Which CMS is right for you?

People ask which CMS Content Management System and is it Open Source or Proprietary. Which one will we be able to use with our skill set ? The basic difference between WordPress and Joomla is that Joomla is a portal or community type site while WordPress is ostensibly an easy to use blog tool, but each has a whole library of plugins available. So either will work, therefore it is down to which platform you or your chosen web agency likes best.

WordPress Advantages

MeanIT Joomla & WordPress

WordPress established since 2003 is more for the small to medium size business market, whereas Joomla or Drupal would be aimed more at a slightly bigger or enterprise business market. WordPress would now have more commercially developed plugins or add-ons, than the other two. If you want to create a community or a network with a membership area, newsroom, forums, articles, input from external authors etc… then Joomla would have been a very good choice, up until recently, because it is made to be that way. Creating and restructuring site navigation is easy, once you get your head around how it works

The big advantage with WordPress in 2018 is still that it is a blog type platform, so Google at this moment loves it. Wordpress is ostensibly a multi faceted Blogging tool, so it works well, if you just intend to consistently publish or Blog. WordPress can be set up fast and listed in Google within a few days. Joomla takes 10 to 14 days or less by using SEO plugin tools. Standard HTML sites can take 4 to 6 weeks to rank in Google. WordPress is very popular in the States where its popularity breeds more users, with over 70 million sites already or 30% of all websites. Plugins that are being developed for WordPress make it better all the time, allowing it offer better choices every day. If you are used to WordPress, then try to stick with what you know, if you can get it to do what you need it to do.

Plus Points

Ideal for simple content informational sites, blogs or brochure sites.
Easy to get set up.
Loads of Design themes available, FREE and Premium – Tip: always buy a Premium theme and get support for it
Has big Community of supporting developers, loads of help & support material
Open source and popular
Can sell items online using PayPal rather than a full blown shop or WooCommerce as a plugin for eCommerce
Has a good eCommerce plugin called WooCommerce
More and more good plugins are becoming available and existing ones are excellent, such as:

Top WordPress Plugins

1. Yoast for SEO and Yoast for Analytics
2. Akismet Spam Blocker
3. Gravity Forms
4. W3 Total Cache or WPRocket to speed up your site. Use Google libraries.
5. Jetpack for social sharing
6. CoSchedule calendar plugin
7. WooCommerce for eCommerce
8. Updraft for backups
9. Redirection for 301s
10 Optin Monster for optins obviously
11. Google XML sitemaps
12. Wordfence for security
13. Share this or ShareBar
14. eMember for Membership sites
15. Next Gen or Foo for Gallery
16. WP Polls for taking feedback
17. WP DBManage to do just that
18. VaultPress for backups
19. Mailchimp for Newsletters
20. ManageWP – if you have more than one site to manage

Remember that too many plugins slow down your site and you need to ensure that they all play nicely together, especially when one gets a version update. Monitor this continuously.  The fewer plugins you use the less hassle you get.

Best hosting for WordPress – Siteground

Useful WordPress tools and training include: WPBeginner

Disadvantages of WordPress

The navigational structure is determined by the layout template you chose and beyond that requires knowledge of scripting language and CSS – as in you need a technician.
Categories and ordering can be somewhat cumbersome, everything has to be changed by hand, whereas in Joomla sorting can be controlled globally or individually, if you have a good understanding of Joomla.
Its pages, posts and categories are fixed, not dynamic like Joomla or Drupal.
WordPress has no native multi-lingual capability, but requires a 3rd party plugin.
Because it is easy to get started, many people say they are Website developers, but have a very basic skillset, so always look for proof of prior work and testimonials

Negative points
Regular updates which need to be done to keep it secure and you must update it to keep it secure – must be done regularly
Not good for customised sites or some Social Media plugins
Sizeable Media files can cause issues – so be make sure that any file sizes are kept small
Plugs-ins can cause issues if not regularly updated
Needs competent trained person to manage many plugins and update them
Like any CMS there is a learning curve, but there is plenty of online support, video tutorials and Facebook Groups

Joomla Php

Sometimes, it is down to what you are familiar with and that decides which CMS you use. Joomla, like WordPress, has many plugins available to enhance it and allow it evolve with your business. Joomla is very popular although WordPress is growing bigger by the day.

Plus Points
Ideal for large content informational sites as well as simpler blogs or Brochure sites.
Has a good Community of supporting developers, loads of video and blogs and books
Open source and popular, especially with well qualified developers
Very robust
Very customisable
Can sell items online using PayPal and Realex or large Gateways and Hikashop is a good eCommerce plugin option

Negative points
Not so easy to get set up other than by a practised hand.
Regular updates which need to be done to keep it secure
Must update it to keep it secure
Needs competent trained person to manage – again there is quite a learning curve
Losing popularity to WordPress amongst the developers and the app developers too

Bottom line

When it comes down to it, use the tool that you understand or where you have good competent support. Discuss it with your support or chosen web agency before you decide. Use of a tool that you do not understand will not be good. At the same time, you, as a business manager, have to use a platform that will be able to grow as you do, to avoid starting all over again, which is also a SEO nightmare.

Themes
Both platforms offer free or inexpensive Themes or Designs, such as Theme Forest, Elegant Themes or Yoothemes They work well if you find one you like, without having to tweak it too much. Otherwise, find one you like and get a Graphic Designer to do a Custom Graphic Design Mockup using that theme and design elements, before you ask a developer to do anything. Some themes come with the CMS and others are available at a small fee. The smaller the fee, the more basic the theme. The higher priced or Premium themes come with more bells and whistles and the vendors usually provide a better interface too, as well as regular updates and support.

A CMS (Content Management System) is a complete easy to use web-marketing solution for any business or enterprise. Putting you in control.

Text can be formatted with a simple to use WYSIWYG editor, very like Microsoft Word, designed with the user in mind, making it very user friendly, so people with basic IT knowledge can edit and update the website. All you need is internet access. No IT Guy, No coding needed. Available as a .Net, Joomla PHP or WordPress option.

Need something heavier for Enterprise solutions ?

DrupalMEANit Drupal

Not for the faint hearted, but robust and more secure. Its modular, lego-like construction makes it easy to manipulate when you get the skills.

Plus Points
Open source and popular.
Ideal for simple content informational sites, blogs or Brochure sites.
Module & Extension rich so a qualified developer can generate functionality
Has big Community of supporting developers
Easy to get set up.
SEO plugins very good

Negative points
Needs very competent trained person to manage – not for any faint hearted end user
eCommerce works, but not smooth, unless again in the right hands, meaning an IT person
Custom Forms a must
Developers need to spend a lot of time in it to become competent
Integrating APIs tricky unless again in the right hands meaning an IT person
Needs competent trained person to manage – worth repeating – Needs competent trained person to manage

.NetMEANit .net

The ideal Enterprise solution for Windowsers, strong, supported and malleable.

Plus Points
User Friendly interface with simple Front End editing
Customizable for any requirements and complex features
Fast, smooth, dependable, robust and scalable from SME to Corportate
eCommerce catalogue and cart very slick
large numbers of database enquiries not a problem
3rd Party Apps no problem
Ideal solution for Small Business sites, up to loaded Enterprise systems, social networks, content rich sites, informational portals and music sales sites
Negative points
Custom built so it takes more time to develop customised sites.
Only competent .Net Developer can customise
Competent .Net developers need to learn the back-end – allow for a learning curve

Conclusions

All CMS have Negative points:
Developed by third-parties– customising takes time and money when you step out of pre fabricated templates
Developers find it hard to quantify time required before they step on to the battlefield, so be prepared for extras
Support can be patchy, so only use a Developer who is competent in whichever platform is used.
Cost goes up every time a Client asks for modifications just like building a house – plan for overruns
Warning: Plugin conflicts – with every plugin your use, you create another potential weak point for hackers to abuse or which can simple stop working with other elements in the site. Anybody can write a plugin and make it openly available, with testing or review. Keep plugins to a minimum and check them regularly for exploits. Avoid the lure of freebies.
Tip: Make sure that you get Admin or Administrator control for your website, your hosting and your domain name www mysitename.com Have these in your name and on your credit card. Otherwise the developer or designer will have control over you. Treat these as you would treat the deeds of your house.

Useful Links
What is a CMS Content Management System? HERE
Siteground Joomla Tutorial HERE
Siteground WordPress Tutorial  HERE

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