WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal – Which Open Source CMS is the Best?

WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal – Which Open Source CMS is the Best?

Most of the websites I work on nowadays are built on content management systems (CMS) so the clients themselves can upload monthly calendars or change photos without having to contact and pay us to do it for them. And since most of our clients are local businesses with limited budgets, they don’t want to splurge on enterprise level content management systems so 95% of the time we’ll use an Open Source CMS since it is free (I know, I know that most have some kind of limitations but otherwise they don’t cost any money to use so that’s why I said they’re free.) Here are the top three open source content management systems that we have used.

1. WordPress – My personal favorite and I always opt for it if I’m given a say in the decision. I mean, hey, this blog is on WordPress along with my company’s site and scores of our clients’ sites. Yes, I know it’s natively a blogging platform but it’s come a long way the past few years so that we are able to customize it into a fully functional CMS. It’s easy to install and easy to use, especially for clients who are not very computer savvy. It’s fast (with the correct caching plugins) and lightweight compared to the behemoths of Joomla and Drupal. And perhaps the best thing about it is that it has a huge community of volunteers who have created very powerful plugins and most of the time you can use them for free.

WordPress Pros – Everything

WordPress Cons – I would normally say “nothing” but I guess there is one tiny downside of WordPress. If using the default settings, most WordPress installations will crash if they experience a surge in traffic. However, most websites will never get these kinds of huge surges in traffic so it’s normally not a problem and if there is the possibility that your site could get a surge in traffic, there are tons of freely available instructions for how to configure WordPress to handle an increase in traffic along with tons of free plug-ins.

Joomla – I’ve used Joomla on a handful of occasions, most of the time because a new client is already using Joomla as their CMS. Why anyone would ever choose Joomla vs. WordPress is beyond me, especially nowadays. Joomla is such a pain-in-the-neck to use, even as an experienced computer user. The entire user interface and admin panel architecture is just a clusterfuck of “modules”, “components”, “extensions”, “sections”, “articles”, “pages” and so on. It’s certainly not intuitive to use AT ALL. And of course they have ridiculous account access levels. You would think “Administrator” would be given access to everything within the CMS but after an hour of trying to figure out how the hell to change a meta tag on one page, you find out that you need to have “Super Administrator” access to make such a minor change. Of course, the Administrator still gives you enough access to fuck up and delete the entire site but you need God-mode Super Administrator privileges to tweak some keywords.

Joomla Pros – Nothing that I’ve found thus far

Joomla Cons – You name it – ugly, hard to use admin interface, non-intuitive, way too many pieces scattered everywhere, stupid account access levels

Drupal – A couple of years ago we used Drupal for a rather large local company for a big web design project. Drupal is a lot like Joomla in that it’s bloated software, not intuitive to use and even harder to customize. I would rank it above Joomla though because it is a lot more robust for large, complicated sites but it’s still a headache to work with.

Drupal Pros – Only thing is that it’s better than Joomla

Drupal Cons – Everything else

So the moral of the story is WordPress is by far the best Open Source Content Management System / Blogging software available so you should use it now!

Non-WWW to WWW Redirect on IIS 6.0 with httpd.ini

Most of the websites I work on are on Linux/Apache servers so I can easily add 301 redirects via the .htaccess file. However, my new client is on an IIS server for which I don’t have access to so I can only add redirects via the httpd.ini file and then send back to the client to upload for me. I figured out how to add 301 redirects in the httpd.ini file at the page level, but I am having the hardest time trying to find a good resource about how to redirect the non-www version of the website to the www version. The following line redirects at the page level:

RewriteRule /oldpage.asp http://www.site.com/newpage.asp [I,O,RP,L]

But that obviously won’t work for redirecting the non-www to the www version of the site. It’s not an issue of duplicate content, but rather the non-www version simply shows a “Under Construction” error message while the www version works just fine. So it’s even more critical that the non-www be redirected to the www version. However, searches on Google to answer my question have been fruitless thus far. Most of the results are web forums with threads from people asking the same question I am asking and then of course, the question is never answered or the original poster figures it out on their own and never posts the answer in their thread, both of which are worthless to me as somebody looking for that answer.

I came across one forum which provided the solution below, but I’m not 100% sure it will work as expected…

RewriteCond %HTTPS off
RewriteCond Host: (?!www\.)([^.]+\.[^.]+)
RewriteRule (.*) http\://www.$1$2 [I,RP]

And then another blog post had the following:

# Move anything from non- www.example.com -> www.example.com
# e.g. example.com -> www.example.com
RewriteCond %HTTPS off
RewriteCond Host: (?!^www.example.com)(.+)
RewriteRule /(.*) http\://www.example.com/$2 [I,RP]

Has anybody had success redirecting non-www versions of pages to www versions on IIS using one of the two methods above?

(Not Provided) Now Showing Up in Google Analytics Organic Keyword Reports

As I posted on Tuesday, Google decided to stop providing organic keyword data for webmasters to track in Google Analytics or any other analytics tools for that matter only to replace the keyword phrases with “(not provided)”, which of course is simply asinine. They claim that since it will only happen for users logged into Google accounts, that the new changes will only impact a “single % of searches” so basically stop whining about it. And since the changes were apparently pushed live yesterday, I have noticed the “(not provided)” queries slowly creeping up in the Google Analytics keyword report. For one client who gets 500+ organic visits a day, it is already the SECOND MOST POPULAR KEYWORD PHRASE behind the company name!

This is all just so frustrating. What benefit is there to anybody BESIDES Google to hide this keyword data or perhaps more importantly, what’s the harm in providing more and more data? More data = good. Less data = bad. This is not only infuriating for me but this assbackwards move is going to severely impact huge analytics firms like Omniture along with their huge corporate clients who are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to get as much data as possible in order to make necessary decisions to constantly improve the user experiences on their sites.

I honestly think that this is one move that Google will eventually back down from after getting pressured from pretty much everybody who runs a website and of course the other huge analytics firms… and as I said earlier, this could be seen as anti-competitive behavior that could entice the government to step in and force them to revert back. At least, I really really hope so.


Google Starts Encrypting Organic Keyword Searches for All Web Analytics Tools

Google just announced today that “they care so much about privacy” that they are going to start encrypting searches for logged-in users and will no longer pass the actual keyword searched to the website itself to track in Google Analytics or any other web analytics tool. This is a huge step backwards for several reasons:

1. All or None – If Google was truly concerned about users’ privacy, they would encrypt ALL queries from ALL users regardless of whether they are logged in or click a Google AdWords PPC ad. That’s right, Google is only going to encrypt organic queries for logged in users. If a user clicks on a Google AdWords ad, then that search query will still be able to be tracked in Google Analytics or any other web analytics tool. This is utter hypocrisy.

2. No Reason – Google Analytics already does not allow websites to tie individual queries to individual searches. In fact, Google Analytics does not allow you to view a user’s IP address, something of which most other web analytics tools have been doing for years. Just because a user is logged into a Google account, there has never been a way to somehow get their personal data via Google Analytics. There is no difference in the kinds of queries that would be considered personal information between logged in users and non logged in users.  So this step of encrypting organic queries on the basis of privacy is straight up bunk.

3. Google Still Sees Keyword Data – Again, Google is claiming this entire move is to benefit consumers’ privacy. However, if that’s all they really cared about, they would encrypt the keyword queries that users are searching for as well. But nope, Google still will be able to track and store all search queries done on its sites to “constantly improve the user experience”. They just don’t want to give that invaluable data to webmasters or third party web analytics firms to better their own users’ experiences. Unless, of course, it’s from Google AdWords!

4. Anti-Trust? – Google has every right to reveal or hide any kind of their own data as they please, even if third party web analytics firms are going to be adversely affected. But it starts getting into anti-competitive territory if eventually, one day down the line, Google Analytics Premium offers the only way to track its organic queries at the hefty price tag of $150,000 a year.

This just sucks!


Husqvarna 223L Weed Trimmer Troubleshooting

Husqvarna 223L Weed Trimmer Troubleshooting

After years of buying the cheapest yardwork tools only to end up in frustration, I finally bucked up enough dough to finally buy a Husqvarna 223L weed trimmer and other some nice equipment. I had two cheap electric Black and Decker lawnmowers which were absolute garbage, especially when it comes to my yard since I must have twenty different kinds of grass and weeds in my home in the woods, not to mention all of the trees and different levels of yard I have to deal with. So while a gas riding lawn mower would be nice in a normal situation, it certainly would not make sense in my yard. After getting sick and tired with my second crappy electric lawn mower, I threw it down in frustration and headed to Lowes that same day to buy a nice high powered gas lawnmower and I couldn’t be happier.

I just did the same after dealing with two cheap, heavy and ineffective weed trimmers or weed wackers. I did my research online and decided on the gas powered Husqvarna 223L String Weed Trimmer since it had amazing reviews and looked like exactly what I was looking for. The downside is that all of the local hardware stores either didn’t have it in stock or just don’t carry any Husqvarna models at all. So I had to order it online and wait for four days while my weeds kept overgrowing to record highs.

I finally got the Husqvarna 223L delivered and my first impression is wow, this thing is huge. But surprisingly, it was relatively lightweight especially compared to my two previous electric weed eaters which were half the size of this thing.  It was a cinch to get started with since it was mostly put together right out of the box. After mixing 50 parts gasoline with 1 part oil, I was ready to power it up and get to work. However, it was not as easy as expected.

Here’s what I had to do, per the instructions:

1. Fill up the primer bulb with fuel.

2. Turn the blue engine choke switch down.

3. Pull the starting line to start the engine.

4. Once the engine was started, push the blue engine choke switch back up.

That’s supposedly it. However, it took me forever to finally get it started the first time. Then once it got started, as soon as I switched the blue switch back up, it cut off. After what seemed like an hour, I finally got it to work and was weedwacking away for a few minutes before I turned it off to get my gloves. Then when I came back, the engine would never kick on. I googled “husqvarna 223l troubleshooting” and kept getting the official Husqvarna website and the same instruction manual that came in the box. I also came across some professional lawncare forums but none of them really addressed the problem I was having.

After an hour of letting it cool down, I went back out and tried again. This time it worked and I was able to weedwack for 5 minutes. Then all of a sudden the head stopped spinning. The motor was still on but I could not get the head to spin and thus I could not weed wack. Ugh. This is so frustrating.

As of right now, I have no idea why it won’t spin and have no ideas what to do. Anybody else have any suggestions or tips for solving my Husqvarna 223L weed trimmer troubleshooting problems?