CMS: a Beginner’s Guide-dog (but not as cute)

If you’re like me and you have no idea what a CMS is, I have good news! I’m going to explain it to you! …It will be an epic adventure of the blind leading the blind.

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Basically CMS is short for Content Management System. A CMS is a software used to create online content (most often create and manage a website.) In basic lingo, it’s a thing that lets you easily build and edit your own website by allowing you to publish content and keep it up to date.

There are many different content management systems used today, so here’s a quick contrast of the most popular:

WordPress                            

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Being a user of WordPress myself, I find it extremely user-friendly. Everything is laid out well and easy to navigate and customize settings, appearance, etc. There are video and written tutorials accessible from the website itself that give you quick and easy how-tos for your basic web design. It also gives you the options of different themes, which come with a choice of automatic colour schemes so you’ll never have to worry if navy and black go together. (For the record, they don’t.)

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Did I mention the most exciting fact about this is that it’s FREE? That’s an employer’s favourite word (besides vacation, Ferrari, millions…you know how it is.) There’s not even a need to hire a web developer, because you’ll be able to do most if not all of the work.

So what other big-rig companies use WordPress? You may have heard of a little business called Best Buy… or the little diary called The New York Times… or Y’know, everyone knows the California Girl herself, Katy Perry.

If that’s not convincing enough, here’s a few other reasons you may find helpful in making your decision: http://www.wpbeginner.com/why-you-should-use-wordpress/
Not to mention, WordPress is used by more than 50% of CMS users. There’s almost 16 million websites that use WordPress. If I had a dollar for every WordPress user… well, I wouldn’t be writing this blog.

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Drupal

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Same basic use, just a few extras that might make or break your decision. First thing’s first is that Drupal can be used by individuals or a group of users. That means if you have on online burn book, Regina George is not the only one who can add to it. Gretchen Weiners can add her “fetch” ideas in there too.

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and Regina can always take them out.

Something that Drupal does is give you complete control over your URL. like other Content Management Systems, it is an additional charge. Basically without self-hosting  your CMS is like your annoying friend who always makes you tag them for “photocreds” after taking a picture you could have taken yourself. When using WordPress as a CMS your URL will come out like this http://www.example.wordpress.com

Whereas using the upgrade of Drupal, you don’t have to share your fame with anyone. Your URL can just be itself with no peer pressure. http://www.example.com

One of the downsides of Drupal is that involves coding. Although coding can also be used on all host sites, that’s a deal-breaker for me right there because I know nothing about it. However, Drupal offers free tutorials on their website on easy coding and how-to’s which would be extremely useful to a Drupal user.

Some Drupal users are right under our nose and we wouldn’t even know it.

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Warner Brother Records
The Discovery Channel
AOL

FunFact: Drupal runs the NBC Olympics Website (but they don’t run the 100 metre dash)

Joomla

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Again, used for the same purpose, same results, yadda yadda- except this requires extra efforts from the user.

Although free, the CMS does require installation. But the plus side to this is that Joomla has hundreds of extensions written for it in order to maximize the look of your pages and give you endless customizable options for your website.

So, if you want to go above and beyond simple, Joomla is definitely for you and has its benefits. But if you’re not extremely technological like me, I would pick one of the previous options of Content Management Systems discussed.

Joomla users include Honda, University of Notre Dame, and MTV Greece.

 

Decision Time!

Now that you have all the necessary information you need for a beginner, it’s time to pick your poison! Just don’t accidentally pull a Romeo and Juliet- a bad website could kill your business and your career.

Ok; not literally. But you definitely wouldn’t want to use that in your portfolio.

Happy creating, and the best of luck from one beginner to another!

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