If you have looked at our web design portfolio you will have seen that we put a lot of emphasis on Content Management Systems (CMS) with names such as “Joomla” and “Plone“. If you are wondering what it is all about then this article will explain. It’s really a very simple idea.
A CMS is a tool that allows people with little or no technical expertise to manage and update their own website. It puts control of the website into the hands of people with management and marketing skills, without needing to pay a web designer every time they want to change some text on their website.
Most organisations would make a lot more use of their website, and update it more often, if it was easy for their marketing staff to do it themselves, as part of their everyday work. That’s exactly what these systems allow you to do.
With a CMS adding a new article to an existing section of your website is no more difficult than creating a Word document. Updating an existing article is just as easy. You can also easily create whole new sections and menus.
The CMS we most often recommend is called “Joomla” it has won the “Best CMS Award” two years running and is one of the most widely used CMS worldwide. We now have several clients enjoying the benefits of a Joomla website and it is what we use for this site.
Plone is another open source CMS that we have recommended. In some ways, it is even easier to use than Joomla, and it has other advantages such as more detailed control over user permissions, document version control and the ability to undo changes. The downside is that it generally requires more work to set up initially and it requires more server resources, so it can be more expensive.
There are many other CMS available and we haven’t tried them all by any means, but we have tried a few and the two above are ones that we can recommend. If you are interested in what else is available then this is a good place to start: Wikipedia List_of_content_management_systems.