CMS starts to garner popularity at the beginning of the 21st century when numerous blogs and news’ websites start to spring up. This website then needs to be updated regularly. which requires many members of the team besides the webmaster to be involved in web content update. A recent study by Zion Market Research shows that the CMS market is estimated to reach a whopping $123.5 billion by 2026. Currently, 72% of websites use CMS as a form of content management. Thereby showing the importance and usefulness of CMS in this modern world.
In this article, I will share with you 12 best CMS platform you can use to kickstart your blogging career.
WordPress is the most popular CMS platform. As of 2020, 38% of websites are built on WordPress. You can change the website appearance by altering the default WordPress theme or making use of third-party themes that are readily available. Also, you can extend the functionality of WordPress CMS core by creating custom plugins, or by installing third-party plugins which are readily available on the app marketplace.
WordPress is free.
- It is user-friendly. It creates a platform to better organize and make changes to web content
- WordPress is open-source, therefore, you have total control over usage
- Numerous page builder plugins available on WordPress that help you take more control of your website structure and interface
- There are a plethora of plugins to choose from in the WordPress marketplace. There is virtually a plugin for anything you may need
- It is SEO compliant. There are also many SEO plugins available to help you optimize your content
- Huge community support
- Installing many plugins can make your website load slowly
- Some plugins do not offer adequate support
- Most free plugins do not allow total freedom for customization
- There is always a need to updates themes and plugins frequently
Drupal is one of the most widely used open-source CMS. Currently, Drupal now powers an estimate of 2.3% of websites worldwide. What makes Drupal stands out as a CMS is its flexibility and scalability that allows users to extend Drupal functionality to serve various purposes by editing its modules for customization. Likewise, you can customize the theme to suit your content presentation. As of October 2020, Drupal has over 46,000 + free modules, and over 2,900 + free themes.
Drupal is free. However, premium modules and templates allow better liberty to use and comes at a small cost.
- Drupal has high security, it is less prone to hacking
- Drupal core has built-in access control which allows you to create various users with different level of authorization
- It’s very flexible and easy to customize to meet different needs
- It has effective community support that provide assistance for users
- Drupal is easily scalable to handle fluctuation in traffics
- Drupal sometimes can be a little overwhelming for new users. It requires a lot of time to master how to effectively use the CMS
- There is not backward compatibility on Drupal (from a higher version to a lower version). For instance, modules on a certain version will not work properly on a more recent version
- You may need a developer to help build a theme that will perfectly suit your business
Joomla is an open-source CMS (Content Management System) software. It consists of modules (popularly known as extensions), that serve a specific purpose, which a user can integrate to the Joomla core to serve a specific use. A typical example includes login modules, banner modules, the latest news module, and more. As a result of this, Joomla is highly flexible and scalable, allowing the user to take full control on how the make the CMS fit the purpose intended. Also, Joomla has about 7,000 plus free extension to choose from, and numerous third party premium extension. You have everything to take control of Joomla platform, and customize to meet your need.
Joomla is totally free. There are also over 7,000 free extensions available for selection. However, premium extensions and templates are available in the app marketplace, provided by third-parties, and it comes at a small cost.
- Joomla is good for SEO. It has in-built SEO functionality that can be improved on by the user
- It is beginner’s friendly with a simple user interface that beginners can interact with
- Strong community support for template creators and page builders
- Highly flexible and scalable.
- Community support is not as engaging compared to WordPress
- As many other CMS developed with PHP, Joomla is prone to attacks
- Activating too many extensions can make Joomla slow
Magento still remains one of the best CMS platform with a focus on e-commerce. Users can extend Magneto functionality by adding a third-party plugin. In like manner, users can customize the frontend by editing the template to achieve desired results. Most functions you require for your e-commerce business from cart page to payment page are readily available in Magneto core. Making it very suitable for an e-commerce website. In addition, Magento Commerce – an extension of Magneto Open Source – offers more features, functionality, and support for larger enterprises.
Magneto is free to use. However, third party plugins may come at a cost.
- Magneto templates are user friendly
- Magneto is SEO friendly
- It’s very flexible and also easy to customize to meet different needs
- Magneto is highly scalable to handle an increase in traffic
- There is a huge community of support for you to get assistance
- There is a limitation with hosting. However, It is advisable to use a dedicated server to host Magneto
- Magneto Commerce (premium version of Magento) can be quite expensive. It may not suitable for startups, that are cash-constrained
- The Official Support is not well monitored
WIX operates a freemium model. It offers a cloud-based web development service for free (if you are not using a custom domain), where the user can create a mobile-friendly website by using the drag and drop tool available on the platform. You can also extend Wix functionality by adding plugins that are on the WIX app marketplace. There are virtually plugins – made mostly available by third-party – for everything you will need on your website. Also, WIX operates a SAAS (Software As A Service) business model where the user needs to pay a subscription fee to access every tool you need to keep your website running.
Wix is available for free. However, if you want a custom domain you must choose from the premium plan.
- Custom Domain: $4.50 per month
- Combo Plan: $8.50 per month
- Unlimited Plan: $12.50 per month
- VIP Plan: $24.50 per month
- It is beginners friendly; you can use WIX without achieving a certain learning curve in coding
- There is a plethora of template you can choose from, and different pre-built layouts for different industries
- There are numerous website apps like online booking widget, live chat apps, etc. you can add to your website
- Wix automatically backups your website. Hence, there is no threat of losing your content
- Not that great in terms of SEO
- There is also a limitation to how much you can customize the template
- There is not enough template some business type can choose from
Squarespace is one of the most popular CMS platforms out there. With the website builder and numerous templates to choose from, you can create publish a website in few minutes. Also, Squarespace uses a WYSIWG( What You See Is What You Get) editor that enables the user to see changes to the website in real-time where you don’t need to preview changes made on the backend on a browser to see how it looks. Squarespace operates a SAAS (Software As A Service) business model where the user needs to pay a subscription fee to access every tool you need to keep your website running.
- Trial: A 14-day free trial is available
- Personal: $12 per month
- Business: $18 per month
- Basic Commerce: $26 per month
- Advance Commerce: $40 per month
- A free trial is available for new user
- Stunning mobile-friendly templates you can choose from
- Easy to use interface
- Squarespace has a mobile app that allows you to edit web pages and e-commerce function easily
- There is limited participation from third-party developers
- The page speed is slower compare to some other CMS platform
Typo3 can be used to develop websites, intranet, and online applications. Typo3 runs on different web servers such as Apache, Nginx, and IIS, and on different operating systems. Also, Typo3 is highly flexible and scalable, which happen to be one its selling point. You can extend its functionality by activating extensions – which you can find at the Typo3 extensions repository (there are over 5000 extensions to choose from) or create a custom extension to suit your business need. Whether your intent is to create a simple blog or create an enterprise application, typo3 is a good fit.
TYPO3 CMS is free.
- Typo3 allows you to extend functionality through extensions
- It allows you to have multiple types of user with a different permission level
- It offers support for multi-lingual websites
- Typo3 has a vibrant and active community support
- User requires a certain learning curve to be able to use Typo3 comfortable
- Free limited available theme to choose from
- No automatic update for the system
Serendipity is a PHP content management system that allows you to publish blog seamlessly. The trackback and Pingback feature of Serendipity makes it stands out for bloggers. By allowing bloggers to get notification whenever anyone links to their blog post or articles, and when they react to another person’s article. Also, you can easily extend the platform functionality by taking advantage of numerous plugins available in the central repository. With SPARTACUS – an event plugin for the Weblog Engine Serendipity – you can easily install plugins with a single click.
Serendipity is absolutely free
- You can easily track comments on articles with default features of trackback and pingback
- It is easy to customize your website with numerous free plugin available for use
- You don’t need to attain a certain learning curve to use serendipity comfortable
- It has an easy to use interface
- It supports multiple languages
- Not suitable enough to adjust to different business needs
- There is no presence of enough advance features
- Not enough third-party plugins
9. OPEN CART
OpenCart is one of the best CMS platform to create an eCommerce website that can be installed easily and suitable for small businesses. Likewise, its built-in affiliate system allows the user to sell physical and digital products easily, without worrying about how to implement an affiliate program. Also, it allows the management of multiple stores and supports multiple currencies and languages. There are tons of extensions and themes to better customize your online store. Also, there is community support and third-party plugins to choose from. If you are looking for ready to use CMS platform for your business OpenCart is one of the best picks for you.
OpenCart is free to download and install. However premium plugins come at a small cost.
- Suitable for a small and medium e-commerce store
- Supports multiple currencies and languages
- Accept unlimited product and categories
- Good administrative tool
- There are no sufficient themes to choose from. Some themes are already outdated
- Many extensions have some security issues
- Addon modules are very important to extend OpenCart functionality, and they are not free
- There is limited customer support
ImpressPages is an easy to use open-source CMS platform for easy creation of web content. You don’t need to attain a certain learning curve to be able to use ImpressPage comfortably. Likewise using the drag-and-drop feature of ImpressPages, allows fast creation and deployment of web applications with little programming knowledge. Also, ImpressPages is built to be a multi-lingual platform. Consequently, you don’t need any extra plugin to make your website suitable for the international audience.
ImpressPage is free!
- It offers support for multi-lingual websites
- You don’t need to attain a certain learning curve to be able to use ImpressPages comfortably
- The user interface is easy to use
- SEO, Sitemap, and Newsletter features are built-in in ImpressPages core
- Not enough plug-in compares to other popular CMS
- Lack of documentation to cover frequently asked questions
- Less active community support
Weebly operates a CMS platform that allows users to build and deploy websites easily. It offers WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editing interface that allows you to quickly design a website with little or no technical knowledge. Their services are also very affordable. Weebly core also has a basic feature that supports blogging, e-Commerce, and multiple languages. Likewise, Weebly e-commerce feature allows the user to set up an e-commerce store that can be integrated with the most popular payment processing company in few steps. So, Site owners can quickly develop a simple store and accept payments through either Paypal, Stripe, or Authorize. Weebly operates SAAS (Software As A Service) business model, where you pay a subscription fee to have full access to all that Weebly has to offer.
- Free: You can’t use a branded domain with the free version
- Connect: $5.00 per month for an annual subscription
- Pro: $12.00 per month for an annual subscription
- Business: $25.00 per month for an annual subscription
- Easy to use interface
- Very affordable all-in-one service
- Numerous templates to select from
- Allows multiple users with different permission levels
- There is limited customization
- Third-party plugins can be a little pricey
- There are limited templates for you to choose from
Chamilo is one of the best CMS platform for building a Learning Management System. The Chamilo project aims at ensuring that quality education is available at a reduced cost. As a result of this, Chamilo allows users to easily set up and managed an LMS (Learning Management System) for free. Where you can easily customize, with the presence of modules and plugins in the repository. The basic features also include certificate generation, course catalog, skill management, and SCORM support. Additionally, it offers a shopping cart capability that allows you to sell your course easily.
It is free!
- It offers support for multi-lingual websites
- Mobile videoconferencing
- Online editing tool
- Free open-source solution
- Chamilo is sometimes slower when many students want to upload their assignment at the same time
- It requires some basic configuration during setup that can be included in a setup wizard
HOW TO CHOOSE BEST CMS PLATFORM
When deciding on the best CMS platform to use. Your choice should not be based on your present need alone. A perfect CMS should allow you to customize the platform without any significant restriction. Then, you can be rest assured that as your business grows, and new needs arise, you can always extend the it to meet that need.
COST OF OPERATION
Another important factor you should take into cognizance is the cost of operation. Firstly, you want to choose a CMS that is not expensive to maintain and can be hosted on the most popular web hosting platform. Also, if you want a CMS that is very user-friendly that your team can easily work with without too much training.
Now and then, you may find yourself in a quagmire, that you need to wriggle out. It can be frustrating if there is no active community support you can share your problem with. Some open-source platforms are found wanton in this area. On the contrary, CMS platform that operates a SAAS (Software As A Service) excels in this area because they offer an end-to-end solution.
There are some CMS that are not SEO friendly. Or they need extra configuration to be able to implement SEO successfully. These can be quite disastrous. Especially, if your type of business requires proper SEO to be able to attract visitors from organic search. Therefore, SEO compatibility should be at the back of your mind when choosing a CMS.
PLUG-INS AND EXTENSIONS
Most CMS platforms will not come with all the features you need. However, you can extend their functionality with either plugins or extensions. It is then very important that any CMS you choose has an array of plugins you can integrate with your website to achieve your desire result.