Having a Content Management System (CMS) is a fast and effective solution to getting a presence online for your business. Gone are the days when you’d need to acquire the services of a web designer to create a site for you. With a CMS, regular computer users can have a website in minutes.
There are many CMS’s available but the leading three are WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal. A common theme amongst all CMS’s in that they have a user friendly interface with which to add content such as text, images and video. They can all also be styled to suit your personal preferences, so that you can design your website to suit the brand of your business. Oh and another thing, the leading three CMS’s are free to download and use as many times as you wish!
When it comes to deciding upon which CMS to go for, it is wise to ask yourself the following three questions:
What Does My Site Have To Do?
The purpose of your site will determine the choice of CMS you make. For blogs, WordPress is way ahead of any other as it was designed specifically as a blogging platform. It is very simple to use and update, and there are thousands of plugins which can extend it’s functionality. WordPress can also be used for simple sites, but if you’re looking for a business website which has more functionality, consider using something like Joomla! Or Drupal. These platforms are much more flexible in what they can do, but require a greater level of technical expertise to get the most out of them.
How Easy Is The CMS To Use?
This leads me onto the second question you need to answer before you choose a CMS. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours trying to set up your new website and getting nowhere because you have no idea what you are doing, and all the online tutorials may as well be written in an alien tongue. If you are a CMS novice, it would be simpler and less frustrating to start off with a lightweight package such as WordPress. If you need the added functionality of more complex CMS’s, consider hiring a developer or be prepared to spend some time educating yourself.
Is The CMS Scalable?
If you want the option of adding functionality to your website long term, then you have to consider how scalable the CMS you choose is. The big three CMS’s all have thousands of plugins available to add functionality to the site. Maybe you initially decide on having a simple informational site for your business but a year down the road you decide you need a shopping cart. Maybe you will need to add a news section, or a video database at some point in the future. It is important to think ahead when you first choose your CMS.
A CMS is a great way to get a website online quickly, and possibly without the need to hire a web developer. The purpose of the site will ultimately decide which platform you choose, which will in turn decide whether a developer will be needed, as different CMS’s require varying levels of technical expertise. When choosing a CMS, it is wise to apply some forward thinking and anticipate where your website will be in the long term.
Alastair is a freelance writer who supplied this article on behalf of Strategic Internet Consulting, an online marketing company which also has expertise in Joomla development .