Choosing Open Source Content Management Systems

Choosing Open Source Content Management Systems



LISTEN To The Daily Numbers podcast [MP3].

8.5% of all websites use WordPress as a content management system.

THOUGHT: While 8.5% sure sounds small, that’s an astounding number when you consider it is a percentage of every website across the net.

WordPress is the shining example of what open source software ought to be. 

I’ll let you in on a little secret if you promise we keep it amongst ourselves: I used to scoff at the open source crowd. It’s free and easy to use, they’d declare. 

Yeah, right. Try mucking around Drupal for a few hours. It’s all Taxonomy this and Node that. You need a Ph.D. to figure it out but…oh, right, there are no manuals. I’ve built sites out of Drupal and its competitor, Joomla.

Are they free? Yes. Easy? Noooo.

WordPress, by comparison, is fairly obvious how to use. Most of my blogs are built on it as is Tunheim‘s site as is The Huffington Post and many other major sites. What was once a blogging platform has evolved into a full-fledged content management system.

There’s a reason why. WordPress has a huge, International base of developers who use it, support it, and create patches, themes and plugins for it. Because there are so many people developing for it, and because the ethos of the open source community dictates that you contribute to back to the community, the features for the platform keep expanding. 

Is there something you want your WordPress blog to do that the basic installation doesn’t include? Search the WordPress Plugin Directory, and you’re likely to find it. Don’t like the look of your WordPress site? Search the WordPress Themes Directory for a new skin. 

Ease of use. Flexibility. And a large talent pool. 

So, count me as an open source convert. 

What you want to avoid is hiring a web development firm who builds a site using proprietary means and then, if, say, their star developer leaves, they no longer have the talent to support the site they themselves built. I’ve seen it happen. 


KEYWORD WEDNESDAY: A chart that compares search volume for WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. [SEE.]


Thank you for the open source movement.


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