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When developing a CMS website you’d be forgiven for presuming that one of the firsts questions you should ask is what system the site should be developed on. However this is far from true. Choosing a CMS should actually be one the last tasks during the preproduction stage of development.

There are of course logistical issues unrelated to a websites functionality that need to be considered, from platform security to the capabilities of a CMS to work with an IT configuration or server. But ultimately it is the websites wireframes that will hold the answer to which platform is best suited for the job. Well half the answer anyway. The other half of the answer is something you will rarely read when googling this very question.

Quite often potential clients will approach our agency and mention that a developer they talked too recommended that they use a certain CMS (be it Drupal, Worpress or Joomla). Now that is not an attempt to question the integrity of other developers but a developers loyalty to particular Content Management Systems often reminds me of a teenagers loyalty to a games console. When I was thirteen if you asked what was better – a playstation or an N64 – I would of probably scoffed at them before launching into a self righteous speech about the genius of Mario Kart and the bit power of the N64. Would I ever admit that the real reason for my allegiance was because that happened to be console I got for christmas? No.

The point being that all the major open source CMS have their pros and cons but a developers/agencies preference is often related to what they are use to or brought up on. And this is not a problem, merely something that should be acknowledged.

A popular school of thought is that Design is a subjective whilst Development is objective. Of course on a basic level a plugin works or it doesn’t, a database works or it doesn’t, but there is much more to development than this. How a developer makes something work can be infinitely subjective.

So unless you have very specific, though out reasons for choosing a CMS, when choosing an agency or developer don’t limit their capabilities by specifying a desired system. If you have faith in the person/people executing your project allow them to build what you require using the tools that are best suited to their skill sets and the wireframes.

If you are wondering, I still think the N64 is a better console.

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