ECMS Horizons

Why ECMS Horizons is better than WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal

We were recently asked by someone what it was that made us / ECMS Horizons different or better than the other options out there like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla, and while we've answered this a hundred times, it was high time we compiled a "Top 10" of the most important things that set us appart and ahead.  Some answers are technical, some not so much, some will be more important to marketing companies, some more important to the end user, but all of them should take a role in your decision as to what platform you choose to build your website on.  If you've already built your site on ECMS, this is just (in our humble opinion) some reassurance that you chose right!

Here are the Top 10 reasons ECMS is better than WordPress, Drupal and Joomla...

  1. Auto-scaling cloud infrastructure so that traffic spikes can be dealt with proactively and/or reactively ensuring a constant level of service regardless of traffic levels, which is virtually impossible in any of the open source alternatives.  No need to worry about hosting services, FTP access, shared resources, etc.
  2. No need to Install a CMS (such as WP, Drupal, Joomla, etc.), configure, and lock down.  No need to source out plugins for specific functionality.  No need for installing maintenance patches or maintaining compatibility with plugins post patch/upgrade.
  3. Much higher level of security.  The DB servers, Search servers, Application servers, as well as all other important infrastructure are in a private cloud with no visibility to the net greatly reducing the ability for hackers to get to anything sensitive, the only point of entry is through our Load Balancers.  The application software uses an MVC style structure as well which keeps all business logic outside of the document root, limiting the endpoints to just a single index file and the REST API.
  4. Role based UAC and resource level permissions system.  Our User Access Control system is a mixture of Posix (unix) style and Windows style permissions and roles, where users have no rights inherently but the groups that they belong to allow them to inherit both permissions for specific resources as well as blanket roles.  There are five types of user permissions/roles available depending on the subscribed level:
    1. Primary Administrator - all encompassing administrative access to all resources in all modules,
    2. Module Administrator - similar to above but limited to designated modules,
    3. Module Manager - same as module admin, however does not have the right to delete most resources, only to add/edit,
    4. Custom Role - allows you to specify very limited sets of resources, for instance a specific section on a specific page which members have access to (where the greatest granularity that can be achieved through WP, Joomla, Drupal, are entire page resources),
    5. Resource Specific - every single record in the system, whether a page, section, post, event, product, etc. has it's own ability to set permissions for any combination of user(s)/group(s) with the option to specify either "allow" or "deny" rights for Read/Write/Manage access.
  5. Built in Page-Level and/or Block-Level Caching. High traffic static sites/pages can utilize page level caching providing sub-second delivery, while both dynamic and static sites also automatically take advantage of a very powerful block level caching system.
  6. Multiple domain + site support in single accounts without any need for custom programming, .htaccess manipulation, etc.  Our domain controls even allow you to move domains around the different sites, manage forwarding using both Permanent / Temporary redirects, manage redirection to forced www or forced removal of www, etc.  Sites under the same account share the same user account lists, data resources, and even module subscription levels. As a "Reseller" you would also gain Administrative access to all of your own client sites without the need to logout and back in, you can simply jump from site to site, client to client without ever logging out.
  7. Skeletons, Templates, Mirroring. Our webpages and content system allows entire sites, or specific site branches to be exported as "Skeletons" including all pages, sections, content, menu's etc. and then to re-import those into new or existing sites and a point of your choosing.  Additionally, not only can you "Cut, Copy & Paste" sections around your sites, but we also offer something called "Mirroring" which is similar to "Copy" except that once a mirrored section is pasted, editing either it OR the section that was mirrored, will reflect the change on both/all of them.
  8. Media Warehouse with In-place Replacement. Media including images, documents, video, audio, etc. are managed in a windows folder style "Media Warehouse" so that they can be re-used many times over without having to re-upload resources for each specific use, and the warehouse supports Drag and Drop functionality to keep management of large resource sets very simple.  Additionally any media resource can be replaced "In-Place" in the warehouse meaning that if an image were found to be too low a quality after a time, but it was used in a dozen places around your site, it can be replaced in the Warehouse without breaking ties to it's uses, automatically and transparently replacing every one of them across the site.  Further, images are uploaded in FULL quality (i.e. 5mb 5000x5000px) and then based on each specific use case is re-sized automatically, optimized, and cached at the specific size for all future requests from that specific use.  This also means that for instance, a gallery that displays all thumbs at 100x100 can be altered via form to display thumbs at 200x200 and all images would automatically be re-generated from the original full quality images on the fly and re-cached, all in a fraction of a second.
  9. Environmentally aware plugins.  We have well over 200 "Sections" (similar to Widget's or Plugins in other systems) of varying types available for use already and that list grows weekly.  Unlike those other systems however our plugins are aware of each others use on pages and integrate very closely allowing them to become "more than the sum of their parts".  A simple example is our Listing System and Google Maps section; whenever a "Listing List" section and a "Google Maps" section are used on the same page, the Google Map section will become aware of the list section, will automatically grab every physical address relating to the listings that's been geocoded, and plot and link them on the map, the same is true on a single listing details page with a location list.  Another example is when both the Weather module and Events module are subscribed to, the events calendar can actually display the upcoming 7 day forecast directly within the calendars different views (Month, Week, instance list, etc.).  We can easily and quickly build new section types on demand to interface with any third party service pulling data, and or added functionality into the system.
  10. SEO Best Practices and features baked in. Besides simple things like enforcing English readable URL's ("Friendly Links"), we also providing simple "Header" fields in sections allowing brand and presentation consistency but also enforced use of H1...H6 tags (based on an available Global Preference), use of
  11. Superior Responsive-Design support. Where ours and the other platforms can all provide "responsive design" support for different device sizes (i.e. Desktop, Laptop, Tablet, Mobile), ECMS goes beyond and is able to identify Mobile Users during the HTTP handshake prior to delivery of any content, allowing us to limit the files, resources, media etc. to only those required resulting in smaller overhead and faster response times.
  12. Bleeding edge presentation features. ECMS is always looking for ways to provide easy access to such as "Parallax" (off-speed backgrounds and/or objects), making it extremely simple to build out next-generation websites and applications without the need for understanding how to program for or develop around them. These features are baked in so there's no need for a special plugin, or learning curve to use them, they're just added on top of other features and/or sections in the system.



Kevin Farley

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