It’s easier than ever to start a website these days. What used to be a luxury to a few is now available to everyone who needs it. Everything related to hosting, coding, and designing with websites is at everybody’s fingertips; designing an entire website can now be done in a matter of hours.
But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. And the hardest part is that the needle has moved from “not enough options” to an overwhelming amount of options. Which hosting should you use? Where should you build your website? What’s the best approach?
If you’ve found yourself asking any number of these questions, you’re not alone. Web design and development is a big topic, and it can be difficult to know the best solution for all possible projects you may end up working on, especially when it comes to CMS selection.
Best 2020 CMS Platforms for Building Websites
One of the key decisions you’ll encounter while building a website is selecting the appropriate CMS. If you’re reading this article, chances you are already quite familiar with the topic, but in case it’s new to you, here is a quick description of what a CMS is:
A CMS – Content Management System – is an online application that allows you to manage, organize, publish, and design the content on your site. In other words, your hosting holds the actual data itself, but the CMS allows you to organize and control it. CMS’s are not synonymous with website builders, though most CMS tools come with these options. Said differently, most CMS’s will allow you to code and develop from scratch if you so please, but also allow for extensions that may aid in design through visual drag-and-drop tools.
There’s a quick run down of what a CMS actually is! Here are a few of our top recommendations on CMS platforms and the benefits of each:
It should come as no surprise to anyone that WordPress would make this list. WordPress is ubiquitous. Recent statistics show that over 30% of the entire internet’s website have been built on WordPress. Here’s why:
WordPress is an open source CMS, meaning the opportunity is present for anyone to build plugins or themes that plug into the WordPress platform. This has caused the platform to evolve in a way that is incredibly easy to navigate for both web designers and web developers. You can start your website small and scale it later with nearly a 100% guarantee that outsourced developers will know exactly how to develop on this platform.
The content management tools of WordPress are easy to use, making it a powerful editing tool. The publishing tools for posts and pages are also incredibly intuitive and easy to navigate from a UX standpoint, making it a rather efficient CMS to work in.
WordPress is the most universally used CMS platform and is incredibly efficient at building websites – both by using visual builders as well as coding from scratch. It’s an all-around homerun of a CMS platform and we suggest it to pretty much anyone – seasoned developers, creative agencies and marketing firms, and new website designers.
If you’ve already done some research on CMS platforms, you’ve probably heard about Joomla. Over the last several years, the platform has been making quite the name for itself. While it’s not as popular and widely adopted as WordPress, it’s an excellent CMS platform for a few reasons.
Firstly, Joomla comes straight out of the box with multilingual support. Usually, WordPress websites require users to download multi-lingual plugins or themes, and of course, this requires all plugins to be compatible with one another. With Joomla, you’re promised ease of use for multi-lingual websites, giving it an edge on WordPress for those building international websites.
Secondly, while Joomla may not be as beginner-friendly and intuitive from a UX standpoint, it is super powerful when it comes to creating custom post types (which are like preset “content types”.) In WordPress, these are referred to as Posts and Pages. Adding new umbrellas of content types isn’t quite as easy in WordPress as it is in Joomla. So, if you are building many websites that aren’t largely based on text content, it’s an excellent platform.
Lastly, while WordPress is more than capable of handling membership and subscription-type sites, this is a huge area of focus for Joomla. Joomla’s platform is well optimized for advanced membership options and has tons of user management tools built in.
Drupal is about equally as popular as Joomla and is an excellent runner-up of a CMS. But once again, it all depends on what your site is being built for. Similarly to WordPress and Joomla, Drupal is an open-source CMS packed with tons of useful development features.
Drupal performs really well for sites where extra security is important, multilingual support is needed, and user management is key. In many ways, Drupal performs similarly to Joomla, but there are a couple key distinctions.
Drupal also offers easily customizable post types as well as a powerful content management system. The user management and permission settings are quite advanced, making it an excellent option for membership or subscription sites that may have complicated permission levels.
As mentioned above, Drupal finds pride in its excellent site security and site scalability, but this all comes at a cost. Drupal has quite the learning curve, making it a difficult CMS to work with for inexperienced web developers.
You’re comparing oranges to… well, oranges.
All the above CMS platforms are very similar in capabilities, the way they operate, and the types of websites they can build. Which platform you select should largely be based on what you are most familiar with as well as what can be easily outsourced to developers as your website scales.
If you are looking to build a website soon, or are looking for input from a developer on what CMS you should be using, reach out to us! We’d love to answer your questions!