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The 10 Best CMS

Content Management System
1 Wordpress WordPress is counted amongst the most ubiquitous Content Management Systems available on the Internet. As it is open source, you’re not required to purchase a license in order to use it. Considering the fact that open source community is growing on a continuous basis, developing themes, creating fresh plug-ins, you can expect the WordPress’ functionality to evolve on a constant basis. Going by the statistics revealed by WordPress, almost 24% of all websites on the Internet use the WordPress CMS for publishing and/or managing their content!

It’s not just the paid version, but the free version of this CMS also offers the ability to create attractive and efficient websites and blogs, with great ease. You can change visual themes, tag content based on keyword/s and category/ies, embed different media types on different webpages and manage content apart from doing many other things.

Search engine optimization also becomes a hands-off affair with WordPress as it automatically sends the content and titles of your website’s posts to Google for ranking purposes. Additionally, with WordPress you get feature-rich website management tools that allow you to moderate discussions (not available with a large majority of free website and blog platforms), block certain phrases or terms and even block commenters based on their IP addresses.

People who upgrade to the WordPress premium business version get access to several useful CMS tools such as backend code access for further customization, flexibility in menu configurations, extra templates, advanced analytics and more. It’s not only the big corporate establishments like Forbes, IBM, Best Buy, eBay and the New York Times which use WordPress, a huge number of individual bloggers and small businesses also benefit from its user-friendly interface and various features.

Perhaps the only cons of using WordPress is that you require some time to get used to its interface. Performing tasks like moving the page from one category to the other and rearrangement of menu items can seem slightly complicated initially. Furthermore, a good number of its top-rated features are available only if you invest into the premium version.

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2 Squarespace An extremely popular CMS platform capable of giving WordPress a run for its money (largely owing to its omnipresent podcast advertising), Squarespace actually started out during the same timeframe as the WordPress. The primary difference between the two is that it’s not open source like WordPress. As a result, you’re not allowed to download the Squarespace software and cannot install it on a web server.

Rather, Squarespace is to be used as an integrated hosting service, blogging platform and website builder. It works on the premise that users sign up and subscribe for it, upon which Squarespace helps them with creation of a website from the ground up. This can come in pretty handy for anyone who doesn’t have any web design and development experience, and wishes to have a website up and running in quick time. Just like WordPress, with Squarespace you can use different website themes and create your online presence using various videos, images and text.

There’s an e-commerce platform available as well, which enables you to create and manage your online store, without the need of spending huge sums of money on a different service or a tech professional. You can opt for a business-ready package (at a nominal monthly cost) which would get you your own domain name, SSL security, Google AdWords credit, unlimited bandwidth and storage.

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3 Magento While majority of the Content Management Systems available on the Internet have plug-ins related to e-commerce portals, Magento was specifically created for the e-commerce users. Apart from all the major features required by an e-commerce business owner, Magento provides an extensive blog consisting of posts related to good SEO practices, general user guides, best e-commerce practices and various online trends. Please note, if you’re venturing into e-commerce for the first time, you would like a certain amount of guidance apart from easy website creation. Magento does a very good job at that!

The biggest benefit of employing Magento for creation of your e-commerce portal is easy-setup of the product catalogue. Magento makes it a breeze when it comes to showcasing made-to-order items with plenty of customization options (such as monogramming or engravings), configurable products on sale (allowing customers to easily select styles, sizes and colors while you keep a constant track of the SKUs) multi-piece items and product sets.

Furthermore, Magento makes it very easy for the users to disable the items they don’t want to showcase. Hence, you don’t need to recreate the seasonal items each year, as you can simply disable them when they’re not required and then reactivate them later.

Another significant e-commerce feature that sets Magento apart is its ability to set up multiple stores for you, using one single dashboard. It’s a very critical feature for stores that must offer their services to people of different countries (with different languages) and e-commerce portals that custom tailor their product offerings depending on the clients’ locations.

Setting up of shipping, billing and invoicing is also very easy. The security system of this CMS is created to be in compliance with all the requirements of the card payment industry and current laws. In addition, you can use all kinds of free and paid add-ons with it. It being open source also allows users to program customized widgets and generate customized reports for performance, products, customers and sales.

Unlike majority of the reputed CMS platforms, Magento offers good-looking templates apart from the ability to create custom website right from the scratch. However, it’s the targeted e-commerce features that set it apart from others.

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4 Weebly If you’re not a very tech-savvy person, but are serious about creating a website or blog for your business, we highly recommend using Weebly for this purpose. This CMS was created keeping lay users in mind, as there’s no coding involved and you’re not expected to know the workings of SEO or advanced security features either.

People who use Weebly are provided a step-by-step approach to blog designing and creation process, constantly guided with text bubbles which give suggestions and help you with the basic dashboard navigation. However, its interface is so user-friendly that you won’t even require any such guidance. Weebly takes a drag-and-drop web design approach. You’re allowed to drag-and-drop content anywhere you like on a given web page, and this content can be in any form, including audio files, forms, text, videos or photographs. Once you have assembled everything you need, you can resize and rearrange every asset with a few mouse clicks, enabling you to get the exact look and feel for your website.

The basic website organization becomes a breeze because of Weebly’s Web CMS. You can move and update webpages and sub-pages, as well as protect certain pages with passwords (limiting their view to only authorized users). The CMS has a dedicated section for SEO analysis, within the admin dashboard (though it’s not very comprehensive). Weebly works best for entities that need a supplement blog (of a primary business) or a basic website with regularly updated info.

Apart from that, users who opt for its business, pro or starter package, instead of the free version, get various other benefits (including complimentary Google ads credit). The CMS is more targeted to users who like an easy-to-use and simple interface, over a solid arsenal of multiple options and features. Its only downside is the lack of spell-check functionality and absence of backup history.

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5 Wix This one’s essentially a cloud-based CMS platform, which helps you with easy creation of mobile-optimized and HTML 5 websites. Wix works on a drag-and-drop system, through which you can add all kinds of components to your webpages and get direct feedback with regard to the appearance of your portal. This functionality can be further improved by installing multiple plug-ins.

Wix CMS caters to various online needs including creation of community forums, contact forms, e-commerce portals and email marketing. As expected from any CMS platform, you get the choice of removing the advertisements, opt for a premium version (to increase bandwidth) and use your own domain name.

The prices are on a per month basis, and are very nominal. Companies and small businesses can pay slightly extra and opt for the unlimited package. These advanced packages come with the benefit of free domain, online store builder, ad vouchers, custom favicon, 10 GB storage and unlimited bandwidth.

What sets Wix really apart is that it’s a blogging platform which makes your website or blog’s aesthetics the top priority, by providing a hands-on design interface, probably better than any other platform you may have used.

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6 Joomla Joomla is yet another highly popular Content Management System that has a wide presence all over the Internet. Yet, people are not as aware of it as other CMSs like WordPress etc. Without naming any big brands, we’d like to mention that a considerable number of popular e-commerce websites and chain restaurants on the Internet are running effectively with solidly maintained Joomla installations.

If we were to mention one particular aspect that’s loved extensively about Joomla, compared to other open source Content Management Systems out there, it’s how it maintains the right balance between control and ease-of-usage. For instance, you can control user permissions, banner placements, RSS layouts and various critical elements without the need of any special plug-ins or themes. Anytime you don’t find the feature already included in the default Joomla installation, you can avail it with the help of Joomla extensions. It would be an understatement to say that Joomla is a very powerful CMS.

Furthermore, it is ideal for anyone wanting deeper control over the presentation-aspect of their web content. It’s also ideal for any user wanting to create a website with e-commerce capabilities. If robust elements, customizable options and deeper control are what you’re after, Joomla might just be what you need!

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7 Concrete5 Concrete5 came into the open source CMS arena in the year 2009 and has grown by leaps and bounds ever since. The people behind Concrete5 Content Management System have done a wonderful job at positioning it as a time-saving and easy-to-use CMS to anyone ranging from seasoned web developers to new individual users.

This CMS’ ease of usage shines right from the word go – the installation is fairly easy, you get thousands of add-ons, there’s a comprehensive directory of web themes, all of which helps you customize your website using style editors and drag-and-drop builders. These features also facilitate easy creation of responsive websites that not just look professional, but can be navigated smoothly on any device. The CMS platform also focuses heavily on provision of social media tools, SEO tools, access control tools and marketing tools for delivering a comprehensive and all-rounded content management experience.

It should be without-doubt among the top contenders for anyone in need of a customizable, easy-to-use and sleek CMS which is backed by a dedicated no-hassle support team, apart from an always helpful user community.

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8 Drupal Working with the Drupal CMS works best for people who are already familiar and comfortable with PHP, CSS and HTML. Anyone who knows his/her way around web development won’t have any difficulty in using and shining with Drupal! It’s ideally the best CMS you can use if you wish to develop a database-driven website that should be highly customized (done mostly using your already-learnt skills), extremely quick and with a developer-friendly CMS environment, essentially providing you with a blank canvas to work upon.

An important differentiator between WordPress and Drupal is the fact that Drupal can be thought of as a blank page, while WordPress is more of a vanilla blog! While both these Content Management Systems enable you to customize a great deal of user experience, Drupal goes a step ahead and allows you to customize a lot of back-end functionality, to suit your specific needs.

Drupal works best for web developers who although require a CMS framework, don’t want to take the pain of building one from the scratch. It’s important to mention here that this CMS is absolutely not for any user wanting a simplified installation experience.

The Drupal goes fairly deep into the CMS architecture itself, and considering how it’s so well-adopted to the professional coding standards, a great multitude of developer-type and engineer Webmasters have opted for Drupal as their main CMS. Drupal provides over 30,000 extendable modules that can take your website to an entirely new level, apart from more than 2500 unique themes allowing you to create a website you always wanted.

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9 ModX Architected specifically for mobile-responsiveness and speed, apart from being SEO ready, ModX positions itself as the fastest and most scalable and customizable open source PHP-based CMS on the Internet. It’s an excellent SEO CMS that allows people to create websites which are loved by search engines. The primary motive behind the development and introduction of ModX was to free developers from the worries of web design, while ensuring robust security.

Ever since it was released in the year 2005, ModX has been continuously enabling users to unleash their creative freedom, putting them in the driver’s seat and giving them a free-hand in creation of their ideal websites. The inbuilt package library provides developers majority of the tools needed by them, making it more of a content management framework instead of an outright CMS. It gives you complete control of the content, going to the extent that you can change the core functionality of your portal, without having to make any changes to the core code.

Other than the unmatched scalability, speed and site performance it offers, ModX also lays a solid emphasis on website security. xPDO being at the foundation of ModX ensures that your website stays safe from SQL injection attacks, which a good number of platforms are vulnerable to.

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10 Magnolia Counted amongst the primary attractions of Content Management Systems is the fact that they’re normally very easy to setup and use. Anyone who runs a business would ideally want to have his/her own online presence, to promote his/her specific services and products. However, the person may not have the technical knowledge to create such online presence.

Magnolia CMS is a Java-based platform that’s targeted particularly at business establishments in need of websites that can do almost everything for them. It functions in the form of a hub that integrates all-important CMS areas like social media, e-commerce, ERP, CRM, market automation and analytics. What’s so nice about Magnolia is that you can add all these functionalities gradually as you go along with your business and make it grow.

Magnolia also does a fairly good job at making security the top priority for your website. This aspect serves as the heart of the CMS system, as the architecture used separates the private and public elements of the website, in order to better combat any attacks. You are also allowed to define the privileges and rights of admins and users. So, you’ll always know which person can publish, view and edit certain type of content. The price of this CMS is flexible and can be tailored based on a business’ exact needs.

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Content plays a very significant role in creation and development of a brand on the Internet. Without quality content, you’re going to have a hard time competing with others for the attention of prospects. In fact, despite being neglected pretty often, digital marketing continues to be arguably one of the most critical aspects of commerce. And in order to maximize the potential of your business operations, you must opt for a reliable Content Management System.

Going by the revelations of various experiments, surveys and estimates, there are almost 2 billion websites on the Internet! And the number is growing with each passing day! Such huge number of online portals creates plenty of room for the top website platforms to stand out and shine.

If you think of it, with close to 2 billion websites on the Internet, there are more or less one website each for every 4 individuals in this world. That’s an even more impressive figure keeping in mind that only around half of the entire world’s population is connected to the Internet!

But does it imply that one in every 4 individuals is a coder who knows how to develop and design a website? Obviously not! There is something else that deserves credit here! The 2 billion websites on the Internet today can be majorly credited to what is commonly known as CMS or Content Management System.

What is a CMS?

CMS is the acronym of Content Management System. It’s essentially a software application or a group of related programs used for effective creation and management of digital content. A CMS supports various users in a collaborative environment. The features of every CMS may vary quite significantly. Majority of the Content Management Systems include format management, web-based publishing, version control, history editing, indexing, retrieval and search.

CMS solutions assist businesses of all types and sizes to maintain their online presence via websites and blogs, as well as help them in internal organization and optimization of content. Apart from that, they also help in online payments and order processing.

A well-deployed CMS can improve the reach of an online business, helping it come up in the search engine rankings, unify all customer communication in one place and manage the content contribution of different employees (via accountability, security settings and administrative settings in the CMS).

The uses of a CMS

Talking about the most basic functional needs of a CMS, an efficient Content Management System would make uploading and management of your digital content (to your website) very easy and efficient. CMSs have become an almost indispensable need of every business, no matter what its type or size may be. A CMS operates on a website’s back end, enabling the website owner to manage various facets of his/her website, including content as well as visual layout.

Another important benefit of such a system is that it makes things easy for users who aren’t very tech savvy. Anyone who is even slightly technically challenged can use a wide variety of pre-constructed themes and plug-ins for these CMS systems. These components are already developed and allow you to add all types of functionalities and tools to your website, for instance, appointment calendars, search feature, payment gateway etc.

In case you’re good at coding or have employed software developers in your company/firm, you’d be glad to know that majority of the CMS software are open source and customizable, based on your needs. A good CMS can contribute to business of any type. Following are some clear examples how a good CMS can improve websites belonging to different business categories:

Small businesses – Regardless of the business you run, a website has become an indispensable need in present-day competitive world. A good CMS enables you to add, manage and update content in a quick manner and on a regular basis. Furthermore, majority of CMS software allow for SEO plug-ins that facilitate optimization of the web content. In addition, you can also use a wide variety of themes and templates to quickly develop an appealing website, without the need of hiring a web-designer.

Restaurants – An efficient CMS software allows restaurants to regularly add and update their menus, take online reservations, create coupons and discount offers and carry out various other restaurant-related tasks. You can use from many different plug-ins specifically meant for restaurant websites.

Nonprofit organizations – Nonprofits can make the management of their websites a much less expensive affair with the help of a CMS. Additionally, they can accept donations on the Internet by making use of specific plug-ins for that purpose. There are various open source CMS applications that have robust developer communities backing them, which can voluntarily help nonprofit organizations make the most of such tools, and create an attractive web presence. Specific plug-ins and add-ons are also available for improving the marketing and social media presence of such entities.

E-commerce – An efficient Content Management System can contribute to your online store by helping you swiftly add and remove products, manage orders, track sales and take care of various other business aspects of such e-commerce portals. As with other business categories, you can make use of various add-ons and plug-ins specifically meant for e-commerce platforms. For instance, you can make use of specific shopping cart plug-ins to add a shopping cart to your portal. Similarly, easy payment processing can be facilitated with the help of plug-ins meant for payment gateway integration.

It should be noted that in technical terms, a CMS platform can’t be equated with a web hosting service or a blogging platform. But there’s a good amount of feature-crossover in each of them.

There are all kinds of CMS available on the Internet which enable you to create and manage blogs, websites and content. These Content Management Systems may also vary in terms of being free of cost, payment based, open source, with/without databases, with/without certain features and several other aspects. However, few of them are more successful than others. And we’re essentially going to acquaint you with those best few CMSs out there.

Please note, we conducted reviews of all kinds of CMS platforms and have shortlisted the best ones based on their utility, performance and category.