In order to provide my clients with the best possible feature set and best price, I use open source content management systems (CMS) to build their sites on. Though I have used several different CMSs my preferred systems are WordPress.org and Drupal. I like these because of the ever growing communities they each have. Each has thousands of plugins and themes available, and plenty of support if any problems come up.
WordPress is great for its ease of set up, use, maintenance, and updates. It has set the standard for blogging systems, and it continues to grow into a full featured CMS for managing fairly complex websites.
Drupal is great for building complex sites quickly and easily. For example, it works with sites that have multiple content types, field types, methods of displaying content, and users with very customizable permissions. You can think of Drupal as more of a web application framework with great CMS abilities.
These systems are both free, open source, systems. You can easily get them installed on just about any hosting service. Install one of the thousands of themes available, and you’re off!
When I set a user up on one of these systems I generally build a custom theme, and install or develop the plugins needed to make the site work the way my client desires. I then show my client how it works and the way to update content. Some of my clients would rather I handled all site updates which is fine. These still make great systems for keeping your content organized and searchable.
Generally when someone comes to me needing a website I find out what kind of site they need and then pick the best system for them. But some are more comfortable in one or the other, and since a lot of the functionality overlaps I’m happy to work with whichever system they prefer. I have also used CMSs besides WordPress and Drupal. There are many available and I try to stay up-to-date with all the popular systems so I can provide the best service no matter what system my client needs to use.
I’ll be posting more information on WordPress and Drupal so stay tuned.