Content Management Systems (CMS) are the future of web design, and they are already here. A good CMS will allow both the web designers and the end user incredible flexibility as far as how to construct a website, as well as adding and making changes to existing content. Many CMS are open-source and free to download, so we would recommend giving each a test-run before entrusting the future of your website (and online real estate for your business) in the hands of your web design company.
Joomla is a very popular CMS, and it tends to be used more for business than personal use. It does have a bit of a steep learning curve, so if you are looking for something that can be up and running in a day we would not recommend using this platform. Joomla is well-known for its flexibility in running portals and online magazines, and the quickblog platform can make adding new content a breeze. One of the big cons with Joomla is that themes can be difficult to find, and the ones that you can find tend to look very similar. In addition, unique features to the website need to be added in the form of modules; many of which are paid (read: not free).
Wordpress on the other hand is the most popular and well-known open source CMS. Themes are widely available, and features are added to the website in the form of plugins. The majority of Wordpress plugins are free to use, and many have an additional paid version which adds even more features should you decide you need them. Editing and adding content is also very simple, with a very well-designed interface tweaked by feedback from the millions who have used it to design websites. If you really want to give Wordpress a shot, you may sign up for a free Wordpress-based website at www.wordpress.com and be up and running in no time. If you wish to create an entire business website however we would recommend using the self-hosted Wordpress found at www.wordpress.org and working with a web design company in Michigan to bring your website to life.
The final content management system we will look at today is Drupal. In short, for most websites Drupal is overkill. It is by far the most powerful of the three CMS we have looked at today. Making changes is very difficult, and the learning curve is steep. Unless you need a website with the capability to perform heavy lifting and more features than you can imagine, it is very likely that Drupal is overkill for your business needs. That being said, it is very possible to create simple webpages with Drupal - and addons such as a news aggregator exist which allow your website to transcend the limited options found with other content management systems.
While each CMS has its own pros and cons, ultimately it is up to you and your web designer to decide which one is best for your business. We tend to go primarily with Wordpress because it is the best fit for our client base, mostly small and medium businesses based in Grand Rapids and the surrounding West Michigan region.
Should you feel the need to move forward with a web design company, please feel free to get in touch with us via our website at http://www.godigitaldesigns.com.