To attract and retain as many visitors as possible with your website, you need interesting content: Text, images, videos and graphics not only offer added value to readers and users, they are also positively registered by search engines. But this content must first be managed, published, updated and communicated. Depending on the size of the website a large task cannot be mastered without an appropriate content management system (CMS). We give you an overview of the most important requirements for CMS and, in addition, a comparison of the most well-known open source solutions.
Definition: Content Management System (CMS)
Content Management System (CMS) is software that allows users to create, edit, and publish web content - such as text or multimedia elements - even without programming knowledge through a graphical user interface.
How do you make the right choice?
If you start looking for the right content management system, you won't see forests for trees. Between 250 and 300 different programs are currently available on the market. Bids range from blog kits that can be managed to large enterprise systems. This raises the question of which requirements must be met by CMS to support online projects that are optimally planned?
a. Overview of application fields
Basically there are three central application areas for content management systems. The choice of software solution for a new online project must be based on which area in development is in the foreground. Distribution into web content management, blog / news publishing, and social / community publishing is common.
b.Content Management web
With classic web content management, the focus is on creating and managing content for the World Wide Web. Usually it takes several site managers (editors) to access the backend, which requires complex sharing methods. It is also important to have the best presentation from a website using multimedia content. Other important factors include extensive rights management, full text search, efficient news management, and the ability to present content in various languages as needed.
c. Publishing Blog / News
In this application form clearly blogging in the middle. Provision of content, complex links and meaningful categorization and integration with social media platforms and other Web 2.0 features is very important. The possibility of interaction with readers and timely publication of contributions are considered as important further features. No less important is the ability to create content quickly and easily - ideally also directly on a mobile device.
d. Publishing / Social Community
Developing an online community and making it available to a wider audience requires more functionality than a simple blog. This is mainly due to the fact that it is not a passive reader but a targeted active user group. Content is created not only by operators, but also - and in especially ideal cases - by members (content produced by you). The basic system of social publishing solutions is usually modular in design and can be expanded to include Web 2.0 features as needed.
Proprietary software vs. Open source
Many content management systems are provided by large open source project communities. Someone then talks about open SOURCE software. In this type of CMS system, program code can be accessed freely and in principle can be seen by anyone. Thus, users have the opportunity to make changes, improvements and improvements and to tailor CMS to individual needs.
Partners for open source software are proprietary solutions. In this case, CMS is developed by a particular company and is usually distributed as a commercial product. The use of an exclusive content management system is usually associated with the acquisition of a paid license. The source code cannot be accessed by the user.
In contrast, open source software often does not incur licensing fees. Appropriate solutions are therefore economically attractive to companies. In terms of development, an established open source CMS system is in no way inferior to exclusive solutions. Behind the most popular projects like WordPress or TYPO3 is a community of developers with a high level of professionalism. Extensive documentation and a transparent development process also ensure that software errors and security holes are corrected immediately.
But how high is the global market share of open source applications compared to exclusive solutions for website operations?
Software solutions for website operations worldwide
By far the most popular solution for fast and cost-effective online content placement is WordPress. Based on the company's analysis, BuiltWith, nearly 18 million websites around the world are based on open source CMS. Another open source project that made it into the top ten of the most popular software solutions for website operations is Joomla! , Drupal and TYPO3.
Open source content management systems available to users in the free community version compete globally with established HTML editors such as Adobe Dreamweaver or popular online services such as Google's Blooger.com.
The most popular CMS system in detail
Open source system WordPress, TYPO3, Joomla! , Drupal and Contao are considered in Germany as standard solutions for professional website operations. But not every system is equally suitable for your personal project. We have compiled the core functions, application fields, and system requirements of the content management system for you. Make your decisions easier with our clear pros and cons table.
With around 18 million installations, WordPress is the most widely used open source CMS on the market worldwide. Originally understood as a blog system, various enhancements are now available for basic installations, making it possible to upgrade the software to a fully functional content management system.
The large community of users benefits the software from a large selection of WordPress themes, plugins, widgets and frameworks. However, critics complain that the system is not only complicated, but also confusing and complicated. In addition, WordPress fulfills the fate of all successful software developments: Because of its popularity, CMS is a popular target for hacker attacks. As a result, users need to update their installation relatively with security updates. This was published soon after the security incident, but not always with many compatible extras, which are needed for effective use of software. Software updates can thus be associated with considerable administrative effort, especially in the case of extensive projects.
Because cheap basic installation equipment is suitable for wordpress, it is good for small and only structured websites. Especially bloggers who want to give their visitors frequent changing content in an attractive layout, available with an effective WordPress CMS with an intuitive web interface. However, as the complexity of your own online projects increases, the ease of use of the software is significantly reduced. Although in principle even large-scale company projects can be realized, in such cases, more functions cannot be avoided accompanied by increased administrative efforts.
If a stable website operation is desired, WordPress places a relatively high demand on the server because the number of visitors increases. Users who are looking for complex multi-domain projects with multilingual targeting should prefer to use a CMS like TYPO3 rather than WordPress.
- Great community
- Low installation and setup attempts
- intuitive user interface
- Easy integration of plug-ins and other extensions
- The CMS function requires additional extensions
- Security updates that often cause additional administrative efforts
- Stability Unlimited stability and high traffic performance
- Plug-ins often have security holes
TYPO3 next to WordPress is probably the most famous open source CMS. The software project sees itself as a company management system and is continually driven by an experienced and technically updated development team. Becoming prevalent TYPO3 especially in German-speaking countries, where CMS as a true parade solution for large corporate portals and e-commerce platforms.
TYPO3 impresses with a large community, which helps beginners with problems and questions with quick and uncomplicated help. In addition, there are many professional vendors who specialize in TYPO3 support and provide agency services for business users.
The use of strong CMS professionally requires expertise. If this is available, even complex page structures with multilingual content can be implemented satisfactorily. Various functions ensure professional rights management at the company level and provide interfaces for classic business applications such as CRM and ERP systems. However, critics complain about the long training period and the relatively high administrative efforts.
Basically, various TYPO3 functions make it possible to implement almost every imaginable online project. However, this translates into a considerable effort for installation, configuration and maintenance. The popularity and good reputation of the software always contribute to the realization of a relatively small website with TYPO3. In this case the user usually spends more effort than needed. If a variety of Enterprise CMS functions are not needed, website operators are generally better served with modular software with a lean base installation. For complex projects, which are accompanied by experienced IT professionals, forming TYPO3 on the other hand, is the ideal base for a successful online presence.
- Widely used CMS with large communities (including many experts)
- High functionality, flexibility, and development
- Extensive rights management at the company level
- Because of its broad functionality, TYPO3 places higher hosting requests than comparable systems
- Implementation, configuration and administration require a lot of knowledge
- Period The training period for lay people is relatively high
With 2.5 million installations worldwide, Joomla! the second largest representative in the CMS market. This software is equally suitable for beginner and advanced users, but is more sophisticated in applications than WordPress. Unlike market leaders, extensive CMS functionality is provided without any additional enhancements. Bonuses for lay people without professional IT backgrounds are good documentation in the form of community-based online manuals and active user forums.
On Joomla! is a further development of the open-source Mambo CMS. This system is very popular in the US and is characterized by object-oriented software design entirely based on the stand-alone MVC framework. That allows Joomla! Users to write their own extensions and share on request with the community - both through the joomla! Repository With which you can easily install extensions through the backend. You can create your own template in Joomla modular by combining predefined content elements.
Joomla! divides extensions into plug-ins, components, and modules. This can be used both in the backend and at the tips of leaves, which sometimes causes irritation to the user. The rights management and approval process is sometimes felt in large projects such as patchwork. Here too, the extension provides medicine - but this is not always available for free.
- Relatively low installation and configuration efforts
- A large collection of extensions and designs
- Easy to use template creation
- Incorrect rights management
- Sophisticated extensions are sometimes charged
- The extension must be partially updated manually
Drupal CMS modular was originally developed as a student community solution, but today it is available to the Internet community as a complete open-source CMS. This software is equipped with a very thin base installation, which can be extensively expanded by modules. Even today, the strength of the project lies in the community area. The basic module already provides many Web 2.0 features and communities such as weblogs, forums and tag clouds.
With its modular structure, Drupal CMS offers extensive customization options. However, users who know exactly what they need can save their own manual compilation of software components. For many application scenarios a distribution that has been configured based on the Drupal framework is available.
With a focus on social publishing, Drupal is ideal for small and medium-sized community projects. Various extensions also make it possible to create a corporate portal with a complex multi-domain structure. However, administration of a CMS kernel with extensive extensions requires expertise and wisdom. If the basic functions of the software are insufficient, additional modules must be installed manually via FTP. This is also a complex dependency. Updating extensions is hampered by a lack of compatibility.
The main application of Drupal is the development of social publishing and community platforms. Thanks to a flexible modular system, CMS offers the perfect solution for highly dynamic platforms that rely on user-generated content.
- Compact software core Configuration
- A large selection of Drupal expansion and distribution modules that have been determined
- Supports multi-domain management
- The sleek basic version requires many subsequent installations
- Complex configuration due to lack of backward compatibility
Contao's CMS (formerly TypoLight) is - as its real name indicates - a clear and user-friendly content management solution. Scoring system with multilingual multilingual backend and clearly structured administrative levels. The software project pays special attention to compatibility with web standards and providing barrier-free online content in XHTML Strict or HTML 5.
CMS Contao, who is an international outsider, enjoys increasing popularity in Germany. This software already has a comprehensive range of functions in a basic configuration and can be flexibly adapted to individual needs with more than 1900 extensions available.
The CMS system offers an integrated theme manager. It is possible to configure the design and layout of the website based on Contao using a special module. In addition, website operators are offered professional themes in various fields of application and industry through the Contao website. However, this usually has to be purchased at a reasonable cost.
This software is known for its high security standards and gives users a one-click, user-friendly direct update. For the LTS CMS version, 4-year long-term support is guaranteed.
An online demo and comprehensive documentation allows a fast start in making a website. Server compatibility can be confirmed on request by Contao-Check.
Flexible CMS is aimed specifically at small and medium-sized companies and the non-profit sector. This software offers users a powerful system architecture that can be adapted to various operating requirements of professional web sites through extensions. For example, you can implement intranet solutions, e-commerce platforms, corporate portals or microsites that don't leave anything you want, even in the areas of search engine optimization and web analytics.
Only multi-level workflows cannot be implemented with Contao in a standard configuration. Users who want to implement complex company projects with detailed authentication and approval processes must choose an existing standard solution such as TYPO3.
- Strong and expandable system architecture
- Easily install, manage and update extensions
- Good safety record
- Not suitable for complex corporate solutions
- Multi-level workflows are not supported
- Relatively small community
Neos next to Typo3 is a real open source enterprise content management system, with a special focus on editors and developers. How: editors create content in editors & real WYSIWYG developers get a sophisticated system with planned extensibility, lifestyle guides, and Atom Design. Neos is an ideal system for connecting content to third party systems (ERP, CRM, stores, etc.).
Neos is designed for integration and extensibility. This is a powerful CMS that is delivered with an equally powerful PHP framework called Flow. This combination is unique and leading in the industry. Developers can design Neos the way they need it - without "hacking." The community calls Neos a "content application platform." This is to make it clear that the power of Neos lies not only in classic sites but in challenging and complex projects: third-party software integration, Connection to external systems (ERP, CRM, etc.), Store integration, etc. Existing extensions can easily be installed via Composer (e.g. Google Analytics, IBM Watson, Elasticsearch, etc.).
- True WYSIWYG editor (inline editing), which displays content as written, as will be seen later, without the user having to click the preview button.
- No PHP knowledge is needed to create complicated pages
- A very friendly community with very helpful and 1500 users on the official Neos-Slack
- The unique combination of the CMS and PHP framework greatly facilitates the expansion of Neos
- Supports two-stack CMS architecture for large projects with maximum scalability, resilience and security
- Arrangement costs for smaller projects are usually too high
- the training period for newcomers is relatively high
- Functionality Neos great functionality puts professional demands on hosting