The New Ways To Make A Website

Over the years, many different programs and coding languages have been used to create websites. Starting out with HTML 1, moving up to HTML 5, with the addition of CSS and PHP, websites have become more functional and visually appealing then ever; but the website is changing again.

New programs called CMS (content management system) are being developed and used more and more often. With the invention of these programs, website are becoming easier to create and easier to manage, lessening the need for web designers and coding experts. The three most popular of these systems are WordPress, Joomla, and of course, Google Sites.

The Comparison

These systems all have their ups and downs, but they all preform the same basic functions and are used for mostly the same purposes.

WordPress

WordPress is probably the most widely known CMS, mainly because of its usefullness for bloggers. WordPress also has the option to host a blog with them, so all the user needs to do is sign up and give their website a name, and they have it. Hosting it yourself however gives you many more customization options, including custom themes and advertisments. The downside to WordPress is the lack of customization. When using it, you are locked to only placing widgets where the theme allows, which is generally just one sidebar. The pages are straightfoward and not as dynamic as some people like, but because of this, the CMS is amazingly easy to use. The blog for the help desk was created on WordPress.

Joomla

Joomla is probably the most well known CMS amongst web designers and business owners, because it is the most customizable and the scalable. However, it is difficult to learn, requiring some knowledge of HTML and how PHP and CSS work together with HTML. However, managing the content of a Joomla website is easy, and requires no knowledge of coding or programming. Having designed many websites for companies and non-profit organizations, Joomla is my first choice when using a CMS to design a website and teach a company how to populate their website with content.

Google Sites

Google Sites may be the most well known of them all, simply because anyone who uses Google for anything will notice the “Sites” button on their homepage sooner or later. Google sites tries to make creating website as easy as possible, but because of this, they are lacking some basic features. They give you a free domain (though it’s not easy to remember), dozens of free templates to choose from, and basic style options such as font and colors. The pages are very linear however, limited to one article of content per page. The side bar of a page can only contain a few widgets, most of them just text. Adding HTML or other custom widgets is basically impossible, and any custom syling is out of the question.

Feature WordPress Google Sites Joomla
Custom HTML Filtered, but allowed No Yes, easily
Themes/Styles Limited themes, can’t use own Very limited, can’t use own Yes
User Roles Yes, limited to pre-defined roles Yes, limited to editor and admin Yes, completely customizable
Skill Required (for setup) No programming, but website dev. knowledge None PHP and MySQL knowledge
Skill (for updates and content) None (possibly basic HTML) None Basic HTML and CSS for styles and themes
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