The days of hand-coding HTML pages and CSS are all but over; creating a website in 2013 is all about using a Content Management System (CMS). And you won’t have to look hard to find one. There are dozens of excellent CMSs out there, and whether you are starting a blog or looking to build on ecommerce website, you could have your project up and running in minutes.
When it comes to choosing a CMS that suits you, the idea is not to set about using 10 different systems, but to find one or two and master them. The ideal content management system is easy to use, flexible and powerful.
Take a look at the following top 5 content management systems for 2013 and see which one best suits your needs.
TextPattern is a real easy to use and flexible CMS that is great for designers and developers. This system is one of the lesser spoken about CMSs and does not have the vast array of themes or templates that some of the others on this list do, but it is really well suited to all kinds of sites.
TextPattern is great for those of a less technical nature and uses Textile to convert plain text into HTML. The online manual is also very useful indeed for those that are using such a system for the first time.
In terms of plugins, you will find over 700 in categories ranging from ecommerce to articles; in addition to this there is a good selection of mods to increase functionality.
Concrete5 is a CMS that is rapidly growing in popularity thanks to its power and fantastic support. You can easily convert HTML to a Concrete5 site and override styles without so much as even looking at the code. Non-technical users, will like the in-context editing feature of Concrete5, as it makes it easy to edit pages.
The community at Concrete5, while not the size of a Joomla or a WordPress, is active and constantly growing. Here you will find a range of ‘how-tos’ and step-by-step guides to help newbie designers with ad-ons and customisable themes.
It is hard to argue about which are the best three content management systems out there at the moment, the only problem is deciding on which is the best of the three. Taking third place on the list is the hugely-popular Drupal, an open source CMS and content management framework. Drupal is powerful and flexible with one of the most active communities you will find. This CMS is not quite as focussed on blogging as WordPress or Joomla, but does have the necessary features and support for OpenID to cater to anyone looking for at side of things.
The functionality and customisation possibilities of Drupal are excellent, and there are well over 6000 add-ons to make it easy to do just about anything you want to your site. This will give you more time to focus on the actual design and content of the site – something which is essential to beginner and intermediate users.
If Drupal does have one drawback, it is the lack of good free themes that are available.
The layered approach, intuitiveness and ease of use of Joomla! has made it the most widely used full-featured CMS in the world, with over 30 million copies of the Joomla! software downloaded since 2007. Companies such as MTV, Linux, and Harvard University use Joomla! for their sites and it is also favourable for back-end networks.
Some people may find Joomla! to be a bit much for simple sites and there is a lack of top class themes in comparison to others, but the massive number of extensions and active community make up for any flaws. The functionality of Joomla! can easily be extended without the need for coding, and user authentication can be done with Google and OpenID, as well as a number of others.
It will be hard to find anyone that disagrees with WordPress being the number content management system for 2013. Once considered a CMS purely for blogs, WordPress now powers a whole host of mainstream websites, and does a great job at it too!
The free and open source CMS has more themes than you could ever wish for and thousands of plugins and widgets that can extend functionality. These themes and plugins can transform a basic blog into a deep ecommerce site or fully-fledged social network. And you don’t need to worry about becoming running into trouble with WordPress; the community is huge and there are countless tutorials available to help with every aspect of design and development.
For users looking to create a blog, there is hosted WordPress.com, although functionality is limited in comparison to the WordPress.org CMS.