Content Management Systems make it easier to both create a website and easily manage your content. No need to learn all kinds of complicated tech speak, as the platform manages all of that for you! Here we look at how to choose the best CMS platform for your company website in 2023, so you can harness the power of this essential marketing tool.
Content Management Systems Explained
A CMS allows users to create and edit website content but should also simplify the following functions:
- Workflows, reporting, and content organization
- User and role-based administration to control who can make changes, review, or post
- Delivery of content across different devices
- Analytics to assist with personalization and marketing success
- Commerce integration if you need it
- Robust, secure web hosting
How to Choose the Best CMS for Your Company Website
Your search for the best content management system begins with a checklist of must-have features every business needs in a CMS:
Your CMS has one job: Making it easy to manage content. Simple features such as drag-and-drop tools and obvious functionality that doesn’t require a manual to figure things out ensure you can create, edit, and publish content effortlessly.
While going for the newest, shiniest web platforms is tempting, longevity is very important. You want to feel confident the platform won’t disappear overnight.
To create the best CMS websites, you want a good assortment of website design layouts. Different looks on each page allow you to have a very sleek, professional website ideal for your brand. The best CMS should have attractive designs that are aligned with your brand.
Data portability simply means the CMS platform allows you to move it to another platform without too much hassle. However, if you choose the right CMS, you also should never have to worry about moving.
Attractive Extensions and Addons
Your CMS functions with a set of necessary features but can fall short in other areas. For this reason, you want a platform that allows you to add plugins or extensions that provide even more powerful tools to manage your website and content. While not every business needs lots of premium plugins, having the choice to improvise with new features is always a good thing.
With concerns about confidentiality and security, you want a secure CMS with most, if not all, of the following features:
- Backup capability
- Security features
- Customer support
Even the most intuitive platforms can leave you needing support. The CMS that simply provides FAQs isn’t much help when you’re stuck. Instead, you want multiple contact options to reach the support team in a manner that suits your needs – 24/7.
Of course, cost always comes into play. Some CMSs offer a free version but come with a different kind of cost: Your branding and ownership of the content on the site. Many free platforms include some functionalities but then add their own brand name to your domain. There are also a few costs to watch for, like paying for third-party extensions each time you need to add new functionality, accessing their best template designs, getting a customized domain, or flexibility with web hosting services.
You then usually have your choice of various levels or package options, each with increasingly better features or, in some cases, based on the length of service. The longer your term, the lower the monthly price. Make sure you understand the costs and what they include and don’t include.
The Best CMS Platforms for 2023
The best CMS for you depends on the features, price, pros and cons, and who the platform is right for. Here are some content management system examples to help narrow down your choices:
WordPress – Best All-Around CMS Platform
Probably the most recognizable name in the industry, WordPress is also the most popular platform. It is recommended for the beginner small to large businesses looking for an easy way to launch their website and start building content quickly.
Price range: One time set up fee of $200 with packages ranging from $11 to $40 per month +
- Easy for beginners
- Over 57,000 plug-ins
- Over 31,000 design themes
- Well-designed for search engine optimization (SEO)
- Complicated software and plugin updates
- Using older versions of the platform and plugins poses security risks
- Pricing can be difficult to understand
CMS Hub – Best for HubSpot Fans
If you use HubSpot, this is a good choice for small to large businesses as this CMS integrates with all your HubSpot tools. But you can also use it as a stand-alone CMS, offering a user-friendly, robust platform.
Price range: $300 or $900 per month
- Many CMS apps and templates
- Security with 24/7 threat monitoring and WAF
- 3,500 templates
- Manage, optimize, and track the performance
- Smooth integration with popular apps
- Partners with third-party vendors and apps for easier maintenance and updates
- Fewer free template options, with many selections you have to pay for
- Only two plans are available
- They offer a free trial, but no free plan options
Shopify – Best for E-commerce
E-commerce businesses need a robust yet easy-to-use platform that makes managing product information and payments easy. Shopify is the go-to platform for first-time shop owners carving a niche out for themselves in a highly competitive e-commerce landscape. Shopify is like the WordPress of e-comm.
Price range: Plans ranging from $29 to $299 per month
- Allows shop owners to quickly get up and running
- Handles your backups and software updates
- Built-in blogging tools
- Easy customer reviews and payment options
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Analytics for products as well as web traffic
- Over 5500 free and paid apps
- HubSpot compatibility
- Automatically PCI compliant
- Limited selection of apps
- Only 70 design themes- but we can customize them to match your brand.
Crownpeak Headless CMS – Best for Limited IT Resources
Crownpeak’s CMS is ideal for companies with limited to zero in-house IT resources. It is pretty much foolproof, making it easy to write and publish new articles, create new pages, and manage your workflows with a click of the mouse.
Price range: On a quote basis
- Easy setup, no IT support required
- “Headless” CMS suited to any programming language
- High security
- Admin controls to manage who can do what
- WYSIWYG design (what you see is what you get)
- A/B testing options for targeted content
- Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certified
- Pricing can be iffy as it does not offer plans, but instead, prices are quote-based project by project
Wix – Best for Budget-Friendly Websites
This user-friendly CMS platform is not quite as well received as WordPress, but it still has many strengths, including its very robust free plan option.
Price range: From free with a Wix-branded domain to plans starting from $13 per month
- Easy drag and drop interface, just click on any element to get to work
- Beautiful responsive designs for all devices that are so customizable they look original
- Large free image library
- Wix App Market offers plenty of plugins to add new features
- SEO checklist to optimize your site
- Less flexibility to easily transition from one design template to another
- Paid-for eCommerce plans only accept PayPal or Authorize.net
- You can’t easily download or export your data
- Wix-branded domains for the free plan
- All paid plans must be paid upfront each year
Ghost – Best for Adding a Blog to an Existing Website
If you have a website you love that doesn’t provide an easy blogging option, Ghost creates and shows your blog content regardless of the website platform. It goes beyond just websites, allowing you to use your blogs on various apps or just about anywhere. That said, if your website doesn’t make blogging easy, it might not offer everything you need on a site. Maybe it’s time for an update to something like Wix or WordPress? Just saying.
Price range: The app is free, but Ghost hosting plans start at $36 per month and can go as high as $249, depending on your needs
- Excellent support for SEO without the need for plugins
- Fast-loading speeds get your blogging pages up and running in just a few minutes
- Your choice of a hosted platform, or use as a free software
- Point and click editor, customizable templates, and layouts
- Doesn’t provide full CMS capabilities
- Not a flexible website like WordPress or Wix
- Not quite as user-friendly as other options
- Limited design and customization options with just 20 free themes
- Leans a little more toward companies looking to monetize blogging
Choosing the best CMS platform isn’t an easy process for inexperienced marketers and business owners. You can make the entire process hassle-free by finding a website and design company that also specializes in content marketing. At Digitally Grounded, we focus on a marketing strategy aligned with your brand identity to ensure you have a comprehensive digital marketing plan to meet your company’s growth goals.