Do a quick search online for content management systems and you’ll get a whole load of results, pages and pages of them. How do you choose? If you’re busy researching the most popular CMS, this article is for you. We’ll reveal how to choose a CMS platform, take a look at some of the best-loved CMS out there, and recommend how to pick the best CMS for your business. By the end of it you’ll have a good idea of the best-in-breed content management solutions and which might suit your needs most. Why are we making recommendations about the most popular CMS platforms? As an experienced B2B web design agency with years of website design and web development behind us, we’ve done the hard work for you. Read on to discover our top CMS recommendations.
A CMS is a tool you use to make it easier to manage a website’s content. It lets you add new pages, blog posts, articles, images and text, video, animations, and every other imaginable kind of content without having to delve into the code. CMS are designed to be intuitive so everyone can use them. Some are easier for beginners to get to grips with than others. But they’re all about saving time, saving hassle, and making the site design and development task easy, fast, efficient, and enjoyable.
So let’s nail the first important information down for you. How to choose a CMS platform? Like any important purchase, it’s about making sure every element of the product suits your needs as well as possible, without going crazy on features you probably won’t need. It involves making sure the price fits your budget while giving you the support and ongoing requirements you need. Useability matters a lot, so check you’ll find it simple to learn and digest. The features are vital too – you need to know the CMS will do all the things you want it to do, ideally as standard. There’s a difference between the kind of CMS you’ll want for an ecommerce site and your needs for an informational site. How much security do you need? If we’re talking about people spending big bucks, particularly good security might swing it for you. And how about add-ons and extras? Will they prove useful or just clutter up your life with irrelevant stuff?
Next, let’s explore our expert take on the most popular CMS programmes. We’ll reveal a collection of popular CMS platforms, each of which deliver greatness: those with the best CMS overall, best features, best pricing, and the best solution for ecommerce. Here goes.
Umbraco is best known for giving developers supreme flexibility, great security, and easy scalability. It is one of the most popular CMS platforms for good reasons, called the ‘friendly CMS’ because it provides users, content managers and editors a beautifully simple interface with truly intuitive editing capabilities. The CMS is kept up to date by a team of experts at Umbraco HQ, so is always current and always dovetails with search engine needs.
It comes with:
Umbraco costs nothing for the free version, £9,000 a year for the Pro version, and there’s flexible pricing on the Enterprise version.
Umbraco is best for more or less every kind of design and development project, most often used to design websites, online shops, intranets, and headless solutions.
WordPress is another of the most popular CMS platforms, best known for being simple to use, flexible, and powerful. The dashboard is straightforward, containing clear menu options. It’s easy to create any sort of content as well as customise the design, add more menus, and loads more. And there’s a wealth of templates and plugins to choose from to make your design and development life easier.
It comes with a load of features as standard:
WordPress costs nothing. It’s completely free. Originally created for blogging, the CMS is used for forums, media galleries, membership sites, learning management systems (LMS) and ecommerce.
As seen on TV, the Wix CMS is a member of our most popular CMS platforms list, best known for cloud-based web development. You can use it to build HTML5 and mobile websites via a simple online drag and drop protocol to make apps, texts, image galleries, vectors, graphics, simulations, and lots more with ease.
It comes with all this:
Wix is free to use for smaller projects. The premium version is priced from £4.50 a month, and Wix is best for blogging, great for entrepreneurs, and good for small businesses.
Originally designed as a SaaS based CMS for blogging, website building and hosting, these days the Squarespace CMS is best known for being an experienced contender in the ecommerce world.
It comes with these features, making it one of the most popular CMS right now:
Squarespace, another of the most popular CMS platforms, costs £10 a month for a personal license, £15/month for business, £20 a month for basic commerce and £30 a month for advanced commerce, with discounts if you pay annually. While anyone can use it, Squarespace is best for artists, designers, photographers, and others in the creative sector, specifically designed for the purpose.
The Joomla CMS is best known for its model-view-controller web application framework, which can be used independently of the CMS to make powerful online applications. Written in PHP and designed to publish web content, it harnesses object-oriented programming and a MySQL database to do its thing. It comes with a directory of handy extensions plus this as standard, out of the box:
Joomla users can create websites free, either hosted themselves or with Joomla. Upgrade to private hosting if you like, with SiteGround. A personal license costs from $99, a business license from $199, and an agency license from $399. Joomla is best for social networks, personal sites, and large and small ecommerce sites. It’s just as good for beginners as it is for experienced site designers and developers.
The Shopify CMS is another of the most popular CMS, best known as a very popular ecommerce CMS platform. This is where a variety of big brands live, including some with annual revenue of more than $300 million, as well as lots of smaller online shops. It comes with these core features:
Shopify costs £19 a month for the basic version, ideal for new ecommerce sites with occasional in-person sales. It’s £49 a month for Shopify for growing businesses selling online or in-store, and £259 a month for the Advanced version, ideal if you want things to be easily scalable and need advanced reporting. Shopify is great for large retail businesses, good for ecommerce of all sizes.
How do you go about choosing from our list of the most popular CMS platforms? Basically it’s the same kind of process you go through when buying anything for your online business. Think about the purpose of your website, and how it might change or grow in future. It’ll need to fit in with your budget, and suit the market you operate in. It depends on the array of features you want on the site, and on your own website management experience and skills.
That’s it. By now you’ll have a decent idea about the kind of CMS you need, why you need the features you’re seeking, and which of the most popular CMS we’ve covered delivers what you want. As experienced web designers and developers we’ll be delighted to support you, whatever you want to achieve from your online presence.