Some Open Source Content Management Systems

With users spending more digital media time on mobile apps, enterprises explore innovative ways to keep their website visitors engaged, convey the desired message, and persuade them to buy. A content management system makes it easier for businesses to keep website visitors engaged by creating, publishing, and managing digital content efficiently. Many enterprises even use content management systems to create a collaborative environment where employees work and communicate seamlessly.

At the same time, the themes, plug-ins, extensions, and modules provided by robust content management systems help developers to build custom websites rapidly. Each enterprise has option to choose from a wide range of content management systems. Some of these CMS are open source and free, whereas others are commercial. An enterprise can always consider using an open source content management system (CMS) to build website and manage digital content without incurring additional expenses.

Overview of 7 Widely Used Content Management Systems

1) WordPress

The usage statistics posted on various websites depict that WordPress currently dominates the worldwide CMS market. In addition to being easy to use, WordPress also simplifies web application development by providing a wide range of themes and plug-ins. The members of the WordPress community further keep uploading new themes and plug-ins regularly according to emerging trends in web development. The developers can take advantage of the themes, plug-ins, and add-ons to create custom websites rapidly according to precise business needs. They can even take advantage of an open source WordPress plug-in like WooCommerce to create new ecommerce websites and add ecommerce functionality to existing websites.

2) Joomla

Joomla enables developers to develop, customize, and maintain websites without putting extra time and effort. It is even considered as the best CMS for small businesses and start-ups. While using Joomla, a developer can take advantage of a variety of plug-ins and extensions to create websites according to varying needs of small businesses. They can further use various business extensions and plug-ins for Joomla without increasing project overheads. But Joomla does not allow developers to choose from a large number of website themes. The developers can still use specific add-ons to add email forms, blogs, discussion forums, and image galleries to the website. Likewise, Joomla makes it easier for developers to add shopping carts and integrate point-of-sales (POS) systems, and manage inventory while developing ecommerce websites.

3) Drupal

Drupal makes it easier for developers to create websites that deliver richer user experience while meeting search engine guidelines. The SEO tools provided by Drupal help enterprises to divert more search engine traffic to their websites. Many developers opt for Drupal when a website has a lot of pages or accessed by a large number of users. Like other content management systems, Drupal also allows developers to choose from several themes, add-ons, extensions, and modules according to their precise needs. These third-party modules and services even help developers to add functionality to the website without writing additional code. However, many developers consider Drupal to be more complex than other content management systems. Some programmers even write additional code to customize the Drupal application according to precise business requirements.

4) Magento

An enterprise has option to choose from several editions of Magento. The community edition of Magento is open source and free. Despite being a CMS, Magento is hugely popular as an ecommerce platform. The readymade and customizable themes provided by the CMS make it easier for developers to build, set up, and launch robust ecommerce websites rapidly. The developers can further accelerate ecommerce website development by availing the robust features provided by Magento including product catalogue, option to add multiple attributes to a single product, customer grouping, setting up billing, invoicing and shipping. The developers even have option to avail a large number of free and paid add-ons provided by members of the Magento community.

5) TYPO3

The open source content management system is compatible with major operating systems and web servers. TYPO3 is also considered to be more flexible and extendible than other open source content management systems. The modular design of TYPO3 makes it easier for programmers to build and set up websites of varying sizes. At the same time, the web developers can easily customize and extend TYPO3 by using specific extensions. TYPO3 further simplifies digital content management by allowing developers to define various types of website content and managing the digital content through multiple editors. The developers even have option to modify or restructure the default structure of a web page without any restriction. However, TYPO3, despite being easy to use, has a complex learning curve. Also, it requires additional server space to accommodate additional modules.

6) Plone

Despite being an open source, Plone promotes itself as the enterprise CMS. An enterprise can use Plone to integrate multiple databases, web servers, business solutions, and content functions. Plone further provides a set of features to manage the entire content lifecycle. A website administrator can use the features to create, publish, store, and manage digital content, along with implementing search, content locking, and version control. At the same time, Plone helps web application developers to keep the website and digital content secure through its Python-based backend. The Diazo-powered theme engine provided by Plone helps developers to design custom websites rapidly. At the same time, the add-ons for Plone make t easier for developers to add functionality to the website and manage digital content efficiently.

7) Blogger

Blogger was originally developed as a blog publishing service with support for multi-user blogs. But many enterprises nowadays use Blogger just like other content management systems. Blogger has been evolving consistently to simplify and accelerate development of various websites and blogs. In addition to being a part of the Google ecosystem, Blogger also provides custom styles, customization options, and custom domains. The custom domains provided by Blogger make it easier for small enterprises and freelance professionals to set up and launch their websites quickly. At the same time, a user can simply use his Google account to set up and manage websites with Blogger. However, Blogger lacks some of the robust features and extensions provided by other open source content management systems.

On the whole, a business has option to choose from a wide range of open source content management systems. But the content management systems differ from each other in the category of features, themes, plug-ins, extensions, and performance. Hence, it becomes essential for an enterprise to evaluate the pros and cons of each CMS according to its short-term and long-term needs.

How Drupal Supersedes Other Content Management Systems

Today, Drupal powers the websites of small, medium, and large-scale organizations around the world. In fact, large-scale government sites such as whitehouse.gov and several private enterprises and non-profit organizations have already migrated to Drupal. Company websites, internal systems, or e-commerce platforms can be built using the Drupal framework as it is secure, robust and scalable. And what’s more, Drupal is extremely easy to use, cost-effective and can be customized to effectively handle the specific requirements of your organization.

Besides these, here are a few other key reasons that makes Drupal a world apart from other content management systems.

Adaptability: Setting up different types of content becomes easier with Drupal, without the need for code. This classification of content types is important for the different aspects of your business. So, in a Drupal website, you can build a pressroom of articles, product reviews, or an internal customer database very quickly and easily.

Low startup cost: As Drupal is an open-source content management platform, it does not incur exorbitant licensing fees or recurring monthly costs. You can create a basic site, while features can be extended as and when the requirements of the site grows.

Extensibility: Drupal is easily extensible via plugins known as “modules.” The extensive array of Drupal modules enables even non-developers to instantly add functionality such as media files, social sharing, and contact forms to a new or existing Drupal website.

Search engine and social media friendly: Drupal is precisely structured for search optimization. When a Drupal site is created, clean URLs are enabled and the Meta Tags module helps to create unique page titles, descriptions, keywords, and social sharing images/descriptions for the webpages. With certain other modules, you can quickly share your website content to social media sites.

Responsive websites: Mobile traffic is growing at a rapid rate and as per Forbes.com, consumption of content from a mobile device is around 30 percent. The various Drupal themes such as Omega, Zen and Adaptive Theme can be used to build a responsive website.

Vast community support: The vast community support, including thousands of developers and commercial organizations, available for Drupal is yet another factor that makes it superior to other content management systems. The potential issues that you may encounter during the Drupal web development process have been already documented and the solutions for the issue can also be found. If not, the Drupal professionals in the community would provide you with assistance.

Minimizes the gap between IT and Marketing: The amount of coding needed to maintain or build a Drupal website is up to you. Drupal has a WYSIWYG editor, drag-and-drop administration, and in-place editing, that enables you to create a full-featured site based on your business needs with absolute ease. With Drupal, you can continuously add new content and features to your website, and that too at cost-effective rates, without much IT involvement.

Insight Into Content Management Systems Trends – Provocative Analysis

Introduction:

A CMS is a software program used to support creation and modification of digital content. This system offers the ability to tailor the content based on users specific needs with the help of data provided by them or gathered by the website. This process encompasses the whole processing of the web pages starting from simple tools to create the information, through publishing and finally to archiving. With the help of this simple mechanism authorization can be entrusted into the business itself with the capability of potential to dramatically simplify the maintenance of website.

Innovative trends that will drive the marketing to success

Using analytics to drive content

It is predicated that analytics capability within the CMS strategy will be a core offering and capable with both internal and external analytics tools. This will ensure the ability to have the correct content type for the right segment of the respective audience. Also creating different content for different contexts will be made easier and as well for the better understanding of which part of website need to write differently. Content performance cannot be measured by the number of views. Measuring the effectiveness of the content is a biggest challenge for the marketers. Analytics provide insight about the customers and CMS strategy. This data will enable to create relevant content based on audience segments and subsequently will improve conversion and retention of customer.

Hybrid Cloud-Based ECM

Hybrid Cloud-Based solutions have begun to gain attraction because of the benefits of cloud combined with security of sensitive information located on a local server. These flexible cloud models enables organisation to manage, protect and effectively use within the same framework by the most secured on-premises systems. Thus these solutions ensure future scalability and agility at the same time it avoids resource-intensive deployment types which has been in use for decades.

Machine learning

Many of the industry experts are forecasting that machine learning is the next BIG thing in the future predictions. Machine learning in essence a type of Artificial Intelligence (AI) which allows computers to learn by examining data and by recognising patterns. With this machine language computers are able to find hidden insights. Integrating machine learning will help to create smarter applications that are more relevant to the customers. This can take to the next level with location awareness, based on different browsing habits on the time of day, anomaly exclusion, socioeconomic and likewise collaborative filtering attributes. Supplementing Content Management System with machine learning will deliver better matched content to the needs of user, demands and preferences and brings significant value to the business. Machine learning innovation will take the hold in coming years. It has been already able to see that machine learning services offered by IBM, Azure and Amazon integrated with CMS platforms are emerging.

Monolith to Micro service CMS

The concept of micro services is becoming a very appealing architectural approach now- a-days. Micro services are a proven way to create business applications by coordinating with small independent service by the business capabilities, where each run by its own process and by communicating with lightweight mechanisms. By applying micro services concepts the current monolithic system can be split into much smaller interchangeable parts. This concept will bring numerous advantages like faster to market with innovative features, attractive licensing where you will pay only for you need and improved scalability, reduced risk while upgrading the old features and better service interchange ability.

Approach of One Template

When moving away from the monolithic approach, end users will need to make changes to the layout of their web pages on the basis of ad hoc. In earlier, there are two extremes of CMSs:

1. Systems of much flexibility which significantly put in danger he brand consistency and consequently, the visitor experience.

2. Systems of rigidness that every time an organization or a user had to go through a developer resource, or even to a CMS vendor for even a minor change to the layout of a template

Security

Businesses expect high level of security, more complex and functionality than the current CMS solutions offer. Low quality authentication or authorisation controls of businesses will have the risk on the security, operational and financial features. Besides from the mandatory expectations like passwords and data encryption there are more complexities in enterprise directory single sign-on, social logins, SOX levels of auditability and integration with other services like multifactor authentication and sales force. Businesses demand more security features like password less authentication, broken password detection, biometric security and Google Authenticator and so on. It is anticipated that in future the emerging CMS platforms will be integrated and configured with these special authentication and authorization features.

Create Once, Publish Everywhere

The ability to share contents across multiple pages and websites is imperative for CMS solutions. Yet they should not be viewed as just a tool to push the content to the website. Now it is moving to a shift of leveraging the CMS as a data ware house which allows publishing content to multiple platforms and also in different formats as needed. Hence ‘Create once, publish everywhere’ (COPE) will be the viable way for managing content for the organisation.

Holistic customer experience across all devices

Those days where PCs were the only way to reach the business organisation website has gone. Today people use many different devices like smart phones, tablets and laptops to interact. Hence CMS should have the capability to adapt this change. Even though it cannot be used for managing mobile app or email newsletter yet it is required to integrate with other components to be a winning approach. Content Management System will have to empower their users to identify with the problem areas and do modifications quickly. Also it should have in mandatory of the ability to offer custom content to the customer based on the user experience.

Conclusion:

The entry of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence will rewrite the CMS strategy and will pave the way for a radical shift in both technology and business. Advanced personalization, presence of Omni-channel, and anytime availability only will boost engagements and conversions in the forthcoming. Upcoming is the period where the content management systems should prepare to revisit their strategies and procedures to cater to the evolving demands.

Let’s Talk About Content Management Systems (CMS)

Web design is such a sordid business these days. As a business owner or manager you have a plethora of options at your disposal. You can do it yourself, choose a web builder, go with a company like Squarespace or GoDaddy and basically fill in the blanks to build a database driven website that generally is attractive, meets design standards for the most part and gives you some functionality. Or you can hire a designer to create your website. The latter is by far the most expensive but you will usually have the best results.

There are also options like WordPress.com or Tumblr. These are more oriented towards bloggers and they are pretty effective as far as creating a functional site that is standards based, these sites are still pretty low key in the functionality department. If you are wanting functionality there are a lot of plugins and modules that can be added if you have the “know how”. This still is probably not a simple task for a non-designer/coder so you have to be careful as installing bad code can crash your site or worse, make it unsecure for your visitors. I won’t go into the damage that security issues can cause to your site, your business, as well as the financial implications of a security breach, that is for another article.

Let’s talk about WordPress

WordPress is the #1 rated Content Management System/Blogging System in the world at the time of this article. As of August 2013 WordPress was used as the platform of choice with top websites on the internet. Nearly 20% of the top one million websites on the internet are built on WordPress. You should understand that there are basically two flavors of WordPress. There is the pre-built, hosted WordPress at WordPress.com and then there is the WordPress.org version. WordPress.com though good is still somewhat watered down and the security restrictions do not allow you to really experiment with the nearly 30, 000 plugins that are offered on WordPress.org.

My personal preference is to work with the downloadable version of WordPress from the.org site. Some of the most beautiful and functional sites on the internet are built on this platform. Honestly, I know I am sounding a bit like a “Homer” for WordPress, but frankly if you would have asked me about WordPress a year ago, I would have said don’t bother, it sucks.

However, I started thinking there must be a reason that WordPress is so popular. The conclusion I came to after about six months of work on several different sites, was that WordPress is really pretty cool. I find that most of the plugins work pretty well. Which is unusual for an open source platform, as well support for the platform and plugins is exceptional. I have built some pretty cool sites in the past year both for personal and professional use. WordPress is easy to use for the end-user and plays well with most extensions and plugins.