Trends in CMS usage among popular websites

CMS stands for content management system. If you do not know how to build a website from scratch and also do not wish to use website builders, chances are you will likely end up using a CMS. But that’s not the only reason why people go for a CMS. Each CMS has its own pros and cons which need to be carefully evaluated before choosing the right solution for your web hosting needs.

You might be surprised to know that many popular websites use a CMS. It is not as if they don’t have the resources to build a website from scratch. A CMS gives a website a standard set of features which ensure consistency. It is common for websites to migrate from one CMS to another. At eWebGuru, we do not restrict you in terms of the CMS that you choose for your hosting. You can choose different CMS such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc. we support each of these in our hosting plans.

WordPress

As per a survey conducted by W3Techs, WordPress is used by more than 40% of all websites. This is not just a huge number, but the second competitor is far behind, making the lead quite difficult to catch up. WordPress has an extensive collection of plugins and themes which help you a lot in terms of customizing your site without having to write code for it.

At the same time, its growing popularity also makes it a popular target for hackers. Vulnerabilities are regularly found by hackers in different versions of WordPress. Like with most software, it is important to keep your version of WordPress updated.

The powerful nature of WordPress also comes at a cost. Although it is based on tried-and-tested technologies such as PHP and MySQL, it is not lightweight, even if its claimed 5-minute installation might make you feel so. There are many PHP modules such as ImageMagick which are recommended to be installed and activated in order for WordPress to perform at its best. These modules are resource-intensive. Many free hosting providers do not have such PHP modules enabled. However, at eWebGuru, we ensure that your WordPress website works like a charm.

So which are the popular websites that use WordPress? The pandemic has left hardly anyone a stranger to what Zoom (the video-conferencing tool) is. The website Zoom.us is based on WordPress. If you are searching for jobs, it is likely that you have come across Indeed.com . They too use WordPress. Of course, even WordPress own website was built using WordPress, so you can be sure that they are practising the same thing which they actually preach.

Joomla

Joomla is another popular CMS used by more than 1% of all websites. While its usage share has slightly declined recently compared to WordPress (whose share has remained pretty steady in the last couple of years), many loyalists still swear by it.

It is not as heavy as WordPress is. Many websites go for Joomla even though it has its own learning curve and requires specialised skills on the part of the developer. If you are from India, chances are you have an Aadhaar card and might have heard about UIDAI. Their website ( http://www.uidai.gov.in ) is based on Joomla.

Like WordPress, Joomla too is based on PHP and MySQL. Although it is pretty common for websites to switch from Joomla to WordPress (which is also considered to be one of the reasons behind Joomla’s usage share declining while WordPress’ usage share remains steady), there are people who see value in switching to Joomla. For example, the Colombian government’s migration portal ( https://migracioncolombia.gov.co ) recently switched to Joomla.

Drupal

Both Joomla and Drupal go neck-and-neck in terms of popularity. Drupal too is based on PHP and is pretty lightweight, although it has a very different architecture. Ironically, similar to Joomla, it has been losing some market share over the last couple of years.

You might be surprised to know that Pinterest.com is powered by Drupal. Even the popular retail chain Home Depot uses Drupal for its ecommerce storefront. Some US government departments, such as NIH and IRS also use Drupal, and so does Docusign and the Cambridge university’s press and assessment.

In terms of switching, there are popular websites which have recently migrated to Drupal. Xing.com , the social network switched to Drupal, and so did King Saud University in Saudi Arabia ( https://ksu.edu.sa ).

Making the CMS choice

It is not as if you absolutely must go for a CMS. The same survey suggests that about a third of all websites do not use any CMS at all. This might answer why there is such a big gap between WordPress and its nearest competitor. However, how do you decide which CMS to choose?

If you or your web developer(s) already have skills in PHP, then each of the above-mentioned options will do. Not all CMS provide the same set of features. So if you want to build a website having some functionality which is not built in to the CMS itself, (e.g. forums), chances are you might end up using a plugin/add-on for the same. This increases the complexity of your website and also has effects on security, performance, and ultimately, the search engine ranking.

So, while planning your website, it is important that you are absolutely clear about what your website really needs to have. As a thumb rule, the lighter your website, the faster it will load, although of course there are exceptions to this rule. Since many people consider WordPress as a one-size-fits-all option, some of them often tend to get disappointed upon seeing their website get bogged down by features that they ended up installing but didn’t really need. While migrations to other CMS are usually possible, they can often be a bigger headache for the teams involved compared to having to re-build from scratch, owing to the different set of constraints that each CMS has.

Wrapping up

Check out our CMS hosting solutions at https://www.ewebguru.com . We have pocket-friendly plans for all the above-mentioned CMS and also offer simple web hosting options for those that do not wish to use a CMS at all. Make a wise decision about your choice, because as they say, well begun is half done!

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