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The report incorporated a variety of criteria, including adoption, mindshare, and third party support to reach their overall conclusion: WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla are dominating the open source market. The 70+ page report, which discusses a variety of open source CMS topics, compared 20 top market leaders.
Joomla came away the leader in overall market share by a little over 6% (although WordPress dominated by a large margin in sites identifying as “blogs”) – a result that doesn’t surprise us; more on that below the fold. But digging into some of the key metrics we use to measure project success as a service firm – like user satisfaction – suggests a different conclusion: WordPress is leading the pack, and Drupal is just behind.
Increasingly, savvy organizations are asking for web solutions built on open source content management systems. We’re all for it: we’ve built solutions on a variety of platforms, including WordPress and Drupal, both open source projects. We’ve even released a few open source plug-ins of our own.
Open source certainly offers benefits, including a transparency that we believe encourages better programming (“the best disinfectant is light”), the removal of the dependence on a single software vendor, and often times, incredibly low cost of ownership. All of that said, as advocates of custom solutions for clients with custom needs, we know that the open source solution isn’t always the right solution.
More importantly, we’ve found that savvy clients and prospects asking for open source are actually getting at something more essential: open platform solutions.
Internet Explorer 8 is out, and a lot of people – technically sophisticated and otherwise – are wondering what, if anything, this means for the web. As professional web developers, our view is that while Internet Explorer 8 is an incremental improvement over its predecessor, we’re mostly disappointed by its lack of progress.
Having read a variety of takes on IE8, we were inspired to write this article for two audiences. First, there’s little in the way of concrete examples and clear explanations for a large swatch of the business technology decision makers (that many of our clients represent) who are often savvy about technology, but look to organizations like us for a deeper understanding of the strategic, cost, and technical significance. Second, reading the comments on tech savvy websites like Neowin, Digg, and the Winsupersite have me concerned that there’s a growing and false notion that IE8 is just great, and its rendering problems are the result of web developers writing non-standard code optimized for IE7.
To understand why IE8 is a legitimate disappointment, we need to start by providing background on how different browsers impact web development, both from a cost and design standpoint. If you think you already have a handle on this, you can skip ahead to our 3 straightforward examples of IE8 disappointments.
In support of an upcoming conference, we were asked to address some questions on the theme of web strategy as part of a greater campaign. This campaign would also incorporate more traditional media like public service announcements and other branding.
Our inputs addressed issues ranging from consistency in color palette and overall aesthetic, to cost considerations, to social media integration, to mechanisms for evaluating effectiveness. Most of the discussion would be familiar to any of our clients who have gone through a full development or strategy process with us. As the dialog progressed, however, we found ourselves moving from “planning and campaign integration fundamentals” to the higher level, more philosophical subject of how the web, as a campaign medium, fundamentally differs from other campaign media, and the practical implications of those differences when thinking holistically about web as one leg of a greater campaign.
We could probably write a thesis paper on the subject, but for of the sake of our time and our readers’ attention spans, we’ve tried to boil it down to a handful of paragraphs.
We often receive web project inquiries that look something like this: “Please give us a quote for how much it would cost to get XYZ”. “XYZ” is usually a nice bulleted list consisting of requirements such as a content management system, online event registration, a member-only web community, a blog, a forum, integration with a Salesforce database, and so on.
We do these things really well. By leveraging existing systems and adding some custom code, we are able to deliver a great set of tools with great Salesforce integration. Just what they wanted, right?
Here’s the problem: Too often those lists of requirements are based entirely on what a CEO loosely articulated, what a competitor did last month, some blog reading, or a lot of friends with opinions. A recent post on Smashing Magazine – 7 Essential Guidelines for Functional Design – is a good read for those considering the “XYZ” approach.
C. Murray Consulting Oomph, our best success stories consistently come from projects where we’ve had the opportunity to engage with clients at the requirements level – to put everything on the table and leave no question unasked. When we understand our clients’ needs at least as well as they do (maybe even better), we’re able to leverage our Web expertise to tell them what they really need, why they need it, and the best way to get there.