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Choosing a Content Management System


February 27, 2013 Posted by Ashley Hart

There are many factors that influence the decision of choosing a content management system. For example, if you want a content driven site, that requires good SEO, and or a blog; good options would be WordPress, Joomlia, Drupal or Expression Engine. A fully featured E-commerce site might use Shopify or Magento. In this article I explain a little about the various options and share some of our development processes.

Frameworks such as WordPress and Joomlia are known as Opensource software frameworks. Opensource frameworks offer an advantage over custom built CMS’s in that your are not locked in to the vendor.

If  you are using a more expensive custom built CMS and further down the line you wish to change developers, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to extract the code.

An Opensource CMS allows you to simply hand over the access codes to a new developer. In addition,  you have a community of 1000’s of passionate developers constantly improving the CMS framework and fixing bugs. A custom CMS, just can’t compete with this kind of man power.

Our Process

As most CMS concepts have already been developed, it makes economic sense to use the best CMS software as a starting point. Through the use of additional integrations and custom coding, an OpenSource CMS can be modified in virtually any way imaginable. Every Website Content Management should be a unique bespoke tailored solution for our clients exact business requirements.

Each project however is very different, If the website is a completely new concept that requires custom development from the ground up, we may look at developing from scratch using ‘Ruby on Rails‘, or ‘PHP‘. It really comes down to the best tool for the Job.

In Our Experience: Content Management Systems

90% – of the time for CMS sites WordPress is the best option, both in terms of cost and usability for our clients. For most CMS’s WordPress, (Utilising custom fields and modified scripts and additional security protocols) is usually the best choice. There is a reason 1 in 6 sites on the Web are powered by WordPress.

It is however important to note that this is only the case if the WP instal is customised. Issues can arise when standard installs are used by inexperienced WordPress developers. When used correctly it becomes ultimately flexible and a pleasure to use.

Drupal comes in a close second buts lacks some of the SEO features of WordPress out-of-the-box.

Blogs

100% – of the time for Blogs, this is WordPress, SEO and social media integration are unmatched and in addition to it’s CMS capabilities combines everything most projects require on one Platform.

E-Commerce

For large Enterprise projects, Magento wins due to it’s extensive customisation options. For most small to medium E-Commerce projects; WordPress (Using WooCommerce) and Shopify are great options and offer many payment gateways and build options.

Total Custom Development

When you require a totally new concept Custom development is the way to go. Projects can be coded in a variety of languages such as PHP, Coldfusion and Ruby on Rails for instance. Which language is used is really determined by the preference of the developer. Here at Green Chilli we are fans of PHP because of it’s stability and Ruby on Rails for it’s rapid development process.

Conclusion

It really comes down to the best tool for the Job, sometimes that’s to use frameworks such as Wordpess, sometimes it’s to use Shopify and sometimes it’s a  Custom Development project using Ruby on Rails. It’s important to judge each project on a case by case basis

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