Content has become one of the main ways that businesses interact with their customers. Back in the old days, companies could regard content as a ‘nice to have’ side of the marketing. However content doesn’t just affect marketing, it has become a core part of every business.
                                                                                                                                                Texts, pictures, videos and graphics don’t just add value for your reader or user, these are also positively effective for search engine optimization if you maintain your content in an engaging way.
                                                                                                                                            That’s where content management system (CMS) comes into play. When you use a CMS, you do not need much technical intervention. Managing and dealing content becomes automated and consistent.

In this article, we’ll be explaining why it’s so important to choose the right CMS platform for your website. We’ll also share our top 10 picks for traditional CMS platforms and top 6 picks for headless CMS platforms.
                                                                                                                                              Before jumping into the classification of Content Management Systems, let’s first understand CMS in a more detailed way.

What are Content Management Systems?

A content management system is a software that helps create, organize and maintain digital content without a high level of programming and coding knowledge. It allows multiple contributors to develop, create and publish different content types, which are stored in a database and displayed in a presentation layer that is based on a set of templates.

Content management systems provide the opportunity to have easy-going site maintenance and full control over your content. There are different types of CMS platforms available and each type serves a different purpose for different business types.

Let’s go through the classification of CMS platforms according to the way they can be embedded into your business system.

Open-Source CMS

You can easily download open-source CMS at zero initial cost. This type of content management systems are created and developed with the user community environment, where third party developers improve the original software.

It allows you to install add-ons, plugins, templates and improve their functionality. There are so many customization options that are available for different types of businesses. Examples of open-source CMSs are Wordpress and Drupal.

Proprietary CMS

Proprietary content management system comes with an initial license fee, and in some cases, there are annual charges for user support and updates. You can modify proprietary CMS with built-in functionalities but this may come at an extra cost. To avoid some additional costs, it is important to check carefully what is actually covered by the license, and what all you will have to pay in the future. Examples of proprietary content management systems or digital experience platforms are Adobe Experience Manager and Kentico.

Software as a Service (SaaS) CMS

This type of content management system offers web hosting, web content management software and technical support that all covered in a single package. These SaaS CMS solutions are hosted in a cloud and based on a subscription model. Its pricing includes data and content storage, amount of transferred data and ongoing support.

Following is the Top 10 Traditional Content Management Systems that can help to maintain your content and take the right step for your business development.

  1. WordPress
  2. Joomla
  3. Drupal
  4. TYPO3
  5. Magento
  6. Squarespace
  7. WIX
  8. HubSpot CMS
  9. Adobe Experience Manager
  10. Shopify

WORDPRESS

WordPress is the most-used open source CMS worldwide with more than 18 million installations. It allows you to create your blog or website by using text documents, images, videos and more with little or no knowledge of programming.

Another benefit that WordPress offers is its very large user community. You can customize your website with a huge amount of theme, plugin and widget selections.

Because of the high level of circulation, WordPress is also considered as the popular target for hackers. To avoid these kinds of issues you need to update your WordPress software regularly.

JOOMLA

Joomla is considered as the second biggest CMS regarding its market coverage. It allows you to host a blog or any other web publications. It has various CMS functionalities without installing any extensions.

Joomla is based on a stand-alone Model-View-Controller which enables you to create your extensions and share it within its community.

As an open-source CMS, you will have the freedom for personalizing the elements the way you like if you decide to go with Joomla. Its interface is very impressive but not easy to use when compared to WordPress.

DRUPAL

Drupal is another popular open-source CMS for developing websites and web applications. It provides tempting features such as great security, reliable performance and easy content management processes.

Drupal is highly customizable with its more than 36000 extension modules to suit your business needs. It is preferred by designers because of these add on modules and designs.

If you serve more than one language market, Drupal is the best CMS for your small business. This CMS software handles sites that use multiple languages with ease.

TYPO3

TYPO3 software is an open-source enterprise content management system. It is a great solution for creating corporate portals, enterprise landing pages and e-commerce platforms.TYPO3 is very easy to use and suitable for those kinds of business pages that don’t require maintenance regularly.

We would recommend you to use TYPO3 if you need to manage several sites that fall under the same umbrella. With this CMS, you can share templates, extensions and even users among your sites, which is something that most platforms don’t offer.

MAGENTO

Magento is an open-source content management system that mainly focuses on building e-commerce platforms quickly and effectively. It allows you to manage multiple stores, currencies, pricing and more. Its pros also include a flexible, secure user interface and a high level of customization capabilities.

Although it is an open-source and free CMS, you may need to pay for unlocking all the premium features. But if you need to develop a small e-commerce site then  the free features of Magento will be quite enough to get started.

SQUARESPACE

Squarespace is well-known for its very simple drag and drop website builder feature. It lets you create aesthetic websites with various options of professional themes and templates. That’s why Squarespace CMS is preferred primarily by entrepreneurs, musicians, restaurants and bloggers.
                                                                                                                                                  You can get into details with its style editor for customizing fonts, colors, and other theme settings. It's also easier to integrate high-quality images, thanks to the ability to add on searchable Unsplash and Getty images.

WIX

Wix is a big player in the content management and website building world with hosting over 16 Million websites. You can either build your website from scratch or choose a design from the library of 500 readymade themes and templates.

It is easy to adapt this CMS for your needs. For example, you can accept payments via multiple methods, provide coupons and discounts while tracking orders of your online store. If you are a restaurant owner, it is easy to create menus, set up online ordering and let users book tables through the website.

One of its best features is its ability to automatically optimize your site for mobile. Wix automatically installs and upgrades security updates, so you’re also protected.

HUBSPOT CMS

Although HubSpot is a well-known market operation provider, it also offers a Content Management System which can integrate with all the HubSpot product suite.

It enables you to create, manage and track the performance of blog sites, landing pages and emails from one place. HubSpot CMS has drag-and-drop modules, SEO features and mobile-friendly themes that let you have full control over your website.

All of these amazing features come with a cost. HubSpot offers its minimum package for $240 per month with a plus mandatory $1,000 onboarding fee. So if you have enough budget then HubSpot would be the CMS that you can go for.

ADOBE EXPERIENCE MANAGER

Adobe Experience Manager offers a very comprehensive CMS software for building websites and mobile apps. It provides a drag-and-drop interface, template editor, marketing-friendly templates and developer-facing tools to help you create your site in the way you like.

Adobe Experience Manager allows you to handle your marketing content and property, and deliver digital activities while offering your customers a personalized experience and easy to use UI. You can contact its sales team for pricing based on your needs.

SHOPIFY

Shopify is another popular CMS software for building e-commerce platforms. You can consider it as an all-in-one hosted CMS platform. That means you don’t need to install any software, buy hosting or manage things like updates and backups.

Its drag-and-drop interface with various options for themes and templates allows you to customize your e-commerce site very easily. Another great benefit of Shopify is supporting in-store sales if you have a physical store as well as an online one.

The pricing plans vary between $29-$299 per month, and it would be good to get in touch with its sales team if you have different enterprise-level requirements.

Headless CMSs

A new type of Content Management System is on the rise to serve and maintain content.Headless CMSs seem to be very attractive at this point but why is that?

To be precise, The term “Headless” refers to the lack of a frontend. This kind of CMSs allows businesses to manage, store and track content from creation to publication, just like a traditional CMS does. The major difference is the front-end delivery layer of a website is removed from a headless CMS which means you can use any front-end tool you want to present the content that has been created.

It provides an API that enables front-end developers to carry the content from a CMS into their projects. In addition to that it does not require any hosts for creation process. Because of these reasons many developers choose headless CMS over traditional CMSs. and it also allows you to repurpose your content from multiple front-ends making them a perfect fit for JAMstack builds.

Let’s take a look at 6 Most Popular Headless CMSs that you can consider to choose the right tool for your business.

  1. Kentico Kontent
  2. Magnolia
  3. Ghost
  4. NetlifyCMS
  5. Contentful
  6. Forestry

KENTICO KONTENT

If you are mostly focusing on the content itself and produce it continually, then Kentico Kontent can be a great option for your project. It is a headless CMS that simplifies content production for marketers without requiring any developer involvement.

Kentico Kontent also allows you the track and analyze the customer experience and collaborate with your team in a cloud-based environment. There are lots of content operation features that come with a very user-friendly interface.

MAGNOLIA

Magnolia is an open-source headless CMS that offers features such as in-context editing, full preview and personalization. It’s preferred for marketer-friendly interfaces, digital asset management and campaign management.

Magnolia has rich omnichannel delivery capabilities that can make you reuse content across any touchpoint which makes this headless CMS ideal for busy business professionals.

GHOST

Ghost is an open-source publishing platform that is easy to use, and free for everyone. It is an API-driven, headless CMS built with Node.js. Ghost can either be used in a headless manner or via templates. It does not only offer greater performance but also flexibility for organizations that wish to have greater control over their content management systems.

NETLIFY CMS

NetlifyCMS is a headless CMS built as a single page app written in React. This headless CMS is based on client-side JavaScript, reusable APIs and prebuilt Markup. Compared to traditional CMSs like WordPress, this means better performance, higher security and better developer experience.

You can use NetlifyCMS with any static site generator (such as Gatsby, Hugo or Jekyll) for a faster and flexible web project. Its editor-friendly user interface enables you to create websites in a very simple way. It also allows you to upload your website by just using the drag-and-drop option.

CONTENTFUL

You can consider Contentful as a cloud-based headless CMS solution. Their motto, “unified, connected, low risk” describes Contentful’s features very well. Its cloud platform provides a lot of support to clients while its cloud-based infrastructure makes it more reliable to use.

Contentful offers a rich editor interface, intuitive content modeling and advanced caching techniques for businesses that need fast and strong solutions. It comes with a varied range of features and prices from the free trial to custom quotes for enterprise projects.

FORESTRY

Forestry is a Git-backed headless CMS. It allows you to easily edit all flat-file based static sites and it works with every popular static site generator. Technically, it is a layer on top of Git and it’s interacting directly with the files in the repository. Every action that happens in the CMS like editing, creating and deleting is an action taken as part of the Git workflow.

Thanks to its simplicity and native Git integration it’s a perfect choice mostly for marketing teams and developers.

FINAL THOUGHTS

We wanted to make an introduction to the CMS world with its features, types and the best options that you can look out for. There are lots of  CMSs available in the market and that can make you confused to choose the best one for the project or website.

It is better to decide on the purpose and aim of making your website at first. After that, you will be able to choose the right type with the needed features for your business. For some cases traditional CMSs will fit better but on the other hand headless CMS options are definitely worth trying out, especially with the rise of JAMStack.  It is hard turning a blind eye to the benefits of using JAMstack from both web developers and marketers’ perspective. Faster performance, more security and easier scalability being top ones among many.

Have fun, check out all the top CMS platform options available, and see which one you like the best.

GETFORM

Getform is a form backend platform and form endpoint service for online web forms. After you select your CMS, while you're getting your website ready, let your forms handled by Getform.

What you need is to create your unique form endpoint on Getform and paste it on your HTML page and the rest will be handled by us. With additional features like Custom Email Notifications, Autoresponders, File Upload Support, Zapier & Webhook Integrations and Advanced Spam Filtering with Google reCaptcha will make your form perfectly managed! You can register here to get started!

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