Demystifying Acronyms: Episode 2 – CMS

A content management system (CMS) is software that allows users to create, manage, and modify content on a website, without needing to know anything about code.

The three top open source Content Management Systems in use today are WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal. WordPress is the most popular CMS with 60% market share and running about 33% of all the websites out there. Joomla! and Drupal together account for 9% of market share and there are many other lesser-known CMS options that share the balance of market share including many that are not open source.

Open Source software is free because the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. The website owner can still incur some cost beyond the hosting and domain registration fees if templates and plug-ins are used on the site. There are many free options for those additions and also a wealth of fee required (but typically low cost) options. That is true of each of these CMS’s I am talking about.

Ten years ago when I started to design websites I used Drupal exclusively. At that time WordPress was mostly a blog site and did not have the capabilities of Drupal. Today that has changed dramatically and I use WordPress for most of our sites. Drupal still has some advantages that make it a better choice for some of our customers so I determine which platform to use on a customer by customer basis.

What advantages are there for your company with running a CMS based website?

1) It is a user-friendly system that enables any approved team member to upload text and images or edit files online — regardless of development experience

2) A CMS allows each user to have access to the website, and you can control the permissions associated with each user. This allows you to grant various levels of access to your team members.

3) It is a cost-effective system that allows a company to host an attractive and feature-rich site at a reasonable cost

4) It enables your team to keep your website up to date (on a daily basis if needed) without having to depend on a website designer’s schedule

As user-friendly as a CMS based website is, you may not want to spend time keeping your website up to date. The good news is that the cost of having me do the work for you is less because I can work more efficiently using a CMS and I pass those savings on to you. Either way, you win!

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