Compaison of CMSs


There are several key factors that may influence your choice of CMS. These are:

  • CMS platform
  • Open source vs Vendor CMS
  • Ease of use vs Fuctionality
  • Website Performance

CMS comparisons

CMS Platform.

Do you specially need with Windows or Linux? If you wish to integrate tightly with .NET applications then a CMS on a windows platform (such as Ektron or Sitefinity) are worth looking at.

If you need to use an open source, and not a Windows platform (as recommended by the UK Government) then we would recommend the ExtraCMS or WordPress.

CMS Open source vs Vendor

Open source has become popular in 2012, on the belief that it is portable and easy to move between vendors. And also for ongoing support. These arguments are not that strong, with many open source systems being difficult to move and expensive to maintain. They also suffer badly from security vulnerabilities. However the more popular ones have lots of people working to fix these. Just rather more try to break them as the code is open to all.

In our experience of maintaining websites on both ‘free’ open source CMS systems and on vendor CMS, the vendor CMS systems are usually more cost effective. Our  recommendations are ExtraCMS for vendor CMS and WordPress for open source CMS.

CMS Ease of Use vs Functionality

Some CMS systems can be built into very large systems. But these can be unnecessarily complex, and really need programmers to use them. Drupal is one such system – half way between a programming tool and a CMS, and can be very difficult for users (in client organisations) to use. Ektron and Sitefinity are similar when managing complex websites.

These systems market themselves with large numbers of modules or widgets for different functions but these often need simple programming skill to customise, and they are often very inefficiently written.

WordPress is much simpler and gives good usability. Joomla is older and less usable, being slow and awkward for large websites. Vendor CMS systems vary. Our favourite the ExtraCMS is based on WordPress in many areas of usability.

CMS Website Performance

This is where ‘lean and mean’ is often best. CMS systems such as Drupal and Sitefinity are slow and the website will load slower unless more sophisticated hosting with caching optimised is used. For very large websites with dedicated servers and support staff this is a sensible solution, but for smaller websites these CMS systems can be an overkill and slow down website performance for no reason.

WordPress was a very lean and mean machine; some modules are less so but it is still pretty good. Joomla is slow unless run on a faster server.

CMS Recommendations

Our recommendations on CMS are:

For Windows / .NET:

  • Ektron if you can afford it, followed by Sitefinity

For Enterprise level systems:

  • ExtraCMS Enterprise

For smaller websites

  • ExtraCMS Classic

For organisations requiring an open source CMS

  • WordPress

However we have experience with many different CMS systems (over 20 at the last count) and can build websites in any CMS.

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