To kick things of, let’s first take a look at what a CMS is.
A Content Management System (CMS) is an application that helps you publish and manage your web content in an automated, intuitive fashion.
Think of it as the digital bakery where all the bread is made.
In simple terms, a CMS is a platform that helps you do all your digital do’s without driving you to the booze- in frustration.
When it comes to web content, a CMS practically does everything for you… except help you think. And it wasn’t that long ago that CMS’s were beyond the grasp of the non-geek user.
However, this is 2019, so welcome to the era of CMS’s for Dummies!
The question now is: Which is the best CMS option for you?
Ahead of us is a list of eight… and they are all great! so just take your pick and happy creating.
Everybody has heard of WordPress! You haven’t? Uhmm…Okay!
WordPress controls by far the largest share of the CMS market in the entire universe, and there are very obvious reasons for that.
Just as Facebook began as a beauty-contest app, WordPress began as a blogging platform. But, like Facebook, it has burgeoned into something far beyond that today.
So you’re no Spartacus in the arena of coding? No worries… you’re not alone. WordPress is quite easy to use, with thousands of plugins and themes, you can customise it to your taste.
And when it comes to content management, you’re in for a constant ah-hah experience with WordPress, because publishing new posts and pages is as easy as interlacing your fingers as you pose for a selfie.
Plus you enjoy access to a powerful editor that helps you format your content, as well as a robust and helpful user community.
Not forgetting the easy user registrations and regular updates.
WordPress Key Features at a Glance:
- Includes intuitive publishing and content management options.
- Has a powerful inbuilt editor that enables you to format your content with ease.
- Highly customisable, thanks to thousands of plugins and themes.
- A strong and helpful community.
Are there any downsides to WordPress?
Well, you’ll often have to combine a lot of plug-ins before you achieve the precise functionality you need for your site. This can be somewhat time consuming.
But, of course, there’s always an Option B.
Quick Fact:WordPress is the most used open source website or blogging software in the world
Joomla is a perfect option when you’re looking to manage a lot of custom post types. Before you protest, shhh, we know. We know Joomla is nowhere as beginner-friendly as WordPress but- and this is a very big but– it does your custom post types!
Joomla makes no distinction between posts and pages. Thus it’s the ideal CMS for you if you’re running a website that is more media and less text!
But that’s not all. Joomla is also more flexible in user management. This makes it a better option for membership-based sites like e-commerce or dating sites for example.
Furthermore, as opposed to WordPress, with Joomla there’s no need to use plugins or extensions to add languages to your site. This is because of its in-built, out of the box, multi-lingual support feature.
Finally, with Joomla you are able to use several themes or templates at the same time for your various content types. Is it any wonder some consider Joomla the best thing since sliced bread?
Joomla Key Features at a Glance:
- Superb support for custom post types.
- Advanced user management options.
- Multilingual support out of the box.
- Supports the use of unique templates for each page type.
Talking about downsides, we already mentioned them. Joomla, though amazing, is not as beginner-friendly as WordPress. So it may take you longer to build your website using this CMS option.
It also doesn’t offer as many templates and extensions as some of the other alternatives. But as we already mentioned, this (absence) is considered a plus by many users.
However, it does mean that you may need to manually apply some of the much-needed features. So if you’re a web development gladiator, you may want to look elsewhere.
Quick Fact: Many small and medium-sized businesses create their websites with Joomla!
So let’s imagine for a second that this list of the best CMS’s is actually a lineup of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.
Drupal would be Lennox Lewis… we think.
While it may trail behind WordPress and Joomla in terms of market share, there can’t be a discussion about the very best open source CMS options available without the mention of Drupal.
Essentially, Drupal excels in a lot of the same areas Joomla does. For example, with it you also get multilingual sites out of the box and a very flexible system for dealing with custom post types.
We see you smiling now… but that’s not all. Drupal also provides you with ample control over your users and their permissions.
However, Drupal doesn’t just mirror features from other apps, it boasts of its own pioneering unique hallmarks on which it stands in a class all by itself as Prom Queen.
One such hallmark is its comprehensive, detailed taxonomy system.
No other CMS option comes anywhere near Drupal in this regard, and in security as well. Drupal is reputed to be a more secure platform than both WordPress and Joomla.
Drupal Key Features at a Glance:
- Provides advanced user management and permission settings.
- A flexible custom post creation and management system.
- Includes support for multilingual sites out of the box.
- Comprehensive taxonomy system.
- Impressive security for your website.
You want to build a website? All three CMS options mentioned so far will do just that for you. However, you can think of Drupal as that overzealous first date that just won’t stop doing more.
Drupal offers better scalability and security, therefore of the three options mentioned, it is the preferred choice for institutions and businesses.
The major downside of Drupal is its technicality. We wouldn’t recommend that you use Drupal if you do not have any web development experience.
However, if you do have some web experience, this is hands-down one of the best CMS options available today.
Quick Fact: Drupal wins the security battle
Typo 3 may be one of the lesser known CMS options. But it’s no less important or valuable than any of the others we have mentioned so far.
Nevertheless, because of some of its key features, it appeals more to a specific market cluster as opposed to the general market pool, which a CMS like WordPress, for instance, appeals to.
Features like its scalability. Scalability is the power base of Typo3, which is why it is known as the ‘enterprise-class’ CMS. It has been used by big brands like Panasonic and Thomas Cook just to name a few.
Another attraction these big enterprises have to Typo3 is its data integration system. It is good for integrating data from other systems so if you’re looking to build an intranet with a CMS, for instance, Typo3 is the best CMS option for you.
With just one installation you can run multiple sites.
Other interesting features of this CMS include its LTS (long term support) versions. TYPO3 releases specific versions with long term support.
With an LTS version of typo3 installed, you will get twelve months support for all bugs fixed and then a further 2 years support of priority & security bug fixes.
That is three years in total. Typo3 also provides excellent support for multilingual websites and managing multi-language content in an easy-to-understand manner.
Plus it delivers granular access control, which allows editors unique and controlled access to specific areas of the site.
However, as you may have guessed, when it comes to user-friendliness, Typo3 isn’t up there as a favourite pick.
Like Joomla and Drupal, this CMS is best suited to users with some web development experience. It is also not a great fit for simple, smaller websites.
Typo3 Key Features at a Glance:
- Superb choice for enterprise-level sites.
- Great support for multilingual websites.
- Allows you manage multiple sites from a single installation.
- Makes it possible to share data and tools among your websites.
You’ll greatly benefit from Typo3 if you’re looking to manage several sites in the same category. Sharing of templates, extensions, and even users among your sites can be done seamlessly with this CMS option and this is a feature unique to Typo3.
Quick Fact: Typo3 is renowned as an ‘enterprise class’ CMS. Able to manage very large and complex websites required for big business & major organisations
The Serendipity blogging CMS option offers a lot more than first meets the eye. A blog interface with no “pages” might seem basic to some, but in reality, what the Serendipity interface offers both the casual dabbling blogger AND the veteran blogger is a platform that can be optimized aesthetically, as well as for search engines.
Quite unlike Dupal or Typo3, Serendipity is very user-friendly. As long as it is deployed in service of small blogs, it delivers optimally.
That is not to say it’s lacking in capacity by way of its features. Quite the contrary. Serendipity offers excellent performance for most websites due, in particular, to its inherently dynamic caching settings.
One feature that makes Serendipity blogs so convenient to use is that many sidebar plugins are automatically downloaded into the admin interface with which you can find whatever tool you’re looking for.
However, you’re not stuck with these plugins. If you don’t want the pre-downloaded plugins, you can simply drag them off the sidebar. Serendipity gives you control. And no, don’t let the name fool you. This control is not by chance, it’s a deliberate part of the design.
Serendipity Key Features at a Glance:
- Ideal for small, performance-oriented websites.
- Gives access to a large selection of themes and plugins to help you customiSe your website.
- It’s very easy to learn, to use and to set up.
If complex and ambitious projects are what you’re inclined towards, then Serendipity shouldn’t be your cup of tea. But don’t despair, the list continues.
Quick fact: Serendipity is a PHP-powered weblog engine which gives the user an easy way to maintain a blog
Dotclear can be likened to that steady, reliable spouse that may not always have you giddy with excitement… but knows how to keep things simple and in working condition.
This remarkable CMS option is similar in basic design to Serendipity. If you’re looking for a straightforward, hassle-free blogging experience, Dotclear is IT.
Just like WordPress, the Dotclear platform features a rich text editor, individual pages, tags and categories. In addition, there’s a multiple blog management function, customisable themes, multiple database support, and a comment moderation function.
Plus you have the option to write your posts in plain text, HTML, and Wiki syntax. And you can choose to add new functionality to your site using plugins and themes.
Furthermore, with Dotclear you generate RSS feeds and ensure your blog visitors don’t stray.
Dotclear Key Features:
- Supports plain text, HTML, and Wiki syntax.
- Simple to use and set up.
- Allows you generate an RSS feed for your site.
Quick fact: Some say the Dotclear user-experience is second to none
Impresspages – It’s that gorgeous companion that makes you stand out in a crowd. Though little known, ImpressPages will give you the smoothest, most memorable blogging experience you’ll ever have.
And we kid you not. This little known blog offers one of the best blogging experiences any CMS can offer. With its modern interface, its drag and drop feature; it’s the easiest CMS to use ever.
As long as you know how to click a mouse, you’re good to go on the Impresspages platform!
It features multilingualism, its editing is clean and easy. Plus you get to add elements such as maps and forms, something you can’t do with most other CMS options without the use of extensions.
The blogging experience and ease of website creation aside, the sheer aesthetic appeal of the design is remarkable. Impresspages has an ultra-modern dashboard.
However, in spite of all its beauty, when it comes down to an ImpressPages VS. WordPress battle, WordPress will most likely still win the day… at least as far as widgets and plugins are concerned.
Due to this gap in Impresspages, customising of functionalities when creating sites can sometimes be a chore.
Impresspages Key Features:
- Includes a powerful editor with advanced functionality.
- Allows you create content easily using a drag-and-drop page builder.
- Offers a simple, very easy-to-use modern interface.
In the final analysis, this little-known CMS option is your best choice if you value ease of use or creating simple landing pages is all you want to do.
Quick fact:Impresspages is the CMS platform with the most appealing interface in existence
Last but not least on our list is the CMS known as Chamilo.
Chamilo is quite different from any of the seven CMS options reviewed above, in that it is what is called a Learning Management System (LMS).
This is a special kind of CMS geared strictly towards learning platforms.
Using Chamilo, you can effortlessly create training content, install web hosting solutions at no cost.
Track student’s results, improve learning methodologies, and ensure focused learning using the neat interface. Also, you can use practical, auditory and visual e-learning tools, select staff, and manage users.
You can manage courses and training cycles. Benefit from the range of document management features. Utilise Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) web services for remote management. And finally, conduct time-controlled exams.
Since Chamilo doesn’t do the same thing as the previous seven CMS’s, it would make no sense to compare it with any of them.
However, Chamilo is notably easy to use. And if you’re looking for a platform that can conveniently manage multiple teachers while providing the tools for the creation of a virtual campus replete with excellent online courses, you know the magic destination: CHAMILO.
Chamilo Key Features at a Glance:
- Offers a dynamic platform for creating online courses.
- Ease in setting up a virtual campus
- Enables multiple teachers to work side by side.
- Allows you create quizzes, conditional questions, assignments, and other theoretical learning instruments.
One downside to Chamilo is that the development of the platform is not as active and competitive as any of the other previous seven CMS options we reviewed.
Nevertheless, the Chamilo user community is alive and strong, with on-site help available in both English and Spanish.
Quick fact:Chamilo is an open source course management application
Best CMS Conclusion
So, there you have it! Eight of the best CMS options available on Planet Earth.
Data has it that WordPress holds a 60.5% market share for content management systems (CMS) on websites with a known CMS:
This may be due, perhaps, to its ease of use and customization features.
However, as we have established, there’s a unique edge to each of the eight CMS options explored so it all boils down to you.
Which one do you think is the best CMS in 2019?
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