CMS is a great tool for businesses and is being used by more than 64 million active websites at the moment. Users don't need to write website code from scratch to develop websites or manage their content when using a CMS. However, choosing the incorrect CMS platform when building a website would only make things more challenging.
There are currently thousands of content management systems in the market, and the number is rising. So, if you want to choose one for your business then your decision must take into account the purpose and breadth of the website because each CMS platform has a distinct target market and offers a variety of features.
In this article, we will detail 12 of the top CMS platforms, along with their features and advantages, to assist you in selecting the most suitable CMS for your business. But before we do that, let’s understand what CMS is in detail.
What is a CMS?
A content management system (CMS) is a piece of software that manages the foundational elements of building web pages. With a CMS, users may concentrate on the front-end features of website development, such as managing content and modifying the website appearance.
CMS vs Website Builder
Use a website builder if you want web hosting and tools for creating websites all in one location. With a website builder, all you have to do is purchase a custom domain, and after that, you can construct sophisticated multimedia sites with cutting-edge components like animations and scroll effects and alter the way your website looks. Your hosting platform will take care of your site's upkeep, security, backups, and other issues while you concentrate on the design and content. However, you have to give up some flexibility to have this ease of usage. Website builders don't have the comprehensive functionality, content management tools, or customization choices that CMS platforms do. Because of this, agencies, artists, restaurants, and other user types wishing to quickly create image-rich websites should consider using website builders.
Consider a CMS for features and customization possibilities that are more advanced. With a CMS, you may totally customize the look and feel of your website, include multimedia in your articles, categorize and tag your content, control multiple users, alter the source code of your website, and much more. Creating and managing a bigger, more complicated site that can expand over time will be possible, even though the setup and launch of your site will take more time.
So, if you’re a business that has the time to spare and wants to invest in a website where you could have more control, then you must go with a CMS platform.
Points to Keep in Mind While Choosing a CMS Platform
There’s no point in choosing a platform that does not align with your vision for your website or requires a huge amount of effort from your end. The role of a CMS platform is to make your life easier and at the same time offer services that could make your website stand out. Thus, it becomes essential you take extra care while choosing the platform to help you build and maintain your website. Here are a few points that you must always consider while looking for a CMS Platform.
- Ease of Use
When choosing a CMS, ease of use is an important consideration because it has a significant impact on employees' adoption and workflow. If you have a platform, it makes sense that all your team members who have access to the platform should find it simple to use.
To break it down even further, understand that everyone in your company, from content marketers to developers, will be working in the CMS backend. So, you require CMS capabilities that facilitate the completion of each of these team members' regular tasks.
Although customizability might come after usability, an ideal CMS should deliver on both. When assessing a CMS, consider the customization possibilities that are already integrated into the dashboard, the number of accessible extensions, and whether you can edit the source code.
The majority of CMS platforms enable you to select a pre-designed theme and tailor it to your brand if you need to build a website with the least amount of development resources possible. To add more sophisticated features to your site, many CMS platforms also provide coding choices if you employ a developer.
You require a platform that will safeguard your users, content, and front-end visitors. Think about the platform's role and the role you'll play in securing your site while comparing various options.
These are merely a handful of inquiries to make when comparing various CMS platforms. As a general rule, you need a platform with strong security policies, tools, and people in place to keep your site safe for you if you don't have the time or are unfamiliar with best practices for safeguarding your site.
Almost every decision that you make for your company involves a certain budget. So, you should go for a CMS solution that satisfies the needs of your business, the expectations of your visitors, and your company’s budget.
Fortunately, many platforms offer many tiers of services with resources that scale up at each price point. Similar to customization options, these upgrade options show that the CMS can expand as your business expands.
- Popularity in the Market
Examining the CMS system's current clientele, which includes well-known businesses or rivals, is another excellent technique to whittle down the available options.
A CMS's features may be important and able to develop with a growing business if reputable brands in your industry and others comparable to yours use it. Even if you already use a CMS, you can feel that it isn't helping you achieve your objectives or you might want to follow the CMS tactics of other well-known companies.
Best CMS Platforms
WordPress, which was first introduced as blogging software, has grown to become the most widely used CMS ever. The open-source platform is frequently used in the publishing and blogging industries as it mainly focuses on editorial features like articles and blog postings. It can prove to be quite beneficial for smaller firms who are just developing their web strategy or have less knowledge of design as its interface and website themes are extremely easy to use.
Moreover, WordPress also offers a variety of plugins and other customizing options if you're a tech-savvy web editor or developer who wants to add tweaks to your site.
- WordPress is made to be simple enough for non-programmers to use. Every user may customize their site's design, create blog entries, install plugins, alter the permalink settings, and more thanks to its user-friendly dashboard. With the platform's new drag-and-drop editing interface, Gutenberg, you can create media-rich pages without having to use plugins or customized code.
- WordPress has one of the most extensive libraries of plugins and themes that can be downloaded to alter the look and feel of a website. About 31,000 WordPress themes are available for download or purchase from the official repository and third-party marketplaces, and there are more than 57,000 plugins available in the official directory.
- Users with little to no technical expertise can simply develop fully functional websites using these plugins and pre-designed theme templates.
- All CMS platforms are vulnerable to cyber-attacks, and open-source CMS systems that have portions of their code that are out-of-date or unmaintained can be easily exploited by hackers and malevolent users. This is why website owners need to update their plugins and software frequently. Fortunately, WordPress offers an integrated updating mechanism that enables you to make these upgrades with a single click.
- WordPress is used by numerous very well-known brands, including TechCrunch and Ikea.
Downloading WordPress is free because it is open-source software. However, if you want to use premium plugins or themes, you will need to pay for a domain name, hosting, and more.
Drupal is a highly popular open-source content management system that is especially suitable for large communities of developers, marketers, and agencies. The CMS enables developers to design sites that can manage massive amounts of data and high traffic or allows marketers with less advanced skills to establish a site from a template.
- To fully utilize Drupal’s capabilities, you’ll need to have a working knowledge of PHP, HTML, and CSS because Drupal was created keeping developers in mind. Additionally, it will take longer to set up and configure your website as compared to other CMS platforms (such as WordPress).
- The number of add-ons and templates available for Drupal is just slightly less astounding than that for WordPress, with over 46,000 modules listed in its directory and thousands of free themes available in its theme repository.
- However, Drupal's modules and themes are extensively configurable, unlike many plugins and themes for WordPress. This implies that you can use these tools to build a site that accomplishes exactly what you want if you have the necessary coding expertise.
- Drupal has the lowest incident-to-market-share ratio compared to other CMS platforms like WordPress and Joomla. Drupal has a group of 40 community members who offer larger updates every year as well as monthly security and bug fixes to help maintain the platform safely. However, site owners must remember to make these updates as they are not automatic, and they must also follow other best practices as well.
- Drupal is used by various brands like UNICEF and Pinterest.
Drupal is open-source software that is also available for free download. However, for non-technical users, in particular, the costs of creating and maintaining a Drupal site are significantly higher than those of WordPress.
Joomla is an open-source CMS platform that’s used by over 2% of websites. The basic software of Joomla provides greater capabilities than any other CMS platform, like its multilingual features. However, it has a steeper learning curve, and the first setup can be quite difficult for non-technical people. It's also perfect for developing content that may be highly customized. If there isn't a lot of text on your website, Joomla might be a better choice for you to think about.
- Compared to most open-source CMS systems, Joomla offers more functionalities right out of the box. You may develop pages in numerous languages, manage hundreds of users, and create unique post kinds that make use of various templates or themes thanks to its built-in features. The settings for your site's content, banners, menus, media, redirects, and SEO can all be customized.
- The built-in flexibility of Joomla can be used by anyone with some web programming knowledge to build more complicated sites.
- Despite the extensive built-in capabilities of Joomla, you are not constrained by the options the platform offers. Any of the 6,000 extensions listed in the official directory can be downloaded to provide you with more control and functionality over your website.
- Although the 13-person security team at Joomla does regularly deploy security fixes, the absence of built-in capabilities for automatically scheduling updates gives attackers greater possibilities to exploit well-known flaws.
- Joomla is used by brands like Ariel Investments and Nintendo Nordic.
To establish and maintain a Joomla site you'll need to pay for domain registration, hosting, themes, and maintenance. In general, Joomla sites cost more to host and design than WordPress sites but less than Drupal sites.
Shopify is one of the best CMS platforms out there for eCommerce websites. It is a website builder and content management system all-in-one with integrated payment processing for online sales. The software includes a CMS in addition to features for brand development, online marketplace selling, social network selling, and processing in-person sales using Shopify POS. The platform is simple to use and doesn't call for any programming or development expertise. With Shopify, you can create and manage eCommerce content if you know how to use the internet.
- With Shopify, managing an online store is as easy as managing a WordPress.com website. Despite having less control over how it looks and functions, you'll still get a number of features, security, and support to assist you in managing your site.
- Shopify can be excellent if you're a novice shop owner or just lack the time or resources to design every component of your website.
- You may launch your store rapidly using Shopify's built-in blogging tools, client reviews, customer-ready payment methods, abandoned cart recovery, and analytics on web traffic and products, among other things. Shopify also takes care of software updates and other daily operations for your website.
- You will give up certain customization possibilities in return for this simplicity. The fact that Shopify is a proprietary platform means that you cannot alter its code. However, you can alter the look and functionality of your website by choosing from more than 70 themes and over 5,700 premium and free apps in Shopify's official shop.
- Additionally, Shopify will look after security concerns, manually backup your website, and guarantee that the software is updated.
- Shopify is used by brands like Briogeo and Pipcorn.
Shopify packages include web hosting, an SSL certificate, and a Shopify subdomain. A custom domain is an extra expense that you will incur.
Basic plan- $29/per month, Shopify plan- $79/per month, Advanced plan- $299/per month
5. CMS Hub
CMS Hub by HubSpot is made to make it simple for businesses to create and maintain websites that are responsive to every device and visitor. You can also capture leads, do A/B testing, make email campaigns, and track contact-level analytics directly in your dashboard because the CMS Hub incorporates HubSpot's marketing, sales, and service capabilities.
Also keep in mind that since CMS Hub Professional includes HubSpot's CRM built-in, you can use smart content to produce different iterations of your website pages, landing pages, emails, and forms based on the certain contact information you have stored.
- Users with little to no technical experience can create a unique website using CMS Hub’s robust platform. With CMS Hub, you can continue to utilize the same platform you used to produce your content while managing, optimizing, and monitoring its performance.
- Pop-ups and tooltip suggestions are available in CMS Hub to walk you through the process of building pages, search engine-optimizing your content, integrating live chat into your website, and more.
- To alter the appearance of your site, you can select from more than 3,500 premium and free themes in the HubSpot Asset Marketplace. Drag-and-drop modules are natively supported by each template and are mobile-optimized, making it simple to add and organize text blocks, photos, CTAs, and other elements on your layouts.
- To maintain consistency and originality across all pages of your website, you may also access the theme settings and make broad adjustments.
- The added degree of protection that the HubSpot app ecosystem gives your website is another benefit. HubSpot connects with third-party companies and applications that can interact with existing portals, unlike open-source CMS solutions. This means that to keep your site secure, you don't need to keep up with plugin compatibility or maintenance.
- CMS Hub is used by numerous very well-known companies, including Trello and The Chopping Block.
CMS Hub Professional costs $300 a month and is intended for businesses with rapid expansion. CMS Hub Enterprise costs $900 a month and can be used to set up two brand domains, a customized CDN configuration, serverless services, and more.
Magento, an eCommerce platform owned by Adobe, offers virtually limitless options for tech-savvy business owners who want to advance their online purchasing experience. It also offers the option to develop a progressive web app for your online business. Although Magento is adaptable and has strong security, it is also difficult for non-technical individuals to use. To set it up, you’ll probably need some technical knowledge (or you’ll have to hire someone who has that knowledge).
Although Magento has two variations—Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce—we'll concentrate on the self-hosted version in the following sections.
- Magento is a very adaptable platform that you can use to create a website that performs exactly how you want. However, even if you have prior experience in website creation, it is going to take you some time to comprehend and explore all of the platform’s default capabilities and extensions.
- It offers over 38,000 add-ons and apps that can be installed or integrated by visiting Magento's extensions marketplace.
- With the help of Magento extensions, you can simply increase the functionality of your website, whether you want to integrate customer and order data or improve your on-page SEO.
- To fix bugs found in its source code, Magento frequently releases security upgrades and fixes. When these updates are released, you may use the free security scan tool to receive notifications directly in your dashboard so that you can apply them as soon as possible.
- With Magento, you have to manually install the patches and updates which can prove to be quite challenging. Researchers have found that many website owners lack the time or resources for their installations, which leaves their stores open to hackers.
- Magento is used by numerous very well-known companies, including Boodles and Yakima.
It costs nothing to download and use Magento Open Source. The expenses of domain registration and hosting are around the same when compared to WordPress, however, the costs of premium apps and themes are more for a Magento site. You're also more likely to need to work with a developer to aid with the setup and customization process if you choose Magento over WordPress because it's a more complicated platform.
Magnolia is a headless, all-in-one solution for managing multi-channel, multi-site, and multi-language experiences. Customers have the option to choose between cloud service and client service. While the client-hosted option enables businesses to have custom Java development and integration on their infrastructure, the cloud-based service enables them to execute projects rapidly without having DevOps or IT assistance.
Magnolia is not as straightforward as compared to other CMS programs. Magnolia provides several tutorials to help newcomers get up to speed to help combat this. In addition, whether you choose client service or cloud computing has an impact on how simple something is to use.
- It provides excellent out-of-the-box functionality and gives organizations the option to adapt it to their needs. Customers can use their Pages App to establish microsites or create new pages whenever they desire complete creative flexibility.
- Beginners can choose a plug-and-play option straight out of the box, but businesses with developer resources—or those who just want to experiment—will find a lot of ways to modify their website. Magnolia is entirely composed of interchangeable modules that can be expanded upon.
- Java modification enables you to modify user interfaces, design server filters, and processes.
- Additionally, Google Analytics, React, and Amazon S3 all work well with Magnolia (Amazon Simple Storage).
- Java Authentication and Authorization Service standards, which standardize authentication and authorization procedures, provide the foundation for Magnolia's security features. The software constantly verifies a user's authorization to access a certain website, file, piece of data, or other resources.
- You can choose to manage permissions and grant access to people using Magnolia's security app. Magnolia advises using another proxy in front of the application server to increase external security.
- Magnolia is used by numerous very well-known companies, including BMW and Atlassian.
Magnolia uses a quote-based pricing methodology based on the specific requirements of your company. To get a custom quotation, you'll need to speak with them directly for a consultation.
Optimizely has been constantly increasing the tools available to marketers while still being most known for its A/B testing features. The Optimizely content cloud was developed by combining the two companies' strengths after being acquired by Episerver recently. This platform gives developers a way to swiftly design and launch new pages and websites while also enabling editors to create and distribute aesthetically appealing material with ease.
This CMS is flexible and adaptable by design because it lacks a head. As a result, Optimizely is capable of supporting an infinite number of platforms and layouts.
- Emphasizes speed with features like "publish everywhere," which reduces the time it takes to launch a new project and is compatible with multiple programming languages so that you are not required to use just one.
- A flexible headless content management model is available. It has different administration systems for the backend and the frontend.
- Although there aren't many tutorials on the website, Optimizely's visual editor is not too difficult to use. It makes use of the WYSIWYG experience so you can see how the project will seem to visitors.
- Use tools like their features flag to quickly launch new features sitewide. If the launch is unsuccessful, you can just as quickly deploy the Killswitch.
- Target the entire audience or a specific subset of the audience with rollouts. The tools from Optimizely put you in control so you can make changes as you see fit whether you want to start a new project or test one that is already in development.
- Utilizing Transport Layer Security, all communications between users and visitors of Optimizely products are secured (TLS). To promote the disclosure of security flaws with their product, Optimizely also presently offers a bug reward program.
- Additionally, for your company's employees to access any data that is stored with Optimizely, they must use single sign-on and two-factor authentication. This guarantees that your data is secure from internal and external attacks alike.
- Optimizely is used by brands like Absolut.
Although Optimizely offers a number of plan choices, you must speak with them directly to obtain a pricing. All package features interact with one another, a single package could not offer all the functionality you need.
Another well-liked CMS platform for small to medium-sized eCommerce shops is PrestaShop. It is a very adaptable platform for managing online stores because of its vibrant community and extensive feature set. Additionally, its extensive interface makes it simple to enter and track products.
PrestaShop is an open-source platform which is beneficial as it means you can change the code of the main software and use it for free. But that also means that before you can begin building up your store, you need to select a hosting company. Before utilizing an FTP client to upload the software to your server, you'll also need to construct a database.
- PrestaShop provides more pre-built capabilities to create a sizable e-commerce store. In your dashboard, you may arrange coupons, make your e-shop accessible in 65 languages, and customize messaging for out-of-stock items.
- PrestaShop's dashboard may appear sophisticated because of its abundance of built-in features and setting up a PrestaShop site takes longer and involves more steps than doing it with a platform like Shopify. But right out of the box, you'll be able to build a more complicated site.
- The official PrestaShop marketplace provides 2,200 themes and over 3,900 modules.
- PrestaShop can support huge online businesses with a sizable product selection thanks to the abundance of add-ons that are available to alter the look and functioning of your website.
- Securing your PrestaShop store is primarily your responsibility, just like with any other CMS platform. You can add code to your .htaccess file, enable SSL on your website, update the program frequently, and adhere to other best practices to secure your store.
- Big brands like Freshly Cosmetics use PrestaShop as their CMS platform.
PrestaShop can be downloaded and used without charge, however, it is not a cost-free e-commerce solution. A custom domain, hosting, and an SSL certificate (if not already included in your hosting plan) are extra expenses. To link other software applications with your online business, you'll probably need to buy a number of premium modules, including a security module.
Typo3 offers excellent scalability, making it suitable for enterprise-level websites. It stands out because it divides the management interface from the web front-end. Thus, it is more difficult for hackers to interface with the functionality of the websites. Lufthansa Group, a major airline corporation, uses an illustration of a Typo3-based website which allows bilingual visitors to the website to read the most recent news and browse for job openings.
- Typo3 offers more than 9,000 features to the user, and although it won’t be simple to install or set up, such strong capabilities will allow you to develop a complicated multi-site installation.
- Even skilled users and developers will need to devote a significant amount of time and energy to learn the ins and outs of the platform, but once understood it can prove to be quite beneficial, especially for enterprise-level websites.
- TYPO3 lacks several common features, such as modules for adding image galleries and video embedding, despite having the fantastic built-in capability. However, you can integrate with any of the 6,000 third-party tools and services offered in the TYPO3 Extension Repository to close these gaps.
- Typo3 offers integrated security features, compliance tooling, and routine upgrades to help keep your website secure.
- Just like any other CMS platform the onus of the website’s security falls on your shoulders, however, the Typo3 security team frequently publishes updates and notifies site owners through emails about upgrades and other maintenance responsibilities.
- Typo3 is used by big brands like Pearson.
Hiring a developer or agency to assist with the process represents the largest cost of creating and maintaining a TYPO3 website. The good news is that TYPO3's website has qualified support available. The bad news is that depending on the length and breadth of the web project, the cost can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
11. CrownPeak Headless CMS
The best option for folks who aren't tech savvy or beginners is CrownPeak's CMS. The CMS can do anything its more complex competitors can accomplish, despite the interface being completely foolproof. Companies have freedom in how they integrate the hybrid headless CMS into their current systems. Simple clicks will allow you to quickly develop and publish new articles, pages, and workflows.
- CrownPeak's excellent usability is one of its advantages. There is no need to be concerned about making a mistake when using the content editor. The admin settings can be organized such that only specific elements on the page can be changed or edited by authors. This stops them from unintentionally altering or deleting content.
- The WYSIWYG interface makes it straightforward for authors to view precisely what their website visitors will see after the draught is complete.
- Businesses are free to utilize any framework or programming language of their choice with CrownPeak’s headless CMS. The team can create a solution that integrates with legacy apps, but for novices, the out-of-the-box connectors will be sufficient.
- The choice for A/B testing together with the creation and implementation of tailored content is available to marketers. A specific audience can also be served content fast on a variety of channels.
- To ensure that your data is secure, the CMS for CrownPeak is developed using Amazon's Web Services. CrownPeak is accredited under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), in addition to completing regular, independent audits. All U.S. financial institutions must adhere to the security criteria set out by FISMA.
- CrownPeak offers 24/7 monitoring, a cloud firewall, tailored web controls for increased security, and a disaster recovery function that will shift your data to a different area in the event of an emergency in addition to the aforementioned certifications.
- One of the big brands using CrownPeak Headless CMS is Texas Mutual.
CrownPeak only offers quotes for its prices. To acquire recommendations for the best items, you'll need to get in touch with them and arrange a call so they can learn more about your specific business needs.
When it comes to finding a CMS platform for enterprise companies, there is no match for Contentful. Contentful as a CMS makes it extremely easy for businesses to develop and manage their digital content in a particular place and then deliver it to multiple digital channels with the help of tools for creating, editing, and managing content and also an API to ship the content.
One of the main goals of Contentful is to provide both the flexibility that developers require and the content management functionality that marketers demand.
- The content management tools, rich text editor, and dropbox connectors are all fairly user-friendly, which more than makes up for the development side of Contentful being more challenging.
- Contentful uses Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to make its material more accessible, and because APIs can interface with any tech stack, your IT team is free to use the tools that they like for content presentation.
- This API-first platform is a huge benefit for enterprise businesses aiming to provide out-of-the-box digital experiences, but it can be challenging for smaller businesses to onboard and utilize Contentful. The capabilities intended to create omnichannel digital experiences will overwhelm and overcharge those trying to just develop web pages.
- You can change the Contentful web app in addition to the design and features of your web project by using the platform's customization tools. For instance, you can alter Contentful's editorial interface without having to start from scratch by using open-source field editors and the Forma 36 design system.
- Directly within the web app, you can also integrate with internally developed applications or third-party cloud software.
- The whole architecture of Contentful is powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), giving you access to top security features like threat detection, stateful firewalling, and data encryption in transit and at rest.
- Additional security features that Contentful has included a web application firewall, DDoS protection, rate limitations and captchas, 2FA, and more.
- Brands like Clover use Contentful as their CMS platform.
There are three price categories offered by Contentful: one for free users, one for teams starting at $489 per month, and one for enterprise businesses. You'll need to get in touch with the seller for a precise price for the enterprise tier.
As we've seen, a content management system (CMS) enables you to manage your content and transform it into a website without constantly editing code. While some of these tools are almost entirely devoted to assisting you in the launch of a website, others are more concerned with just managing your content and enabling you to publish it anywhere via APIs (the headless CMS approach). Your ideal platform will provide the CMS features you require, enhance your team's content management skills, and ultimately let you give your website's visitors a pleasant experience.