The first step is to know whether you want an ecommerce website or an informational website. Will you sell products directly online (ecommerce) or will you simply advertise (informational)? In this article though we will only deal with the latter but another article for eCommerce CMS is on its way.
Informational websites have the particularity that you do not sell any service through them. They show the descriptions of your products and might help potential customers choose your services. It does not mean, however, that SEO services are not important on these websites. SEO services are still essential since it is how you drive new customers to your website. You then need a CMS with an easy and quite complete SEO implementation.
Regarding these criteria we decided to choose two CMS: WordPress and Joomla
Below are the reasons explaining our selection
– User support
– Number of plug-ins, themes, modules available
– Efficiency regarding the task
– User ability to modify the content in a simple, straightforward way
– Support of the CMS and updates
With more than 58 millions websites, WordPress is the leading blog content management system on the Internet. With its huge user base and popularity, you can be certain that there will be updates for the next few years. WordPress allows you to create a blog on its own site but we do not advise you to do so as it would reduce the customization possibilities, disallow you from monetizing your website, and overall, it would not be a good showcase for your business.
The CMS solution, although it has been designed for blog entries, is way more appropriate to SME:
– Possibility to easily make it evolve
– Blog entries leading to stronger on-site SEO
– Simple and slick administration interface
– Publish articles from everywhere through the mobile application
WordPress is a very easy-to-use and straightforward solution for people who have no special technical knowledge; it allows the user to create elaborate blog entries with minimal efforts.
It is a strong solution for informational websites as well as it is easy to integrate new customized modules. A good integration gives you the opportunity to manage them through the administration panel and you have enough flexibility to define a SEO strategy.
However WordPress has also its cons:
– For large projects WordPress is more complicated to customize than Joomla
– A bit less secure than Joomla
– Less options “out of the box” than Joomla
Due to its extreme simplification, the power-user will feel less comfortable with WordPress than Joomla when it comes to modification advanced settings. WordPress has also had some security issues but the developping team seems to have taken this problem into account in the recent releases.
On the other side of the coin is Joomla. It is really complicated to estimate the number of websites using this solution as no updated figures are really available. We can safely speak of more than 60 millions according to our sources.
Joomla is a well-known CMS system, its main strength is its customization: user can make anything he wants out of the platform. The advantages of this CMS are as follows:
– High customization possibilities
– Complete administration panel with several settings
– Complete modules available (shopping cart, download platform… )
– Relatively secure if regularly updated
– Large number of plugins/themes/modules
Joomla’s architecture is more open to modifications than WordPress’ one. Even if, when too modified, the use of a CMS is lowered as the site would be better off developed from scratch.
Though Joomla’s high customization possibilities is its main strength, ironically a part of the cons of Joomla are related to this feature:
– Administration panel can be really confusing
– Interface is heavier compared to WordPress
– Menu customization is not accessible
– Some plugins do not work the expected way
– Not SEO friendly “out of the box”
– Many plugins are not free
Joomla is heavy partly because of the choice given to the user. The amount of options in the admin panel is way too large. And a very disappointing point is about SEO which is not attractive “out of the box”. However some plugins as Sh404SEF will do the job. Take into account that this plugin is not free and we experienced some errors while using it.
Let’s say it, WordPress will do the job for 90 of informational websites and it will do it pretty well. It is more attractive than Joomla because of its simplicity and also because SEMs wanting a more complex website should directly choose the e-commerce CMS or web application options regarding their needs.
Obviously, in certain cases, Joomla might be more convenient – For instance if you want to add a shopping cart to your existing Joomla site, you can do so at low costs. Sticking with Joomla would then be cheaper than making a whole new website with a specialized CMS platform or a brand new web application.