At Smith & Connors, we spend a lot of time thinking about how visitors experience our websites. But just as important is the internal user: our client. How will they interface with the back-end of the site when they want to make changes, like editing content or adding pages? Will it be an intuitive, smooth experience? Surprisingly, so many content management systems (CMS) are clunky and difficult to use.
We made it our mission to find a CMS that gives us flexibility and power to create technologically savvy websites that our clients and their visitors love. In 2010 we stumbled upon an emerging open-source project called SilverStripe, based out of New Zealand. Some of the offerings of this CMS are rich-text editing, an extensive list of add-ons, support from a large, engaged community, and general ease of use. The attention to details and user experiences offered by the folks down-under aligned with our needs and philosophies at Smith & Connors. And it's infinitely flexible, to boot!
So why not WordPress?
We do use WP! With WP, you can get a clean, functional site up and running in very short order. There are myriad themes and plugins to choose from, many for free or short money, and it's particularly good for the do-it-yourselfers. Upgrade paths are well defined, and lightning fast. The support community is vast and incredibly knowledgeable. We use WP when the application is right. For projects with large amounts of complex data that need to be sorted/filtered efficiently, or projects sharing customized views of data across the site, SilverStripe simply dominates.
What about Joomla!, Drupal, SquareSpace, ...
Joomla! and Drupal are heavyweights in the CMS arena. Again, when the application is right, we turn to the CMS that best suits the needs of the client and project. In SilverStripe, we found something usable, flexible, and modern that works with the requirements of many of our projects. We love the simplicity and clean interfaces you get with SquareSpace, but it's really geared to the do-it-yourselfer and has some pretty major limitations in terms of extensibility.
For many of our projects, we find that SilverStripe satisfies our requirements for usability, ease of development, flexibility, and cost. And so far, our clients agree!