How are you planning on building your website, and with which CMS?
This may look like a silly question to ask in today’s hyperconnected world, but it is worth revisiting from time to time. Because of digital transformation, companies will always find themselves setting up e-commerce sites, landing pages, improving their intranet pages, and creating other web strategies that will let them effectively share meaningful content. And with the COVID-19 pandemic speeding up this transformation at an exponential rate, setting up a new website, a blog, or any other business communications platform is no longer a matter of if, but when.
What is a CMS?
When building a website, one should consider using a content management system (CMS) to fast-track the development process. A CMS helps users create and manage website content, even if they don’t have extensive knowledge and experience in web development or programming. For businesses, CMSes provide the flexibility, security, and cost-effectiveness they need to address the changing needs of their customers. They also allow these businesses to take advantage of new opportunities, such as omnichannel, artificial intelligence (AI), and other technologies.
Recent statistics indicate that more than half of the world’s websites use CMS or were developed by site-building platforms. Of the hundreds of different CMS programs out there, among the most popular ones are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. These three are well-known because of their free/freemium, open-source model.
Which CMS should you use?
The question now is: which of the three should you use? Full disclosure: this very blog uses WordPress, and we have just recently released our unified communications solution, maaiiconnect, as a plugin/extension/module for these three platforms. That said, the answer depends on several considerations you have in mind, including cost, popularity, integration with existing systems, and the number of available themes, add-ons, and other customisations. For this article, let’s take a look at these three CMSes using the following criteria: ease of use, business compatibility, and security.
Ease of use
WordPress is deemed the easiest, which may explain the fact that more than 30% of websites run on it – by far the most of all CMS. Because it was initially designed as a blogging platform, most of its features are intuitive and user-friendly to non-technical users. Its popularity also gave rise to WordPress-related business models by web hosts and other service providers, so you can just leave everything up to these providers to take care of everything.
On the other hand, using Joomla and Drupal may require one to have a little more than basic knowledge and experience in web development, so if you’re not a techie user, it may be best to have someone develop the site for you. Of the two, Drupal is arguably the more complicated one to work on, especially if you want to create a more complex and highly-customised site.
Apart from its ease of use, the CMS you consider must also reflect on how your website will look or will be used for your business. Are you planning on building an e-commerce site, a knowledge base, or a large corporate site? Below are the 3 main CMS and a brief comparison:
With WordPress, corporate blog comes to mind, although its wide range of plugins extends its features and capabilities beyond that. That said, WordPress remains to be the best option if you plan on developing a small and simple website that’s more focused on content.
Web sites running on WordPress
Joomla is said to be designed to perform as a community platform, so it’s no surprise that some websites developed using this have social networking capabilities or allow multiple users to create and manage its contents (e.g., wikis). Joomla is kind of like the Goldilocks of the three CMSes when it comes to its features and capabilities. As such, it may be used by mid-sized businesses and organisations who may want to have a little more advanced functionalities. E-commerce, educational institutions, or member-based sites are some examples.
Websites running on Joomla
Because Drupal has very comprehensive and highly-customisable modules and is more developer-focused, it is recommended that you use it for larger and more complex web projects. If your website is going to have an intricate site map, multiple language support, or will be integrated into various information systems within your organisation, then perhaps consider Drupal as your CMS. This CMS is also considered to be the most secure, so sites that may require this out of the box (e.g., government sites) can use this.
Websites running on Drupal
Which is the most secure CMS? It depends on what lens you are looking into when comparing the three. For instance, when it comes to the number of reported cyberattacks, WordPress always seems to get the brunt of it. However, when it comes to the number of vulnerabilities that are being reported, Drupal reportedly has the most.
In reality, however, the security of a CMS depends on three factors: its core code and how it is managed, its add-ons that extend its features and functionalities, and the actual humans (i.e., you) who manage the site running on it. Drupal may have the most reported vulnerabilities, but as previously mentioned, its core code the most secure of the three. And the reason WordPress sites appear to have the most number of cyberattacks—apart from its large user base—is that most of the time, the plugins used on these sites may not be updated or improperly configured by site administrators. These, in turn, become the actual entry points of an attack.
No system is 100% immune from vulnerabilities and from cyberattacks that exploit these vulnerabilities to steal information from unsuspecting users. But in today’s computing landscape where data protection is paramount, security should also be your priority when choosing which CMS to choose for your website. This will also help you determine the type of security posture and mindset you will employ when managing it. Fortunately for their part, these three CMSes have regular security updates and security features in their core codes and/or add-ons that will help keep hackers at bay.
Based on the points discussed earlier:
- Use WordPress if you want to create a simple, do-it-yourself website
- Use Joomla if you want to create a website where you can expand and customise a few of its features
- Use Drupal if you want to create a large-scale and highly customised website
This, of course, is not a hard and fast rule because as previously mentioned, there will be other factors you may or will have to consider when you do start planning and development. Whatever the case, it is important to keep your site secure and its contents engaging enough for your visitors.
Whichever CMS you will choose for your website, consider adding our maaiiconnect widget in it to help enhance your organisation’s customer engagement and even team collaboration. The widget is now available for download as an add-on for WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla so you, your customers, and your colleagues can immediately take advantage of unified communications features including web call, video call, and live chat.