In a previous article – What CMS should I build my website on - I discussed a belief that CMS should be chosen based on both a websites wireframes and the platform the given agency/developers feel most comfortable. Several developers I know found this to be strange advice but I feel that part of my rationale was misunderstood. I was certainly not suggested to use CMS ‘X’ over CMS ‘Y’ purely based on a developers experience. The point that unless there are specific requirements (i.e. a need for smart taxonomy which would mean drupal would be the most sensible choice) then the choice should be partly informed by the skills and experience of the developers.
So taking away developers expertise and focusing on a websites requirements I wanted to breakdown three of the most popular Content Management Systems – WordPress, Drupal and Joomla – discussing which system is good for what.
Drupal is a powerful, developer-friendly tool for building advanced websites. Like most powerful tools, it requires some solid development knowledge to operate. Joomla is less development-focused and has less capabilities then Drupal but offers a more user-friendly development options. WordPress began as an innovative, clean blogging platform. With an ever-increasing database of themes, plugins and widgets, this CMS is widely used for all types of small to medium sized websites
Drupal is known for its powerful taxonomy and ability to tag, categorize and organize complex content. Community platforms that require multiple user types would benefit from this taxonomy. It is said by many developers, and we’d be inclined to agree, that Drupal can do almost anything. There are a great wealth of modules that can integrate with each other that are maintained by professional developers. On the down side the system straight out of the box is pretty bland… just like a blank canvas.
Joomla is designed to function as a community platform, with strong social networking features. Its admin interface is powerful but also considered to be user-friendly and ‘out of the box’ it is probably the best out of the three. The Joomla community does offer a great deal of modules but are often quite hard to maintain.
Ease of use is a key benefit of WordPress for experienced developers and novices alike. It’s powerful enough for developers to efficiently build sites for clients; then, with little instruction, clients can take control of the site management. It has great support and tutorials, making it great for less technically savy users to deploy simple sites. However with the right developers and a considered approach both Joomla and Drupal can have far more tailored and user friendly back ends for more complicated websites.