When building a website, we often think that CMS or content management system the best solution for us. There are three popular content management systems out there and dozens of less popular ones. Many of them are open source and fortunately, so do the three most commonly used. They are supported by thriving communities and users can download, install and modify them freely. In order to sustain latest information technology standards, these content management systems are continuously being updated. Vital features are enhanced and added to make them more useful for users.
However, although each of these CMSs is versatile, we shouldn’t consider them as a one size fits all solutions. Factors like technical expertise, goals and even budget could determine the type of CMS that we should use. WordPress is often the number one option for many people because it is very easy to use for non-developers. It is also flexible and powerful enough to allow advanced users to create complex websites. Drupal is often considered as a good option when we need more complex content organization and better scalability. Joomla is placed between the two and it has moderate learning curve.
Fortunately, when we need assistance or have queries, it should be easy to find them. With all these platforms, we will be able to find people who are dedicated enough to help us. The user communities and developers of WordPress, Joomla and Drupal could provide us with free supports through online forums and websites. Paid supports are also available from 3rd party sources, such as designers, consultants and developers. For this reason, both platforms are known for their long life and long term sustainability. We should be willing to allocate enough effort and time.
It is also a good idea to choose a CMS based on local supports. Finding helps online is easy, but it is even easier if we have friends who know how to operate any of the CMS. We could have training sessions with them or simply watch them do their work with specific CMS. We could ask dozens of questions in an hour with these people, while one question in a forum will take hours or even days to be resolved. It is often said that WordPress is better used by beginners, even if they have desire to use Drupal or Joomla. This will allow them to find new solutions and they will get used to working with CMS. However, with good local support from our friends, we could actually start immediately with Joomla or Drupal.
Regardless of CMS we use, we could find that they are equally versatile, although they have different characteristics. If we have a big enough project, it is a good idea to allocate enough time to experiment with these three platforms. We will know what we should choose after we understand their details. In the end, we will get much better usability with CMS that we choose.