Selecting a CMS (Why WordPress is King)
Selecting a CMS (Why WordPress is King) avatar

“I need a website that I can update myself, but I have no idea where to start.”  This is something we hear a lot from people looking to establish a presence on the Web.  It’s not surprising given the range of options available. A quick search for “Choosing a CMS” will return a mind-boggling amount of sometimes conflicting information.  So, where to start?

Selecting a Hosting Platform (Choose Linux)

Confused Man

It actually doesn’t matter if you’re opting for a static website or a CMS, the first thing to consider is a hosting platform.  This is easy. Your choices are basically Linux (an open source operating system) or Windows.  Choose Linux. Here’s why.

Linux hosting supports the PHP Web programming language, and as of October 2013, over 80% websites that use Web programming were using PHP.  That means if you need to hire someone to do some work on your site, it’s going to be much easier (not to mention less expensive) to find a qualified PHP programmer.

There is another very good reason to select Linux over Windows.  If you compile a list of the 3 most commonly used open source Content Management Systems, you’ll find they all run on PHP and Linux:

  • WordPress: 20.4% of all websites run on WordPress, a 59.1% market share
  • Joomla: 3.2% of all websites run on Joomla, a 9.4% market share
  • Drupal: 2% of all websites run on Drupal, a 5.7% market share

Usage Statistics source: W3Techs – Web Technology Surveys, Top Open Source CMS

Choosing a CMS

In case you missed it in the section above, it’s worth pointing out that – as of October 2013 – over 20% of all sites on the Web were using WordPress.  That’s a LOT of websites!  There are several reasons for this.  WordPress is:

  • open source (meaning there are no proprietary licensing fees)
  • free
  • search-friendly
  • user-friendly and intuitive for website administrators
  • extensible – meaning it’s like Lego® – you can start out small and make it as big and complex (using any combination of the over 27,000 WordPress plugins available for free download) as you want
  • well-supported by an active, global developer community
  • packed with all sorts of goodies, including a search tool, blogging capability, the ability to create password protected pages, multiple user profiles, a range of administrative levels, and much more

So, while there’s nothing technically wrong with either Joomla or Drupal, WordPress is clearly the crowd favorite based on all the little things that make it so powerful, yet easy to use. vs

The next thing to consider is deciding between (a “hosted” solution) and (a “self-hosted” solution).  Spoiler alert: is the way to go! is a commercial site that allows you to create and post your site for “free” – but there are restrictions.  This is a great option for people looking for a quick and easy way to get a small site or blog up and running fast.  It’s “free” in exchange for allowing advertising on your site – unless you pay an optional fee for an ad-free site. restricts your ability to customize the look of your site and limits your ability to use plugins.  And, if you want a custom URL (web address), you’ll need to pay a yearly fee. 
Pros: it’s free, it’s a quick and easy way to get a small site or blog up and running
Cons: you have limited control over the look and functionality, there are ads and no custom-URL unless you pay a yearly fee.

The WordPress logo – the “self-hosted” solution involves purchasing professional hosting services and having WordPress installed on your hosting account.  The software and plugins are available for free from  Because the software is installed on your hosting account, you have the freedom to do whatever you want with it.  Once WordPress has been installed, you can simply modify one of the themes that comes pre-installed on WordPress, or you can have a professional Web Designer / Developer create and implement a custom design for you.
Pros: total freedom
Cons: you’ll need to pay for website hosting – an annual fee of roughly $100 – $200

Want more information?  Here’s a great resource:

There are loads of other “hosted” solutions out there (such as Webs, Weebly, Wix, and just to be different, one that doesn’t start with W – SquareSpace).  If you’re going to invest the time in trying one of these, do a bit of homework first and find some user reviews. The things to look out for include ease-of-use, functional and stylistic limitations, SEO, portability, restrictions related to advertising, and ownership of your information.

If you would like more information regarding CMS options – and how to go about finding the solution that will work best for you, call us at 705-927-2308 or send an email inquiry to .