As the website owner, you’ve probably already decided to use a CMS over a website builder and you thought the hard part was over. Unfortunately, you are wrong. While choosing a CMS is a step in the right direction, you will also need to decide which platform you will use. With this decision, some factors that will become crucial for considerations are accessibility, ease of use, provision of extensions or add-ons, pricing, and availability of customer support. For new website owners, another feature worth noting is the availability of CMS web hosting built into the platform, which can simplify the setup process.
This blog post lists some of our top picks using the factors listed above.
Experts have consistently recognized WordPress as the number one choice for the best CMS platform, powering over 40% of websites today.
WordPress offers great flexibility to create any website that a user might be interested in, from an online store to an auction site, even going as far as a membership site. Anyone can use Site Styles to create a website without technical skills or other knowledge using a block style editor to design their pages. Although WordPress is not a website builder, users can still browse through thousands of themes, plugins and lots of extras to make their website their own.
In terms of cost, WordPress is free to use on its own. What will cost users money is to use a domain name and hosting account, which can cost around $20 per month in total.
Disadvantages of WordPress
As a CMS, new users can find it daunting to set up their hosting and domain names, manage their security, and perform regular backups. Fortunately, the internet is now full of many online tutorials that can alleviate some of these initial concerns.
Additionally, users may also encounter complications regarding the amount of flexibility, as too many options can be debilitating.
Drupal is next on the list, a highly flexible open source CMS platform. The designers of Drupal created the platform to appeal to marketers, agencies, and developers, ensuring that those with basic experience can still add content and build a site with a template. Also providing a foundation that can handle heavy traffic, Drupal has since become the foundation for major websites, many owned by top universities, Pinterest and Unicef, among others.
Advantages of Drupal
Once a development team has created a website on Drupal, it’s easy for team members without technical knowledge to add content in different formats. Drupal also makes website access easier for many users, providing customization capabilities for user roles and permissions.
Disadvantages of Drupal
Unlike WordPress, Drupal is known to be much more difficult for a beginner to understand. Since the designers created the CMS with the developer in mind, a basic understanding of languages including HTML and CSS is required to take advantage of the full capabilities of the platform. As a result, developers spend countless hours on many of the best-designed websites on Drupal, an expense that isn’t always feasible for website owners.
Many industry experts recognize Joomla as the middle ground between Drupal and WordPress, offering a beginner-friendly interface and great versatility.
Compared to other CMS offerings, Joomla offers a lot more functionality out of the box. Therefore, those using the platform can use built-in functionality for hundreds of users, create pages in many languages, and create content in multiple formats. Additionally, many site settings, such as banners, menus, and SEO settings, can also be changed. The only caveat is that the developers make these changes in the backend, which not everyone can navigate.
Disadvantages of Joomla
As the previous section indicates, Joomla is more complicated, presenting a steep learning curve for beginners.
On the e-commerce front, Magneto is another CMS platform worth noting. Owned by Adobe, Magneto gives online store owners great flexibility to design the site that best benefits their goals.
Advantages of magneto
Magneto Open Source offers a high degree of flexibility to customize a website directly to the tastes of the owner. Website builders can browse and add any of the 3,800 apps that appeal to what they hope to achieve. The platform is free to download and use, similar to WordPress. As a result, users can expect to pay the same price for domain registration and hosting.
Disadvantages of magneto
The only caveat is that Magneto requires some time to understand and even more time to go through all the out-of-the-box features and extensions available. It should be noted that this statement is valid regardless of experience in website development.
Although there are plenty of premium apps available, they often cost more than comparable platforms.
Contentful is what is called a headless CMS. A headless CMS is not attached to a web page, instead relying on an application programming interface (also known as an API) to take data and display it as content. Because of this, Contentful has one of the biggest learning curves for non-technical users.
Its headless nature makes Contentful adaptable to more digital platforms, ranging from web browsers to mobile apps. The platform also offers website owners the ability to add a variety of different types of content.
Disadvantages of content
Content makes it harder for users to examine the actual layout of the website. In addition, the CMS being compatible with different platforms, certain technical knowledge is necessary.
HubSpot CMS Hub
HubSpot CMS has evolved into a fully integrated content management system, created with the needs of marketers and business owners in mind. The CMS is built on top of the platform’s powerful CRM, allowing users to access features such as marketing automation and other operational tools. For this reason, HubSpot CMS is a great choice for midsize businesses and enterprises looking for all-in-one offerings.
Benefits of the HubSpot CMS hub
HubSpot excels in ease of use with its provision of a website builder. With drag-and-drop functionality and built-in tools for SEO, even those with no technical knowledge can succeed with HubSpot as a CMS. The platform also offers differentiation with its Smart Content feature that allows users to customize their website pages to target a subset of their audience.
Disadvantages of the HubSpot CMS Hub
The platform is not the perfect choice for any website owner as there is no free version to use. Additionally, HubSpot is not designed for e-commerce websites and does not provide any built-in functionality to support such efforts. However, website owners can access several integrations with popular e-commerce platforms if that is their intention.