Best and Most Popular CMS Platforms
Do you have any questions about which CMS platform to use for your website?
A CMS (Content Management System) platform allows you to quickly and easily create a website without having to know any code (at least for most of them). Because there are so many CMS options, you may find it difficult to select the best one for your needs.
We’ll explain why it’s critical to pick the right CMS platform for your website in this article. We’ll also compare and contrast our top picks for the best CMS platforms.
What is a Content Management System (CMS) Platform?
A CMS platform (content management system platform) is a piece of software that makes it simple to manage content and build websites.
CMS platforms address this issue by allowing you to create a website without having to write code or learn how to program.
Unless you’re looking for a developer-friendly CMS, in which case you’re already a coder.
How to Select the Most Appropriate CMS Platform for Your Website
Which CMS platform should you choose? There are numerous CMS platforms available. Before we get into our CMS platform comparison, let’s take a look at what to look for in a good CMS.
You want a content management system (CMS) that makes it simple to create and edit content. This frequently entails using a drag-and-drop interface to add different elements to your pages.
You should be able to make changes to your website’s content quickly and easily after it has been published.
Options for design
Your content management system (CMS) should provide you with a large number of website design templates to choose from. It should also allow you to easily alter the designs to meet your specific needs (ideally without writing code).
Portability of data
A good CMS platform should include tools that allow you to easily export and move your data.
You might later decide to use a different platform or a different hosting company, for example. The ability to move around with complete freedom is made easier by data portability.
Add-ons and extensions
Not all websites are created equal. As a result, it’s impossible for any CMS platform to include all of the features that would satisfy the needs of every website.
Extensions and addons help to solve this issue. These are standalone programs that you can install on top of your CMS software to enhance its capabilities and add new ones as needed. Think of them as apps for your content management system.
Options for assistance and support
Even though CMS platforms are designed to make creating a website as simple as possible, you may still have some questions. If you get stuck, find out what help and support is available.
Some CMS providers will have a few FAQs and a customer service team that takes an eternity to respond. Others will be surrounded by a large supportive community that can assist you at any time of day or night.
How much does it set you back?
Some content management systems (CMS) are completely free. Others will bill you on a monthly basis. Even with free CMS platforms, third-party extensions, designs, and/or web hosting services are frequently required.
To avoid unpleasant surprises, try to learn as much as you can about pricing before deciding on a CMS.
With these considerations in mind, let’s look at the best CMS platforms available.
Our top pick for the best CMS platform is WordPress.org. It’s the most widely used content management system in the world, powering roughly 43% of all websites on the internet.
It’s critical not to mix up WordPress.org and WordPress.com. WordPress.org is a free open source content management system (CMS) that was originally designed for blogging but is now used by a wide range of websites and online stores. WordPress.com is a website that allows you to host your own blog.
Check out our detailed comparison of WordPress.org and WordPress.com if you’re not sure what the differences are.
Note: On WPExpertpro, we usually refer to WordPress.org when we say “WordPress.” When it’s appropriate, we use WordPress.com.
You must host your WordPress site yourself, which necessitates the search for a suitable WordPress hosting provider.
- WordPress provides you with the flexibility and freedom to create any type of website you want (online store, auction site, membership site, etc).
- It does not necessitate any technical or coding expertise. The WordPress block editor makes creating beautiful pages on your site a breeze.
- You have complete control over how you make money online from your website.
- There are thousands of paid and free WordPress themes and plugins available. These allow you to add contact forms, photo galleries, and other useful features to your website.
- WordPress has a great search engine optimization design (SEO). Making SEO-friendly URLs, categories, and tags for your posts is simple. You can also choose from a variety of SEO plugins to assist you.
- Because WordPress is an open source CMS, it has a large and supportive community.
- WordPress has a lot of extensibility, which makes it an excellent CMS platform for both beginners and developers.
- WordPress allows you to download all of your content in XML format, making it simple to migrate to a new system in the future.
- You’ll be responsible for setting up your hosting and domain name, as well as managing security and backups.
- When you’re first getting started with WordPress, it can be intimidating because it has so many options and flexibility.
WordPress is completely free to use. However, you’ll need a domain name (costs around $9–15 per year) and a hosting account with a WordPress-compatible web host (costs around $7.99/month).
We have a special offer with Bluehost where you can get WordPress hosting for only $2.75/month and get a free domain and SSL.
HubSpot CMS Hub is a fully integrated content management system created with marketers and business owners in mind.
CMS Hub is an ideal solution for growing businesses as well as large enterprises looking for an all-in-one system to manage their website because it is built on top of HubSpot’s CRM platform, which includes all sorts of marketing automation, sales, service, and operations tools.
- Even if you have little to no technical knowledge, the HubSpot website builder is simple to use. It’s simple to create and optimize web content with their drag-and-drop editor, built-in SEO tools, and contact attribution.
- They have intelligent content features that allow you to customize your website page for specific visitors or larger groups.
- Serverless functions, flexible theme options, and command line tools are available for developers, allowing them to make changes and customize assets more quickly.
- CMS Hub includes built-in security features such as a global CDN and Web Application Firewall, as well as a dedicated security team to protect your site from DDoS attacks, hackers, and other irregularities.
- HubSpot CMS integrates seamlessly with HubSpot’s email marketing tool and sales CRM, allowing you to simplify your operational workflows.
There is no free version, but a free trial is available.
E-commerce websites aren’t well served by HubSpot CMS. The good news is that it integrates seamlessly with both WordPress and WooCommerce.
Starter, Professional, and Enterprise are the three tiers of CMS Hub.
The $25/month Starter plan includes all of the features you’ll need to create a fully functional website. Higher tiers are better for more complex web apps with dynamic personalization and internal processes.
Many smart business owners use HubSpot’s free marketing tools while building their website on the WordPress CMS platform.
Joomla is a popular free open-source CMS platform that includes a variety of templates and extensions. It’s completely free to use, but you’ll need hosting and a domain name to get started.
It was first released in 2005, so it’s been around for a long time, just like WordPress. Joomla has a lot of features, and many web hosts allow you to install it with just one click. It is, however, a great CMS platform for developers and experienced website creators, so it isn’t a good choice for beginners.
- Joomla provides you with a lot of flexibility and options. It’s a good option if you’re making something unique or complicated.
- Although Joomla is geared toward developers, you can still use it if you don’t want to touch a single line of code. It’s simple to make changes to your content.
- Joomla, like WordPress, is open source, and there’s plenty of community help if you get stuck.
- There are extensions available for Joomla that allow you to run an e-commerce store.
- Even Joomla aficionados will admit that it is a complicated system. You may need to hire a developer to help you with it, depending on what you want to do with it.
- There aren’t a lot of additional extension options. You might be disappointed by Joomla if you’re used to a CMS like WordPress, which has thousands of available themes and plugins to extend the core functionality.
- If you have a lot of different extensions and modules installed, there may be some compatibility issues.
You might end up having to pay for some extensions to give your website more functionality. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, you might even want to budget for developer assistance.
WooCommerce is the world’s most popular eCommerce platform. It’s extremely adaptable and simple to use.
WooCommerce isn’t a CMS platform in and of itself. Instead, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, so you’ll need to have WordPress installed on your site to use it.
According to W3Techs, if it were a CMS platform, it would have 5.8% marketshare. That is the percentage of all websites worldwide that use it.
- WooCommerce is open-source software, but to get started, you’ll need WooCommerce hosting and a domain name.
- There are many WooCommerce themes to choose from, making it simple to customize your site to your liking.
- WooCommerce has a plethora of extensions (also known as WooCommerce plugins) that allow you to enhance your site’s functionality.
- WooCommerce allows you to sell both physical and digital goods. Affiliate links can even be used to sell affiliate products.
- WooCommerce allows you to fully manage your inventory, making it simple to keep track of what you have on hand.
- By default, WooCommerce accepts PayPal and Stripe payments. You can also use extensions and add-ons to add additional payment gateways.
- When you’re new to setting up a website, there are a lot of options in WooCommerce, which can be intimidating.
- Although WooCommerce works with any WordPress theme, you may want to stick with WooCommerce-specific themes for better support.
Although the WooCommerce plugin is free, you may have to pay for additional plugins and extensions for your online store.
A domain name and a web hosting account are also required. Bluehost is an excellent web host because they will set up WooCommerce and the Storefront Theme for you.
Drupal is another open source content management system. It’s the CMS that powers a number of well-known websites, including The Economist’s and a number of university websites.
Drupal is a good choice for developers or those who can afford to hire one. It’s especially useful if you want to create a highly customized site that must handle a large amount of data.
SiteGround can host a Drupal website. They provide free installation as well as assistance in transferring an existing Drupal site.
Drupal makes it simple to add content. Custom content types are adaptable and provide a variety of options.
There are numerous modules that you can use to enhance your website (these work like WordPress plugins).
Similar to other popular platforms like Joomla and WordPress, support is provided through community forums.
User management is simple, thanks to a built-in system that allows you to create new roles and assign permissions to them.
- It can be difficult to figure out how to change the look of your site or add extras with Drupal. It’s not nearly as user-friendly as WordPress.
- Most Drupal websites have a developer-created, highly customized theme, which can be quite costly.
Wix is a popular CMS platform, but it does have some drawbacks. We get a lot of questions about how to switch from Wix to WordPress, which is understandable because any savvy business owner knows that WordPress is far superior to Wix.
Wix, on the other hand, is beginner-friendly and may be worth considering. It also has a free plan.
- Wix’s drag-and-drop interface makes it simple to design pages that look exactly how you want them to. You can start editing any part of your page by selecting it.
- Wix has a large number of pre-made templates from which to choose. They’re fully responsive, so they’ll look great on both mobile and desktop devices.
- From the Wix App Market, you can add a variety of apps to your website. These work similarly to WordPress plugins in that they add new features to your site.
- You can’t switch to a different Wix template once you’ve chosen one. This may result in you being stuck with a layout that isn’t ideal for your website.
- Unless you upgrade to a paid plan, you won’t be able to run an eCommerce store on Wix, and even then, you’ll only be able to accept payments through PayPal or Authorize.net.
- Wix does not make it simple to download and export your data. You can move your blog posts (but not your images) by downloading them, but you’ll have to manually copy and paste any pages on your site.
- You’ll get a Wix-branded domain name and ads on your site if you use the free plan. Wix makes money from the ads, not you.
If you don’t mind having a Wix-branded domain name and ads on your site, you can use Wix for free. Paid plans start at $13 per month and offer more flexibility (paid upfront annually).
If you want to accept online payments, you’ll have to pay at least $23 per month (again, upfront annually).
BigCommerce is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that is hosted entirely by BigCommerce. If you’re a beginner, it’s simple to get started.
BigCommerce not only hosts your site, but it also provides the CMS platform. It also takes care of your security and backups.
- There is a trial plan available, so you can try BigCommerce out before making a commitment.
- You can either use a BigCommerce-provided free domain name, such as mystore.mybigcommerce.com, or pay for a custom domain name.
- Through BigCommerce, you can accept payments in a variety of ways. Customers can pay with digital wallets such as PayPal, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay, as well as credit or debit cards.
- BigCommerce offers support options that you can access directly from your dashboard, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Live chat, email, phone support, community support, and other options are available.
- If you want, you can combine BigCommerce and WordPress to get the best of both CMS platforms.
- BigCommerce gives you less control over your store than WooCommerce. Limited themes and integrations may deter you from using a third-party service to expand your business.
- You’ll be automatically moved up to the next level of the pricing plan once your annual sales reach a certain threshold. If you have a lot of expenses, this may be difficult for you.
BigCommerce requires a monthly subscription, which makes it less cost-effective than some other options. You can save a little money on all of the plans by paying annually rather than monthly.
Standard, the most affordable pricing plan, costs $29.95 per month for sales of up to $50,000 per year. The most expensive plan is the Pro plan, which costs $249.85 per month and covers up to $400k in sales. After that, you’ll need to get a custom Enterprise plan.
Another all-in-one hosted CMS platform is Shopify. You won’t have to worry about purchasing hosting, installing software, or managing updates and backups.
It has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. It supports in-store sales, which is beneficial if you have both a physical and an online store.
- Shopify Payments, Shopify’s integrated payment solution, allows you to accept credit and debit cards. Shopify includes PayPal as one of its default payment providers.
- Shopify has a large number of extensions and themes to choose from. Third-party Shopify apps can be purchased to add a variety of features to your online store.
- You don’t need to upgrade if your sales exceed a certain threshold, as you would with BigCommerce.
- Shopify offers live chat, email, phone, and even Twitter support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There’s also a wealth of documentation (such as written how-to guides and video tutorials) as well as online forums.
- If you want to add a lot of third-party apps to your store, your costs can quickly add up.
- You might want to add functionality that isn’t currently available: Shopify’s apps are more limited than WordPress plugins, for example.
The pricing plans offered by Shopify are similar to those offered by BigCommerce. However, there is one significant difference. Shopify does not force you to upgrade to the next plan based on a dollar amount of sales.
The most affordable plan is $29 per month. The most expensive option is $299 per month, which includes additional features. When you pay for a year in advance, you get a discount.
wordpress.com is WordPress’s commercial, hosted version. It’s easy to mix it up with WordPress.org, which is a self-hosted open source WordPress.
You can learn more about the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org by clicking here.
You get an all-in-one CMS platform that is hosted for you with WordPress.com. You can either buy a domain name or use a free WordPress.com subdomain.
- It’s simple to get started with WordPress.com. You can easily add and edit content, and beginners will find it to be a simple CMS to use.
- WordPress.com allows you to create a website for no cost. However, if you want to use your own domain name, you’ll probably want to pay for at least the cheapest plan.
- For your WordPress.com site, you can choose from a variety of themes (designs). In your WordPress.com dashboard, you can easily switch between these.
- You can upgrade to a new plan as your site grows in size and popularity. There are a variety of plans available, including one with eCommerce capabilities.
- WordPress.com includes analytics, so you can see statistics about how many people visit your site right from your dashboard. However, unless you’re on a Business Plan, you won’t be able to use Google Analytics.
- If you decide to upgrade to a more powerful and flexible CMS in the future, switching from WordPress.com to WordPress.org is simple.
- Even with its business plan, WordPress.com has limited monetization options.
- Unless you pay for at least the cheapest paid plan, you won’t be able to add a custom domain name.
Although you can use plugins on your WordPress.com site, there aren’t nearly as many as there are for WordPress.org.
- You don’t have the same level of control over your site as you would if you used WordPress.org.
There is a free WordPress.com plan, but if you want your own domain name (and don’t want WordPress to put ads on your website), you’ll have to pay for one of their paid plans.
The cheapest plan is $48/year ($4/month), but you can upgrade to other plans, such as the $540/year ($45/month) eCommerce plan for online stores. There are also WordPress VIP options that provide additional features.
Ghost is a blogging-focused content management system. It’s frequently referred to as a “headless CMS,” which may sound strange. This simply means that the CMS platform does not impose a specific delivery method on content.
As a result, the content or data you generate could be displayed on a website, but it could also be sent to a mobile app or used for something else entirely. You don’t need to worry about this if you’re not a developer or just want to use Ghost for blogging.
- When writing in the Ghost editor, you can use Markdown. Markdown is a text formatting method in which you surround words with special characters to make them bold, italic, and so on.
- Ghost has a card-based content editor. These work similarly to the blocks in the block editor in WordPress.
Ghost has a lot of SEO (search engine optimization) support built-in. This can be delivered without the use of any plugins.
- Ghost is well-suited to charging for content, so if you want to run a subscription-based online magazine or publication, you can do so with ease.
- Ghost lacks the same level of power and flexibility as WordPress.
- Although Ghost began as a blogging-focused CMS, some users believe it has become overly complicated as it now includes features such as paid subscriptions for your site’s visitors.
Although the Ghost software is free, you will have to pay for a domain name and web hosting. Unlike other CMS platforms, Ghost isn’t widely supported by web hosts.
Ghost hosting is available from Ghost (Pro). The basic plan costs $36 per month, but if you want more staff users or subscribers, you’ll have to upgrade to a $249 per month plan.
Magento is a robust open source eCommerce platform from Adobe, the world’s largest software company. Magento Open Source is a free version that you can download and install on your own web hosting account.
If you want to use it, SiteGround Magento hosting is the most convenient way to get started.
You can pay for Magento Commerce if you prefer. It comes with full support and is hosted for you, but it’s quite costly.
- Magento is highly customizable, with a plethora of third-party extensions available for adding extra functionality.
- Magento allows you to manage a large number of products and customers. It allows your company to expand without slowing down your website. (However, you’ll almost certainly need to upgrade your hosting plan.)
- Nike, Ford, and Coca-Cola are just a few of the well-known brands that use Magento.
- Magento supports a variety of payment gateways. It also includes built-in features such as PayPal, cash on delivery, and bank transfer.
- Magento can be intimidating if you’re just getting started in eCommerce.
- Finding good developers for Magento projects can be difficult, and hiring them can be costly.
- Support varies, especially if you’re using Magento Open Source and relying on online forums for assistance.
Magento Commerce is not inexpensive. It’s so expensive, in fact, that the Magento website doesn’t even tell you how much it costs.
Prices start at around $22,000 per year, putting it out of reach for many new businesses. However, if you’re looking for a powerful eCommerce CMS platform for an established business, it’s an option to consider.
Many larger stores, on the other hand, are migrating to WooCommerce, Shopify, or BigCommerce.
Since 2003, Textpattern has been a simple and straightforward CMS platform. It’s free and open source, with plenty of documentation to get you started.
- A large number of Textpattern modifications, plugins, and templates (designs) are available for free.
- Textpattern allows you to structure your content in a variety of ways. Readers can subscribe to specific RSS feeds for different parts of your site, and you can organize it using “sections” and “categories.”
- Textpattern does not have a one-click installation process with any of the major web hosts. It’s not difficult to set up, but you’ll need to be familiar with creating a database on your web host and uploading the software via FTP.
- Textpattern isn’t well-known, and it’s not nearly as popular as other CMS platforms such as WordPress. It may be difficult to find writers or developers who are familiar with it.
Textpattern is a completely free program. To use it to build a website, you’ll need a domain name and a web hosting account.
Since 1999, Blogger has been around. It’s a CMS platform that’s specifically designed for blogging, as the name suggests. It’s a Google-provided service that’s completely free.
Blogger blogs usually have blogspot as the domain name, but you can use your own domain name instead.
We’ve written an article comparing WordPress and Blogger.
- Blogger is a simple platform to get started with. It takes minutes to set up a blog, and it’s well-designed for writing and publishing posts.
- There are a variety of free gadgets that you can add to your blog to include things like a contact form and even advertisements.
- Google is the host of your blog. There’s no need to install anything, keep it up to date, or pay for hosting.
- Blogger gives you a lot of room to work with. You can have as many posts as you want per blog, and you can have as many static pages as you want. Because your images are stored in Google Drive, they will contribute to your 15GB limit.
- Blogger will not be the best CMS platform for you if you want to run a website that isn’t a blog. It, for example, lacks eCommerce capabilities.
- While all of the themes are free, they are fairly basic. You can tweak them a little, but you can’t make your own. You’ll need to hire a designer if you want something more specialized.
- If you want to switch from Blogger to WordPress, you can export your posts, but you’ll have to manually copy your pages over.
You will not be charged anything unless you choose to purchase a custom domain name through Blogger.
If you do decide to purchase a domain name, you should do so through a domain registrar rather than directly from Blogger. That way, you’ll be able to migrate your site away from Blogger more easily in the future.
Bitrix24 is a business tool that includes a content management system (CMS) as well as features for managing tasks, projects, communications, and customer relationships.
It’s free at the most basic level (up to 5GB of online storage and 12 user accounts) and provides a one-stop shop for small businesses. It could be a good choice if you need a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool.
- Bitrix24’s basic level is free, so you can try it out without risking anything.
- Bitrix24 comes with a plethora of features that give you everything you need to run a small to medium-sized business.
- The website builder features a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to create landing pages and even online stores.
- If you’re on the free plan, your website hosting is free.
- Bitrix24 is designed to be used as a CRM, so if you already have a CRM that you like or don’t need that functionality, it’s a difficult way to get a CMS platform.
- Because the Bitrix24 interface has so many features, you may find it difficult to navigate.
The Start+ plan is $24 per month, while the Professional plan is $199 per month, with several options in between. If you pay for the entire year in advance, you will receive a discount.
You can also choose to buy the software and use it within your company (instead of paying a monthly fee and using it online). This starts at $1,490.
TYPO3 is a free, open source content management system (CMS) that has been around longer than Blogger. It was first published in 1998. It’s an enterprise CMS, which means it can be used for both intranet (internal company) and website sites.
There are a number of extensions for TYPO3 that provide additional functionality.
- TYPO3 is capable of handling extremely large websites, including those with multiple websites in various languages. It’s a good option for multinational corporations.
- Because it’s open-source, you can extend TYPO3 in any way you want if you’re willing to hire a developer.
- You can easily change the access rights of different people and groups who work on your website.
- To add new features to your TYPO3 site, you can choose from over 6,000 extensions and applications.
- Because there aren’t many options, you’ll almost certainly have to hire someone to create one for you.
- To get TYPO3 up and running, and to keep it running, you’ll need a lot of technical know-how.
PrestaShop is an added bonus.
- PrestaShop’s home page
- PrestaShop is an open source eCommerce content management system. Because you host it yourself, you can use any web host that supports it to install it. PrestaShop hosting from SiteGround is recommended.
- PrestaShop has a sizable community. There’s an official forum where people can share tips and tutorials, as well as a slew of other groups.
- You won’t have to pay any additional fees as your business expands (unless you need to upgrade your hosting plan).
PrestaShop has a lot of modules, so you can easily add new features.
- PrestaShop is inexpensive to get started with, especially if you use a shared hosting plan.
To begin with, PrestaShop can have a steep learning curve.
PrestaShop has a lot of themes (designs) to choose from, but many of them aren’t very good. It’s possible that you’ll have to sift through them for a long time before you find something suitable for your online store.
PrestaShop is completely free, but you will have to pay for web hosting and a domain name. The PrestaShop Addons Marketplace’s modules and themes, on the other hand, can quickly add up. The majority of them start at $59.99.
Which CMS Platform is the Best?
WordPress.org, we believe, is the best CMS platform and website builder on the planet. WordPress powers over 43% of all websites on the internet, and there’s a good reason for that.
WordPress has all of the features you’re looking for in a CMS platform. It’s simple to get started, and many WordPress web hosting providers provide a one-click installation option. Plugins allow you to extend the functionality in almost any way you can imagine (which are like apps for WordPress).
You can use WordPress to create an eCommerce store, an online forum, an LMS (learning management system), a membership site, an auction site, a marketplace, and nearly anything else.
What you can do with WordPress is limitless, and if you find that your site needs more space as it grows, you can easily upgrade to a managed WordPress hosting company.
We recommend Bluehost or SiteGround for web hosting to get started with WordPress because they’re both officially recommended by WordPress.
CMS: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you have any further questions about CMS platforms, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions.
Which CMS platform is the most appropriate for e-commerce?
WordPress with WooCommerce is the best eCommerce CMS platform. While there are other eCommerce platforms that are good, we believe WooCommerce is the best for most online store owners.
Which CMS platform is best for creating a website for a small business?
WordPress makes creating a website for a small business incredibly simple. It has a large number of themes (designs) to choose from and gives you access to all of the tools you’ll need to expand your company.
Is it possible to use a CMS platform without a domain or hosting?
Every website requires hosting. This is sometimes provided by the company that created the platform (as with Blogger), and other times it is something you purchase from a third-party web host (like when using WordPress).
If you use a free platform like Blogger or WordPress.com, you can start your blog with a free subdomain like yourname.blogspot.com. However, because this does not appear to be very professional, you will almost certainly want to register a domain name at some point.
Do I need a content management system (CMS) to start a blog?
Yes, a blogging platform is a type of content management system that makes it simple to publish content. There are numerous blogging platforms to choose from. Our comparison of the best blogging platforms includes both free and paid options.
Which CMS software is best for advanced users?
WordPress is often the platform of choice for advanced users and developers because it is open-source software.
While WordPress is simple to use for beginners, it also has a powerful API that developers can use for advanced customization.
It can be tweaked to provide enterprise-level scalability, multilingual functionality, and pretty much anything else you’d need to create any kind of website.
We hope that this article has provided you with additional information about the best CMS platforms.