Most of the websites on the internet today are driven by Content Management Systems. It used to be that only big corporations with huge budgets could afford them. Well, those days are gone. Today there are many to choose from, and they have made powerful website development affordable to the masses.
So, what do content management systems do?
Just as their name implies, they organize your content in a structured way. And they make it easy to create pages and articles, menus and modules... anything you might think of. All without having any programming skills whatsoever. The trick to them is knowing which one is most appropriate for YOUR website. The information on this page should help you wrap your head around the concept a bit more.
Understanding Content Management
Leveraging Content Management
The idea of content management isn't new. It's acutally a building block of technology. The term has evolved over the years, but today it often refers to systems designed to publish information on the internet without needing to access the source code. There are many types out there, but none of them are a one-size-fits-all answer. So how are you to know which one is the best choice for your business? Easy... know YOUR business, then build your website to suit it... NOT the other way around...
Customizing Development to YOUR needs
The first thing you need to do is decide on the functionality you need in order to manage a website. Having a brochure type of website is great, while having an online store with several hundered products is something completely different. Learning Management and Help Desk Systems are popular as well
Different CMS serve different needs. Here's a rundown of some of the more popular ones
The first platform to make web publishing accessible to the masses. Responsible for 'Blogging'. It has evolved since, and makes a great information distribution platform. Major news outlets use WordPress to power their websites.
WordPress can be extended to accomplish a million different things. Some of them it does well, and some of it doesn't. Don't let anyone convince you to use a WordPress website because THEY know how to build one! Do your Homework!
Drupal was originally developed by a college student, looking for a better way to communicate with classmates. It has grown into a powerful and flexible platform that can be extended much easier than writing source code.
User beware... Drupal does require a bit of technical knowledge to use to it's full capacity! Especially form manipulation.
Joomla! is like the Swiss Army Knife of CMS's. It comes with more horsepower than WordPress, without the technical skills needed for a Drupal site. Also runs many powerful websites worldwide.
Joomla! is owned and operated by Open Source Matters, a non-profit organization. This means that Joomla! will always remain free for use by the general public, forever!.
Magento is a Content Management System that is geared specifically for online sales. It has more functionality than just a shopping cart. But it lacks some features that would make it a versatile CMS.
Buyer beware... the future development of Magento is somewhat suspect. Use caution moving forward!
Moodle is Online Learning Management software. If you do education or training, this one might be for you. It has robust methods for presenting material, testing and evaluation.
Moodle also plays nicely with other content management systems!