Choosing a Content Management System on the next project can be hard and can be time consuming. In this article I talk about which CMS I prefer to work with.
As a developer, I like building websites that work with any content management system (CMS). It also depends on the client, the specification and how big the project would be. I also like building sites or prototypes that do not require a CMS. However, if I had to pick one CMS, it would have to be Craft CMS or Drupal 8 as I do enjoy building fantastic features with those two systems.
At the beginning of my web development career, I started with basic prototyping and then I went on to basic content management systems, including Joomla and Oracle marketing automation tool called Eloqua. Later on, I worked with WordPress, which had more excitement in building compared to Eloqua and Joomla. In my second job, I carried on with more fun WordPress projects, but then I did some Shopify projects too, which boost up my e-commerce skills. In my current job, I have started learning Craft and Drupal 7 / 8 and realised that these are even more enjoyable to work with than WordPress. In late 2019, I am also learning Laravel Statamic, which has a similar excitement feeling to Craft and Drupal. This year I have learned about Weebly, and it shows that I am always excited to try something new.
This chart shows the 9 CMS and 1 Non-CMS, or as I like to call it prototyping. The reason I added prototyping to the diagram is that websites are not always about what content management system to use. It's about how to grab the target audience, for example theming and content. As prototyping is number 1, I do enjoy making new themes and making use of different frameworks.
I believe Craft CMS has a different, tidier and simpler structure, allowing developers to build up their sections and content interface, without any plugins installed. Whereas, with WordPress, you will need to download plugins to have a custom content interface working.
Another advantage for Craft is templates, as they use craft twig format, which is easier and readable for developers to code quickly and efficiently within the project deadline. On the other hand, WordPress uses PHP format, which has a lot of advantages, but at the same time, it can be hard to implement.
The documentation is brilliant and easy to learn. I even decided to migrate my Online Portfolio from WordPress to Craft CMS. It has got everything that I need for it, and I do improve it all the time.
A UX designer has written an article about how good Craft CMS is, and how to get it set up correctly.
I believe Drupal 8 has a simple structure too. This system would be my second choice, as this is an ideal CMS for larger projects that Craft CMS may not be suitable. The user interface for Drupal 8 is better and has a lot more control of flexible features than Drupal 7. Drupal Community announced that there was a Drupal 9 version release on 3rd June this year, so it will be interesting to know what Drupal 9 has to offer when upgrading the from Drupal 8 sites.
WordPress has been fantastic to work on a couple of projects before I learnt about Craft CMS and Drupal systems. WordPress has been improving well, especially with the use of the Gutenberg editor. However, there are still a lot of plugins to install to make a feature work.
Laravel's Statamic system has a great structure, and I have been working with this system for nearly a year. It has been challenging to learn this system. However, every time I am working with this system, I can understand the system better and efficiently.
Shopify is a creative commerce system, and I would use this system for any new projects that need an online shop. The setup is simple, and the interface is very user friendly. The documentation is clear and simple of what you need on the website.
Eloqua is more of a marketing automation system, where it allows users to create campaigns, landing pages and emails. It was an excellent system. However, there is not much development coding to do, to build a fantastic, responsive website.
It's up to the developer, whichever CMS makes them feel confident. As I said earlier in this blog, it only depends on the client, the specification and how big the project would be. Sometimes, it is always a good idea to do a bit of research into each CMS first, and see which CMS would fit the specification well. Furthermore, it would be a good idea to get the theming started while thinking about a CMS.