Anyone that is familiar with the old-school method of website maintenance knows how much time it takes to add or edit content on your website. The process of continuously uploading your html files and  graphics and other steps involved within the process are unnecessarily time consuming. This tedious moving and shuffling around of files and images with the use of an FTP program, or a browser-based tool seems to be more of a hassle than it should be. You would think with all of the advances in technology, that there would be an easier and more structured way of getting your files on to your website. Another problem with this procedure is that it ends up using a lot of storage space. All in all, the method for uploading files and images to a website is nothing less than severely lacking in several areas.

The need for an easier way to work with web content as text, graphics and video is what has made a CMS, or content management system so loved amongst web developers. A CMS helps a web developer to control a large collection worth of their online content in a much simpler manner.  Wikipedia defines a web content management system as “a software system used to manage and control a large, dynamic collection of web material.”

One great aspect of using a CMS for your web development needs is that allows you to be able to make your updates without needing to re-upload your html, php or asp source files each time, this can save a web developer a lot of time and hassle. Another benefit of using a CMS is that it is much more user friendly. This means that a webmaster doesn’t necessarily have to be a web developer in order to use a CMS, because of the use of WYSIWYG editors. Once the CMS software has been set up all a webmaster will have to do is to upload the necessary system files, set up a database and run the install and the system will pretty much take it from there.

One aspect many people like about using a CMS is that it will also save a lot of space on your server, it also allows you to display dynamic content on your site from a database. A CMS can also be used as a means of streamlining business processes and workflows, it also enables a company to setup all kind of editorial roles with security aspects for adding or editing content.

A CMS provides a user friendly atmosphere for organizing content and content publishing. It provides you the ability to set a schedule for when your content will be published. You will be able to set permissions for your content or able to track content versioning. You will also be able to edit your pages without any knowledge of HTML. When you use a CMS you will get the convenience of editing your website without a lot of time consuming web development techniques.

The ability to change your CMS layout, template or theme goes with much ease, for most open source CMS there are a lot of free and paid theme packs available. These themes or templates are easy to edit based on your own wishes as they work with CSS stylesheet (Cascading Style Sheet). Also a CMS is quite easy to extend with new functionalities and tools through several plugins and add-ons.  In most cases you just need to upload the plugin/add-on source files, activate and configure it within your admin panel.

Choosing the Right Open Source CMS

Before you commit to a certain CMS, you will want to do your research and make sure you get the best one for you and your website needs. On this website we try to support your decision making for the best open source web content management system by profiling most common used CMS and review them on specific important elements of a open source CMS. We and other CMS users made reviews based on the following categories;

1) Installation
2) Built-in features
3) Security management
4) Performance
5) Editorial Features
6) Themes & templates
7) Plugins & extensions
8 ) Search Engine Optmization friendliness
9) Multilingual support
10) Ease of use
11) Support community

If you are planning on setting up a business, then you probally want to consider that the CMS you choose should provide you with all tools you need to run your business website. So it will be important that this specific CMS rates high on plugin and extensions . If the CMS is going to be used for a webzine, then you want to go with a CMS which will allow you to publish articles regularly, maybe automated and with much ease. In this case Editorial Features are most important. The CMS you choose should be one which will be capable of handling your own individual needs. You also want to make sure that it will be supported by your server requirements.

There are many different types of CMS software for you to choose from. Some can run you into the thousands of dollars and are capable of handling complicated commercial needs. Others are less expensive and can be used by people that don’t have extensive complicated needs.

Some open source CMS software can also be found online to download for free. Before you get too excited over the possibility of using free open source software, you should know that it can be time consuming as well. This is due to the fact that it will require you to put everything together and this can be tedious and time consuming in its own right and support is most of the time limited to an online support community of CMS users. Although these kind of communities can be very sophisticated and well equipped with in dept CMS knowledge it is important to check if you doubt your setup skills.

If you have already gone through the process of testing various open source  or paid CMS and found they are lacking in one area or another, then you can hire a software programmer to create a custom tailored CMS to meet all your individual content needs. However, be aware that this can end up costing you a lot of money.  A CMS which is designed specifically for you will provide you with everything you need. However, it won’t offer you the updates and improving of its features will be left up to you and your wallet.

When it comes to determining which CMS is best for your needs, you need to consider a lot of areas. If you want a CMS which will provide you with regular updates, security guarantee and professional tech support, then a commercial CMS may be the best for you. However, there can be a hefty price tag attached to this type of CMS.

An open source CMS may be reliable and less expensive; however, it can be tricky and confusing for you to use without the necessary technical background. Security will not be as reliable as it would be with a commercial CMS, and the updates are depending on the wide spread use of this specific open source CMS. But when it is used by many webmasters it is expected there will be a lot of free theme/template packs available and extendable plugins, more with most paid and custom CMS.

If you are having difficulty in selecting the best CMS for your needs, you may want to consider using a test site and running a CMS from it in order to check the functionality and ease of use of that particular CMS. This will afford you the opportunity of seeing just how well, or lacking that CMS will be in fulfilling your needs.

Good luck and we hope this website supports your decision making for the open source web content management system that fits all your needs.

No Customer Reviews

© Copyright 2008 by Open Source Web CMS a website by Erwin Hendriks also visit this Website Analyzer