How to Choose the Best CMS Platform

This past weekend I was talking to one of my network marketers via IM. He has several websites and has been asking me in the past what is a good way to create pages with out creating individual PHP HTML HTM files. I simply just answered get a CMS program.

CMS is defined: Content Management System. It is a system to setup and maintain content anywhere there is a PC and internet connection. The system provides you with standard functionality to setup a site, to use a database, to standardize new web pages, al by means of some prefabricated routines, modules and tables. As any other standardized system, a CMS delivers some standard functions which can be parameterized; you are flexible up to the space left from these parameters.

It provides great simplicity and ease of use; I personally have went through 3 CMS programs before I actually found the right one!

First, define what you need

Before you even start searching for a content management system, you need to know why you are creating a website.

  • Is it for your business?
  • For your hobby?
  • Do you want to sell any digital or tangible stuff?

Also, you’ll need to know what all you and your visitors want to do on the website.

  • Do you want to just publish articles?
  • Do you want to have a blog?
  • Do you want a forum?
  • Any classifieds section?
  • An online shop, maybe?
  • Do you want to build and inform a mailing list?
  • Do you want others to do anything on your site?

Obviously, each of the choices will place several requirements for a CMS, such as an e-commerce (online store) module, a blog, a forum, other customization stuff and more extensions, such as mailing lists and user permissions.

What to consider?

Of course, the main criterion when picking a platform for your website is what you and your people will be doing on it: writing articles, talking on a forum, posting ads/job listings, etc. However, another thing to remember includes:

  • how easy it is for you to use the system
  • how easy it is for the people to use the website
  • how accessible (to the people) and friendly (to the search engines) it is
  • whether it can handle heavy load (through built-in load balancing/management/optimization), if you plan to develop a highly popular website
  • if you can easily create other site sections within the system
  • whether there’s significant documentation on the website
  • whether there’s a forum on the main website to ask questions

Source: Improve the Web

As for my friend I was speaking to, he has decided to go with Mambo. I tried to explain to him how WordPress is very simple because of the multiple plugins. I love wordpress as I have a numerous plugins which helps me optimize my website.

There is a stereotype out there that says WordPress is meant for blogging. Which is not true. IFaceThoughts, says WordPress Makes Sense For Many Non-Blog Websites. He too has been asked “what cms platform should I use?”

He simply says:

As usual I asked him what did he want to do with it and got a judgment about his technical skill. The website he envisioned was one of the simple ones, with basic information and he was not exposed to any web site management before or to managing raw HTML.

To me I think wordpress is just one of the simplest CMS out there. Again the stereotype of WordPress for blogging should not be upheld as it is a CMS. Prior to WordPress, I was using an Article Directory CMS to create my blogs and website, as it creates pages for me with ease.

What does WordPress have to offer? Well here is a small snippet as to what WordPress can provide you with from the admin side.

  • Locally Installed
    • WordPress is designed to be installed on your own web server, or shared hosting account, which gives you complete control over the weblog. Unlike third-party hosted services, you can be sure of being able to access and modify everything related to your weblog, in case you need to. This also means that you can install WordPress on your desktop or home computer, or even on an Intranet.
  • Portable Core
    • You can choose to have the tree of wordpress related files, which form the back-end of your publicly displayed weblog, be in the same directory as the weblog or in a different directory. For example, if you want your weblog at http://example.com (public_html – the public “root” of your webserver or hosting account) and you want to store the wordpress related files and directory tree in http://example.com/wordpress (public_html/wordpress), you can!
  • UTC friendly
    • WordPress allows you to define your time as an offset from Universal Coordinated Time (UTC), so that all the time-related elements stored in the database are stored as GMT values, which is a universal standard. Among other things, this helps you display the correct time on your weblog, even if your host server is located in a different time zone.

You can view more here.

So choosing your CMS is very important as it will help you create great unique content on the fly. The ease of the CMS will depend on what you need. There are so many CMS systems out there that you do not need to use WordPress. You can use a full blown membership CMS and not use the membership part or use an article directory CMS (as I have) but not use it for the purpose of an article directory. It is really how you want to use it and how simple you can easily use it within 10 minutes once installed.


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