By Nerino Petro at 8 December, 2010, 4:03 pm
My friend Larry Bodine has a great article on firms turning away from custom content management systems for their websites and turning to free and open source solutions for website design and content management. While Larry specifically talks about Drupal, one of the comments to his post also mentions Joomla and WordPress (which is the platform that Compujurist uses).
Drupal: A New Word for Law Firms briefly discusses the benefits of Drupal and how law firms benefit by using it. Larry makes the point that firms no longer need to rely on proprietary and expensive solutions to manage their websites content now that there are solid and mature products such as Drupal in many instances. Drupal is reported to have over 7,000 community created addons and an extremely active development community that has moved Drupal into the business web design and CMS arena. The founder of Drupal, Dries Buytaert,, has also created Drupal.com to help others get the most out of Drupal. While this site is still a bit light on substance, it does provide some useful links to Drupal and its community. Search on Drupal and you will find links to tutorial, feeds and more.
Joomla is similar to Drupal in that it is an open source design and CMS platform started that traces its roots back to 2005.According to available information, Joomla has more than 6,000 free and commercial (fee) plug-ins for use with teh core product.. Search on Joomla and you will find links to templates, books and more.
WordPress began as a platform for blogging and has matured into a full featured design and CMS platform. since its inception in 2003. Well known for its use of templates, WordPress is extremely customizable with an active community behind it.. As with Joomla, you can find both free and fee based templates and plug-ins as well as tools for customization. Search on WordPress and you will find links to the core site, the free WordPress.com blogging site as well as links to feeds , books and other resources.
A word of caution to those that may think that with just one of these platforms they can create a sophisticated and great looking website: while these tools have been simplified and are actively supported, they still take a certain level of knowledge and skill to get the most out of them. Ultimately, one of these may be your best solution for a new or updated website, especially if you are looking to get away from proprietary systems and their costs.