Which Content Management System (CMS) is Right for your Website?

By Chloe Mark | February 2016

WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Sitecore... the list goes on. If you've ever asked, "Which CMS is right for our website?", then this post is for you. We will compare some of the top open source content management systems to help you determine what might be the right match for your company and website. 


First, what is a CMS?

CMS: "Content Management System" - allows for publishing, modifying and editing, organizing, deleting, and general maintenance of content in one central hub for a website. A CMS allows access of multiple users, creating a collaborative space for your website's needs. 

Now, which content management system is right for you?


1. WordPress: an open-source CMS, written in PHP with a MySQL database. It enables users to easily create and manage websites and especially their blogs. It includes a large plugin architecture and template system, so there are a wide range of free plugins and functionality available, along with the largest community of developers in the world.

  • Standout factors: 
    • Originally started as a blogging platform, and now powers some of the largest, most robust websites.
    • Approximately 25% of all websites use WordPress
    • Known to be the more user-friendly CMS available - especially for site administrators
    • Review why we use WordPress in "8 Reasons We Support and Use the Open Source CRM." 

2. Joomla: a free, open-source CMS. Allows users to easily create and manage websites and other online applications. Written in PHP and stores with MySQL. It is built on a model-view-controller web application framework (great for those of us who have a developer close by), that can be used independently of the CMS.

  • Standout factors:
    • Mainly developer-friendly 
    • May be most capable of producing the more advanced sites
    • Ability to tag and organize complex content
    • Great for multi-user sites, community portals, e-commerce and sites with a large dependency on data

3Drupal: a free, open-source CMS. Allows users to easily create and/or manage websites. Supports features such as electronic commerce, blogs, collaborative authoring environments, forums, newsletters, podcasts, files. Written in PHP, includes a CMS, and a framework. It is ready-to-use after one downloads it, and has a web-based installer and modules one can add on.

  • Standout factors:
    • Lands between the user-friendly WordPress and the developer-oriented Joomla
    • A bit more difficult to learn than WordPress at first. Not ideal for teams with high turnover or multiple admins 
    • Good fit for e-commerce sites and social networking platforms

For those of you who are still deciding between these top 3 market leaders, here's a more thorough comparison chart that lines them up side by side from Rackspace - Rackspace Support Network. 

Not finding what you're looking for in a CMS? Here are some other lesser-knowns that just might fit the bill:

  • ModX: Emphasizes that it's the best fit for creative minds and those who want the most flexibility
  • Refinery: Targeted around Ruby on Rails developers
  • Concrete5: User-friendly CMS, similar to WordPress but with a smaller support base
  • DotNetNuke: Solid match for more interactive sites

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Topics: Digital Marketing, Design and Technology