The world of web design has changed a lot since the early days of the Internet. With the birth of social media, the user is more important than ever before. Perhaps as a direct result of platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, user-driven websites have never been more popular than they are today.
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. After all, the modern web focuses almost exclusively on the user, particularly in light of Google’s recent efforts with its search engine. With that in mind, putting the user first during the design process seems like a rather obvious choice – as does focusing on user-generated content.
Contrary to what some people might tell you, user-generated content hubs don’t really “run themselves.” It’s actually a great deal of work to set up and maintain such a site. Right from the beginning, you need to figure out what type of content you’re going to deal with – and set up some sort of system to curate that content.
On top of that, you need to design a database that can be easily expanded to account for new registrations and uploads, one which is agile yet powerful enough to deal with heavy server loads. It’s a tall order, and one that not every CMS is necessarily equipped to address. It’s imperative that you choose one that’s capable of dealing with the demands you’re going to place on it.
Make the wrong choice, and it’ll likely cost you – dearly.
The market for user-driven websites is extremely competitive. Remember, this is a market that most everyone seems to want in on. What that means is simple: if your site isn’t flawless – if it doesn’t serve its niche nearly to perfection – then there are at least five other sites your users can go to, one of which will.
So, now that we’ve gotten all the unpleasant details out of the way, which content management system is the right choice for a user-driven website? WordPress is powerful and easy to use. It’s got a highly flexible framework, too, but it’s a blogging platform first and foremost.
Joomla and Drupal are a little better-suited to the task. Unfortunately, the latter tends to be a bit too heavy on memory for a user-driven site, while the former comes with an incredibly steep and unforgiving learning curve. What this means is that neither is necessarily an ideal choice.
That’s where Concrete5 comes in. It’s a CMS designed from the ground-up for usability from both a development and front-end perspective. It’s highly configurable, and every bit as flexible as WordPress. And while there is a bit of a learning curve to use Concrete5, it’s nowhere near as steep as the one that comes with Joomla. Factor in a simple-yet-powerful file manager, and it’s an even sweeter deal.
In short, it’s the best of both worlds. Websites are easy to set up, and just as easy to manage – and on top of all that, it’s open-source, as well. You won’t need to spend a cent, and you can tap into the awesome development community if you run into any problems.
Web design has changed a great deal since the Internet first came into being. More and more, we’re focused on providing the user what they want – and in this case, what they want is the opportunity to be part of something bigger than they are. With Concrete5, you can provide them with exactly that, and avoid giving your development team too much of a headache in the process.