Launching a website has become as easy as one-two-three in 2019. You don't have to possess any programming background or coding skills in order to create a nice website. Why? Because you can use one of the best CMS platforms (content management system) that will basically allow creating, editing, and publishing web content including text and multimedia elements via a graphical user interface.
CMS is software that works magic!
Considering that there are nearly 2B websites live now and also considering the fact that this number is growing rapidly, it's obvious that one needs to hurry up if they really want to have a website for their business or personal purposes.
Hiring a programmer to build a website for you could be awesome, but it could also take a lot of time and money. So, a CMS is what will come to your rescue if you want to cut costs and make it quick. There are various types of CMS platforms, and the bad news is that they all have some advantages and disadvantages, and you will have to consider all the pros and cons before making a choice.
There are a few things you should take into account in order to find the best CMS platform for your needs, for example, the need to access the editor with multiple user accounts, or the need to present the content in more than one language.
Some of the best CMS platforms are the following:
The majority of websites on the web are built on WordPress. That number is around 18 million!
Let's now discuss a few of the most popular CMS platforms one by one and see what each of them is best for.
WordPress is the most-used open-source CMS globally. Initially, it was a platform for building blogs. Later, several plugins were built to work with it, making it possible to upgrade the software to a fully functional CMS.
One of the most impressive things about WordPress is that it has 14K+ free design templates. Additionally, it has got search engine friendly URLs and a speedy installation wizard.Pros
- There is a large community of users which means you can find detailed information about nearly any issue you come across when using WordPress
- The installation and setup take minimal effort
- There are hundreds of thousands of plugins you can install to make your website even better
- Full customization possible
- Good performance
- It can undergo security hazards and hacker attacks
- Too many security updates that might require extra administrative work
- The system sometimes can be complex and not so intuitive to use
- No built-in solutions for basic needs
- You have to manage a lot of 3rd party plugins
WordPress is easy to install, that's why it can work pretty well for small and mid-sized businesses. Also, bloggers, writers, artists who want to impress their audience with regularly updated content, and beautiful layouts can use WordPress to its full potential.
However, WordPress is not the best option for enterprise-level solutions. It's not technically impossible to create an enterprise website with WordPress; however, it will take way too much effort than in the case of small businesses.
Some great WordPress plugins are the following:
- GTranslate - for making your website multilingual
- WPForms - for adding forms to your contact (or other) pages
- Yoast SEO - for optimizing your content for SEO
- Akismet Anti-Spam - for getting rid of spam
- W3 Total Cache - for caching that improves your overall website performance
You can learn more about the best WordPress plugins by reading our article we have published recently.
Joomla is the number two biggest CMS platform out there with over 2M installations globally. It is good for both beginners and advanced-level users. Joomla has nearly perfect documentation in place. However, that doesn't make it the easiest CMS platform to use.Pros
- A significant number of extensions, plugins, and designs
- Backed by a good community willing to help
- Full customization possible
- The extensions often need to be implemented manually
- Pro extensions can be costly
- Missing decent extensions for e-commerce
- Performance optimization can be a headache
In fact, Joomla is not that easy to install and configure. That's why most website owners opt for WordPress or other platforms that are easier to set up.
Remember, we were discussing enterprise-level websites above and saying that WordPress might not be the best solution for them? Well, TYPO3 can.
In fact, TYPO3 is not that famous, but it has a unique selling point, which is its scalability. For example, you can even build an intranet with the help of it!Pros
- TYPO3 has multilingual support
- It enables you to run multiple sites from a single installation
- You can share data and tools across websites
- It's not very user-friendly and can be hard to set up
Eventually, due to its scalability, TYPO3 can be used for managing several sites that are connected together. This is a perk that many other CMS platforms don't support.
Drupal is another great open-source CMS platform. While it is a bit smaller in market share as compared to WordPress and Joomla, it's still one of the best CMS platforms out there.Pros
- Drupal offers a very flexible system for dealing with custom post types
- It gives you a lot of control over users' accounts and permissions
- It has multilingual support out of the box
- Drupal is considered more secure than WordPress and Joomla
- Full customization possible
- You are not recommended to use Drupal if you don't have at least basic web development skills since it can be quite complex when it comes to configuration and setup.
So, if you are a security freak, then most probably Drupal should be your go-to CMS platform.
This one is great for blogging. Why? Because it's hard not to fall in love with the clean design of this CMS platform and its perfect aesthetics.Pros
- Great design, beautiful themes
- Tablet and smartphone-compatible
- Various types of photo galleries available
- Squarespace doesn't allow you to fully edit the titles for blog and product pages which can be a deal-breaker for SEO
- There is no backup and restore functionality
- The page speed is not that good
- Very limited in terms of customization
So, the verdict is that Squarespace can be a great CMS platform if you want to create a beautiful blog. However, when it comes to SEO, you might have a hard time figuring out how to improve it. It's worth thinking twice before creating a website with this one.
Still, if you have opted for Squarespace, make sure to find out what are the best practices of optimizing a Squarespace website. That knowledge will help you a lot in the long run.
Shopify is a platform that allows you to create your own online store. It provides you with a wide variety of templates that you can customize to meet your branding requirements. Shopify allows selling either physical or digital goods online.Pros
- A wide range of themes (both free and paid) to choose from
- Integration with PayPal
- Blogging, SEO, CMS functionalities
- The ability to edit your store's CSS and HTML codes
- Clean and modern interface
- APIs as well as the ability to import and export data
- Good only for online stores
- There's room for improvement regarding how Shopify handles product variants and options (since you can only have 3 options for a certain product)
There are a lot of interesting articles regarding how to have and maintain as well as optimize a Shopify store and especially the checkout process.
It looks like each CMS platform has got its perks and downsides too. WordPress is good for mid-sized businesses. Squarespace could be a great choice for those who want to provide their site visitors with great design experiences. Shopify is best for building your online store on it. Drupal is famous for its security. And TYPO3's main advantage is that it allows building and managing multiple complex websites on it. There is a wide choice in here, and your decision should be based on your business needs.
The possibilities are endless!