September 26, 2014 Ferguson Advertising

The 411 on CMS

Content, we so often hear, is king. And rightfully so; after all, from a marketer’s perspective, what we say is as important – if not more – than where we say it, when we say it, who we say it to, etc. In today’s world especially, when social media means everyone is a both an audience and a publisher, high-quality content is of vital importance to help your brand cut through the clutter and stand out.

When it comes to content strategy, then, it can be easy to focus so much on developing the content that we can lose focus on managing that content moving forward after it’s been created. After all, managing content across your digital properties efficiently and effectively is crucial in leveraging the most possible long-term value from that content.

With that in mind, our digital team put together a quick but very helpful overview of two Content Management Systems (CMS) we’re big fans of.

Over the years, websites have evolved from being static HTML sites that only web programmers could make changes to…to sites in custom content management systems (CMS) that those who were technically savvy could edit…to modern open-source CMS sites where just about anyone with the proper access levels can make changes to the site.

cms_imgHere at the Ferg, we’ve adopted two CMS systems for building most every website site that comes through our doors; Joomla and WordPress. Each have their own unique sets of features and functions. With both WordPress and Joomla, users can add/modify/delete pages on their site, add photos, PDFs, etc. Each system, however, approaches these core site actions in different ways.


Joomla’s great for building complex sites that contain contain many pages, sections, subsections, etc. For developers, Joomla has a lot of features and functions that make building custom modules to extend the functionality of the sites a breeze. And for users editing content in Joomla is simple too – it’s a lot like editing a Microsoft Word document.

Joomla has two sections admins generally edit, “Contacts” and “Articles.” “Contacts” are used when building things like company directories or contact lists and “Articles” is every other page in the site from “About Us” to product detail pages.

We’ve built sites in Joomla that get thousands of visitors a day and love the product.

Keep in mind, however, that Joomla has a steep learning curve for new admins. While it’s easy for them to edit existing pages on the site, for those new to the platform, it can be a little confusing on how exactly to add new pages or delete old ones. This is a multi-step process that can take some time for the uninitiated to figure out.


The other CMS we build a lot of sites in is WordPress – the CMS that some say powers up to 20% of all websites on the internet. And it’s easy to see why – on the development side, WordPress is extremely easy to setup and customize and there are literally thousands of free WordPress “Plug-ins” that extend, increase and enhance the functionality of the site available for download. And WordPress is just as easy to use for admins adding/editing content on the site. In fact, WordPress has drag-and-drop features, so admins can grab (say) a photo on their desktop and literally drag it into a page on their site.

If adding or deleting pages in Joomla can be trying, in WordPress it’s not that hard at all. In WordPress removing a page from the site can be done in one or two clicks depending on how the site’s set up.

By default, WordPress has two types of content ares on the site, “Pages” and “Posts.” Pages are meant for static areas on the site like “About Us” and “Contact Us” that don’t change too often. “Posts” are really blog posts which WordPress excels at.

While it seems like Joomla’s set up to develop large websites, WordPress is more setup to develop smaller sites/blogs by default. That’s not to say that WordPress isn’t right for creating large websites; from a development standpoint, however, it can takes longer to setup a larger website in WordPress and requires the installation of many more plug-ins to get WordPress to the point up to the task that Joomla handles “out of the box.”

Looking back at the sites we’ve built over the last few years it’s about 15 Joomla site and around 30 WordPress ones. Some of the Joomla sites we’ve build have hundreds of pages while a few of the smaller WordPress sites have as few as three or four pages! For what particular CMS be it Joomla or WordPress we choose to use on any given project is really dictated by the project/client.

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