A choice of content management systems (or CMS) are included with every HostPapa web hosting account. Choosing the best content management system for your website – even deciding if you need one – is another decision you, as a web designer/developer, have to make. And one we’re happy to help out with!
What is a content management system?
A CMS is a web-based application that helps you create, edit, and store website content in a simple and easy-to-manage way. A CMS lets you can build and maintain your website entirely from within your web browser.
The best content management system helps users (even non-techie users) manage their websites without needing fancy programs like Dreamweaver. A CMS will automatically take care of many “behind the scenes” functions, including navigation and searchable content. No hard coding required! Like HostPapa, most web hosting companies offer these tools within their control panels.
Do you need a content management system?
Before we get to WordPress vs. Joomla vs. Drupal… do you need any of them? Yes, unless of course you enjoy designing files on your desktop then uploading them via FTP to your server (and repeating the process every time you want to make an update).
Only static, brochure-type websites that seldom change would likely get away with not using a CMS. Content management systems make life easier. Go for it. Pick one.
WordPress vs. Joomla vs. Drupal
These are today’s three most popular open-source (free) and best content management systems out there. Here’s our quick notes to help you make a fast decision:
WordPress began as blogging software; added functionality (widgets, themes, and plugins) means it’s now being used for all kinds of websites and can be scaled up as your needs grow more complex.
- The easiest and most intuitive of the three.
- Powerful enough to build and launch websites quickly.
- Ideal for blogs, news sites, simple and easy-to-manage websites.
Joomla! currently occupies a middle ground between WordPress and Drupal.
- Slightly more complex than WordPress, but still accessible.
- Allows you to build more complex websites.
- Ideal for social networking and ecommerce websites.
Drupal has long been called “developer-friendly,” meaning, we suppose, that it’s more technical and requires more know-how.
- Requires some expertise to use.
- Powerful ability to organize complex content and build advanced, versatile websites.
- Ideal for: complex websites, online stores, community platforms with multiple users.
There is no best content management system here, just three strong contenders, each serving their audience capably and with ever-expanding functionality. So, if you think you need a CMS (and we recommend it for sure) consider your level of technical knowledge. Trust us… getting a CMS will make your website better and your life easier.