At Wiredelta® we work with open source content management systems (CMS) on a daily basis. As a result, it’s not going to be a surprise to let you know that whether it is WordPress, Magento, Drupal, Joomla or another popular CMS, there is always a great open source solution whenever you want to build a website. This quote from Larry Ellison, co-founder and chairman of Oracle, says it all:
“Once open source gets good enough, competing with it would be insane”
Indeed, why bother? Open source solutions will always be offering you more up-to-date alternatives than closed-source. All of them are supported by large communities of developers. No point pondering too long over what’s the best choice in the long-run. There is just no way around open source folks!
However, it’s not as if there is one single CMS that rules them all in the open source environment. To be fair, figuring out which website builder suits your website’s purpose best can be quite challenging. Different CMS may share some common characteristics, but each of them still stands out to some extent. Whether you are a blogger, an owner of an online shoe store or a developer working on an institutional website, your goals are different and as a consequence, demands are different too.
So once and for all, let’s take a look at each CMS’s singularities so that you have a clear idea of where to begin when building a website.
What is Open Source CMS?
Content Management Systems (CMS) are web application frameworks that help you create and edit digital content on, for example, your website. This process relies on add-on and theme directories. They enable users to build designs and implement functionalities without high-level coding skills. You, therefore, never start from scratch whenever you decide to build your website with a CMS.
This advantage is complemented by another one: the open source community. Anyone can build on top of open source libraries and frameworks to customize their own website or app.
As a consequence, you have a fabulous and growing array of functionalities and design possibilities at your disposal that closed source website builders will never be able to compete with. On top of this, a large community of developers continues to update the open source CMS, keeping it secure and up to the latest standards.
Among the most popular open source CMS, you will find WordPress, Magento and Drupal.
Open-source can provide you with tailor-made solutions in terms of design and functionalities
WordPress is certainly the most well-known open source CMS on the Internet. It powers over half of the world’s CMS websites and nearly 28% of all websites.
Here are some reasons to love WordPress:
- Easy installation & setup: First of all, it is worth pointing out it that WordPress is arguably the easiest CMS to install with the famous five-minute install. A new user can start a blog in a matter of minutes!
- User-friendly: Not familiar with coding? Setting up your first website? WordPress is the right choice. The user interface is intuitive and, therefore, content management becomes easy: you add a post, edit it, preview it, publish it and there we go. The result is visible on the front-end of your site.
- Customizable: With nearly 50,000 plugins and more than 4,000 themes (most of them are free) which you can find in the WordPress directories, there is no doubt that you can build a personalized website in terms of appearance and functionalities. Name a business, there is a right theme for it. Name a feature, there is a plugin for it.
- Strong community support: Facebook groups, specialized websites, WordPress forums etc. WordPress issues are dealt on many platforms and you should find answers to any problem you may be facing. It is likely other users were confronted with a similar problem and if not, just ask! You will soon realize that the WordPress people are generally reactive and helpful. Such a large community also involves fast and continuous improvement regarding the themes and plugins that you may use.
The WordPress community provides you with strong support
- At some point in time, you may want to make minor adjustments to the design or functionalities of your website. You will, therefore, need a minimum of PHP coding skills, which is the programming language WordPress is built in.
- The main concern regarding WordPress is security. As it powers more than a quarter of the world’s websites, WordPress has become a frequent target for hackers and undergoes millions of brute-force attacks every month! Installing security plugins is not a question, it’s an order! You may also consider a managed hosting solution as it provides you with better quality protection tokens.
We advise WordPress for Bloggers, small businesses and, basically, people with little technical know-how.
Magento has a clear positioning in the CMS constellation as it specializes in e-commerce. It powers both local stores and huge international chains. As of today, approximately 240,000 businesses use Magento along with 800,000 developers worldwide.
Here are some of the reasons why its the best choice for e-commerce:
- Rich-featured and responsive platform: Magento provides you with an amazing variety of e-commerce options: recently viewed products, product comparison, product review and rating and much more. Any of these features can be used on all devices as Magento is based on a code framework, which is more responsive than ever.
- External services integration: E-commerce involves many different stages of the selling process: payment, shipping, reviewing etc. Magento programmers have, therefore, developed extensions enabling users to integrate other renowned businesses’ services on their website. For instance, FedEx and UPS for shipping and PayPal for payment.
- Great online store administration: Thanks to good quality add-ons, Magento’s product management system is very complete. You can, for example, easily edit the products’ attributes on an online spreadsheet and filter these attributes in order to find a specific product. Not to mention the payment system which deals with all the needed aspects of online transactions. Stored payment details allow customers to change and delete cards. 3D secure options are available to authenticate purchasers etc.
Magento is simply the best when it comes to e-commerce however you should be aware that:
- Unlike WordPress, you generally have to pay for extra features. Even though Magento is free to install, having your e-commerce website running will eventually turn out to be costly.
- Magento cannot be considered as an option for beginners. You need some PHP coding skills in order to personalize your add-ons once installed. You may also contemplate hiring a Magento developer which often ends up being a pricey alternative.
Go for Magento if you are ready to allocate a reasonably high budget to website building and maintenance.
This is the right solution if you need an advanced and professional e-commerce website.
Drupal is sometimes considered as the ultimate CMS platform. It indeed possesses rather advanced functionalities as well as exceptional management tools. And the icing on the cake – high-level security. As for today, one million websites are based on Drupal.
A rock-solid CMS solution:
- Highly customizable platform: Drupal includes a wide range of pre-made solutions (plugins, extensions) that you can easily implement in order to personalize your website within a short period of time.
- Content-based solution: Drupal CMS offers a very appreciable experience in terms of content management: adding, modifying and managing videos, text, statistics is made easy.
- Complete set of admin options: Appointing other users as website administrators is painless with Drupal. However, one of its great added value is to create groups of users for which you can set various levels of editing permissions. You can, for instance, give edition license to a restricted number of pages to some people and give full license to another group.
- High-level security: Unlike WordPress, Drupal tends to be one of the most secure open source CMS platforms. Websites powered by Drupal are less likely to crash and they benefit from better protection against hackers. In order to anticipate and prevent hacking, users can regularly consult in-depth security reports.
Drupal is known as one of the most secure CMS
A costly solution, however:
- Drupal developers are not as easy to find as WordPress developers. And scarcity causes higher costs.
- The choice of modules is not as large as in WordPress. And they are generally more expensive.
Drupal makes sense to choose if you are willing to set up large-scale website such as corporate, institutional or e-commerce website and you have a reasonably high budget at your disposal.
Aren’t differentiation criteria yet totally discernible? No worries, we built this infographic in order for you to have a crystal clear idea on which open-source CMS suits you best.
At Wiredelta, we are helping you out to develop a website with one these three open source solutions. Whether it is WordPress, Magento or Drupal, we can give you strong support in order to make the best out of these amazing platforms.
Here is the best part: our soon-to-come platform will allow you to work with full autonomy on your website thanks to an AI assistant available 24/7. Our chatbot will freely provide you with relevant advice for any general issue you may be facing. Curious about it? Check our out website.