STAUFFER’S Key Insights: Harnessing the Power of Open-source CMS

The biggest brands in the world come to (and refer others) to STAUFFER not only because we deliver engaging websites that cater to their end-users, but for how we hand off a product that is simple for any member of their team to edit and update. STAUFFER pulls this off by having the comprehensive knowledge required to know which open-source content management system is the perfect fit for their clients needs. 

What are open-source content management systems?

Open-source content management systems, or CMS for short, are platforms in which STAUFFER build and manage client’s sites. Within a CMS lies all the code, copy, images, and videos for a website, allowing for simple-control and flexibility of all these assets without having to constantly bring in an expensive developer to make these changes.

With open-source CMS, developers can use free and inexpensive tools, plug-ins, and widgets to hone-in on expanding the functionality and scalability of a website. Open-source CMS platforms also allow for continuous updates to squash bugs and improve website security. By having an open codebase for the world to build off of, as technology progresses even further, a global community of open-source CMS platform developers quickly adapt to these advancements. This means these open-source tools will continue to create secure avenues for companies to implement new technologies like AI enhancements, augmented reality, and virtual reality without fully scrapping and reworking your website.

Choosing between Drupal and WordPress

Depending on an analysis of STAUFFER’S clients needs, STAUFFER clients choose between one of two CMS platforms to build their websites: WordPress or Drupal.

Both Drupal and WordPress are free to use, serve identical functions, and are built on the same databases (PHP and MySQL). While they seem to be the same, there is a big tradeoff in regards to simplicity and functionality. Knowing which site best fits your needs will save you both money in development and headaches down the line.

Which CMS is right for my needs?

Typically speaking, with smaller businesses that have a basic set of needs for their website (company info, content, blog, store, etc), STAUFFER recommends using WordPress. WordPress has the power to accomplish most tasks for small to medium sized businesses and institutions. WordPress’ simple UX packs everything within a platform that is designed to be both intuitive and useful for even the least tech-savvy person on your team. 

Due to its popularity, WordPress also has a much larger library of open-source plug-ins and an online community constantly creating and delivering new features and providing troubleshooting for the myriad issues that may come up throughout the entire life of the website.

However, if you are a larger business or institution in need of complex customization, enhanced security, or nuanced development needs, Drupal provides a scalable system that can provide a much more robust set of options that can expand far beyond the capabilities of WordPress. 

The tradeoff in using Drupal is that the initial development requires a bit more heavy lifting from a development team and thus brings a higher development cost to the client. Drupal is also not as straightforward for the average user and requires a bit more depth from clients in understanding how to operate the website’s basic functions after handoff.

Stauffer and Drupal in action: USC PRISM Race and Equity Center

In the discovery process for USC’s Race and Equity Center, Prism, it became very aware to the Stauffer team that their three-pronged initiative to transform recruiting, hiring, and professional development at postsecondary institutions needed a very complex architecture that required numerous schools, educators, students, and communities across a spectrum of cultures and identities to find each other. 

While WordPress could provide the front-end support required to launch this website, the enhanced security and scalability of Drupal provided ample room to fully develop and launch a more streamlined back-end to make a quicker, more secure site. Drupal also had the ability to scale beyond WordPress’ capabilities, giving USC much more functionality and the ability to grow alongside USC’s mission to provide more equitable education solutions to Los Angeles.

Learn more about Stauffer’s efforts to bring professional development resources with employers and diverse professionals who are seeking careers in higher education via their PRISM website in our case study.

Stauffer and WordPress in action: Happier Living Inc.

With the goal of providing accessible and client-focused mental health services for the people of California, Happier Living looked to Stauffer to launch a dynamic and vibrant rebrand that reintroduced the world to their constellation of services. 

Using WordPress, Stauffer delivered a very simple to use website in which team members could add and edit dynamic new content, such as doctor testimonials, team members, blogs, jobs, and anything else that needed changing on-the-fly. Alongside simple editing capabilities, WordPress was also able to provide essential services to their clients like requesting medication refills, insurance eligibility, and scheduling appointments at any of the practice’s state-of-the-art locations in West Hollywood, Brentwood and Newport Beach.

By keeping things simple with WordPress and utilizing Salesforce and HIPAA compliance plugins, Stauffer was able to fulfill all of Happier Living’s needs in a cost-effective way that provided an interface that could be quickly updated in-house. 

Learn more about how Stauffer brought simplicity to Happier Living’s goal of creating a community of individuals working together toward the goal of a healthier, happier, and kinder world in our case study.

How will open-source CMS continue to expand in 2023?

By embracing new technologies and encouraging a community of developers to build upon their platforms, open-source CMS communities quickly adopt and integrate these thrilling new inventions to make them accessible to businesses and institutions of all sizes. 

Open-source CMS continues to stay on pace with a never ending series of updates to their platforms that support these emerging trends, such as mobile responsiveness, voice search, artificial intelligence,augmented reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT). 

Stauffer’s 20-plus year experience in online marketing means we can provide a tailor-fit website with a CMS calibrated exactly for your needs without unnecessary features that clog up your budget. By keeping up with these technological advancements, Stauffer continues to stay in lock-step alongside open-source CMS innovators to provide relevant and modern digital experiences to our clients.

It takes a lot of know-how and experience to find the right CMS for a website, let Stauffer help you assess the specific needs for your online community by scheduling a consultation today.

Did You Know...

Stauffer can help you navigate security considerations on your digital systems.

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