Up until seven or eight years ago, most websites were developed using either static page making technologies, or technology that would generate ‘active pages’ using server side information on the fly. This meant quite a lot of web development skills were needed to make a site from scratch, and maintenance of content, especially on large sites or networks, was quite an involved process. There were of course plenty of tools and technologies to help manage all of this, however when the use of content management systems (CMS) began to become mainstream, this was quickly adopted by everyone from small scale private blog owners to big businesses as the way to develop and manage sites.
So why are CMS platforms so much better than the ‘old school’ ways of making and managing websites?
Ease of Use
One of the foremost reasons why both personal users and businesses very quickly saw the appeal of basing their websites on CMS platforms is that they are very easy to use. This means that if you are using the vanilla version of a CMS you only have to learn to use an intuitive interface (such as WordPress) and you are able to add, review, and edit content very easily, as well as make changes to content structure and tagging. If you have a more complicated system that requires the CMS to be heavily configured, you will still need people with the right development skills to set up and test your infrastructure, but once it is in place, you can then have regular, non programming savvy members of your team manage content using it. This saves a huge amount of time for any kind of user, and saves lots of money for commercial sites.
Open Source Technology Available at All Levels
Here, you can find a full CMS comparison of the three most popular systems: WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. One of the first things you will notice about them is that all three are open source – that is they are free to use, and you can access their code if you want to develop your own modifications or add ons to them. This in itself makes them somewhat amazing, because not only are you getting one of the core parts of your web presence’s infrastructure for free, but you can also use your own skills to create custom applications that do things you specifically need – plus there are loads of free or paid add ons for them that may already do what you want, cutting your development time even further.
While WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are different, with Drupal being the most complicated but feature rich and most suitable for enterprise use and WordPress the simplest, best suited to individuals, they are all available to download and compare for free, so there is no reason not to find the best one for your site’s specific needs.
As you can see, in terms of budget, convenience, time and results, CMS has many clear advantages over older ways of doing things. This is why CMS is now the default way of developing sites for almost all businesses and website owners.