CMS - Umbraco / WordPress / Shopify

When deciding on a technology or platform, we take into consideration a number of aspects:

For most of the web solutions we do, we have used one of three platforms: Umbraco, WordPress and Shopify. 

We will describe these platforms here to give an idea of their scope, advantages and disadvantages. 

Umbraco

Example of an Umbraco CMSUmbraco is a .NET open-source CMS (Content Management System). We have seen it evolve tremendously in the past couple of years - although it was always solid, the user-experience has improved and it has a clear interface, ready to use for people who are quite familiar with HTML to ones who only know basic Word for example.

To setup Umbraco manually you need some technical knowledge however it also comes as a one-click install on Azure and many other .Net hosting platforms. The CMS is more of a framework than an instant complete fully functional CMS, meaning to get the best out of it, it needs configuration. However, it allows for incredible customisation of the CMS that is completely tailored to the website owner's needs. This means we can setup different templates and layouts, and you as website owner or administrator can make any changes to the website at any time. You will have full control over the site and do not need us for text changes, new pages, additional imagery etc. Only 'structural' changes (branding or additional functionality for example) will require our help. 

Advantages of Umbraco:

  • Very robust and secure
  • My Account / member functionality as part of the core functionality
  • Free to use
  • Simple to use
  • Great to setup a multilingual site, for end-users and/or for administrators

Disadvantages of Umbraco:

  • Requires Microsoft hosting which is mostly more expensive than linux
  • Design has to be bespoke; there are a few starter kits available but not a large theme marketplace

WordPress

Example of a WordPress CMSThe most popular and well-known CMS around, WordPress is 'officially' a CMS for blogs. That said, many people use WordPress for wide-ranging websites. WordPress is an open-source PHP CMS (Content Management System), and by using plugins it is very easy to add functionality to your website. 

Advantages of WordPress:

Disadvantages of WordPress:

Shopify

Example of a Shopify CMS

 

Shopify is relatively little known in Europe, but is immensely popular in North-America and is only getting bigger. Shopify is an ecommerce platform, that follows a similar model to WordPress with regards to themes and apps (comparable to plugins). There is a lot of 'out-of-the-box' functionality included, but Shopify is not free to use. As a website owner you pay a monthly fee (no contract), but you can have an ecommerce website ready in no time, which has lots of features, is fully tested and highly secure. 

Advantages of Shopify:

  • Range of features included in standard setup
  • Quick to launch your ecommerce site
  • Easy to use
  • Design - choose a free or paid for theme, or bespoke design
  • With Shopify Apps, you can quickly add features and functionality to your website, especially for the back-end (administration) and integration with other systems
  • Secure and scalable infrastructure

Disadvantages of Shopify:

  • Monthly fee, although this includes hosting
  • The CMS interface for pages is not configurable without the use of Apps