We'll help you choose.
At the heart of each website we build, there is always a Content Management System. Typically shortened to just CMS, this is a tool that allows you to edit your own content on the website right inside the browser. Choosing the right CMS can be a daunting task for anyone, even for people within our industry. For many years, in the early days of the web, we often built these systems as custom solutions for our clients.
Fortunately for all of us, a few large groups of kind hearted geeks have spent countless hours building very powerful CMS software and then giving them back to the community of programmers and end users. This type of sharing and co-evolution of a system is an example of open source software. There is no license fee associated with any of these products and programmers are free to modify and expand on them to suit their own requirements. Often when someone creates a great new feature, they will give that back to the community. Open source software powers much of the web, and we use it every day to deliver great experiences to our customers, and pass along the cost savings.
We used to call ourselves "technology agnostic", and attempt to work within many different types of systems and programming languages. We now believe that to truly offer a superb product to our clients, it is important to focus on just the best and most popular systems. We have become experts in these CMS platforms and go beyond just stock installations to create wildly creative solutions.
Usually taking the number two spot to WordPress in number of sites that use it globally, Drupal is no slouch. Millions of sites are powered by Drupal including The Whitehouse, Sony Music, MTV UK, Turner Broadcasting and FastCompany. Drupal has had a reputation for being difficult to learn and challenging to make look sexy. The sheer power of the system still makes it a bit scary for someone who is not familiar with a CMS, but certainly there is no doubt we can make a gorgeous looking website with it. Drupal is very good at managing and categorizing very large amounts of content. Some sites we have built had tens of thousands of articles and other types of content. There are some very powerful modules that can be plugged into the site for handling common challenges like group memberships and collaboration.
A relative newcomer, SilverStripe offers a fresh take on content management systems. We like it because the administration area is very clear and easy to use for our clients. We find it very speedy too; having less legacy code, it embraces many modern practices for sites. We have found it appropriate for building sites that do not have very large amounts of content. It also features a robust programming framework which can be used to develop sophisticated custom applications. We have used SilverStripe to build membership type sites and backends to Facebook contests/apps.
What can we say? This is simply the most widely used CMS today. WordPress grew up over the years as a platform primarily for blogging, so many of the features and plugins are typical of what you will see on a blog site. Now, it is a much more mature product and can be used in many different types of sites. One of the big advantages that WordPress boasts is a great capacity to scale. So, if you planned on creating a blog that will get super heavy traffic - it would be an easy choice. The community behind it is massive, and there are many plugins to handle common tasks.
While this system has the capability to manage pages and content it is primarily a system built to sell products online. Magento is arguably the most powerful and popular open source e-commerce platform out there, and we are proud to offer advanced solutions built upon it. We can integrate Magento with retail point of sale (POS) systems, and work to customize the software for your own merchant business logic.
While, granted, this is not a CMS; we think it may be valuable for you to understand a bit of the jargon. PHP is a programming language. Probably the most popular one on the internet. WordPress is built using PHP, and so is Drupal and SilverStripe. Another big site you may know of is built in PHP too: Facebook. We have built stuff in PHP for many years, which is extremely helpful when it comes to customizing any of these CMS platforms. It means we can make these systems do what we want them to do, and in turn, your site does the things you want it to do.