The year just past was great for website development. Particularly, more solutions were developed as far as web development is concerned. Presently, one can create a website in a matter of minutes! However, the same is not true for using content management systems (CMSs) to manage the websites. This is because CMS platforms require more technical knowledge, which enables you to know the best system to choose.
What is a CMS platform?
Simply, a content management system is a platform that facilitates creation and management of content that is found on the internet. The content include blog posts, web pages, video content, and audio among many others. A CMS platform could be applied exclusively for managing web content (like the examples mentioned a sentence above) hence the web content management system (WCMS). However, the CMS platform could be useful on an enterprise level now referred to as enterprise content management system (ECMS). Most of the CMS platforms available have both functionalities.
Oftentimes, the ECMS is broader in terms of functionality compared to WCMS. In fact, some if not all ECMSs include a WCMS as part of its functions. Other functionalities of ECMS include a document management functionality, record retention, and digital asset management. On the other hand, a WCMS primarily facilitates a collaborative management of digital content, which includes authoring, editing and publishing. While the content developed on the WCMS platform is public, the content on ECMS is private and users have to go through a company/organization firewall to access them.
Primary features of a CMS platform
A CMS has certain primary features whether it is an ECMS or a WCMS. These features enable the platforms to perform their functions optimally. For example, if an organization hires a custom CRM development company to develop an ECMS for management of the relationship between the organization and the customers, these features are what the development company will leverage. The features include:
- Content management
Obviously, this is the primary feature of the platform. Here, users can easily create, edit, manage, and publish information without going into complexities like coding.
- Content presentation
Customers do not stick to one device when accessing your content. Therefore, you must optimize the content for every device that you think customers will use. However, it would be too taxing to do the optimization as a human. Fortunately, all CMS platforms automate such functions and content is presented while optimized without you moving a finger.
- Content integration
Organizations produce content that finds its way onto many other platforms. However, the CMS platform must be able to integrate with other platforms to streamline the connection of your content. Some CMS platforms have dedicated experience platforms through which they integrate with other platforms. However, another type of CMSs depend on APIs to integrate with ERP and CRM tools.
- Content personalization
A key tenet of customer relationship management (CRM) is to be able to connect with customers on an individual level. This is because each customer has unique needs, which must be met or be seen to be met by the platform. If not, the customer is likely to opt for another platform. A good CMS platform presents relevant content to customers based on their unique characteristics.
Organizations and individuals churn out hundreds of pages of digital content every year. Interestingly, each content creator is hoping that the target audience will actually interact with the content. However, how can the content creator be certain that the object has been met? This is where the analytics feature of a CMS platform come in. Through content analytics, the CMS is able to tell the content creator the number of times users have read the content. Further, the analytics functionality offers great insights about what the creator can do to optimize the content for better visibility.
Other primary features of a great CMS platform include governance that is, the ability to control what happens to the content you post on the platform. Additionally, a great CMS platform has multilingual support. Today, many websites create content for a worldwide audience. Even organizations operate in multilingual settings and hence they need ECMSs that can cater to the needs of all customers. Furthermore, a great CMS platform is scalable. Scalability speaks to the performance and stability of the platform, whether it can grow alongside the needs of the organization. The platform must facilitate ERP customization services to guarantee desirable performance.
Best CMS platforms for website development
Having gotten introductory information of CMS platforms out of the way, it is time to review the best CMS platforms that have a web development functionality. Notably, the sector has been growing fast and there are many options for you to choose from. However, you must always ensure that the platform has all the primary features discussed herein. Some of the notable platforms for this year include:
Arguably, WordPress is the king of content management. WordPress is the most popular content management system. Launched in 2003, the platform has one of the best selection of tools and themes of all CMS platforms. Written in MySQL and PHP, WordPress is packed with many features. Users can create personal or enterprise websites with just a few clicks. However, WordPress is more popular as a blog platform. The platform offers free internet hosting through WordPress.org. Additionally, the platform enables users to install themes and plugins developed by third parties. This way, users can personalize the platform and customize it to their unique desires. The paid services of WordPress are cheap but this depends on how you intend to use the platform. You will pay just $4 for personal use and $25 for business use (for enterprise customers). Another great feature about WordPress is that it includes a load of free and premium templates for web development. The templates are highly customizable such that you can tune the platform to your desires.
Joomla may not be as popular as WordPress but it is up there. This platform is especially ideal for ERP development services. Though not easy to use for newbies, Joomla is flexible and offers a great experience for text content creators. When it comes to customer relationship management, Joomla is king because of its unbeatable customer management features. Similar to WordPress, Joomla has a multilingual functionality. As such, users do not have to scrap for extensions and plugins to increase support for other languages. Another area that Joomla matches WordPress is the available of a huge collection of themes and templates. Unfortunately, Joomla might be a challenge to users who do not have some detailed knowledge of the platform. Joomla is not straightforward and oversimplified like WordPress.
Magento is ideal for ecommerce websites. With the rise of the online shopping phenomenon, Magento has taken up a pivotal role in fueling the new shopping trend. The technology at the core of Magento is open source, which implies that developers have the latitude to fine-tune the software to their unique needs. In addition, the platform is robust in terms of products it can host. Magento can hold more than half a million products for online stores. Further, the platform can process up to 80,000 orders in a single hour. Furthermore, Magento is great when it comes to SEO and marketing support.
Drupal is great for users that want to have more control over their customers. Particularly, the platform is highly flexible when it comes to managing custom post types. In addition, Drupal has an excellent multilingual functionality as well as a content classification system that is unbeatable in comparison to rivals. Security-wise, many users consider Drupal superior compared to Joomla and WordPress. As such, Drupal comes on top for enterprise users. This is because of better security and the ability to manage users due to a higher degree of control on the user permissions.
Umbraco boasts of more security than Drupal. This is because of the fact that it is built on .NET framework. All of the four CMS platforms discussed above are based on PHP and MySQL. The greatest advantage of a .NET framework is that you are almost certain that your website will never suffer malware attacks. In addition, this framework reduces the number of updates needed for the website. Besides multilingual support, the platform has an in-built language variation feature. This way, users have more freedom when accessing the platform. For example, a CRM developer India can easily add content on the platform in Hindi without encountering any problems, even when the default language for the platform is English.
There is a huge selection of CMS platforms for developing websites. However, just a few have the features that fully satisfy the content creator and the users. Before settling for a platform, it is prudent to ensure that it has all the features that a good CMS platform needs to have. Nevertheless, WordPress remains the most popular platform specifically because of ease of use. Others like Drupal and Umbraco are ideal for enterprise users but they require some technical knowledge, for example knowledge about .NET frameworks for Umbraco.