Which CMS is Best for Website Design?

mobile website design

These days there are a ton of different content management systems or CMS for creating a website.  To decide which CMS is best for you really depends on your project.

I’ll break down a few of my favorite CMS and why they are good for a particular application.

WordPress websites

WordPress is by far the biggest and most widely supported CMS.  Around thirty five percent of all websites on the internet run WordPress.  That’s over one third of all websites and that is an absolutely huge percentage.

What started out simply as a blog platform has grown to be able to handle all manner of websites from your local chiropractor, to Tim Ferriss’ blog, to large ecommerce websites.  Because WordPress has grown so big, it has attracted the most about of businesses to support WordPress in the forms of themes, plugins, security, and all manner of detailed aspects of web design.

If you need to find help with your WordPress website, you can find a technician easily like the team at Still Web Design.  The same way that Toyota is the largest car manufacturer in the world and there are huge industries built up to supply all manner of parts to Toyotas, this also makes it easy to find a qualified mechanic to work on your Toyota.

This is not the case with development systems, like for instance Joomla.  If you need work done on Joomla, it’s hard to find someone that is qualified, because they are just fewer people working and creating on the Joomla platform.

One of the reasons for WordPress rise to dominance is its relative ease of use as it does not require any custom coding or really any technical knowledge.

And another side benefit of WordPress is that it is very search engine optimization friendly, and as Google search traffic became more and more important, more folks used WordPress to capture that traffic for their sites.

mobile friendly web design

Joomla web development

Joomla (https://docs.joomla.org/Web_designers) is a niche development platform that is decreasing in popularity.  It is just not a do it yourself platform like WordPress.  And unlike WP, it is geared more for technical developers.  While you can build just about anything you want on Joomla, you need to have a lot of technical skill to navigate the complex articles, menus, and components of the backend of Joomla.

Unfortunately, Joomla is a bit difficult to optimize for search engines.  There are some strange indexing issues with Joomla.  And even simple things like redirecting an old page to a new on via a 301 redirect, something that is really simple in WP, is complicated in Joomla because the only way this can be done is direct updating of the code in the .htaccess file.

Also, unlike WP, there is not a huge industry behind it.  You don’t have the option for a lot of plugins and extension, and custom themes.  While Joomla can be a good fit for the right situation, its future is not bright as the market has decided it likes easier to use platforms.

Basically, unless you really have great reason for building on Joomla, you should probably avoid it.

Drupal web design

Do you have large corporate web design client?  If so you may want to consider building on Drupal.  Drupal is a great option for universities or football clubs, government agencies or even a major magazine.

Drupal is really good if you need a custom site and you have a full design team in place.  One of the reasons that Drupal is the choice for large universities and government agencies is that this CMS is great at handling large amounts of data.

Drupal does not have plugins like WordPress, instead they have something called modules, which are very similar to plugins.

One of the downsides to Drupal is that the sites are so large and need so much custom coding, that you need large teams to work on a Drupal sites and that equals large expenditures.  Drupal sites are expensive and you are not likely to see your local dentist or roofer on Drupal CMS.

Shopify Ecommerce web design

It is really hard to believe that Shopify was founded in 2004 in Ontario, Canada.  It seems like a much newer product, and really it is.  Shopify took off in the second half of the 2010’s and has exploded in popularity.

Shopify is the platform to use for selling physical products on the internet.  It is almost like the WordPress of ecom.

It is simple enough to use, that anyone can learn it.  There is no custom coding or technical knowledge needed.  It is all plug and play.

Like WP, there are a ton of products as well as support.  You can purchase custom themes and plugins, to make your site however you want it to look.  And there are lot of specialist that you can hire to help  with everything from SEO, to Facebook Ads, to conversions and cart abandonment issues.

Other major benefits of Shopify are that you do not need to purchase separate hosting, that is taken care of for you on the Shopify platform.  Shopify Payments is another reason for the platform’s success.  It makes taking debit or credit cards super easy.  This is helpful because payment processing is a huge hurdle for a small business.

Shopify does a great job of lowering the barrier to entry in the online selling world.

Webflow websites

Webflow is a newcomer on the scene, they have only been around since 2013.  While not as user friendly as WP, they are doing a lot of things right.  It is a responsive design tool as well as hosting platform that is really good at hosting pictures and videos, without negatively impacting page load speed times, which is difficult to do.

Webflow is a newer platform to keep your eye on in the coming years.  But in general, the trend of strength on strength will continue with WordPress taking a bigger slice of the pie in the years to come.