In a recent Facebook post on the Advanced WordPress User group the question was asked which was better: Advanced Custom Fields, Visual Composer or something else. All of these tools have a purpose and are good for certain situations. There is no “right” answer overall, there is just a right answer for the “right situation”. This all hinges on one simple question, “What are you trying to accomplish?”
Defining Content Management
The first part of making that determination is understanding what content management is and when its appropriate to use. The line is blurred all too often when these aforementioned tools are brought up. Simply put content management is a set of processes and technologies that supports the collection, managing, and publishing of information in any form or medium (as taken from WikiPedia). When it comes to websites this is usually a content management system like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla. Because Cyberpunk is a WordPress shop, we’ll talk specifically about WordPress and its tools in comparison to each other and in comparison to other site creators in the market.
Separating Design and Content
Another line is blurred when it comes to design and content. Is it the colors, the imagery, the layout, the words? Being able to define this is subjective and is usually defined on a per situation basis. Who is going to be administering the site in the end and what is their design sensibility? Training professional designers to be able to use something like Visual Composer and a great WordPress theme is a good option. This way a designer has the full capacity to design a site with minimal knowledge of coding. Other tools like SquareSpace or the Grid are examples of this scenario.
Another option is allowing non tech savvy people and people that do NOT have great sensibility to design their sites. Cyberpunk deals mainly with small to medium businesses and their owners as the administrators of their sites. Our philosophy is that most business owners are not design or tech experts but rather experts in their own field. That being said, they require a tool that can communicate with their audience about their services or products. This is where a tool like Advanced Custom Fields comes into play and becomes extremely useful. Using a form approach, ACF can allow users to quickly build content without making potentially damaging design decisions.
We mentioned several tools that can be used in this article.
- WordPress – Most popular CMS. Also powers almost a quarter of the entire internet.
- Joomla! – Another popular CMS
- Drupal – Yet another popular CMS
- Advanced Custom Fields – Allows all data objects to be infinitely extendable. Good for the development of custom websites.
- Visual Composer – WordPress drag and drop page builder.
- SquareSpace – Cloud based website builder.
- The Grid – AI based website builder. This thing is pretty cool!