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CT Web Design: Content Management Systems Comparison

Posted by Brandon Choquette on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 @ 04:10 PM


CMSIf creating a website for your business is on the calendar, you may have wondered which content management system (CMS) is the best choice for you. Dreamweaver is great for creating website designs, but if you want to build a site that’s more than a collection of static pages, you’ll need a content management system (CMS).

At the core of a CMS is a database that stores articles, blog posts, user data and other information. A CMS also includes features for configuring the website, posting stories, dynamically generating pages and doing pretty much everything else that we expect of a website. By and large, these are big, complex beasts that require a considerable investment of time to install and maintain.

We are going to take a look at four of the most widely used ones. There is no one-size-fits-all solution here; the use of each depends on your goals, technical expertise, budget and what you need the site to do for your business.


Ease of use is a key benefit for experts and novices alike. It’s powerful enough for web developers or designers to efficiently build sites for clients; then, with minimal instruction, clients can take over the site management. Known for an extensive selection of themes. Very user-friendly with great support and tutorials, making it great for non-technical users to quickly deploy fairly simple sites.

Technical experience is not necessary; it’s intuitive and easy to get a simple site set up quickly. It’s easy to paste text from a Microsoft Word document into a Wordpress site, but not into Joomla and Drupal sites. Wordpress is ideal for fairly simple web sites, such as an everyday blogging and news site; and any one looking for an easy-to-manage site.


Designed to perform as a community platform, with strong social networking features. Joomla is less complex than Drupal, more complex than Wordpress and features relatively uncomplicated installation and setup. With a relatively small investment of effort into understanding Joomla’s structure and terminology, you have the ability to create fairly complex sites. Joomla allows you to build a site with more content and structure flexibility than Wordpress, but it still maintains a fairly easy, intuitive usage. Joomla supports e-commerce, social networking and more.


Known for its powerful taxonomy and ability to tag, categorize and organize complex content. Drupal requires the most technical expertise of the three CMSs. However, it also is capable of producing the most advanced sites. With each release, it is becoming easier to use. If you’re unable to commit to learning the software or can’t hire someone who knows it, it may not be the best choice.

Drupal is best used for complex, advanced and versatile sites; for sites that require complex data organization; for community platform sites with multiple users; and, for online stores.


Craft is a PHP driven, licensed and supported content management system built by the guys over at Pixel and Tonic. It brings a fresh face to an otherwise bland and confusing landscape of content management platforms. Support is so important to Craft, they've built it right into the admin interface. Running into a problem, bug or can't quite figure something out? You can fill out a support form and it automatically creates a ticket that the Craft support staff will respond to. In short, Craft handles content through sections, entries and fields. Sections can range from individual pages, a blog or any custom content type your site could need. Entries are individual entries organized under each section. Fields (or field types) are the containers for your actual content inside each entry. 

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Topics: content management systems, Content Management System, cms, CT web design

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