This section discusses which CMS to use and why via the comparison table shown within this section.

Deciding upon which CMS to use

The question of which CMS to use is a difficult one as there are a vast range of systems to choose from which all do the same thing. They have moved on from being content repositories to multi-channel systems with a high level of functionality.

Content is managed by usable interfaces, workflows, WYSIWYG editors and user management features; themed templates and extensibility enables designers and developers to customise the CMS to their own requirements; support, training and advice is provided by a community, online tutorials and documentation.

The main selling point of any CMS is ease of use and the ability to be used by people who are not ‘tech-savvy’. This is why a CMS is a good choice for any business that has a team of people managing its website who do not have any programming skills or technical experience.

A good CMS is SEO friendly, conforms to accessibility and international web standards, is flexible and offers a good return on investment (ROI).

CMS comparison table

Name of CMSEase of useAdvantagesDisadvantagesDatabase
CMS Made Simple1. Available as a basic ‘out of the box’ package which can be used by non-technical users.1. Available as a basic system which can be extended as necessary.2. User friendly3. Help and support via the community4. Customisable templates.5. Can be expanded, e.g. add-ons.6. SEO friendly URLs for improved page rankings.1. Web browser required for editing2. Heavy drain on resources and memory.MySQL
Drupal1. WYSIWYG editor, user management feature and extensive support.1. Enables multiple groups of users to create, edit and publish content.2. Integrates with social media, e.g. Facebook.3. Supports more than 70 global languages.4. Worldwide community, forums, ‘drupal camps’ and discussion groups.5. More than 6,000 free add-ons.6. Strong API.1. Steep learning curve.2. User interface can be confusing for new users.3. Overpowering for small websites.4. WYSIWYG editor is not part of the core (add-on)5. Difficult to install and control.6. Noticeable differences between the different versions.MySQL
Joomla1. Powerful CMS which is easy to install and use.2. Easy to customise: does not require any programming expertise.1. Fully extendable, e.g. plug-ins.2. SEOfriendly.3. Can run multiple language websites.4. Established community which can provide help and support.5. Remote access and control via a web browser.6. Easy to maintain even for novice users.1. Heavy drain on server/servers.2. Not ideal for small websites.3. Limited number of templates.4. Some users find it difficult to use when starting out.5. Sites can be built with many navigation levels which may be confusing.6. Not suited for community websites.MySQL
Mambo1. User friendly interface: designed for use by non-technical people.1. A mature system which installs automatically.2. Support for many operating systems, e.g. Windows.3. Vast array of extensions, e.g. forums, blogs, galleries etc.4. SEO friendly links.5. Extensive support and documentation.6. Customisable and easy to control.1. Better suited to large websites rather than small sites/blogs.2. Fewer new extensions.3. Smaller community.4. Novices may find it difficult to learn. Complex system.5. Can be a target for hackers.6. A drain on server resources.MySQL
Plone1. Easy to install and then use.2. Scores highly on usability and accessibility.1. Free, open source system.2. High level of security.3. Access to a wide range of add-ons and plug-ins.4. SEO friendly: this can be developed further.5. Highly adaptable workflow.6. Integration with other systems and applications.1. Sluggish performance.2. Issues with caching.3. Fewer repository features compared to other CMSs.ZODB or MySQL
WordPress1. Easy to use and maintain via the inbuilt dashboard. Ideal for non-technical users.1. Able to extend functionality by means of specially designed plug-ins.2. Can set up single or several blogs. Very popular blogging platform.3. SEO tools for optimisation and improved site rankings.4. Large community.5. Access to Codex: tutorial website.6. Easy to upgrade (single click only).1. Have to keep abreast of constant upgrades and third party tools.2. Heavy drain on server resources/performance: too many add-ons can slow down a WordPress site.3. Vulnerable to hackers.4. Sites built with WordPress require more maintenance.5. Steep learning curve for newcomers.6. Not a complete CMS.MySQL

Find out more about each of these CMSs within this guide.

This comparison table will be extended over a period of time.