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If you’re thinking about building a new website and can’t decide on the best content management system to use, we’ve put together a list of the 5 best options for your site. Whether you need a site for blogs, marketing, services, or eCommerce, we’ve provided some of the best website platform options for you to use based off of a variety of factors.
What is a Content Management System?
A content management system (CMS) is a software platform that helps you create, manage, and modify all digital content. In simpler terms, a CMS does exactly what the name says – it helps you manage your website’s content in a systemized and organized way. Typically, content management systems are great options for those who are not tech-savvy. Instead of having to code every time you want to add a piece of content to your site, the CMS provides an easy to use editor so you can easily upload content without having to code.
Factors to Consider
- Pricing – while there are some free & open source content management systems, some require a monthly fee and you’ll need to pay to host your site. The best way to look at costs when it comes to your CMS is making sure what you’re paying for meets your needs and your visitor’s expectations.
- Customizability – the more personalization, the better. If you have customized your site to give your visitors a more unique experience, you can expect better conversion rates. The good thing about a CMS is that most platforms come with pre-built themes to help you with the foundation of your site. They also come with frontend editors so that you can customize your site however you wish. Also, if you decide to hire a developer to customize your site, most CMS platforms offer great coding options to add more advanced features.
- Ease of Use – ease of use is one of the most important things to consider when deciding on the best content management system. If you’re not tech-savvy, then ease of use should be highly considered since it will directly effect the adoption rate and workflows of your workforce. Using a CMS with a WYSIWYG editor will be key to quickly creating and editing content and gives your developers an easy way to add custom code.
- Security – Keeping your content, users, and visitors safe is another essential consideration when it comes to choosing the best CMS. A general rule of thumb to go by is if you don’t know the best security practices, then choose a website platform with a robust set of security protocols to keep your site safe. Try to choose something where you can easily perform back-ups, update software, and purchase an SSL certificate.
- Customer Support – another essential aspect of a content management system is making sure you have 24/7 support options. While most CMS platforms offer 24/7 customer support, there are some that do not offer support which could be detrimental in some cases.
Best CMS Systems
Powering over 37% of the world’s websites, WordPress.org has become by far one of the most popular website platforms. In the past, WordPress was used as a blogging software, but it has evolved into so much more. Not only does WordPress making posting blogs easy, its interface makes it easy to build out your site using a theme builder if you’re less experienced with web design. Additionally, WordPress offers a multitude of plugins to make frontend and backend development simple for beginners and for advanced developers. Lastly, WordPress also caters to eCommerce sites with its WooCommerce extension – one of the best extensions for managing an eCommerce store.
Shopify is a hosted eCommerce platforms that makes it easy for store owners to create and manage their online store. While there are so many reasons to love this website platform, ease of use is one of the most notable. Shopify makes running your eCommerce store as simple, if not more simple, than WordPress. Shopify offers a wide variety of resources to make things as simple as possible, especially for first timers. With that being said, Shopify offers over 70 themes and thousands of apps to allow to allow you to customize your store’s feature with a click of a button. When it comes to pricing, Shopify does charge a monthly fee starting at $29 per month, but this includes a lot of great security features like web hosting, SSL certificate, and a Shopify subdomain.
Similar to WordPress, Drupal is another popular, free to download, and open-source CMS that is targeted to developers, marketers, and agencies. The reason why we love Drupal is because it was designed to be able to manage sites with large amount of data and content. This content management systems is great for marketers who want to create a simple site template. At the same time, Drupal is also great for developers that are managing a site that stores tons of data and has heavy traffic. However, Drupal is not our first recommendation for beginners as you’ll need a basic understanding of code such as HTML, PHP, and CSS. In terms of customizability, Drupal offers a large selection of add-ons so that you can customize your site as much as you wish.
While we’re on the topic of popular open source CMS software like WordPress and Drupal, we might as well let you know about Joomla. Joomla is another great content management system that comes with a variety of templates and extensions, making it easy to customize your website. You can think of Joomla as a mixture of Drupal and WordPress – Joomla combines the versatility of Drupal and the ease of use of WordPress. Plus, it is free to download.
Magento is an open source eCommerce platform owned by Adobe. Like Drupal, this is a great content management system for more technical users and developers. While it is not necessarily easy to use for beginners, it is great for building out a site that looks and functions exactly how you want it to. Magento has thousands of apps and extensions so that you have lots of customizable options for your website. Moreover, Magento offers robust security as it regularly rolls out security updates to address vulnerabilities exposed in its source code. Just like all of the other open source content management systems mentioned above, Magento is free to download but you may have to hire a developer to help with setup and customizations since it is a more complex platform.
By Natalie Frazer