Given the number of great open source choices, it’s a good idea to use a content management system for your Intuit ProAdvisor website. But which content management system? And why?
What’s a Content Management System?
Think of a content management system, or CMS for short, as a publishing tool that saves you the work of having to hand write every page on your website in HTML, or use a software tool like Front Page or Dreamweaver. Instead of composing pages on your local computer and “pushing” them up to your webserver via file transfer protocol (FTP), you merely log into your website and edit your content on the site itself. Of course, editing pages on your CMS-powered website requires a login and password.
Why We Recommend Drupal for our Intuit ProAdvisors
As of 2012, WordPress and Drupal are the two largest open source CMSs. WordPress started about 9 years ago, primarily as a blogging tool. WordPress has grown a lot during the past years, and it is a good CMS for simple sites. But that’s the catch: “simple”. If your website serves only as a brochure, and has only a few simple pages, WordPress will be a fine choice for you. However, in our experience, ProAdvisors often have more complex needs, and frequently outgrow the “simple” website stage quickly. Starting a website in Drupal is a great way to ensure you don’t outgrow your CMS platform as your needs evolve.
Therefore, our preference for our ProAdvisor customers is to use Drupal CMS. Drupal is a huge open source CMS project that powers many commercial and government website worldwide. NPR, MTV, Sony, Popular Science, The Economist, AOL and the White House are all companies that use Drupal (drupal.org, 2012).
- Online since 2001
- Popular – easy to find documentation, resources, or professional help
- Fast performance
- Best solution for complex sites
- Excellent image gallery integration
- Easy integration with Intuit syndicated content
- Security – Drupal has a very good track record in terms of security, and has an organized process for investigating, verifying, and publishing possible security problems (Drupal.org, 2012)
- Search engine friendly
- RSS, taxonomy and other blogging tools
- Highly customizable back end – so your admin tools can closely reflect your business
- Nearly 19,000 Drupal modules – highly customizable platform, with many solutions already in existence
- Most powerful CMS – least likely to be outgrown by businesses
- eCommerce Support – so you don’t need a new site when you decide to add commerce
- Internationalization and localization support – for multilanguage websites
“The core idea behind Drupal is go give everyone the power to create compelling community-driven web sites without sacrificing power,” said Dries Buytaert, Drupal project lead and chief technology officer of Acquia, Inc. “Drupal 6 is true to this heritage, offering the best-ever performance, functional power, and polish. I can’t wait to see what the global Drupal community does with it.”
Drupal was originally designed as a message board by college students. As the project grew it was released to the open source community in 2001.
What is Open Source Software?
Drupal is an open source CMS. Most software you buy is the variety that is compiled and ready to install. Think of QuickBooks, for example – you run the program, it installs, and you never really see “under the hood”. You can’t modify it – at least not easily.
Open source software is different. When you download an open source program, you get access to all the source code. Customization of the program is encouraged because allowing developers around the world to contribute furthers the overall development of the program, enhancing its utility. Frequently, open source software is even more secure than traditional software, thanks to the contributions of a community of developers far larger than a typical core development team.
If you are an Intuit ProAdvisor or accountant and require assistance with your website, internet marketing, or hosting, contact Precision Pages. We’re experienced in your industry and love working with clients like you.