Long gone are the days when one has to spend time remembering and typing down all the HTML code and customizing them with CSS. Although it is still an option, most of the websites today use a content management system, popularly called a CMS.
What is CMS?
A CMS helps to create, manage, and modify the content of a website without going into the technical aspect of it.
In simple words, a CMS is a tool that helps to build and manage a website without spending time on writing the code from scratch. The content management system handles all the basic structure of a website, making it easier for you to focus on the other parts of the website, such as the design and the functionality.
How do CMS Platforms Work?
The CMS helps users to manage content from an internal and easy-to-use interface or dashboard, making it easier for people with zero technical knowledge to create a website.
Building a website with CMS is like playing with blocks to build a home. You can select which blocks to keep and which not to. You can easily add images, text, and graphics from the dashboard. Another great thing about CMS platforms is that they are updated regularly.
Benefits of Content Management Systems
There are many advantages of using a CMS, some of the most important ones among which are given below:
- Easy maintenance.
- Regular updates.
- Can create dynamic and interactive websites.
- Superb customer and community support.
One of the major highlights of content management systems is that even users with zero technical knowledge can create a fully functional website and modify the content all by themselves. It helps save time and cost of hiring a web developer or learning different programming languages.
How to Choose the Best CMS Platform?
With the rapid advancement in technology, many content management systems are available on the internet to easily build web pages without any technical knowledge.
If you are planning to create a website using a content management system, here are a few things you need to keep in mind before choosing one for yourself.
Ease of Use
You need a CMS interface that helps to create and edit the content easily. In simple words, the CMS platform should have the drag and drop interface, allow you to add visual content, be straightforward, and help create webpages quickly.
Great Designing Options
A great website design helps to engage more audience. You need to choose a CMS platform that provides you with a variety of easy-to-edit design templates, where all you need to do is customize the design based on your requirements without writing any HTML or CSS codes.
Easy Installation of Plugins
Not all content management platforms are the same. Hence, it is impossible to provide all the features and fulfill your website requirements in a single go. Plugins, however, allow you to dodge these problems.
They extend the functionality of a CMS by adding features. For example, Yoast SEO is one of the most famous plugins available that allows you to add meta description, SEO title, tags, etc. to a web page and thus, increasing its chances to rank better in SERPs.
10 Best CMS Platforms of 2021
Now that you know the benefits of using a CMS and the factors you need to look into before choosing one, here are some of the best CMS platforms you can choose from for creating your website:
You would have heard of WordPress before, as it is the CMS platform with the largest market share. It is the commercial version of WordPress. WordPress.com allows you to buy a domain from WordPress or create a free subdomain with WordPress.org, which we’ll cover later.
From beginning as a mere blogging platform to facilitating creating high-end websites, WordPress has grown a lot. It comes with an intuitive interface and allows you to customize the content as per your needs while utilizing different plugins and themes.
WP is known for providing a top-notch user experience. You can easily create and publish posts and pages with the easy-to-use editors available for content formatting. WordPress is also known for its large community and rolling out frequent updates.
- Easy to get started. Highly recommended for beginners looking forward to creating websites quickly.
- Creating a website with WordPress.com is free of charge. You only need to pay a small amount for buying a domain.
- Comes with millions of themes to choose from, both paid and free. You can choose one based on your niche and switch between themes if need be.
- Features the option of using the eCommerce features. WordPress provides you with many options, including a plan with all the features required for the eCommerce website.
- If you are looking for a flexible and more powerful CMS, you can easily switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
- WordPress.com comes with very few monetization options, even with the paid plans.
- Custom domain names like xyz.com are not available with free plans.
- You do not have full control over your site, as you have with WordPress.org.
When you look for the best CMS software, Joomla is the best one only after WordPress. Launched in the year 2005, it is the best open-source CMS and comes with many templates and extensions.
While Joomla might not be user-friendly like WordPress, it is very flexible. The CMS is free to use, although you need to buy hosting and a domain name to get started.
Joomla is the best option if you are looking for a CMS platform that helps to manage “custom post types,” i.e. if you are looking to create a website that is not text-based. Not to forget, Joomla comes with excellent user-management making it the best CMS for membership sites.
It is the most recommended CMS platform for designers and developers but is not a recommended option for beginners.
- Flexible. Comes with a lot of options. It is best for building something complicated.
- Designed especially for website developers.
- It is open-source and provides a good level of community support.
- With the fantastic and easy-to-use extensions, you can use Joomla to create a superb eCommerce site.
- Can be complex. Often, you need to hire a web developer who has expertise in Joomla to create a website with the CMS.
- Does not come with many additional plugins and themes as compared to WordPress.
- Runs into compatibility issues if you have many extensions and modules installed.
Drupal is yet another open-source and free content management system with millions of users worldwide. Many famous websites such as The Economist and Tesla are built using Drupal.
You can go with Drupal if you are a developer or planning to hire a developer to build your site. With Drupal CMS, you can create highly-customizable sites that need a lot of data to install.
- Free to use and open-source. Allows users to rebuild websites according to their needs.
- Designed for professionals by professionals.
- Provides a lot of creativity, allowing users to create complex website designs.
- Built-in caching providing high speed.
- Comes with prebuilt queries, forums, and multi-blogs.
- An online community, including mostly professionals.
- It becomes difficult to find out how to change the websites’ appearance and add extra features.
- Since you need a developer to create high-end dynamic websites with Drupal, it can be very costly.
WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform across the world. WooCommerce makes it easy to manage eCommerce sites. Please note that WooCommerce is not a CMS platform albeit a WordPress plugin.
That means you need to have a WordPress site to install WooCommerce. According to W3Techs, 5.8% of the entire websites in the world use WooCommerce.
- Completely free and open-source WordPress plugin that is easily accessible to everyone.
- There are many easy to edit themes available that help to create eCommerce sites easily. Both free and paid themes are available. One of the best places to get your WordPress WooCommerce themes is ThemeForest.
- Some of the important features of WooCommerce includes unlimited customization, blogging, easily manageable product categories, tags and attributes, product ratings and reviews, product sorting and filtering, and location customization.
- Provides top-notch security and hence, is the most reliable platform for financial transactions.
- Effective SEO for products and services.
- Provides informative and simple built-in analytics.
- Let’s you manage inventories, making it easier to keep track of your stock.
- Comes with a variety of payment gateways, such as PayPal, and Debit and Credit cards.
- Understanding a few options available in WooCommerce can be stressful especially when you are new to creating eCommerce websites.
- Though WooCommerce works with any WordPress theme, you need to stick to themes specially designed for WooCommerce to get support when stuck.
Wix is a cloud-based platform for developing mobile-friendly sites. The intuitive drag and drop interface makes creating websites a cakewalk. It also allows you to install plugins for adding more features.
Wix is also known for its excellent features, such as email marketing, e-commerce, contact forms, and community forums. Like every other CMS platform, you can also remove advertisements, use your domain name, and get access to all the advanced features with Wix’s premium plan.
- Beautiful and easy to edit designs.
- Smooth drag and drop interface.
- Top-notch site security.
- Professional customer service.
- The free version has ads, you need to pay for premium plans for using Wix ad-free.
- Limited drag and drop features affect creativity.
- Not many apps are available on the Wix app store.
- Doing SEO is difficult.
- Difficulty in importing and exporting the data.
Shopify is another famous hosted CMS platform. A unique feature of this platform is that you do not need hosting, or install any software or manage backups.
It is an excellent CMS for building eCommerce websites selling various types of goods or services. The drag and drop interface makes it one good eCommerce platform for in-store sales.
- Easy store setup and configuration.
- Eye-catching and unique online stores.
- Easy app integration.
- Highly secure and reliable.
- Excellent customer support.
- Easy payment methods.
- Excellent loading speed.
- Can be costly if you want to add third-party applications that are not available in the Shopify store.
WordPress.org is the most popular and the best choice if you are looking for a mature CMS software. Unlike WordPress.com, WordPress.org is an open-source CMS. It was built for blogging but now is used for building full-fledged websites and online stores.
You can install WordPress to your site in a single click with the help of your hosting provider. With WordPress.org, you can install plugins to extend the functionality and choose among different WP themes. You also have better options to monetize your website.
- Flexible and dynamic.
- HTML, CSS, and other programming language knowledge not required.
- The WordPress block editor helps to create eye-catching designs easily.
- Many monetization options.
- It has paid and free WordPress themes and plugins.
- Huge and supportive WordPress community.
- You need to buy a domain and hosting of your choice and take care of the data backup and security on your own.
Magento is an open-source eCommerce platform launched by Adobe. There is a free version of Magento, which you can download and install to your web hosting account called Magento Open Source. You can also invest in Magento Commerce. It provides full support and comes with hosting services.
- Highly customizable.
- Option to add third-party extensions.
- Delivers great site speeds.
- Brands like Coca Cola, Nike, and Ford use Magento.
- Supports different payment gateways.
- Creating a website with Magento can be tricky for the first time.
- Hiring a professional Magento developer can be expensive.
- Ineffective support forums.
PrestaShop is another open-source eCommerce CMS platform that you can host yourself. You can install it on any web host that you use. It is supported by many web hosting providers, including Hostinger, Blue Geek hosting, and Namecheap.
- An outstanding PrestaShop community that provides tips and tutorials.
- No need to pay extra if your shop grows.
- Easily customizable.
- A steep learning curve.
- PrestaShop themes are not so good.
Blogger is a CMS created especially for blogging in the year 1999 by Google. Blogger is also referred to as Blogspot. Blogger is completely free. Blogger allows you to transfer the data quickly for switching from WordPress.
- Get started in just a few clicks.
- Simplistic and minimalistic design.
- Since Google hosts your blog, there is no need to pay for the hosting.
- Limited to creating blogs only.
- Only basic themes are available.
- If you plan to export data from Blogger to WordPress, you need to manually copy and paste pages.
Which One is the Best?
According to us, WordPress.org is the best content management system you can use for creating your website. According to reports, over 35% of the websites are built on WordPress for some pretty obvious reasons.
WordPress has everything you need for creating a website. The one-click install further eases the process of migrating a website from some other CMS to WordPress in no time. It also comes with many options in the form of plugins for extended features, such as Yoast SEO, WPForms, and SeedProd.
WordPress features are limitless. With WordPress, you can create an eCommerce site, online forum, learning management systems, an auction site, a marketplace, and much more. If at any point, you feel you need more space, you can easily upgrade your hosting plan too.
You can get started with creating a website with any of the above mentioned CMS platforms. But before doing so, do proper research and choose the one that perfectly suits your needs.
So which CMS are you planning to use for building your website? Drop your opinions as comments down below.