Content Management

The best way to deliver your information to the world requires the best content management. We explore WordPress as one of the tools you can use. We stick to Open Source solutions that run on Linux utilizing MySQL.

Water and Stone Open Source CMS Survey

As professional web developers of both the Joomla! and WordPress Content Management Systems (CMS) we come across many different surveys and comparisons of the two. Water and Stone poses the question “What is the most popular open source content management system?” and actually uses statistics to provide an unbiased report.

If you’ve ever wondered if WordPress and Joomla! truly are the best pieces of software that we could be using, then take a look at this survey. In the first few pages you’ll read “that three systems have come to dominate the present market: WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal.” But don’t just take that as proof, look at some of the stats that are given throughout the 51 page paper.

Search Engine Visibility

The Next Wave’s core competency compared to other web hosting and design firms in the Dayton area is that we focus on getting our clients on the front page of Google. Sure, you can have a great looking website, but if no one can see it what’s the point? So, one of the first thing we looked for in this survey was any information on search engine ranking for WordPress and Joomla!.

Joomla! comes out on top with more than 1 million inbound searched links at the time of the survey, with WordPress right behind with 403,000. Notice phpnuke and MediaWiki with more than a million links as well, however these are “black hat” search engine optimization techniques that were implemented to create and keep inbound links permanent to skew search.

Do a search for “Content Management System”, and Joomla! comes up second in Google. A search for “Blog Software” (or a variant of that) and WordPress is right up there on top. This just shows that the websites that provide these two are strong in search engine optimization and Google loves to read from them. If you have a website powered by them, Google will love your site too (provided you continually update).

You can also see what people are searching for on Google, and the results that turn up for those searches. The top two systems? You guessed it, WordPress and Joomla! with a huge margin of difference from the third CMS on the list Drupal.

Ratings has a list of all of these and allows visitors to rate and comment on the various ones that are in use. For ratings, WordPress comes out on top with a rating of 4.4 out of 5. Joomla!’s up there too, with 4.2 out of 5.

Brand Strategy

“The open source CMS market is maturing and, with the increase in competition, the competitive landscape is changing. The historical leaders have been supplanted by new names. The data collected in this portion of the survey shows that in almost every way the mind share in today’s market is dominated by just three brands: WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal.”

WordPress and Joomla! are at the top of everything in this survey. Their branding is superb and still growing, their ranks and ratings are high above the rest of the pack, and both have HUGE community groups that help to make the two CMS’s more stable, more flexible, and even better for web development than other systems. The next time someone says that Joomla! and WordPress aren’t good for web design, tell them otherwise. The facts are there, leading edge developers realize these systemsenable amazing work for clients in at minimum- half the time as building a website from scratch.

Read this, read it again if you want to. Print it out and pass it to your co-workers or show it to your boss so that he/she will let you start using WordPress or Joomla!. And if you’re interested in learning more about the systems, come to our next Websitetology seminar and we’ll give you the crash course that will set your business on top.

Download: Open Source CMS Survey

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Options to Akismet and Spam Karma 2: Mollom

Once your site gets popular, the next problem is comment spam. It’s all Google’s fault for giving points to inbound links- no mater what the connection (give or take). Spammers will say the stupidist things just to get a link back to their site- or even something innocuous like “Nice site, I’ll be back” or some other compliment that adds nothing to the conversation. These suck- because if you have people subscribed to comments- they all get these stupid messages as well.

Spam Karma 2 is still the mac daddy of all spam killers in our book- but, it’s lead developer, Dr. Dave has decided to throw in the towel- which is really too bad. Too many WordPress updates were making his life a living hell. It’s too bad the core dev team believes it’s their way or the highway- because his spam killer works better than Akismet (from the developers of WordPress, which has a funky license- it’s not quite free).

Mollom is in Beta- and my friend D’Arcy Norman is giving it a test run. So far, it’s not SK2- but, remember- that’s what Beta means. Here’s what they say on the Mollom site:

The web is changing. User contribution is now what makes or breaks a site. Allowing users to react, participate and contribute while still keeping your site under control can be a huge challenge. Mollom is a web service that helps you identify content quality and, more importantly, helps you stop comment and contact form spam. When moderation becomes easier, you have more time and energy to interact with your web community. Mollom is currently in public beta.

Home | Mollom.

There are different philosophies on comment moderation- we tend to recommend that you let spam filtered comments post automatically- as soon as they’ve been screened by your filter- no human intervention. Every once in a while something gets through- but, in general, the speed of conversation gets your network going faster than waiting for you to moderate.

Many corporations are scared to let the unmoderated comments post- but, that’s bunk. If they want to say something crappy about your brand- they’ll either say it on your site, or elsewhere- where you may not be able to respond or correct it.

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WordPress as a CMS- we say yes.

Found an excellent article on WordPress as a Content Management System- and much of it agrees with what we’ve been preaching and teaching for the last couple of years. It is well worth jumping over and reading the whole thing.

The key for us is how easy it is to use WordPress- as compared to other CMS systems. The author of the following article also said the same thing:

I just know WordPress, and I know it is easy to use (as opposed to, say, Joomla) for not so familiar clients. Add a solid support for “static” content, being the WordPress Pages, and more newsy update flows controlled by the Posts, and you’ve got your needs pretty much covered for most websites online today.

If you can’t use it yourself, and keep your company on the forefront of Industry news and trends, you don’t really have a website. We also see the terrific value WordPress offers as an Search Engine Optimization tool. Use WordPress right- get to the front of Google.
Here is his very helpful checklist:

Checklist for Creating Web Sites with WordPress as the CMS

These are the things I tend to think about before choosing and designing a website where WordPress will be used as the CMS. There’s probably other things as well, things I just haven’t take into account since my clients haven’t had that kind of need yet. Feel free to add yours in the comments, sharing is caring after all.

* Is there even a need for a CMS for the client?

* Is WordPress the correct CMS? Will it fit the needs? Is the translations available for the WordPress backend good enough? How will it be upgraded?

* Will I need to extend WordPress using plugins? Are any hacks to the core necessary, because if they are, how will I make sure that these won’t break when the core is upgraded?

* What types of content will there be, and what should be deemed static (i.e. use Pages), and what is flowing updates (i.e. Posts)? How will I present this, and what is the main type of content?

* How will the permalink structure be? Should it really say “category”, why not “view” or “updates” or something else?

* Will the menu be static (i.e. coded into the theme) or controlled by WordPress (i.e. listing using WordPress tags for Pages and categories)? How could this go wrong in the future?

* What hierarchy will the Pages have? This is important for the URL, since it should be coherent with the menu hierarchy after all.

* How will I present sub-pages (i.e. Pages having a mother Page)? Should there be any at all?

* Do I need Page templates for various sections? How will these work with sub-pages?

* What categories will I use? Should the client be allowed to create new categories?

* How will I present Posts content?

* Do I need category templates for the various categories?

Things To Consider When Using WordPress as a CMS | Devlounge

Although he asks for comments on this post- they don’t seem to have them- but I would add that the issue of using Categories and Tags are still a little fuzzy for most people.

Think of Categories as the table of contents of a book and tags as the index- and you are track to better understanding how they should work. All of his points really don’t apply to people using off the shelf themes- which are the jack of all trades solutions for the most part. To really optimize WordPress as a Content Management System, you are really talking about custom theme development.

We’ve just completed an implementation of WordPress as a CMS on, head over and take a look.

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