Everybody knows that today, no matter what kind of business you have, you’ll need a website to keep it alive. Earlier that would have been a problem (mostly financial one) but now building your website is one of the easiest things thanks to the content management system (CMS). There are numerous variants and they all basically do the same thing – equip you with the right tools to build a professional site in no time (meaning a couple of hours). It will enable you to skip the part where you need to write codes before you create pages and posts. And if you don’t know what HTML and CSS are – you don’t have to find out. Thanks to the various themes and plugins you can easily modify the feel and the look of your new website without the knowledge about mentioned terms. If you’re worried about SEO or you wish to control multiple sites, there are tools for that too (and much, much more).
Although it sounds like you don’t have to do practically anything, there is one important thing you have to do in the beginning – to make a decision. When it comes to CMS, the most important thing is to choose the right systemthat will correspond to your needs. Do you want to start a blog, to create a portfolio, or to open up an online store? Once you determine the exact type of the website you want to build, it will help you to determine which software suits you best. WordPress is the most popular choice and it is most frequently used component of every good design portfolio, but there is a large number of CMS out there which might be a better choice for you. Some CMS are all about the ease of use, while others owe their higher level of complexity to their higher customizability and functionality. That means that some of them might, after all, require some additional learning and skill, so your choice also must be based on the level of your (or your team’s) expertise. To make the choice easier, we’ve put together a list of comparison of the most feasible CMS out there.
In the right corner – Mr. Popularity
We already said that WordPress is the most popular CMS and we have numbers to prove it – it is powering over twenty percent of all websites. Various strong and large organizations are using it, to name just the government of Sweden. The early days of this software were all about blogging, but adding various features over the years has resulted in a really impressive plugins library. There are thousands of plugins, widgets, and themes and most of them are completely free. This huge ability to adapt makes its script a pretty good fit for small and medium-sized websites and with efficient WordPress website design professionals it can achieve mindblowing complex builds. Of course, technical expertise is not necessary for all the features, and with an installation that takes less than five minutes, it is really easy to use. It promotes best SEO practices and mentioned plugins enable you a wide range of optimization, including keyword focus analytics. In the end, there is a huge community of support with troubleshooting, knowledge development, and lots of tutorials. On the other hand, this community sometimes seems like a ‛worshiping cult’ and it’s time to see if this ‛Mr. Popularity’ can survive in the ring with the competition.
Round one – hosting
This first round is like a bit of preparation, so we will begin with some shadow boxing – WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org. As you can imagine, these two are very similar, but there is still one big difference – the hosting. As an all-in-one package, WordPress.com comes with free hosting and if you want to use WordPress.org you’ll have to take care of it yourself, which will include a third-party hosting company. It doesn’t seem like a fair fight with the third party inside the ring, but this cost issue regains its balance when you take a look at extra features – WordPress.org has thousands of them for free, while with WordPress.com they’re gonna cost you extra. You can choose the free hosting version, but plugins are the ones who maximize the potential of your website. If you don’t want to bust your head over this one, you should know that you can switch from one platform to another pretty easily – we’ll call it a tie.
Round two – expertise
Now in the left corner, we have the third most popular CMS in the world – Drupal. Don’t let this fact lead you on the wrong trail – WordPress is more popular for its better overall solution but is not nearly as powerful or secure as Drupal. The reason why Drupal is in the third place lies in the fact it’s the most difficult CMS to use. This means that beginners are certainly keeping themselves at a safe distance – if you don’t have enough high level of expertise you’ll just end up confused and the platform becomes useless. This platform has a more technical approach when it comes to building your website’s layouts and therefore requires the basics of coding. Both platforms are great, but for different types of websites. WordPress is much easier to learn, but Drupal is capable of producing the most advanced websites once you get the hang of it. We can certainly say that the result of this match depends on your training before you enter the ring.
Round three – complexity
This time our opponent is not so behind in popularity – Joomla! is an award-winning CMS due to its balance between ease of use and extensibility, which can be confirmed by satisfied clients such as Harvard, Linux, and Nintendo Nordic. It is the closest thing to WordPress, although it does require a little bit more technical skills. But, unlike Drupal, with Joomla! beginners can get a hang of its terminology and structure with much less effort. And when they do, they will be able to build a fairly complex website. If you want to advance even more it can be quite a learning curve, but if your projects require complexity then in this match you should bet on our opponent.
Round four – extra features
Our next opponent is much weaker one and unreasonably more expensive – when it comes to hosting, Squarespace has surpassed WordPress.org. The cost comes in the form of the monthly price of 8 dollars, but that sum is increased with extra fees that appear every time you want to use an additional feature. This fact becomes even more painful when you realize that they have a very limited basic plan, containing only a few add-ons and features, with a limit on the number of pages and products you can sell. It will give you access to professional support for that money, such as email tickets and live chat, but that is not enough to outweigh the absence of extra features. Unless your goal is a small site with limited functionality, we’ll say this is a flexibility knockout.
Round five – visibility
Our last opponent is a leading cloud-based heavyweight champion web platform, Wix, whose reputation is mainly built through word of mouth since 2006. It is unbeatable in its simplicity, but it has the same fault as Squarespace – low customization. It has a free basic plan, but you’ll have to put your money on the table if you want more. It has only several hundred templates (compared to WordPress’ thousands) but they do cover most commonly requested themes. It is certainly better than Squarespace, but it has an annoying habit of making its advertisement mandatory on your pages. His greatest flaw lies in the fact that Google search engine bots are not so good crawling it which can be pretty bad for your SEO. This fact makes this match not so memorable.
We hope that these five rounds were enough for you to place your bets. Just remember that the winner doesn’t have to be the strongest platform, but the one that meets most of your requirements.