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A CMS, or a content management system is an application that lets users without programming knowledge create, publish and edit digital content in a collaborative environment. Choosing the right CMS for you is not a straightforward task, as there is no single best CMS. Instead, there are hundreds of CMS software on the market, and which one is the best for you will depend on your personal or professional needs.
That’s why it is a great idea to be clear about what you want to accomplish with your website before starting to look for the best CMS. The most common purposes of a CMS include creating and managing online content, blogging, news and developing online communities.
A CMS that is primarily used for web content management will need to put emphasis on sharing methods, because it requires multiple editors to have access to the backend. Other key features include text search, user rights management and news management.
If you are a blogger, you want a CMS that can help you create content quickly and categorize it in an intuitive way, as well as connect your website with social media platforms. Extremely welcome features are timing control for updates, and the possibility for readers to comment on your articles.
Finally, building online communities is much more demanding than having a blog, because it requires a range of features to enable members to create and post content on your website in addition to viewing it.
Below we give you an honest review of some of the most popular CMS’s to get you started and help you choose the right one for you.
With 18 million users, WordPress is the most popular CMS on the market. It is an open source software, offering thousands of extensions and free templates. WordPress is primarily good for blogging, since that was its original purpose. It is extremely user-friendly and offers many options to customize your website, but it is too dependent on plug-ins, which slows down loading time of your website and requires constant updating. That is why it is not suitable for more complex online projects.
Another great open source software, Joomla has a huge community of supporters, and is the second most popular CMS after WordPress. It is slightly more difficult to master than WordPress, but that can be solved by taking an online video course offered on their page. It does not require so many extensions (but there is a large pool of them if you need one) and you can benefit from an object-oriented design. If you want to set up an online shop or a social network site, Joomla could be the choice for you.
Compared to WordPress and Joomla, Drupal gives you most freedom, thanks to its Lego-like approach, allowing you to build a website from scratch. However, it is also the most difficult to master and will probably require a professional to manage. It’s great for big websites that require lots of complex features.