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Choosing a Content Management System (CMS)

Summary. Content Management System (CMS) software is a program that makes designing and managing a website very easy.

Choosing. Choosing a CMS platform is a relatively easy task. Follow these steps:

  1. Choices. Visit the Wikipedia Page on Content Management Systems to view the available choices.
  2. Platform. You will notice a long list of CMS software choices. These are predominantly written using PHP programming language. While some are dependent upon lesser known programming languages, most use PHP. So, it would be wise to narrow your selection to only those that run on PHP.
  3. Database. The CMS software typically interacts with a database to store your content. As you review the list of available CMS software, you’ll notice that most of them use MySQL. This is probably because MySQL is widely used and well established. So, it would be wise to narrow your selection to those that are compatible with MySQL. Remember that your website host will need to support the database and platform required for your CMS of choice.
  4. Version. You will most likely want a CMS that has been around for a while to ensure the bugs are worked out and the basic features are offered.
  5. License. You will most likely want a CMS that is based on free and open source software licensed under a General Public License (GPL or GNU). Such programs are generally free, whereas commercial software can cost thousands of dollars.
  6. Templates. Unless you are a programmer, you’ll likely want to choose a CMS that has a large community of people developing templates for free and/or for sale.
  7. Support. You will want to make sure there is plenty of online support available for your CMS.

Given the above 7 criteria, WordPress is a good choice.

Categorized as Technology

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com