Choosing the right Content Management System (CMS) for your blog, business, or affiliate website may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. These days managing the appearance of your site is easier than ever.
With thousands of free templates to choose from, plenty of useful add-ons, and support staff all over the world, most entrepreneurs can be up and running within minutes without spending a dime.
Save Some Overhead – Fire Your Graphic Designer
In the early days of internet business graphic designers made an enviable amount of money by designing websites in html. The high price tag came with good reason, html can be challenging to update without causing upsets elsewhere in your site. These days, however, cosmetic changes to your site, graphics, and overall design can be done in minutes – with just a simple drag and click. No graphic designer needed.
Choosing the Right CMS for Your Business – What to Look For
There’s a CMS that’s right for every business need, from small storefronts to large enterprises, there’s a CMS that suits them all. What’s nice to know is many of the most powerful and competitive options are also free.
Start by looking for something that’s open source with a large body of contributors who are passionate about building a powerful, user-friendly CMS. Oftentimes this means you’ll get regular updates and a trustworthy group of support should you need assistance. For the sake of discussion I’ll cover three of the most popular choices ranging from easiest to use to most challenging.
A Quick Comparison of the Top CMS Options
- WordPress – By far the most popular CMS available today, Wikipedia reports over 60 million users all over the world rely on WordPress to power their site. A great deal of functionality is packaged within a very user-friendly environment that makes updating a business site simple and less time consuming.
There are thousands of themes available, some are free and the more professional styles come at a reasonable fee. It’s important to know the difference between WordPress.Com and WordPress.Org, however, the former is for the free hosting of a blog and the latter is intended for professional use with your own personal domain name.
- Joomla – The second-most popular CMS in use today, an estimated 30 million downloads have occurred as of March 2012, according to Wikipedia. Joomla offers greater flexibility and power for businesses that demand a reliable method of making updates quickly and easily. Open source in nature, with regular updates and a large support group, Joomla offers a decent alternative for those who are looking to do more than just host a blog.
Rather than being built upon html, like standard templates, which can be full of unnecessary code, Joomla calls upon the Model-View-Controller (MVC) software style in all of its architecture. This is a fantastic option for businesses, such as eCommerce and real estate sites that require more oomph from their CMS.
- Drupal – If you’re looking to get into eCommerce, build a decidedly complex site, or host a large community, then Drupal may be the right choice for your business needs. Bear in mind, however, that this powerful tool requires some expertise to get the full functionality – it is a power tool, after all. Drupal can handle it all, from the smallest of blog to the most security-conscious of agency.
Though some study and skill is necessary to master the Drupal CMS, the end result is well worth the effort. Like all open source projects, Drupal offers an extensive body of support as well as frequent updates, and with each new release it becomes easier to use. If you like to feel like a true master of your domain, Drupal may be the CMS option you’ve been searching for.
Where’s a Newbie to Start? The Ideal CMS for Beginner
The best CMS for your business needs is ultimately a personal decision, but if you’re looking to get your feet wet and expand from there then WordPress is likely your best option. WordPress offers fantastic practice in learning how to make a website for free. Then, once you have more confidence and technical expertise you can make the leap towards Joomla or Drupal.
Freelance writer Rick Mercado loves working as an online marketer because it allows him the ability to work from the comfort of his own home, or his local coffee shop with the urge strikes. A fan of the outdoors, Rick loves the freedom that his work-at-home lifestyle affords because it gives him plenty of time to explore his neighborhood of Halifax, Nova Scotia. When he isn’t working, researching and writing, he can be found pursuing his dream of learning to be a pilot.
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