What Content Management Systems do we use?
There are many ways in which websites can be developed. These include a so called Static site, but most are produced using frameworks such a Drupal, WordPress, Twitter Bootstrap and Joomla. Keerim Design had used Drupal exclusively for a long time, but we have changed and are now offering Drupal and WordPress.
The least complex, but most difficult way for anything other than a simple two or three page site is to produce a traditional static site. The disadvantages are many for the client, not the least of which is that he/she can’t make changes as required and must keep coming back to the developer for changes. This inevitably means paying for the service.
We do produce static sites, but only for clients who do not want frequent or extensive changes. An example would be an old site of ours mariomarbleandgranite.co.uk that doesn’t change, is very quick and suits the needs of the client.
Drupal is an open source content management platform powering millions of websites and applications. It’s built, used, and supported by an active and diverse community of people around the world. That is Drupal’s own statement about itself and they can be proud of their record. Open Source in this context means free, so we can use resources from developers all round the world, in return for which we make our developments available to others. Sites include The White House, The Economist, Oxford University and millions of corporation, business, media and blogging websites.
Its power lies in the fact that developers like Keerim Design can start with a clean sheet, create or be given any design and implemented it without constraints. Years ago we investigated all of the available frameworks and decided that Drupal was the best for our purposes: flexible, content manageable and capable of delivering design-led projects.
For our clients we produce content manageable sites that they can access, edit, change images, add/delete pages and take control of their own site. Most don’t want to do that, so we offer a content management service that we can do at an affordable price because the editing interface is straightforward and efficient.
WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time. That’s what WordPress say about themselves. WordPress powers approximately 17% of all websites worldwide, so there is a huge variety of sites including corporate, business, academic, charity and individuals.
It was a close call when deciding whether to use Drupal or WordPress years ago. Most people have heard of WordPress, which is a plus on the WordPress side. However, at the time it was still very much a more basic blogging engine with free and commercially available templates. For the type of work we were doing it was very difficult to start with a design and then implement it into WordPress and the templates were not easily configurable. Also, if you wanted a site without a Blog/News section it was easier to use Drupal where it is an add-in than WordPress where it is an integral part of the framework.
In the five year period, WordPress has got more sophisticated and we believe for the first time it can be used for design-led projects. The advantages we see are:
- It is undoubtedly easier for site owners to look after their own content.
- Many people have at least a small knowledge of WordPress through using personal Blogs.
- The contributions from the Open Source community are many and tend to be kept up-to-date better.
- There is a wide range of low-cost, excellent, premium addons that can be used to enhance a site.
There has been much in the press about the security of websites and, to be honest, it’s a constant battle to stay ahead of the hackers and their criminal activities.
There have been two major incidents in 2014/15: Heartbleed and Poodle, both of which affected Drupal and WordPress and damaged their reputations. Why these two systems? It’s simple really, they are the biggest in the world by a large margin. Drupal is used by many major organisations and Government Departments in the States and WordPress is the most popular blogging platform.
Both systems have methods of updating and security fixing. WordPress updates are automatic, but you have to go into the administration and activate them. Drupal updates require a more hands-on approach and are more technical. Ether way there is work to be done on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. For a modest fee Keerim Design takes complete control of all update and security issues, ensuring that your site and data is safe at all times.
Twitter BootStrap and Joomla
We have looked at Joomla several times as it is the third major Open Source CMS and decided that life is too short to learn three of them. We developed one site on Twitter BootStrap which is increasing popular, but because it is not a CMS one is basically going back to static sites, which we believe is the wrong way to go.
We still believe that, for our purposes, Drupal is the best option, but the Content Management Systems are always evolving. So much so that we now believe that the latest version of Drupal is not as good for basic sites as the latest version of WordPress. We keep options under review at all times.