Content Management System (CMS) has a central role in helping webmasters manage both their website and its content. Therefore, it is essential to find the best CMS out there.
There are a lot of CMS you can choose, but is it well-suited with your site? Does it have the features you need? Will it be sustainable for your site?
Don’t worry, I have handpicked some of the best CMS of 2019. I will also give you some insights on the prominent features of a CMS you may need on your site. So, If you’re ready, read on.
What Exactly is CMS?
CMS is a software used to manage your content. Its basic functions range from creating the content, editing and publishing it. But, is that the only thing it can do?
Frankly, it does more than that. Some of the best CMS will allow you to customize your site and turn it into anything you want. You can use a CMS to create a blog, a news site, a portfolio, an ecommerce store, and you can even turn it into a forum!
The truth is, the design of your site is up to you. But your effort must be supported with great functions.
Top 5 Content Management Systems
The criteria I set as the standard for all of the selected options is the ease of use, features, and scalability. This will be your guidelines to determine which is the best CMS for you.
So, without further ado, here is the list of the best content management systems for 2019:
Note: In this article I will be covering the self-hosted platform WordPress.org, not WordPress.com
WordPress is the heavyweight champion of content management systems. As of 2019, it single-handedly holds 60.7% of the market share. So, what are the reasons for its success?
At first, it was famous as a blogging platform. However, it grew to have functions beyond expectations. The simple installation, an intuitive interface, the collection of themes and plugins, also the growing community is what makes the CMS so popular.
With WordPress, you can create a stunning website with minimal technical knowledge. Users can choose from thousands of themes that can be further adjusted for their needs. What is more, you can also bring more functionality to your site by adding useful plugins.
However, since the themes and plugins are developed by external parties, this platform becomes vulnerable in terms of security.
Statistics show that WordPress is the most infected CMS. To be fair, the number of sites in this platform is much bigger than the other CMSs.
The interface itself is quite user-friendly. From the dashboard, you can access all important elements of website management. Therefore, even beginners won’t face any issues.
- Easy to install and use
- The core of WordPress is a free and open source
- Intuitive interface
- A great number of themes and plugins
- Supported by a growing community
- Vulnerable to security breaches
- Requires some technical knowledge
- Too many plugins might slow sites down
WordPress would be a great choice if you want a customizable site with great features and interface. There are endless possibilities in designing and adding functionality with a great number of themes and plugins.
But don’t fall from grace by using too much of it, because it will exhaust your site speed.
Another popular CMS is Joomla – it holds the second largest market share in the CMS market.
The leading features of Joomla are its admin interface, a wide range of extensions and user management. The interface of Joomla is simple to use but has comprehensive features.
Categories comprise tools such as the article manager, extension manager, and template manager.
Users are can add more functionality via the extension directory. It consists of three aspects, which are the plugins, components, and modules. Each represents different functions. Components are the main units of extensions, it represents a huge part of your site. For example, one of the components is responsible for displaying content.
Whereas the modules are the lightweight version of components. Its function is like widgets in WordPress. It might come as the form of the login box or the footer box.
The last extension is plugins. It can be used as a tool to extend the functionality of the site. Its other function is to trigger an event, whether it is on the component or the module. This brings more flexibility to the customization of a site.
Compared with the plugins of WordPress, Joomla is on the losing side. The number of plugins and compatibility sometimes become an issue.
Joomla has an interesting user management system since it allows a site to arrange users based on groups and access levels. This feature will be handy for managing website with multiple users, or even a site with a huge number of users, such as a membership-based site.
Overall, this CMS has a steeper learning curve compared to WordPress. The content management and the interface is not as beginner friendly.
- A wide range of extensions
- Tidy admin interface
- Robust user management
- Powerful customization
- High security
- Steep learning curve
- Issues with plugin compatibility
Joomla can provide some great features, though it might take a while to get used to the system. However, it offers impressive customizability. You can customize the site by adding plugins, components, or modules via extension directory. At last, this CMS is good if you want a different experience from WordPress but don’t want to get too technical.
Drupal is another CMS worth seeing, especially if you are the kind of user who prefers flexibility. Though it is well known for its complexity, you will get more freedom in customizing your site.
If you’re comfortable with coding, Drupal will be great for you. However, if you’re a newbie – this is not the best CMS choice.
Want to customize your site or extend your site’s functionality? No worries! Drupal provides over 2700 themes and over 43000 modules. The numbers will continue to grow from the support of its community.
Other than that, installing modules in Drupal can be more technical compared to the installation of plugins in WordPress or extensions in Joomla.
Drupal also has a less intuitive dashboard interface. Though it has been upgraded to make it not as complicated as it used to be.
Now you can configure the structure of your site and design its appearance on one page. The content can be managed there as well.
Drupal is quite popular among large websites and is used for Australian Government site and Entertainment Weekly. The scalability of this CMS is impressive since it doesn’t demand too much power on the resources, hence it is easier to handle a large number of visitors and pages.
- Flexible to customize
- Supported by a growing community
- Impressive scalability
- Great security
- Loads of modules and themes
- Technical knowledge is needed
- Not beginner-friendly
Drupal might be one of the best choices if you want to build a fully custom website. It provides more freedom in the technically advanced interface and extensive modules. But keep in mind that you need advanced coding skills to customize your site with Drupal. Therefore, it is not recommended if you are a beginner.
But if you prefer customizability over simplicity, this could be your best bet.
Chamilo differs from previous options because it is more than CMS – it is an e-learning platform. That’s why it’s often called a Learning Management System (LMS).
More than 21 million accounts are registered in this platform, with over 1.5 million courses created.
This project has a specific purpose, which is to globally facilitate the accessibility of education. You can easily set up your classes by inserting elements such as text and multimedia, and assignments to complement learning.
Aside from creating regular online courses, the platform can also be used by businesses to provide online training for their employees. It can be supported by various types of questions such as multiple choice, conditional questions, and quizzes.
Multiple teachers can also access the courses. So, if a course is too complicated to a point where it needs more than one instructor, this feature will come in handy.
The security aspect of this CMS is worth praising as well. It has a great track record of fixing security issues. So, if you encounter a problem, you can email the support team and get a response within 24 hours. Afterward, the team will solve the problem for less than five days.
- An incredible platform for e-learning
- Vast choices for creating courses
- Fast customer support
- Can be used for individual or business purposes
- A great track record for fixing security issues
- Limited to e-learning functions
- Not customizable as a CMS
If you ever need a CMS for online courses – choose Chamilo. It is the perfect fit to build an e-learning environment. You can customize your course easily by putting elements such as text or multimedia and setting assignments with various kind of questions.
At last, the platform is fairly secure with a great track record for fixing security issues.
Typo3 is a developer-oriented CMS widely known for its scalability. It is called as the enterprise content management system and is often used by large-scale websites.
Since it has a lot of features supporting web development, the user-friendly aspect is not the priority here. But, if you want to create a scalable custom site, you might want to take a closer look at this Typo3.
So, what kind of features that Typo3 has? Basically, you are free to increase your site’s functionality by making use of extensions available in Typo3 extensions repository. If you have found the right extension, install it directly in the admin dashboard.
But that’s not all, you can even create your own extension! Typo3 has a tool called TypoScript which allow you to customize templates and configure extensions.
Other features that cater to enterprise sites are multilingual support and the interface’s compatibility with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
Aside from its advantages, the users have to beware of some aspects before using Typo3. Such as the necessity of web development knowledge and the higher administration effort required to fulfill its wide functional spectrum.
- Powerful enterprise content management system
- Great scalability
- Extensions repository and TypoScript
- Creating your own extensions
- Multilingual support
- Not user-friendly
- Requires high administration effort
This so-called Enterprise CMS will be a great choice if you plan to build a large-scale website. But, you need an advanced knowledge of web development, since it has a steep learning curve.
Other than that, you will get more freedom to customize your site and extend its functionality by making use of the extensions and the TypoScript tool. Overall, Typo3 can help you build the enterprise site you need.
So, Which One?
When choosing a CMS, the features, ease of use, and scalability will matter most. So, choose wisely and make sure it matches your needs.
Each listed CMS has its advantages and disadvantages. However, the overall winner is WordPress.
It has all of the essential features needed to create a robust site, such as an intuitive dashboard, great customizability, and it’s the support of a growing community.
The other CMSs might have specific features to extend functionality and customizability, but in terms of the effort needed to start a site, WordPress is still the best choice.
Above all, which CMS is the perfect fit for your site’s needs? Let me know in the comment section below!