I am a CMS Junkie. I don’t know how this happened.
There are three CMS’s that I am spending a lot of time thinking about lately.
WordPress, Self-Hosted Open source software
The big feature is the community. There are so many plugins and themes. Tons of support resources to find on your favorite search engine. If you want to get started developing, tons of resources for that as well. WordPress has a really mature feature set and user interface. As I was writing this, look what popped up in my twitter stream:
Chances are that if you want to do it, then there is a plugin for it.
The downside to running wordpress is that you will find yourself delving into some set up and maintenance tasks. Running stuff on your own means you need to worry about patching the system, backing up, security, etc. But if you want to run your own site and have total control and build whatever you imagine, then wordpress is a good place to start.
Instead of giving money to web hosting company where you run and manage your own CMS software, you can give your money to a CMS hosting company like squarespace and get a completely managed CMS environment. No worrying about security, software patches, setting up databases, configuration files, etc. No worry about ownership or strange monetization schemes like you would with a provider that is offering their product for free. And even though you are using this specific hosted CMS there are tons more opportunities to customize than I have been able to dive into. I am guessing someone willing to invest in really learning this system could do almost anything with it. I really think this is the future of CMS hosting – getting web site maintainers and designers higher up the stack. Don’t worry about sys admin or software developer tasks. Let that be abstracted out to a provider. Just as amazon and other cloud computing providers have removed physical infrastructure from the equation for web service providers, Squarespace is removing CMS installation and maintenance from the equation for web masters.
I love tumblr because it provides a social network and completely friction free posting. I love that instead of having comments, tumblr instead pushes users to post a response on their own blogs. Being part of a network has advantages. A big part of tumblr culture is following other blogs and reblogging content from other blogs. Rather than just static site sitting there, don’t you want to create engagement through adding your content to a network where it will be seen and have an opportunity to travel and be talking about in a community – with no friction. If you are not trying to engage an audience, what is the point? I think I would want this kind of engagement for any website I might want to create.
TechCrunch reported that tumblr has seen dramatic growth over the last year:
The larger shift here that comScore is talking about is this: users are gravitating towards new ways of sharing the things they care about with anyone who shares the same interests as them. They’re still sharing private things like showing baby photos or party pics to real friends on Facebook. They’re just also falling in love with the new simple, public tools that these other companies offer.
Honorable mention: Jekyll / Octopress
There is something about composing your posts with a text editor, and generating a static site from the collection of files that is just wonderful to me. I know it has no business for the mass of people, and the web had become so rich due to ease of posting. But for someone like me, I am so intrigued by cutting out all the complications of databases, scaling, using web-based editors. At the same time, I also like some dynamic components on my site – like comments.