It was the summer of 2007. I was on vacation with my family in Kauai, HI, enjoying paradise. During one of the coveted nap-times for the kids, I started doing some searches for content management systems. Yeah, that’s how I unwind. At the time, I was primarily utilizing a few proprietary systems to run websites and the cost/rigidness was suffocating creativity.
The first one I stumbled on was Drupal. Seemed powerful, had a really big following, I just couldn’t wrap my head around it quick enough. I knew my clients would have a hard time with that as well. Next I came across Joomla. Within minutes I had a site up and was rocking. It was easy for me to understand and so I knew the majority of my clients would catch on. (I don’t come from a computer science or IT background and think fairly “everyday-person”-ish and have found the majority of my clients appreciate that).
Joomla, at first, was great. I was able to add all these great components and modules to the site to make it do some amazing things. I was happy. This thing called WordPress started gaining notoriety, sounded interesting, but I needed my sites to do more than just blog – I’ll stick to my Joomla. Then Joomla made a massive update from Joomla 1.0.15 to 1.5. Massive. Change-your-database-structure and update-all-your-templates and reload-all-your-components kind of massive. And the best part was, you pretty much had to make the change as people were no longer developing for Joomla 1.0.
So I approached my clients and moved a bunch of them over. We got everyone trained up and rolling and then more and more updates started happening. The latest is 2.5. Yet again, another painful move to migrate sites to the new version.
Once Joomla started down the 1.5 path, I started taking more notice of WordPress. The community was growing, the plugins were growing, the system seemed really stable. But best of all? One-button updates. That’s right. You get notified there’s a new version of WordPress and you push the “Automatically Install” button and WHAMO. Site is updated. To me, that is a game changer for all small businesses and organizations looking to manage their own site.
I hope that Joomla can figure out how to modify its software enough to follow suit as for now, WordPress is dominating my recommendations and is proving over and over that it is the right choice for small business, non-profits, churches, schools, etc.
I sort of short-changed Drupal in the opening paragraph so feel free to bash me publicly in the comments if you think otherwise!
Happy website managing!