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Content Management Systems (CMS) Overview: High School Web Design Lesson 10

July 16, 2013

Content management systems

An alternative to ‘doing everything from scratch’ is to take advantage of a content management system (CMS) to develop dynamic content.

Popular content management systems

Popular content management systems CMSs include WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Blogger and MODX (W3Techs 2013). Chief differences among the popular CMSs in the market include the following:

  • Market share: WordPress is the market leader and accounts for over 50% market share for CMS in websites (W3Techs 2013; BuildWith.com 2012).
  • Hosting options: WordPress may be self-hosted or hosted (WordPress.org n.d.). The self-hosting option allows full control of the administrative functions of the website. Blogger on the other hand, only offers the hosted option.
  • Type of site: WordPress is generally catered for weblogs where posts may be published easily and conveniently. The more general purpose CMS platforms such as Joomla and Drupal are useful for more general purpose sites (WordPress.org n.d.; Open Source Matters Inc 2013; Drupal.org n.d.).
  • Scripting Language: Most open source CMSs are written in PHP And MySQL, including WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.
  • Extensions: A useful feature about Wordpress over the other CMSs is that it offers extension capabilities through extension plugins developed by numerous third parties.

Content management system security considerations

One important disadvantage WordPress has in comparison to its main competitors, Drupal and Joomla, is its relative weakness where security is concerned (Cloudways Ltd 2013; bin Uzayr 2012).

Security concerns are of high priority, with security risks being named as the top concern in the development of e-commerce projects (Addison 2001). Risk management strategies should be formulated to minimize security risks. Such strategies may include the following (Morris 2012):

  • implement secure login procedures;
  • change default WordPress login username “admin” to another username;
  • create strong passwords and change such passwords frequently;
  • perform manual backups regularly or as required;
  • implement WordPress security patches and updates immediately on release;
  • monitor for malware through the use of an anti-virus software;
  • monitor for security news updates from web hosting provider on server security attacks; and
  • identify tools for detecting hacks and viruses for use as necessary.

Various extension plugins developed by third parties provide online backup functions for prevention of data losses.