What is the best CMS for a Website Developer to use in Ottawa?
Three Content Management Systems to Consider: WordPress, Craft CMS and Forestry.io
Let’s talk about what is a CMS, which stands for content management system. A CMS allows website owners and administrators to make changes to their pages without needing to edit the code directly. The CMS allows users of the site to log into the back-end and upload images, change text and images, and link to videos as well.
What is the Best Content Management System for Web Developers?
There are different considerations to make when choosing a CMS.
One might be tempted to say that the CMS that gives the most power and flexibility would be the best CMS to use. Yet this may not always be what you need, based on the budget of the project you might want a different solution.
There are different considerations to make when choosing a CMS. One question may be: Will I be making the majority of the changes myself? How much do I want to spend on monthly expenses to maintain my website? How much minute control do I need over the content of the website? Will this be a large or relatively small website? Will this be a website for a business or organization that will scale big, or remain at a small scale? Based on these considerations, there are different appropriate content management systems.
The most popular CMS of all time – WordPress
Let’s talk about the most popular CMS of all time, WordPress. As of this year, 2022, WordPress powers up approximately 33% of the entire World Wide Web. There are other solutions out there that are beginning to emerge to combat WordPress. However, there are many reasons why WordPress will likely stay for many years to come. WordPress has an ecosystem that allows people to maintain websites with minimal developer intervention. That alone may be the single most important reason to use it. If your company doesn't want to work with developers on an on-going basis to maintain your website, then WordPress might be the best solution for you. The nice thing about WordPress is that the updates in the back-end are pretty easy going. When the theme is well designed and well coded, rarely will an update in WordPress break your website. Though it is always a good idea to have a backup just in case, before making updates.
There are many reasons why WordPress will likely stay for many years to come.
WordPress started out as a blogging platform and was not initially intended to be a full-fledged content management system. It later turned into a content management system based on the demand and popularity of the platform. WordPress uses two types of content in the back-end: pages and posts. With these content types you can create the majority of the website you need. One downside of WordPress is that the posts in WordPress come with one content field. Within that content field you can create layouts inside the Gutenberg editor. Other CMS' use unique content fields for being able to edit each section of website’s content. With WordPress this is popular with a plugin called advanced custom fields. The advanced custom fields plugin can create unique custom fields for each section of your website. The website owner can then edit sections of the content as they see fit.
The most flexible and powerful content management system – Craft CMS
If you were to compare the custom content fields plugin to a system like Craft CMS, Craft CMS will allow for unique custom fields right out of the box. For a company that has some developer experience, Craft CMS is truly an excellent content management system. It allows you to edit all sections of your website. It offers ultimate flexibility for content design and control. It offers a lot of customization and can be extended with plugins. Craft also offers excellent SEO capabilities and was endorsed by one of the leading SEO companies in the world known as Moz. If you would like to invest in a flexible and powerful CMS that can offer you ultimate control over your website’s content, then Craft CMS is the way to go.
Craft offers excellent SEO capabilities and was endorsed by one of the leading SEO companies in the world known as Moz.
Affordable CMS when you’re on a budget – Hugo & Forestry.io
Let’s say you’re an entrepreneur that is not familiar with web development and would rather pay for a developer to make major updates to your site. You can still have some control over your website’s content, such as a description on each page as well as a blog. If this were fine with you, then going with Hugo and Forestry.io would be a good option for you. Hugo is a static site generator and Forestry.io is a content management system for static website generators. Using static site generators such as Hugo allows websites to load very quickly, offer superb security, and offer some content editing capabilities when paired with a CMS. What is excellent about static websites is that while there is less control over content editing, a business owner can save money on hosting. The Netlify hosting provider offers free hosting for static websites, which is excellent. If you are a business owner that has a low budget and doesn’t mind having limited control over your website’s content, then Hugo with Forestry.io is the way to go.
So to recap: If you want a developer free environment with the ability to scale, WordPress is the best fit. If you have some developer experience and want the ability to have complete control over your website, Craft CMS is the way to go. If you are an entrepreneur with a smaller budget and don’t mind limited control over your website’s content, Hugo with Forestry.io is the way to go. These of course are my personal recommendations and further research can be done on your specific use case. There are a plethora of options to choose from out there and each use case might require a unique and specific solution.