A content management system (CMS) is a software that allows you to manage, publish, and organize the contents of your Web site. This includes anything from blog posts to images to videos and everything else in between. There are many excellent open source, content management systems available. Your options are widespread and choosing the one that is right for you depends on your skill sets and Web site requirements.
As the Lead Production Coordinator for Stand And Stretch, I work with a content management system on a daily basis. I work with clients by helping them add content to their new Web sites with the WordPress CMS. It is extremely user-friendly and our clients love that when the site is ‘live’, they will be able to manage their own content with ease.
To help you decide which content management system is right for you, I have evaluated some of the most popular systems and have come to conclude that these are the Top 5 Content Management Systems:
WordPress is an open-source, full content management system. There are thousands of free themes, plugins, and widgets available to enhance the appearance and functionality of your Web site. The biggest strength of WordPress is that it is easy to learn thus allowing the end-user to manage Web site content. It is easy to install and updates are instant. Be careful when updating as sometimes updates can cause more issues than fixes.
Joomla! is one of the most popular open-source, content management systems available. Like WordPress, Joomla! is completely customizable through the use of plugins, widgets, and themes. It is extremely easy to install, however, some find it confusing to use at first.
Drupal is another popular open-source, content management system that is available for everyone. It is very easy to use for programmers and developers allowing them to easily write and edit code. There are many powerful plugins and widgets available allowing developers to create robust Web sites. A down fall of Drupal is that it is not easy for the end-user to learn.
SilverStripe is one of the newer open-source, content management systems but one that is still worthy of noting. It is extrememly user-friendly allowing the end-user to manage Web site content with very little training. Unfortunately, because SilverStripe is relatively new, resources are still very limited for this software.
ExpressionEngine is another open source, content management system that is developer friendly. There are several add-on’s available to enhance the Web site’s functionality. ExpressionEngine is easy to install and updates are instant. Unfortunately, some features of the software are only available with the purchase of a license.