Which CMS should I use?

A Content Management System or CMS is used by all the major websites, and most of the smaller ones. They rely on a database backend and scripts to extract the required information.

Some sites are nobbled together with part of this CMS and bits of other systems to display other information.

Other sites have the extra bits written into the application so that it’s consistent and seamless.

If you are considering a CMS on your site, or looking to replace your CMS it’s essential that you visit Open Source CMS, a try-before-you-buy of free CMS systems, letting you into the backend to experience how it will be to use and maintain the system.

Over at DigitalPoint you’ll find conversations on the relative merits of this system and that. Your final answer will be personal but sites such as Joomla/Mambo, Xoops and Drupal top most conversations.

Personally I prefer Mambo and am waiting to see how the development teams proceed post-split before making my Joomla versus Mambo decision.

What about WordPress?

I use WordPress as my blogging software and I’ve considered changing that over to Mambo because of the nifty extra things I can do. However when all I’m doing is adding time sensitive material and the odd static page (like this) it’s plenty for what I need.

Infact, last year I set up a site for our local tennis coach Paul Grubi using phpNuke. I didn’t favour Nuke but needed to get some experience for the old PropertyTalk website (which is now using Mambo).

I wanted to check up on the holiday program so went to see if Paul had the dates up only to find it had been hacked. Nuke attracts that kind of attention. I wasn’t impressed! Because the site needed updates of information but no extras I decided to replace the old Nuke site with WordPress – hopefully it’ll be easier to use, and therefore will get updated more often.

Effectively I’m using WordPress as a lite-CMS, but don’t be fooled – a full CMS does so much more!

Key Considerations

  • The skill level of the people who will be responsible for the day to day running of the site
  • The risk profile of the site owner – are they happy to do it themselves or do they want the sure thing of an outsourced CMS
  • The resources of the site owner to maintain patches, upgrade and improve the site
  • The bells and whistles required on the site – just content or will they want to add more features?

If you have any comments please post here