The 3 Top CMS’s: Joomla, Drupal & WordPress

Joomla (joomla.org)

This is a free & open source Content Management Systems (CMS) that publishes on the World Wide Web. It can also be published on Intranets and a Model View Controller (MVC) with a Web Application framework that can be used independently.

So what is a Model View Controller?  This is a software architecture that separates the application logic (domain logic) from the user interface through input & presentation. This permits independent development, testing and maintenance of the three separate areas. This is more of the back end programming but it describes in essence how Joomla works.

So what is a Web Application framework? This is software designed to support the development of dynamic websites, web applications and services. This framework helps to reduce the overhead associated with common activities of Web Development like providing libraries for Database Access. It also provides for templating, session management & often it reuses code.

Joomla was written in PHP and uses Object Oriented Programming techniques and Software Design Patterns. It stores it’s data is a MySQL database and includes page caching, RSS feeds, printable pages, news flashes, blogs, polls, web searches, and support for International Languages. It started in September of 2005 as Mambo, but was later changed to the name Joomla.

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Drupal (drupal.org)

This is also a free & open source CMS and content management framework written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License. It runs on any computing platform that supports both a web server and a database. Any version of PHP is okay (Apache, ISS, lighted, nginx) and Database systems (MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, SQLite, MongoDB or Microsoft SQL Server) Their system is used for 1.5% of all websites worldwide. It hosts government sites like whitehouse.gov and data.gov.uk. It is also used for knowledge management and business collaboration.

The standard release is known as Drupal core. It includes user registration and maintenance, menu management, RSS feeds, page layout customization and system administration. This system can be used as a brochureware website, a single or multi-user blog, an internet forum, or community website for user-generated content.

It was initially released in January 2001 by Dries Buytaert as a message board. It soon became a open source project. The word Drupal comes from the Dutch word “drop” that means a water drop. The name was taken from  the drop.org website which is no dissolved. The creator, a Dutch man wanted to call his site “dorp” a Dutch word for Village, but mistyped the word “drupal” when checking the domain name & thought it sounded better. Well, the name stuck

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Word Press (wordpress.org)

This is another CMS but is basically an open source blog powered by PHP and MySQL. It uses plug in architecture for its system. It is the most popular CMS out there. It was released in May of 2003 by Matt Mullenweg as a fork of “b2/cafelog”. It is a web template systems that uses a template processor. The user does not need to edit any PHP or HTML code & they can install and switch between different style themes.

It also uses integrated link management, a search engine friendly clean permalink structure, the ability to assign nested & multiple categories to articles. It supports tagging of posts and articles and automatic filter. For example, changing text in articles to smart quotes. It also supports trackback and pingback standards for displaying links to other sites that have been linked or mentioned.

In 2007 and 2008, many security vulnerabilities were discovered in the software. Many high profile SEO blogs as well as low profile commercial blogs with AdSense were targeted and attacked. A hacker got into the project sites web server and put exploitable code in the back door of WordPress downloads! With the 2.1.2 release, this issue was addressed. In an interview with the founder of the PHP Security and Response Team, he cited problems with the applications architecture which made it difficult to write code that is secure from SQL Injection vulnerabilities as well as some other issues. To protect from these security holes, a user should add the plugin “Better WP Security” or “WP Security Scan” as well as many others.  In order to download these plugins, you need to be using a .org version of Word Press. To use the Word Press software, you have to go to WordPress.org. First you have to find a Web Host, then you download and install wordpress, and finally read the Documentation to become a Word Press expert.

For our class, we created FREE Word Press blogs using WordPress.com.  Our security settings were on our Dashboard. To have secure browsing, we need to enable it. To make your .com version secure, you go to the dashboard, on the left hand side, click on “Users: Personal Settings”. Then click the box where it says “Always use HTTPS when visiting administration pages”.

The name b2 or cafelog was a precursor to Word Press. There was an estimated 2,000 blogs as of May 2003. It was written in PHP for use with MySQL by Michael Valdrighi who is still a developer for WordPress. So, WordPress first appeared in 2003 as a fork of b2. The name WordPress was suggested by Christine  Selleck, a friend of Matt Mullenweg & Mike Little.

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So that is the 411, on the three major Content Management Systems. I have a blog in Word Press, now I want to try out the interfaces for Joomla and Drupal. Happy Blogging! 🙂

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