When building a website, there are endless options in regards to the platform that you design the site with. CMS stands for content management system. Virtually all websites are designed with some sort of content management system.
There are three leading CMS’s — WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, but which is the best start to your new website?
Despite popular belief, WordPress is not only for blogs. The latest version of WordPress can handle posts and changes multiple authors, specialized content types, content changes, theme management, and an array of plugins. WordPress is known for being easy to learn and user friendly. If your needs are straightforward and focused around fast and easy web development, WordPress is likely the best choice.
That being said, it is a bit limited in raw functionality It’s out of the box features are quite small. While plugins for nearly everything exist, there are not many native solutions. Furthermore, developing advanced sites and databases are quite difficult through WordPress.
In terms of development and programming, Drupal can do almost anything. Drupal was originally designed to add new features using arrays of code called modules. Many of these modules are maintained and frequently updated by professional developers for large clients, but tons are available for free. Drupal is not a blogging platform, so changes are not as easy as WordPress, but the development potential is quite strong.
Additionally, there are not as many theme or out of the box solutions with Drupal. That being said, if you need to edit large databases and handle complicated programming, Drupal is a great choice.
Joomla is a mix of both words. Joomla is quite powerful, right out of the box. With an array of functionality built in, you can design a powerful site in no time. Despite this, Joomla is not as user friendly. It’s getting better, and has a great community, but pales in comparison to WordPress in regards to ease of use. Joomla has a strong database to back it up, it’s easy to expand with modules and plugins and plenty of themes exist.
So… Which is the best?
If you’re just starting out, use WordPress. WordPress has a great user interface, plenty of plugins, and is great for adding content to relatively small sites. If you want a powerful out of the box functionality, Joomla is the way to go. Drupal is great for development and skilled programmers, but is not the ideal choice for a new website, just getting into the game.
Once you pick your CMS, be sure to monitor your MySQL database and the SQL Server Performance — If you are new to SQL, there are plenty of SQL Server tools to help you get started. Using SQL management is especially important in larger, enterprise level sites. WordPress is not heavily database dependent but Joomla and Drupal are. In any case, using SQL server tools is industry best practice for high level sites.