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Look at Extensibility Before Choosing Your Content Management System (CMS)


Content Management Systems (CMS) are cool. The technology makes it so several people can maintain and update websites, and not every person needs extensive technical knowledge. So, while a company may have a web person assigned to the overall website, a marketing person can add articles to the site as can the customer service folk. Whilst this is useful, extensibility reigns as an even cooler feature of the CMS.

What’s extensibility?

Joomla users know about extensions and WordPress users know about widgets. Both widgets and extensions provide extensibility to the Content Management System. They are additional pieces of code, typically not made by the same people who maintain and update WordPress and Joomla code, that make the website do more than it could before. For instance, a default Joomla system doesn’t come with a blog as most people would recognize it, but you can easily add a blogging extension. Extensions and widgets can be added for all sorts of things, including ads and affiliate systems, real estate extensions, booking and reservation systems, customer relationship managers, newsletters, RSS syndication, and much more.

Look at the available extensions and widgets before you chose your CMS.

Joomla and WordPress are both “free.” That is, you can create a default installation without buying the software or a license. Each platform has different third-party code available for it.

What do you need your website to do? If you just need to have your trifold online, it doesn’t really matter (and perhaps a CMS is over kill for your site anyway). Assuming you want your site to do more, what do you want it to do? Make a list. Then compare widgets and extensions to see which content management system is more likely to meet your needs.

Where should I start looking for widgets and extensions?

WordPress extensions can be found on Joomla extensions can be found at and are repositories of third-party code, and people tend to list their code in those places so it can be found. However, you can find other locations of code with your searches.

The possibilities include?

The type of extensions and widgets available are pretty much only limited by programmer’s imaginations and time. If you have an idea, suggest it on a forum and perhaps someone will write the code for you.

– Booking and reservation systems

– Real estate specific solutions

– Restaurant menuing systems and online recipe boxes

– RSS syndication, Newsletters, and mailings

– Ads and affiliate advertising

– Calendars and event managers

– Customer relationship managers

– Membership sites

– Projects and task management

– Ratings and reviews

– Forums and chat windows

– Polls, surveys, quizzes, and forms

– Newsfeeds and blogs

– Methods to make your site work on mobile devices

– Importing data

– Animated clouds and tags

– Bizarre calculators and quotes

– Portfolios

– Photo galleries


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