You’re about to launch a rocket you’ve spent years building and perfecting into outer space. You would want to know where it goes, what happens to it and if the purpose of its development is fulfilled. The only way one can do so is by ensuring the communication networks and channels remain open.
Let’s apply this metaphor to your business (business = rocket, outer space = internet). When your business goes online via a website, landing page or the likes, you’re opening it up to a public audience. And now that it’s floating out there in the webosphere, you want to make sure it’s sending out the right signals or messages.
A content management system can help you do all this and more.
What is a Content Management System (CMS)?
A content management system (CMS) is an online application that provides you with the tools to design and develop your very own website. It is usually accompanied by a standard admin panel – it’s your window to create and make changes to posts, pages, plugins and other media. It allows you to decide where everything goes and present your content the way you want your customers to see it.
The most appealing aspect of some of the best content management systems is that you don’t have to write a code or script. So even if you aren’t an expert developer, you can easily learn the functioning of a content management system and set up your business website. You can also hire agencies to help you easily select and navigate the ideal content management system for your business.
Are there different types of Content Management Systems?
There are two different types of Content Management Systems – Open Source CMS and Closed Source CMS.
Open Source CMS include WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. An open source CMS leaves its code open to the public, which means you can edit and customize the core features of the site. You can also find different ways to improve the site. The idea behind an open source CMS is to have a community of developers who can share and modify the software.
Open Source CMS’ make the best content management systems to use as it provides you with an insane amount of flexibility, along with unlimited possibilities of customization. This is presented in the form of thousands of add-on modules that are ready to install. They are the most cost-effective option for many businesses.
A closed source CMS is solely owned by the proprietor and is not open to the public to be freely used or modified. This means that the core files cannot be altered. Most of them are maintained by well-founded technological partners. This means the fee you will be charged in building such a system will include the cost of developing the system as well as the cost for on-going support and maintenance.
Let’s take a look at the 5 Best Content Management Systems you should consider for your business.
In 2003, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little two users of b2/cafeblog (a simple news/weblog site) built a new platform using it as the base. This site was WordPress. Little did they know that this simple experiment would turn out to be used by 30.6% of the top 10 million websites (data as of April 2018).
WordPress is the most engaging and easily comprehensible software. Its versatility makes it one of the best content management systems in the world. From a simple blog to a full-fledged website, or even an e-commerce website (WooCommerce plugin ), a WordPress site can be anything you need it to be.
What’s so great about WordPress?
1. Eliminates process of writing code
2. Solves space constraints with cloud storage
3. Easy updation and modification of site from any device with internet
4. Makes SEO easy with the help of plugins like the free Yoast SEO plugin
5. Mobile optimized software
The name Joomla! is based on the anglicized version of the Swahili word ‘jumla’ which means altogether or as a whole. However, it did have quite a controversial beginning because developers who were working on Mambo took a fork of the project. At the time, Mambo was the trademark property of Miro International Pvt Ltd. The Joomla! developers then created a website call OpenSourceMatters.org with a purpose to spread information in the software community. This website garnered the support of a massive community, which helped make Joomla! and open source CMS’ a success.
Joomla! had 30 million downloads by 2012, and still continues to grow. It is one of the best content management systems as it is extremely user-friendly and allows you to customize as you like. It depends on a large community of professionals and beginners who can take assistance from any of the professionals. A word of caution though, if you have never worked with this engine before, you may face some difficulty while initially figuring out how to work it.
What’s so great about Joomla!?
1. Intuitive Management Interface
2. 100+ free extensions
3. Versatile uses and website templates
4. Solves complicated web design issues
The year was 2000; Dries Buytaert and Hans Snijder, two college kids from the University of Antwerp in Belgium wanted an internet connection in their rooms, which was rare at the time. They set up a wireless bridge between their dorms and they also set up a web board where they could chat about the latest technologies. When Dries graduated they had to take their channel online to continue their communications. The site, which until then remained nameless, was supposed to be named ‘dorp’ which means ‘a village’ in Dutch.
But Dries misspelt it as a ‘drop’. The website, drop.org soon began to attract more people who were interested in new web technologies. They only changed the name to Drupal when they released the software to the public. What makes Drupal one of the best content management systems is that it is both a content management system and a development framework that can run on any computing platform. The Drupal community has more than 1.3 million members as of January 2018. It also provides the backend framework for 2.2% of all websites online.
What’s so great about Drupal?
1. Over 2,570 free themes
2. Perfect for heavy websites
3. Can be enhanced even more with third-party extensions
4. Multilingual optimised
5. Mobile optimised
Magento was created by Varien, Inc. a private US company. It was developed to help store-owners take their business online by simplifying user management and purchasing processes. Magento was developed in early 2007 and earned its name based on Mage – a wizard character who stars in many role-playing games. The software was an instant success and has gone on to be counted among the best content management systems in the world.
Magento is based on Zend Framework and PHP programming. It contains all the required functions for an online business. It’s highly scalable and continues to keep both its open source and closed source channels open. It is most popularly used in countries like the United States, Great Britain, and Germany. The biggest account that exists in this database is the Whitehouse.
What’s so great about Magento?
1. Customer Segmentation, Targeted Promotions & Merchandising
2. Dynamic Rule-Based Product Relations
3. Catalog Management
4. Analytics and Reporting
5. Mobile Responsive Design
In the year 2004, Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand and Scott Lake from Ottawa, Canada wanted to sell snowboards online. They were unable to find a flexible and scalable way to sell their products on the internet. In the process of building an online portal for their business, they experienced a shift in their vision. Rather than selling just their snowboards, they wished to create an e-commerce platform that would help all small businesses like theirs, create highly-functional online stores.
This is what became the invisible selling machine which we know today as Shopify. It is one of the best content management systems and e-commerce platforms to get your small/medium-sized business online. Shopify comes with ready-to-use templates that you can customize to suit your business.
What’s so great about Shopify?
1. Unlimited products
2. Unlimited bandwidth and online storage
3. Online sales channels
4. Fraud analysis
5. Staff accounts
Does your business need a Content Management System?
Yes, every business that wishes to sell their products and services online will benefit greatly from content management systems. The tricky part is figuring out which is the best content management system for your business. Once you understand the real purpose behind each of the above-mentioned software/platforms you will be able to make a well-informed decision.
Now that you know what our favourite content management systems are we would like to know some of yours too. If you are using any of the above-mentioned software for your business please feel free to tell us what your experience has been like in the comments below.