A Content Management System is used ‘to manage and control a dynamic collection of Web documents and images’[1] . Most CMS interfaces are really easy to use, making it simple for non-HTML savvy users to update their website content without compromising the structure and layout of the site and without the need to pay for web specialist services to get straightforward content updates done.

At Revium we currently recommend WordPress (for PHP websites) and Kentico (for .NET websites) because we feel that the interfaces are user friendly, the products itself offer valuable functionality and both systems are flexible enough to customise to all our clients’ needs. They are by no means the alpha and omega when it comes to CMSs and our clients’ preferences of CMSs are always driven by their specific website needs. Over the years we have implemented various CMSs for our clients and I thought it would be useful to give a brief overview of the CMSs most frequently requested by our clients, in no particular order of preference:

WordPress

WordPress is a state-of-the-art publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability[2]”.    It started as a blogging tool but over time it has evolved to be used as a full content management system which multiple plugins, widgets and personalised themes and it has now become an award-winning CMS that allows companies to build websites and other powerful online applications.

It is highly customizable and developers can extend or modify the WordPress source code to meet any client’s requirements.  It is easy to install and it has a very easy to use interface (similar to a Microsoft word document) which makes it highly suitable for non-techies who have not had a lot of exposure to website administration. 

For a full list of WordPress features visit the website here.

Drupal

Drupal has been developed and is supported by a huge open-source community who constantly contribute new modules to extend its core functionality.  This modularity is one of the biggest advantages of the CMS, but it also offers search engine optimisation support with super friendly URLs, a robust personalisation environment and a version control system to track the details of content updates.

Drupal can be used to “create blogs, forums, galleries, file upload and download sites, forums, collaborative authoring environments, podcasting and peer-to-peer networking sites“[3] . 

For a full list of Drupal features visit the website here.

Joomla!

Joomla! is another popular choice amongst website designers/developers which comes with an integrated WYSIWYG editor.  As with the other CMSs discussed here, Joomla! can be extended beyond its original purpose thanks to the use of plugins.  You can add features such as “blogging tools, calendars, directory services, email newsletter, e-commerce and shopping cart engines,  image and multimedia galleries, forums and chat software, banner advertising systems, business and organizational directories and dynamic form builders”[4] .

Joomla! requires that your web server runs Apache and has PHP and MySQL installed.

For a comprehensive overview of its features visit the website here.


Kentico is a asp.net solution which offers “a user-friendly interface, WYSIWYG editor and 13 built-in modules at an affordable price”[5] .  It allows developers full control over HTML code and it is possible to customise the design according to user needs. 

Kentico

Features include but are not limited to[6] :

  • Easy-to-use WYSIWYG editor
  • Workflow and versioning
  • Multiple languages
  • Page templates
  • Granular security
  • Easy Deployment and Content Staging
  • Friendly URLs and SEO
  • Web analytics
  • Reporting
  • Media Library
  • Blogs
  • Forums
  • Message Boards
  • E-commerce
  • Event calendar and Booking System
  • Newsletters
  • Image gallery
  • On-line forms
  • Polls

Read more about its feature here

References

 [1] Unknown. (). Web content management system. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_content_management_system. Last accessed 21/06/2010.  


[2] Unknown. (). WordPress. Available: http://wordpress.org/. Last accessed 21/06/2010.

[3] Christopher Heng. (2010). Free Content Management (CMS) PHP Scripts. Available: http://www.thefreecountry.com/php/contentmanagement.shtml. Last accessed 21/06/2010.

[4] Christopher Heng. (2010). Free Content Management (CMS) PHP Scripts. Available: http://www.thefreecountry.com/php/contentmanagement.shtml. Last accessed 21/06/2010.

[5] Unknown. (2010). Kentco. Available: http://www.kentico.com/home.aspx. Last accessed 21/06/2010.

[6] Unknown. (2010). Kentco. Not Available. Last accessed 21/06/2010.

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