Organic Hat


The Backend – Content Management Software-Framework

Over the years one question seems to always pop up when talking about building or rebuilding a small business website. What exactly is the backend? And usually it’s asked in more colorful language.

For the purpose of this explanation I’m defining the backend as a Content Management System (CMS). There are other software layers involved below the CMS but most hosting providers do a great job managing the deeper layers the CMS sits on. When making decisions about creating a website most small businesses needn’t spend precious time or resources digging into these deep layers. If your business must get into these layers the only reasonable option is to hire someone.

The backend of a website we’re talking about is similar to the operating system (OS) you use on your computer, tablet or smart-phone. Simply the backend is a layer of software that your website sits on so you can edit and maintain your content easily.

There are a number of popular backend packages you can choose from but I’m only going to list the 3 most popular ones used most by most small businesses.

  1. WordPress

  2. Joomla

  3. Drupal

    Here is a much more in-depth listing of Content Management Software or Frameworks As you can see it is a huge list and by no means a complete one but it’ll give you a good overview of what’s out there for building and managing your small business website.

A CMS or Framework allows the business user to create, edit and organize their content. Content includes but is not limited to text, video, audio and images. Additionally content may take the form of a story, a poll, a large questionnaire, a blog, news updates or products for sale.

Over the years I have extensively used both Joomla and WordPress while only tinkering with Drupal. Each has its strengths and weakness but over the years I’ve come to believe that WordPress has the combination of ease of use, frequent updates and both free and for sale 3rd party add-ons that set it apart from the others. For this reason it is the only one of the 3 that I currently recommend and work with.

Not to long ago a website had to be hand coded from start to finish but now using a CMS and a template system a fairly decent starting website can be setup in a short time. A more intricate website will of course take longer but nowhere near the time it took just a few years ago.

Ask your website consultant what they recommend and why they make their recommendation. I’m a huge believer in simplicity in the construction and maintenance of a website. The simpler the solution means you’ll have more time and resources to create content that meets the needs of your customers.


Choosing the correct Domain Name for your business website can save you headaches and help with search results. TIP: Keep it simple.