Best Content Management Systems

Kristin Crabb
By Kristin Crabb

When it comes to websites, as the old adage goes, content is king. But when there is a lot of content (especially) if content is continuously being added to a site, the content management system is queen. A content management system is the platform on which digital media such as articles, posts, videos are created.

Content management systems are usually designed to be simple enough for someone who is not a web developer to be able to use and organize.

Factors such as user friendliness, the ability to customize, page-loading speeds, and SEO friendliness are all considerations when deciding on which is the best content management system to suit your business’s needs.

There are several big name content management systems on the web, but a few really are a cut above the rest. The difference between them often lies in their application and what type of business they were designed around. Picking the right one is important; after all, it takes dedicated company resources to develop and maintain a business’s website. The last thing any business owner wants is a gaggle of technical issues and difficult to use software. Indeed, most business generate most of their leads through the internet now, so having a great website is non-negotiable.

Here, we rank the top five best content management systems (CMS) and what types of businesses they are most suitable for:

1) WordPress

No list about the best content management systems would be complete without the mother of all CMS , WordPress. WordPress continues to reign supreme: Almost 27% of all websites on the internet use WordPress as their content management system, making it the most popular CMS in the world. WordPress is commonly used for publishing (such as new sites, blogs, and niche sites) and boasts some of the biggest brands in the world including Facebook, BBC, and Bloomberg.

WordPress continues to dominate the CMS world for several reasons. Firstly, it is free to use. It is also an open-source platform, which means it is constantly updated with the latest and greatest developments in the industry.

It also is arguably the most user friendly of all the content management systems out there and allows administrators to give contributors roles with varying degrees of responsibility and access, making it easy to manage teams.

This feature makes it easier and lower risk to give many contributors access to the website platform.

Additionally, because it is so widely used, it offers a lot of options. Beautifully designed templates are often relatively affordable on the web (usually around $50) which allows for beginners able to produce a beautiful website. If there are any issues whatsoever, there is probably a plugin that will resolve it. WordPress is ideal for businesses that publish a lot of content but is probably the most versatile of all the content management systems.

Related: Best WordPress Plugins to Use for Site Speed

2) Magento

Magento another platform that is considered one of the best content management systems for ecommerce. Some of the biggest brands in the world, including Nike and Samsung, use Magento for their digital presence. For businesses that have a product or service to offer (as opposed to a business model that profits off traffic, such as a publisher) Magento’s CMS might be just the right place to set up shop…or several. Magento allows for users to manage multiple ecommerce sites from one platform, a dream come true for businesses that have several niche shops that operate under different branding. Magento was built for ecommerce businesses in mind and is the most popular CMS for ecommerce websites.

Some of the more notable benefits that come with Magento are that, like WordPress, it is open source. It is free to use and highly customizable, though you may need to have a Magento expert work their magic. Other major perks of this platform include the fact that it is designed for scalability and is coded to allow for easy integrations. In terms of creating a site with a great user experience, Magento provides multiple sitemap options and allows for navigation to be layered. Additionally, it generates easy to find URLS and provides options for tagging and descriptions which make it easy to organize content on the site and makes the website easy to find for search engines. Magento is also actively supported by an active community of world-class developers who provide easy and efficient troubleshooting for users and keep the platform up to date. Magento is our pick for the best content management system for ecommerce.

Related: Shopify vs Magento: The Ultimate Guide

3) Drupal

Drupal might not be the best choice for every project, but depending on the nature of the business, it might be just the ticket. The major upside to Drupal, it one of the best content management systems available, is that it is probably the most open of all the CMSs. Out of the box, it is basically a clean canvas. The platform allows for the quick development for prototypes and beta models, from conception to execution, for quick launches and deployments. Additionally, even after deployment, Drupal’s CMS makes it easy to go through iterations and adapt based on user feedback and business needs.

One of the major upsides to Drupal compared to other platforms is that the security updates are frequent and effective. Open-source platforms are by nature prone to hacking, so for websites that require PII (personally identifiable information) this can be a huge pro for businesses. Additionally, one of the unique advantages of using Drupal is its application programming interface (API). Major sites including Facebook and YouTube provide wide-ranging support for Drupal, making it easier for developers to create made-to-measure modules. That being said, Drupal is commonly thought of as requiring people with advance technological knowledge to use and operate.

4) Hubspot

Hubspot is one of the best content management systems for marketers who not only want to drive traffic to convert leads but to build out their brand. It offers automated campaigning for platforms such as social media or email newsletters. HubSpot positions its CMS as following the inbound marketing model. Your HubSpot account will serve the control tower for all your digital operations from social media to advertising to email campaigns. Users will only have to create the content one time to get reach across all integrated platforms.

HubSpot addressed some of the communication gaps that often come with having a divided sales team and a marketing team.

Sometimes things fall through the cracks. But by merging the two disciplines, HubSpot helps ensure that everyone engaging with your brand is getting consistent and accurate information through their automated marketing tools. Also built into the platform: powerful SEO tools and a marketing studio for users to ideate and create the content that can be published and distributed across all marketing and promotional channels that are connected with HubSpot.

Unlike the other CMSs, HubSpot is not a free service. It is, however, possibly the best content management system for small business. Indeed, the clear majority of Hubspot’s base right now are companies with fewer than 200 employees. Users report that the customer service at HubSpot is excellent. They also offer courses on implementing an inbound digital marketing strategy for free.

5) BigCommerce

BigCommerce is one of the best content management systems for ecommerce for big, high-volume retailers (as the name suggests). If you have a warehouse and manage shipping partners, BigCommerce is probably a great option for your business. One of the distinct advantages of using BigCommerce is that rather than depending on driving traffic to your website to convert leads, businesses can market their products on other websites (such as Amazon, Shopville, and Facebook) giving their products or services greater exposure to potential customers, all of which can be conveniently managed from BigCommerce’s platform.

BigCommerce’s platform makes it easy to manage returns, inventory, and payments.  

It also supports managing shipping partners, a must for any ecommerce site relying on shipping of goods. Though not free of charge like some of the other CMSs on this list, it is reasonably priced and best suited for its intended purpose.

Wrapping Up

Picking the right CMS is an early decision that is very important for the longevity of your business. Though all the CMSs on this list have major upsides, the benefits will only be properly utilized for specific industries. Websites that publish a lot of content are probably best off using WordPress. The best content management platform for ecommerce might be Magento or BigCommerce, depending on the scale of the business. Drupal might be the go-to for businesses that are iterative and require frequent updates, deployments, and require a significant amount of user personally identifiable information (such as medical institution or an insurance website.)

The website is oftentimes the first step any business takes to launch. Understanding the needs and goals of the business in the long-term can help ensure that the right platform is chosen from the get-go that will best accommodate the objectives of the business.

 

Kristin is a Content Coordinator at Power Digital. She was born and raised in San Diego but headed down south to attend the University of Alabama. With a degree in Communications and Advertising, she enjoys creating valuable and engaging SEO focused content to drive traffic and increase revenue for her clients. Roll Tide!