Bitrix engine. Why? Because a significant part of the CMS resources will not be involved, and the hosting requirements will be higher, as will the price. For example, compare the cost of hosting for WordPress and 1C-Bitrix . The choice of a powerful CMS system is justified when you really need it (as a rule, when creating an online store, a complex content project or a portal, that is, a large site intended for a wide audience).
This is how the popularity rating of website engines looks like according to joost.blog by the June 2021:
To make it easier for you to make your choice, let's take a look at a few of the strengths and weaknesses of the top five CMS. So you can determine the vector of the nearest actions and then study the engine you like in more detail. Well, or just install and try, which is already there :)
The most popular and easy-to-use CMS system. Suitable for corporate sites, home pages, blogs, portfolios, and other mid-sized sites. If desired, with the help of additional tools, you can expand the capabilities of the engine and use it to create an online store or portal (but you have to try). Read: What Is WordPress? Overview Of The Most Popular CMS for more information.
- CMS is free;
- open source code allows you to modify the system;
- a large number of templates, themes and plugins - both paid and free;
- convenient control and simple interface;
- easy installation: most hosting sites provide built-in functionality for installing this CMS system;
- knowledge base: there are many articles, instructions, tips and discussions on the Internet about CMS WordPress.
- lack of official technical support;
- open source makes the site more vulnerable, and some plugins are also poorly written, which can lead to security problems and errors in the site (consult with experienced users and developers, download add-ons from official sources);
- the basic set of functions is usually not enough, you need to install several plugins at once.
This CMS is usually chosen for a website more complicated than a simple business card: for a blog, business website, online store, social network, etc.
- free open source CMS;
- a good selection of built-in and additional tools;
- regular updating of the system, adding new components;
- large community of users and developers;
- easy installation.
- here, rather, "plus minus": because of the flexibility and various settings, Joomla is a little more difficult to understand than WordPress;
- open source threats (just like WordPress).
One of the leader in the paid CMS market. Suitable for creating projects of any complexity: information resources, online stores, portals, online services, corporate sites, etc.
- ready-made tools for creating and promoting a website;
- the ability to choose the edition that suits the needs of your project;
- the level of protection is higher than that of free CMS;
- professional support.
- this is a commercial product, so editions are paid;
- high resource requirements, which means you need a powerful hosting;
- It is not easy for a beginner to understand the functionality of the admin panel, most often they turn to specialized specialists to create a site on 1C-Bitrix.
This CMS is designed for creating online stores and allows you to start selling online without large financial investments. Read: OpenCart: A Great CMS for an Online Store for more information.
- free open source CMS;
- simple admin panel;
- good selection of themes and templates;
- built-in functionality for creating an online store;
- multilingual support.
- open source vulnerabilities (like other free engines);
- some of the site's functions can only be implemented using paid extensions.
This engine has great capabilities for creating a technically advanced website, suitable for creating complex business projects, portals, news resources, online stores, etc.
- CMS is free, the code is open :)
- the flexibility of the system allows you to create a site of any type;
- large developer community;
- technical support;
- regular updates, stability and high speed of the engine.
- complex control panel;
- in the choice of themes and templates inferior to other CMS.
Conclusion: the choice of CMS depends on the task that you set for yourself, but I described the main criteria in the article so that you do not waste time testing the obvious things.