By Jay Bemis | Advertising Systems Inc.
Whether you’re building a website for a new business or wanting to take your site to a new level, one of the more important decisions you’ll make is which content management system to use.
A content management system (CMS) is a software program that allows your business to create a website that publishes information about your products and services. A reliable CMS is one that is user-friendly, allows one or more users to modify the website once they’ve gained secure access, and delivers an attractive design that drives traffic to the site and makes its visitors want to return over and over.
In essence, a CMS is the backbone of any site that wants to attract customers digitally and build a company’s bottom line through the ever-growing world of website marketing.
Fortunately, for smaller businesses, you can acquire a CMS fairly inexpensively without the need for a technical staff to write code — all you need is some learning time for some of the simpler systems that are available.
Are you ready to build a new website or perhaps take an existing site to the next level? Today we cite three of the most popular content management systems today — from easiest to use to more advanced, with multiple employees at your business using the CMS in mind:
WordPress started chiefly as blogger’s tool 16 years ago, but it has grown to encompass much more, including building your company’s website and serving as a chief marketing tool. You also can perform such tasks as adding an online store to a site and recruiting memberships or subscriptions to your brand.
It powers an estimated 34% of all websites for many reasons, among them:
— It’s easy to learn through a block system that allows you to add headings, main body text and images, including galleries;
— You can further customize your site with themes and plug-ins;
— It makes your site search-engine-optimization friendly, particularly with a Yoast plug-in that it provides;
— It is proven to be a secure CMS, with the capability to make it even safer from the latest security threats with additional software;
—It accommodates different types of media, allowing you to imbed YouTube videos, audio and the like, in addition to photos and other images.
Perhaps you’ve become more accustomed to the world of CMS and enjoyed a lot of traffic to your site — and thus, revenue — so you’re ready to advance to a system that will make your site more customized.
Many brands turn to Drupal, which requires more knowledge and learning than WordPress.
Drupal, too, offers plug-ins to help with customizing your site, but its additions are known as modules, and you’ll most likely need the help of a developer to install and update them. Generally, this is no problem, because a growing brand most likely has added a developer to its staff or hired a consultant to help them with their website management.
Some of the reasons that brands have turned to Drupal include:
It can maintain thousands of pages and users: it’s easy to use, once you’ve acquired the needed knowledge from a developer; it requires more user permissions than WordPress, meaning you can bring a mix of employees, such as site administrators, content editors and other specialized users, on-board; and, it offers enterprise-level security with an in-depth reporting system, which makes it particularly popular for governments, including whitehouse.gov.
Like Drupal, the learning curve for Joomla when compared to WordPress can be tougher to climb for users with no experience in web development.
However, Joomla, too, is a more customizable system that can be tailored to your business niche — enabling you to set your own meta descriptions and keywords for new content and SEO purposes, for example — though that may require the aid of a developer or marketing consultant.
Experts say Joomla also is stronger on security than WordPress, which, because it’s the most popular CMS, can be a frequent hacking target despite its continual security updates.
When you choose Joomla, it comes with options to force connections to your site through a secure sockets layer (the “s” in “https” you see in domain names) and to offer two-factor authentication. Its developers maintain a list of extensions that are known to have the latest security vulnerabilities, though both WordPress and Drupal both claim to do so as well — if you stay on track with their latest software updates.
Many smaller to mid-size companies have enlisted the help of Joomla to customize their website.
All three of the most popular CMS examples we’ve listed here say they’re free, but there are costs you’ll incur, which include acquiring a domain name, landing a web-hosting service and, as we’ve already mentioned, perhaps enlisting a marketing consultant or developer for help.
We suggest you ask your consultant or developer what may be the best CMS for your business and customer base.