CMS refers to a Content Management System, or basically, a system that allows you to publish various forms of content on your website. These systems are incredibly valuable for your business and web presence. Content management systems enable a level of communication to your clients that is current, relevant and if done right, highly engaging. CMSs also boost SEO, or search engine optimisation, meaning your website is more visible in relevant searches. Ultimately, your business will be easier to find in the vast, overwhelming world of the internet.
When designing your website, we will recommend the best CMS for you. We consider a number of factors when choosing this. The complexity of the content you wish to publish is a huge factor to be considered when finding the right CMS, as is the design of the site and usability of the system. We aim to find the most versatile system based on your specific needs. Once we’ve found the perfect system, we find a specialist from our team of talented developers- one who knows the CMS inside and out.
We’ve put together a break down of some of the most common CMSs out there. From ‘open source’ to ‘proprietary’, hopefully this list decodes some of the techy jargon that will be thrown about during your website development.
Open Source Content Management Systems
Open source content management systems are available to users at little or no cost at all. Commonly used open source CMSs are often used as blogging platforms or simple frameworks on which to build websites. The most important thing to consider when choosing an open source CMS is that the system is used by a large community, meaning you will have access to excellent support and system updates are frequent.
WordPress meets all the criteria of a good open source CMS. It is easy to use and supported by a large community. There are an infinite number of templates available online on which to build your site and slightly customise to your needs, or you can custom build a template using WPs simple framework. If you are aiming to create a custom website experience, we recommend a custom template approach. This is by far the most cost effective of Open Source custom solutions.
One thing to take note of is the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org. When using wordpress.com, WordPress hosts your site in the cloud. It’s free, until you need to do anything to customise it. Then it costs quite a bit. In addition, there are a limited amount of templates to choose from, restricting your design choices.
When using wordpress.org, WordPress is downloaded for free and installed on your own hosting. Themes can then be downloaded from more sites than you can imagine. The theme is then installed, leaving you to style your site as you wish. For a custom built solution, we build a specific, tailor made theme. This also includes customising the content management interface where you add content, making it specific to your needs
Drupal is more complex than WordPress, but offers more versatility when it comes to design. It acts more as a complex framework on which to build your site, so if you’re looking for something easy and simple to get things going, this might not be the best choice. However, if your design calls for more diversity, this could be the one for you. It will often depend on how well the system is customised to your specific requirements. This often involves hiding away unnecessary functionality and complexity to stop you feeling overwhelmed. Development costs are typically higher when using this system; especially when ensuring quality and ease of use.
Joomla is again apart of a huge community, just trailing WordPress in terms of popularity. It’s easy to use, although perhaps offers more advanced custom options than WordPress. Its default or entry level functionality can often result in unattractive sites, with confusing user interaction.
Proprietary/Licensed Content Management Systems
A proprietary CMS is one that you have purchased a license to use. These systems are ideal if you do not wish to manage anything more than content on your site and choose to leave the complete design and development up to an external partner. To ensure you get the most out of a proprietary system, it is best to allow full, comprehensive development during the website build, as additional changes in the future will most likely incur additional costs and design work.
Expression Engine will give you the opportunity to create a truly creative, innovative and unique website. It’s versatility in functionality is great for comprehensive development and it can handle a huge number of pages.
SharePoint also offers great customisation, while having very solid basic functions to work off. From a business perspective, this system will offer you great options to personalise your site and excellent file sharing possibilities within your company.
To find out more about the design and development of a new website for your company, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org