Which Free Content Management System to Choose?

The choice of content management system (CMS) on our website depends on the needs we have, but we must be aware that, depending on the option selected, the CMS may be the solution to all our problems … or a pain in your head.

Today, we will focus on free license options that we can customize according to our needs and with certain technical knowledge. To let you know, it is always possible to choose a web development solution that is easy to maintain and simple to use.

Do you really need a CMS?

The first thing to understand is whether you really need a CMS or don’t, because if, for example, the number of pages is small (5 pages maximum) and are not going to edit its content frequently, could make the page manually, but only if you have some technical knowledge. To do this, you can use different programs.

Another solution would be to choose a framework for development. Or what is the same, a set of libraries and a definition of architecture that makes us work easier to get a good final result. The difference between choosing a CMS or framework lies mainly in the CMS that has a common structure, and although there are thousands of templates, you could lose the exclusivity of the project. In a CMS you can also easily create stores or catalogs, but the framework is better suited for management applications that can provide greater functionality to your site and better integration with business applications.

Main features of the CMS

Here is a summary of the characteristics of the most used CMS and although not focus too much on its functionality to not to extend, yes underline the points that can help us select one or the other:

WordPress: We started with WordPress because it is undoubtedly the king of the CMS and the most used worldwide. It is the simplest, for both developers and site administrators or editors. Although it is the most used not mean it is the best, because the quality of code and architecture is not ideal. However, it adapts to all types of projects. In addition, we can always choose a hosting plan optimized for WordPress , which will give us the main installation tasks.

Joomla: It is more complicated to use than WordPress but more complete in its basic installation. We can create more complex sites and software with more character, although not respect backward compatibility. While this is good, because the software can grow easily but produces a lot of problems when you touch update.

Drupal: Of the three, this is a clear winner in terms of the quality of CMS and its code. However, although it enjoys respect in the community, it is the least used.

For some years, using Symphony as a CMS, a powerful framework that seeks supporters, and its architecture is compatible with different databases. If your developer level is high and you like the code quality, Drupal is certainly an excellent option.

DNN: Known initially as DotNetNuke, DNN used as .NET technology, so it is recommended for people who feel more comfortable with Microsoft technologies. Without comparing WordPress, DNN is also on a good number of sites.

Typo3: Based on PHP technologies compatible with several popular databases such as PostgreSQL or Oracle, apart, of course, MySQL. Its use is widespread mainly in Europe, with Germany as the main consumer and comes with many functions. Being less used we would say that it is less likely to get attacks.

CMS for sale online

Beyond these content management systems for easy editing of web pages based on texts and images, there are also specialized CMSs for e-commerce, incorporating numerous features to facilitate online sales: product categories, multiple currencies, integration with payment, reward programs, etc.

Surely, the best known and used in this segment are Magento or PrestaShop.  However, the boundaries between these CMS for eCommerce and the above is fading more and more, as there are different plugins or extensions that let you customize and extend the functionality of each of these platforms beyond its default functionalities. The clearest example is WordPress, born to create blogs and today can be used for just about anything, as you can see in the post of recommended plugins  for blog.

Other easy to use CMS

In these free content managers, the user can customize its features to the fullest, for what may require some knowledge of programming, and the user also has to manage more or less technical, as their safety or installing plugins aspects.

Given a security issue in these CMS, the free software community reacts quickly and release new versions that correct the identified vulnerabilities, but it is always necessary to update and perform maintenance.

Originally posted on November 11, 2016 @ 5:33 pm

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