Best CMS Platforms for Building Websites
More than 73 million websites have been created using Content Management Systems. There are currently more than 80 different CMSs available, which makes it challenging to choose the right one. Today, I’ll go through some considerations for choosing the CMS that’s most suited to your purposes.
What is a CMS?
Every business needs a website, as do a vast array of professionals, but that doesn’t mean everyone needs to know how to code. The process of building your website from scratch – and maintaining it – is expensive and requires expertise. Content Management Systems solve the problem, allowing non-technical users to manage websites without having to understand complex code.
There are two main components of a CMS – a Content Management Application (CMA) and a Content Delivery Application (CDA), and they each have a distinct role to play. After a user develops content in the CMA via a graphical user interface, the CDA component offers back-end services to support the administration and delivery of the content. Without having any prior knowledge of HTML, users can design, edit, change, and remove content from a website using the CMA.
CMSs vs. Website Builders
As with a CMS, a website builder helps you make a simple website without needing any coding skills. This is thanks to a visual interface that lets you intuitively arrange the components of your web pages, in many cases using drag and drop functionality. Website builders are extremely user-friendly, simple to set up, and require no input from developers. They’re a good option if you just want to build a quick website for your portfolio or something that does not require a lot of maintenance.
On the other hand, the main function of a CMS is to create and manage your website’s content. You can add themes for design purposes, and some CMSs are compatible with page building plug-ins, such as the Divi builder for WordPress. If you’re using a CMS to build a simple website with limited functionality, you won’t need to use additional code, but for some types of customisations, you may need to work with a developer.
Using a CMS to build your website is beneficial in the long run as it allows you to scale and customise. They also support a wide range of plugins. The main drawback is the learning curve – if you plan to do it all yourself.
To sum up, it’s easier to create a high-quality website in terms of visuals with a website builder but if you’re thinking about expanding your functionality in the long run, a CMS it the right way to go.
The Benefits of Using a CMS
Having a Content Management System is a necessity for businesses that are trying to make an impact; a well-designed and user-friendly website is essential these days and allows you to interact with potential customers and build your brand.
- Customisation – The options for customisation provided by a good CMS platform are endless. As mentioned, you may need to hire someone with coding skills to make the best out of it, but the flexibility available makes using a CMS worthwhile.
- Efficient Teamwork – When trying to conquer the world with your content, you cannot do it all on your own – you need a reliable team to help you. From content ideas to analytics, a good CMS platform allows teams to interact smoothly and efficiently. For example, a writer should easily be able to upload content and a graphic designer should be able to upload images simultaneously.
- SEO Friendly – Without successfully implementing SEO practises, a website is invisible, so taking the correct SEO measures is vital if you want people to find you online. Your website can be more easily optimised for Google and other search engines if you use a CMS. Title tags, meta descriptions, keywords, SEO-friendly URLs, and other elements can all be included. There are also SEO plugins (such as Yoast SEO) that will check how well-optimised your pages are and give you suggestions for improvement.
- Mobile – Today, all websites should be built with a mobile-first approach. Making a mobile-responsive website that automatically adapts to the mobile interface is an essential function that CMS platforms provide.
- Ease of Distribution – A CMS provides users with multi-channel content distribution. As we all know, the rule of social media is that the more channels you publish on, the higher your chances of success. It’s a great waste of resources to publish your material on each channel one by one. A good Content Management System helps you efficiently publish on all platforms in one place. It works in a similar manner to a social media management tool, although it’s not as flexible.
How to Choose the Best CMS Platform for Your Website?
The quality of a CMS platform can be judged based on criteria such as ease of use, the level of customisation offered, publishing options, pricing, revision control features, the support the company provides, the speed of deployment, and so on. How you prioritise these criteria depend on your business’ needs. Below are a few top-rated CMS platforms that everyone must look into.
1. WordPress CMS
WordPress has been around since the dawn of the internet. It was launched as a blogging software and its popularity continues to grow in this niche, even though it provides many other functions as well. The open-source platform is extensively employed in the publishing and blog-friendly industries since it focuses on editorial features like articles and blog postings. Even though this platform is easy to use overall, it offers a variety of plugins and other customisation options that require technical know-how to implement. WordPress does not cost anything. It is used to build about 43% of all websites (it’s currently in use on around 30.46 million live websites). There are around 59,000 plugins available on WordPress and it has over 31,000 themes to choose from.
2. Shopify Developer
This platform is known among e-commerce entrepreneurs trying to launch online stores and is best for people trying to sell online for the very first time. There are so many logistical factors involved in getting an online store off the ground, and having a specialised CMS makes the process much easier. Setting up a store on Shopify is as easy as setting up a website, although the platform does not give you a great deal of room for customisation. Three payment plans are available, starting at $29 per month. The cheapest plan comes with web hosting, an SSL certificate, and a Shopify subdomain (yourname.shopify.com). Costs can increase up to $229 a month for more advanced plans.
Some may argue that Wix is not a Content Management System but a simple website builder. In my opinion, the features offered by Wix can be used in many ways and you just have to be smart with it. It is a very intuitive and simple platform and is extremely beginner friendly. However, it can be a little annoying to customise; customisations come with a lot of restrictions but if you simply use a template they provide, there’s a chance your website will look like a copycat. In addition, Wix does not make it easy for you to download and export your data. If after a few years of using Wix you want to switch to another platform, it can be a pain to do that, so be careful before you invest in it. I’m still going to recommend it, as it has a free option that makes it worthwhile for small-scale content creators and small businesses. If you use the free plan, your website will contain Wix-branded advertisements and a branded domain name.
3. HubSpot CMS
Imagine being able to combine a content management and customer management system in one platform. That is a possibility with HubSpot’s CMS, which is called CMS Hub. It’s an all-rounder that provides us with the best of both worlds. It is specifically designed for marketers and business owners. It’s easy to use, and you don’t need any technical skills to build a website with it. It has a drag and drop editor, built in SEO tools, and other interesting features. A worldwide CDN, a Web Application Firewall, and a specialised security team are all included with CMS Hub, among other measures to protect your website against DDoS assaults and other security threats. To simplify your operational procedures, HubSpot CMS seamlessly interacts with their email marketing tool and sales CRM. Their pricing comes in three major tiers – starter, professional, and entrepreneur. The Starter plan starts at $25/month.
To sum up, a website builder lets you quickly put together a visually appealing website with limited functionality, while a CMS provides the scope for unlimited customisation. Both types of platforms should have the capacity to create mobile-responsive websites.
CMSs are a blessing in today’s world, where the demand for content is higher than ever before. Keeping up with these demands single-handedly is no easy feat, which is why it’s crucial to have a strong team to support your endeavours. Click here to see how my team and I can help you with creating and maintaining high quality content for your business.