So you’re building a new website, and your website developer asks you what content management system you want to use. How do you know what the right answer is?
Let’s start with the basics.
Kinsta defines a content management system (CMS) as software that helps users create, manage and modify content on a website without the need for specialized technical knowledge. In other words, it’s a tool that helps you build a website without needing to write all the code from scratch or even know how to use code at all. Essentially, you can choose a template and write your content in an interface that looks similar to Microsoft Word.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? But wait – with so many different content management systems on the market, how do you know which one to choose? To accelerate your decision-making process, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular CMS options and provided the pros and cons of each.
The top five most popular CMS options
Pros: According to Bitcatcha:
- Wix websites offer a massive template collection and are quick to build with excellent performance speed.
- The intuitive drag and drop interface makes it simple for people with no website experience to use.
- Users sing high praises about the Wix mobile editor. It lets you preview and edit your site exactly as you would see it on a mobile device.
- It has SEO management tools built into the software so you need to do minimal SEO work for Google to love your site.
- Wix offers a variety of extra features including free secure sockets layer (SSL) certificates and even a logo maker.
- Help and support are available if you ever feel lost building your website.
- Unfortunately with Wix, you can’t transfer content from one template to another. For example, if you start building your site with one template, but decide later you want another, you have to manually move your content to the new template.
- While Wix promotes free services, beware that the free plan forces Wix branding at the top of your website.
- If you want to add tracking and analytics to your website, you need a paid plan.
- If you outgrow your website or choose to use a different CMS in the future, know that your site will not be transferable meaning that you will have to pay money to recreate and transfer your website away from Wix.
Pros: According to Tooltester:
- Squarespace is THE website builder for blogs, portfolio sites and online stores. It offers more than 140 themes that are optimized for tablets and phones.
- This CMS is also world-renowned for its blogging features which include a commenting feature, multi-author functionality, the ability to schedule posts, and more.
- If you need help, their live chat feature lets you get an answer almost instantly.
- Squarespace offers four different apps that allow you to edit almost all aspects of your website from your phone.
- There are no website page limits.
- Content creators love Squarespace for its ability to upload a variety of content types including videos and social media posts.
- When you’re editing your website, Squarespace doesn’t automatically autosave your work or offer a site-wide undo button. Don’t forget that all changes will be published immediately upon saving.
- If you need a deep menu hierarchy, Squarespace isn’t your CMS. Only one sub-navigation is allowed.
- Squarespace ranks low on Google’s Page Speed Tool. This could lead to a poor user experience and potentially harm your search engine rankings.
Pros: According to HubSpot:
- Drupal is a highly flexible CMS with infinite customization options. It’s best suited for developers familiar with HTML, CSS and PHP.
Over 46,000 customizable modules are available, as well as thousands of free themes.
- It’s known as the most secure CMS.
- Drupal can handle large quantities of data and heavy traffic making it ideal for large corporations, government agencies and universities that have dedicated developer teams and need scalable options.
- Drupal is geared towards technical users, and adding modules and themes isn’t easy without this technical knowledge. The average user will go through a steep learning curve.
- Compared to other CMS options, Drupal has a limited number of modules.
- Drupal is glitchy if you don’t run ongoing updates and optimize it correctly.
- While Drupal is offered as a free tool, for higher functionality, you’ll need to purchase additional modules.
- Kentico is easy to use and scalable.
- Easy integration with Salesforce is available.
- Depending on your business’ needs, you can customize your website and adapt it as needed.
- A free trial is available for all users to determine if they like the CMS.
- As a paid CMS, Kentico’s security features are excellent.
- Kentico is expensive. A minimum of $4,499 is needed for the base model, although it does include free maintenance, technical support and upgrades.
- There is no chat support available.
- If you require email marketing features, Kentico’s are not recommended.
- It’s is only recommended for medium and large businesses.
Pros: According to CyberChimps and WordPress:
- Forty-three per cent of the web is built on WordPress.
- Websites are extremely mobile-friendly.
- WordPress websites are SEO-ready and include features for favorable Google indexing, customizable SEO components for each page and plugins dedicated to SEO that will make your WordPress sites competitive in search engine rankings.
- You can easily update your site on your own – no complicated coding is required.
- This CMS is easy to upgrade.
- WordPress is ideal for integrating online marketing and social media, while offering increased security compared to other CMS options.
- Navigating WordPress web design, development and maintenance can be challenging with no prior experience.
- While the WordPress platform itself is free, using it efficiently relies on customization, themes and plugins.
- Because WordPress is the most widely used CMS, it’s a prime target for cyber threats.
- You have to constantly update your website.
- If you have no SEO experience, navigating WordPress’ SEO features can be daunting.
So now that you have a breakdown of the five most popular CMS options, what will you choose? Our recommendation? While we prefer WordPress for the vast majority of websites we build, depending on your situation, another CMS may be a better fit. Work with a web developer who can help you blueprint your website needs and choose the CMS that works best for you.
Read to get started? We’re here to support.