The introduction of content management systems (CMS) to the world of web development has been a game-changer. Those who previously lacked the HTML skills to create and customise a website now find themselves with a whole world of opportunities at their fingertips. But with so many options to choose from, how do you decide which will be the best CMS for your website?
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What is a CMS?
More advanced users can further customise the website through the addition of plugins, themes, and web hooks. You can even develop your own personalised plugins, tailor made design themes and custom code.
Choosing the best CMS to use comes down to understanding the unique needs of your website and finding the best fit. To help narrow down the choices, we’ve outlined the 5 best CMS for your website below.
The Best CMS for your website
Great for: Beginners and small to mid-level websites
No top five list would be complete without WordPress. The most downloaded, and best known, of all CMS, it is considered by many as the best CMS around due to its functionality and price (it’s free!).
WordPress is PHP-based, open source, versatile and flexible to boot. Providing the largest selection of add-ons, widgets, plugins and themes, WordPress is a popular choice for many beginners and advanced developers alike.
- Large and active user and developer community for support and extensive documentation
- Largest choice of widgets, themes and both free as well as premium plugins of any CMS
- User-friendly and intuitive interface makes navigation easy, even for complete beginners
- Standard installations of WordPress can face security issues and it can be time-consuming to establish secure installations
- Considered over the top for a simple blog by some people
- It can be difficult to break away from the look and feel of WordPress and design something that looks unique
Great for: Website development professionals and enterprise websites
Drupal is often named as the best CMS for website development professionals who want the flexibility to work with their own code.
Drupal is a popular choice used by high profile companies such as NASCAR and NPC. It is also another example of an excellent PHP based CMS option. It is worth noting that Drupal functions more as a framework than a system.
This content management system freely encourages users to view modules akin to Lego building blocks used to create their ideal structure.
- Large library with over 16,000 free add-on modules
- Supportive and knowledgeable community for support
- Impressively scalable. You can grow your website from 4 to 4000 pages without needing to change anything
- Not very user-friendly. The interface can be complex to use and navigate and isn’t the best CMS for website development beginners
- Not practical for small blogs and websites, and provides a steep learning curve
- Requires at least a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and PHP
Great for: Social networks and eCommerce websites
Joomla has been in the CMS game since 2005 and has been steadily developing a large and loyal following.
Thanks to recent updates, Joomla has become more accessible to beginners and now provides a middle ground between Drupal’s power and the user friendly nature of WordPress.
Joomla is especially well suited to social networks and eCommerce websites.
- Doesn’t require extensive technical experience
- Excellent support system and help portal for if you run into trouble
- Powerful, yet user-friendly
- Plugins are not always tested on the latest versions, which can prove problematic
- Security Issues and difficult to guard against hacking if installation is not set up correctly
- Although it features 7000+ plugins to choose from, this is a fraction of the selection offered by giants Drupal and WordPress
Great for: Highly customised websites
Released in 2004, ModX packs a punch if you’re looking to heavily modify and customise a website. ModX lacks the hand-holding for new users of the previous three CMS, however makes up for it with exceptional flexibility.
ModX is an excellent CMS to be used for a wide variety of website types.
- Excellent security features
- Ultra-flexible customisation abilities
- Broad usage that is suitable for a wide range of website types
- Smaller library size with fewer add-ons and plugins than other leading CMS
- Not much support provided for add ons / plugins
- Lack of pre-made themes available. Most require extensive customisation
Great for: Experienced developers who want more design and / or back end customisation
Umbraco is praised as a powerful and flexible CMS that is favoured by developers for its open API, custom back-end applications and other options for developers.
Out of the box skins and start kits make Umbraco straightforward to get up and running.
Once the basics are covered, Umbraco provides a completely open template system that gives full control back to the designer for a wide variety of custom design aspects.
- A .Net CMS. Particularly useful if your business already has a .Net application
- Works well, and integrates with, Microsoft Word documents – a unique feature to this CMS
- Integrates smoothly with Flash and Silverlight
- Most of the primary add-ons are paid features, although you can use the content management system free on its own
- Training and support are also a paid/premium service
- As it is aimed at professional developers, it is not so user-friendly for beginners
Whether you are looking for the out of the box functionality of WordPress, the advanced power and customisation options of Umbraco, or something in between, It’s important to evaluate the individual needs of your business before making a decision.
Before finding the best CMS for your website though, you’re going to need one of those other things…a website!
Moodia is here to help you compare the best offers from across the UK and then make the best web design decision for your business. We can even help you save up to 30% off the regular price!