Top 3 best website builders for your website
I could easily create a Top 10 list of the preferred website builders that you should choose from but there are so many available options today that it becomes a major toss-up between the different platforms. There are far more than just 10 and with such a wide variety of CMSs (Content Management Systems) available today, you could spend days trying to figure out which one is best for your website needs. In this article, I will take the time to discuss the top 3 website builders that I think needs serious consideration when choosing the right platform for you.
What are the top 3 website builders?
Our top 3 considerations for website builders are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. When deciding on the top 3 website builders available on the market today, one needs to take into consideration the footprint that these platforms have. This is not to say that only one of these 3 website builders will be best for you. Not by a long shot! However, considering that millions of others across the world have chosen one of these paths says something about the platforms stature and ease of use.
Some statistics on the footprint of each website platform
The stats speak for themselves. Take a look:
It is interesting to see the vast difference in market share between the 3 CMS platforms that we are referring to. WordPress vastly outnumbers Joomla and Drupal on an Epic scale and we could leave it there and say that WordPress was the outright winner and go about our day using WordPress. While WordPress boasts approximately 30 million users, the shoe doesn’t always fit everyone. Where one platform shines, another might not.
WordPress is a wonderful platform and when it first made its debut on to the internet scene, it quickly became the platform of choice for most bloggers. However, WordPress is not just a blogging platform. WordPress has evolved to allow us to create entire websites made up of online shopping facilities, photo galleries and so much more.
- A vast number of plugins available
As of 31 August 2018, there are 56276 and counting. With such a huge follower base, there is no confusion as to why WordPress has so many plugins available for your needs. The developer community is immense and there is little possibility that you would not find a needed plugin for your website needs. Be it a Forum or online store, you will surely be able to find what you are looking for.
- Cost (Free)
WordPress is completely free. There are no hidden costs in using the WordPress platform at all. The only time that you may encounter costs is when requiring the use of specific plugins. However, this is not the fault of WordPress.
- Easy updates
With WordPress being so popular, there are always updates being rolled out to the platform and its plugins ensuring that the platform remains secure and safe to use. WordPress has a one-click approach to updating of the platform making it very easy to perform your updates.
- Themes and styling
For those of us who are not as versed in the languages of developing our own website, there are multitudes of themes available for WordPress that will be ready for all mobile devices.
- Huge community base
One thing that is always important when it comes to any platform is support. With the incredibly huge following, there is always someone out there willing to help.
- Custom layouts can be difficult
When it comes to customising your look and feel of your website, WordPress can prove tricky to the untrained web enthusiast and when writing your articles, it can prove cumbersome. However, with the latest introduction of Gutenberg, this aims to resolve these issues, but it is extremely new on the market and will take some time to be adopted.
- Assigning permissions
WordPress was originally meant to be for the blogging community. With this in mind, the WordPress developers did not spend much time on the security needs of those who would prefer a more granular permissions system. WordPress only comes with 5 Roles being Subscriber, Contributor, Author, Editor and Administrator. You would need to implement a 3rd Party plugin that will allow you to assign more granular permissions.
- Migration to a new domain name
It has proven quite difficult to safely move your WordPress website from one domain name to another. Not that we do this regularly but I have seen often that people build their website on a test domain first such as http://test.mydomain.com and later wish to move it to their http://www.mydomain.com This can prove quite tricky as some plugins and meta-data in the database can become corrupt or inconsistent causing blank pages and 404 errors etc.
- Constant updates
I was hesitant to include this as a con because updates are good in the sense that they deliver a more secure environment. However, updates are not only security centric but can also introduce new features that can break something else or even remove features that you were happy with. The updates within WordPress can be overbearing at times and can have a negative effect on your overall happiness with the platform.
When Joomla was originally released, it was not aimed at the blogging community but rather it tried to be more versatile in its approach. It was more focused on allowing people to build complete websites and online stores including blogs. However, with the popularity of blogging and vlogging, WordPress quickly surpassed Joomla.
- User-friendly admin interface
While a lot of admin interfaces cab be quite overwhelming, Joomla does well to make it as simple to understand as possible.
- Free online video training to get you started
Joomla’s community has done a sterling job of making available video courses explaining how to use Joomla. You can start the free training by following this link: https://community.joomla.org/joomla-training.html
- Built-in facilities for earning revenue
Built into Joomla is the availability to quickly implement banner ads or similar to start earning revenue right off the bat.
- Cost (Free)
Just like its immediate competitor, Joomla is also completely free. As is the same with WordPress, there are no hidden costs to using the Joomla Platform but naturally, some third-party extensions will come with a fee attached.
- Large community base
Even though Joomla is not as widely used as WordPress, Joomla still boasts a large community base to engage with when you run into issues having 7974 extensions as of 31 August 2018.
- Media Management
Joomla fails in this area quite badly. There is no real easy way to manage media through Joomla. The Media manager can be cumbersome and restrictive. As an example, it is not easy to crop or resize images quickly in Joomla. Not to mention that there is no decent organising and sorting of your media content.
- Updates can break your website
Even though Joomla has a large community base rolling out regular updates, often the updates that come with Joomla are not backwards compatible with installed extensions. Thus, causing your website to either have limited functionality until the extension is updated or break your website altogether forcing you to roll back until an extension is updated.
- Limited theme availability
With a smaller following than WordPress, Joomla lacks in the availability of themes forcing you to possibly build your own custom theme if you can’t find one that suits your needs.
- Mild learning curve
When using Joomla, there is a small learning curve that comes with it but once this is out of the way and you understand the system, it can be quite rewarding.
- Not great for blogging
Joomla was never really geared towards blogging. It can definitely be used as a blogging platform, but you would be better served to go with WordPress.
Drupal was originally geared towards a messaging board of sorts and efforts were focused towards community-based interactions. Quoted from Wikipedia:
“Interest in Drupal got a significant boost in 2003 when it helped build “DeanSpace” for Howard Dean, one of the candidates in the U.S. Democratic Party’s primary campaign for the 2004 U.S. presidential election. DeanSpace used open-source sharing of Drupal to support a decentralized network of approximately 50 disparate, unofficial pro-Dean websites that allowed users to communicate directly with one another as well as with the campaign.”
Drupal has grabbed the attention of developers around the globe and is gaining more and more popularity with every new version that is released.
- Very Extensible
After the Drupal platform is installed, there isn’t much in the way of “finesse” but it gives you the ability to really delve deep into exactly how you want your website to work allowing you to build complex websites and in a very short time.
- Quick Response to Security concerns
The Drupal team take security very seriously and they are quick to release an update or patch to prevent any breaches.
- Drupal community base is growing rapidly
With companies like Microsoft, Twitter, Pinterest, and Government agencies pouring money in to the platform, there is a rapid uptake of developers with every new iteration of Drupal. Drupal boasts 13102 modules that are under active development and are actively maintained.
- Granular rich user permissions
Unlike WordPress, Drupal really shines when it comes to granting permissions. A more granular approach was taken allowing you to create group permissions to manage the user base more effectively.
- Feature Rich
Out of the box, Drupal avails itself to a myriad of features allowing a more stable system without the interference of third party plugins or extensions that will require updating at a later stage potentially breaking parts of your website if not the entire site itself.
- Steep Learning curve
While Drupal is a solid system and contains plenty of features, this doesn’t come without a cost. The learning curve to understanding the system can be a long and tedious one and is more fit for intermediate to experienced developers.
- Important plugins or rather modules are not free
Drupal labels its plugins/extensions to rather be called modules. Not that this is important but when Drupal doesn’t have a feature available and you find yourself searching for a third-party module to achieve the same result, you will most likely be required to pay a fee for using it.
- Complicated Admin interface
Most people’s opinion of Drupal’s admin interface is one of complexity and complication. You may find yourself completely lost and unable to find the seemingly obvious features that you need to either activate or deactivate.
- Theming system can be complicated
Let’s be honest, we always want a great looking site. With Drupal, themes can be scarce and complicated to implement leaving a serious lack of modern day, high-quality responsive themes.
- Can be way over the top for small websites
Drupal is perfect for larger projects and developer-centric environments but for smaller websites that you need to get out the door quickly, Drupal can be unnecessarily over-the-top. You would best be suited to either a WordPress or Joomla platform.
Let’s face it, we all want the best-looking website design on the internet and this is by no means a comprehensive list of CMS platforms available out there but these are most definitely the top three platforms for beginner, intermediate and advanced website designers.
While Drupal will get your most complicated projects off the ground, it will leave the beginner and intermediate group of designers scratching their heads.
Joomla is a perfect “in-between” platform and will serve most people quite satisfactorily. However, it still lags far behind in community-based support and availability of plugins/extensions compared to WordPress.
WordPress is our choice of website platform when approaching most of our website projects due to the nature of its popularity, its availability of plugins and not to mention that security flaws are detected extremely fast with such a large user base.
As you can see, each platform has its own fair share of pro’s and cons and it’s always up to you to decide which platform will suit your needs in each project that you choose to take on.
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