Today making a website is a lot easier but at the same time complicated. Few people still code their sites out by hand while the rest are using CMS. What is a CMS you ask? Basically it’s a Content Management System powered by a database that stores your data while displaying it much easier inside a pre-built system, normally coded in PHP. The 2 examples I’m going to mention in this post are Joomla! and WordPress.
Joomla! which I have been with since the pre-mambo days is by far the best CMS I have ever worked with and I’ve worked with them all. It’s free and has a large community base along with very active programmers that keep it updated and running. Joomla! allows you to do more than you will ever need. Here are a few examples of what it can do with some simple add-on components or modules. Note that some components cost money but the fees are usually worth it ranging from $10 to $150 for the more advance systems. There are also more free components than paid ones so you may find what you need for free.
- Real Estate Listings
- Photo Gallery
- Business Directory
- Recipe Directory
- Gaming Portals
- e-Commerce Shopping Carts
- and etc
I still run Joomla on several sites both for myself and clients. Updates are easy but require some knowledge of FTP and a more hands on approach. Joomla! can be designed to look any way you want it thanks to their Template System. You can convert an existing website into Joomla!, have one designed or purchase a pre-made template from the many Joomla! template sites on the web.
By default Joomla! will allow you to blog, post a contact directory with email form and vcards. It also allows you to make endless amounts of pages and includes a link directory.
The other CMS I’m going to talk about is WordPress. WordPress has been around for a long time and it’s the number one blogging software used by bloggers. Well I don’t blog you say? No problem because it doesn’t have to be used just for blogging. I use it for the following.
- e-Commerce sites
- News Sites
- Article Directories
- Photo Galleries
- and of course blogging
WordPress is going to be ideal for those that just need pages of information or/and the occasional news update section. The thing I love most about WordPress is the fact that it’s all done by clicks. If there is an update it tells you and with a couple clicks the entire site is updated. If a plug-in gets updated it tells you and with a single click it’s updated.
As with Joomla!, WordPress can look any way you want it through a custom Template System. While I find it a tag more complicated to make template for WordPress the results are better. It’s very clean coded and search engines LOVE WordPress.
So ask yourself this.
- What do I need my website to do?
- What is going to be easier for me to use?
- How much do I have to invest in my website?
- Which CMS offers what I need the most?
And get to building that new grand website.