I was recently asked to compare for a client the difference between CMS Made Simple and WordPress, I thought maybe this information would be useful to have here on the blog as well. I have compiled some opinions and have tested both solutions.
CMS Made Simple
What is CMS Made Simple? Here is a quote from the CMS Made Simple website, “CMS Made Simple is an open source (GPL) package, built using PHP that provides website developers with a simple, easy to use utility to allow building small-ish (dozens to hundreds of pages), semi-static websites. Typically our tool is used for corporate websites, or the website promoting a team or organization, etc. This is where we shine. There are other content management packages that specialize in building portals, or blogs, or article based content, etc. CMS Made Simple can do much of this, but it is not our area of focus.” (source: www.cmsmadesimple.org)
From my research, my experience with CMS Made simple and as the name itself denotes, the CMS is made to be simple. This is a great strength and a mighty weakness. The media management capabilities seem limited, as well as the WYSIWYG editor. Creating and updating text only pages is a breeze, but anything else becomes quite burdensome. Even though the basic features are very user-friendly
The theming functionality seems very limited and a bit cumbersome. For an end-user it probably doesn’t matter much, but as a developer that’s a huge hurdle. I can’t find a whole lot of developer support on the website.
There doesn’t seem to be a very large CMS Made Simple community. A thriving community would be a huge benefit to developers and end users alike.
What is WordPress? Not to be confused with its turnkey sibling WordPress.com. On their homepage, the developers describe WordPress as the following,
“WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time. The core software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and when you’re ready for more there are thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine. Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call ‘home’ — we’d love you to join the family.” (source: www.wordpress.org)
I have extensive experience with the WordPress platform and have nothing but compliments to the developers. WordPress is elegant, user-friendly and powerful. WordPress has great built-in tools and has thousands of available plugins to give any functionality you may ever need.
Theming with WordPress is a breeze for any PHP developer. WordPress has a vast codex that gives detailed instructions for developers. Theme directories are easy to follow and understand. WordPress even gives a front end to edit the theme’s files within the WordPress backend.
WordPress is safe. Websites are under a constant barrage of hackers that will exploit any whole they can find. WordPress is at the forefront of CMS security and is constantly being updated to address any security concerns that may arise.
The WordPress community is teaming with helpful and able developers. The answer to almost any questions you may have can be found quickly and easily. If someone hasn’t already asked your question the WordPress forums are an active arena that offers help almost instantaneously.
The Bottom Line
I use and love WordPress. My clients love WordPress (or at least they haven’t told me otherwise). I have had nothing but good things to say about its interface and development tools. When it comes down to it, WordPress is a more polished CMS that offers incredibly easy to use features for users of any skill level. Some of the largest sites in the world use WordPress. Its tried and consistent. When it comes to my clients, or potential clients, I trust WordPress to give the best user environment that provides the features, ease-of-use and security that I need.