Considering today’s competitiveness and the need to get everything online efficiently and quickly, one cannot just rely on programmers and website designers to manage content on a regular basis. What one needs instead is the best content management system for their website.
Large content-based and e-commerce websites have a common factor in them i.e., the best CMS so that one can easily upload, edit, and add content they create from anywhere, anytime. A CMS also helps to create an online store or web forms, among so many other things.
Working with CMS will help you manage your web content pages in a seamless manner without any delay in uploading or mismanagement of the website. So, before you create a website, you must be clear in your mind about the CMS you will use.
What Is a CMS?
Given the hype and attention marketers pay to CMS systems in the market, it is definitely worth your while to know more about them and the different types of CMS software programs available to create a website.
Simply put, CMS helps you create, organize, and share your content in a much more efficient and time-saving manner as compared to uploading web pages and posts using programming skills. It is software that has been specifically designed with the aim of helping you design, create, and manage a website.
In other words, the best content management system is a valuable tool that helps work more efficiently with managing content. A CMS also helps in enterprise content management and not just web content management. It also helps to manage documents and digital assets. There is also a headless CMS that allows access to content via an API to be displayed on PC, mobile, or any device. It does not include any front-end layer incorporated.
How to choose the Best CMS?
Given their popularity, there are different CMS available in the market today with various features that have their own specific advantages and disadvantages. CMS could be easy to use and intuitive but may have limited features or be available only as a paid version, while some other CMS options could be free but not have the specific features you require. Some may allow you to schedule posts at your convenience, while some may manage images better.
Given these different factors, it may be difficult to choose the perfect and best content management system for your organization. One CMS may not suit all advanced users, or it may not be practical to use more than one CMS system. So, deciding the best CMS may seem like a difficult choice to make. To assist you in choosing the CMS, here are some of the factors we suggest you consider.
How user-friendly it is?
While the best CMS may look good and have most of the features you are looking for, the factor you need to consider foremost is how usable it is. It makes no sense to install the best content management system and then discover that you need to spend hours putting a graphic post together or need to have some basic programming skills to get the best out of it!
Look for a CMS that can be used by anybody with just a few minutes of familiarization or training on it. It should definitely not require any technical or programming knowledge and be simple enough to help you create and share a post within minutes.
The best content management systems usually have the drag and drop page building tools along with a live preview facility to help you see how the page or post is going to look like in the finished version. Plug-ins, if required, should be easy to install and add immense value to the post or page you are designing.
Can it be customized?
Given the dynamics and different formats of content evolving on a day-to-day basis, your CMS too should be able to cope with it and offer customized options. It will help you fine-tune the content as required. You should also be able to change and alter the design templates of the best content management systems easily so that the content you create has the latest professional and sleek look.
Apart from being able to customize the template or theme, the best CMS should also have flexible and easy-to-use plug-ins built in to make the entire content creation process easier and better.
Does it have adequate support?
While most content management systems are easy to use and very intuitive to your needs, there may be instances, when you may require specific customization or help with implementing a widget. In such scenarios, being able to access a proactive customer support system is very important and helpful.
When you decide to implement the best CMS, make sure you check what type of support they offer and the days & hours they are available, especially if you have heavier workloads on weekends and may require their support. Ideally, look for a CMS that offers 24/7 support.
The customer support teams in most of the best content management systems have good technical and design knowledge and will help you manage any small CMS-related problems instantly or within a few hours, for sure.
Being able to access the customer support team via phone lines is also a good factor and something that you should consider while selecting the best content management systems for your organization.
Does it have good design template options?
While this may seem to be the most important factor in considering the best CMS for your office, it is actually not more important than the ease of usability and support factors. Having said that, make sure that you look for the best content management system which has plenty of design templates to select from, as you definitely want your site to be impressive and professional-looking.
Most CMS offers designs template options from different industries and categories so that you can easily select a template that matches your requirements perfectly. The styles and colors of most of the templates are also customizable, making them more versatile to use.
Apart from the design template options, the best CMS should also support different page design elements such as buttons, headers, contact forms, pop-ups, etc. to give your website a more dynamic and interactive look.
CMS vs. Website Builder
While a website builder will help you design a sleek and professional-looking website through its drag and drop approach, a CMS will actually help you manage your content creation, presentation, and sharing in a more efficient and professional manner. The best content management systems on the other hand are designed for bigger and complex websites that are regularly updated with the latest and different formats of content, be it text, images, and even videos. Some examples of popular CMS are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
Website builders are also software programs or tools that allow one to create a website like the back of their hand. It is that simple. However, the website created is hosted on the website builder’s company’s platform. The in-built tools of the website builder are specific to their program and mostly use drag and drop functionality. Whether it is website layout, making forms, adding buttons, or anything else, everything is just ready for the user to pick and choose and drag and drop. However, these are suitable only for small businesses or personal websites.
Must-Have Features for Content Management Software
Some of the features that the best content management systems should definitely have are:
- Ability to handle different formats of content i.e., text, images, videos, slide shows, etc.
- Ease to use and allowing updating content, i.e., publishing web pages within minutes.
- Handle multiple users at the same time with different levels of access as required.
- Plenty of plug-ins and design templates.
- Security features to prevent cyberattacks.
- Be customizable and upgradable as required.
- Have marketing tools to promote your business.
Best CMS Systems
Given their popularity, quite a few software and web hosting companies have launched content management systems to help individuals and companies manage the content they create and share. Just in case you are wondering, ‘what are the best CMS systems?’ we have listed a few of the best and popular ones available online.
The original and first content management system website; was primarily developed to help people build websites and manage their blogs better. With more than 38% of websites using WordPress as a platform worldwide, it is one of the top-ranked and best content management systems available for beginners and professionals alike.
Adding to its popularity is the fact that its free version offers many features and design templates, that technical users can utilize and customize as per their needs. The WordPress CMS platform is open-source software that also supports e-commerce websites in its paid versions.
Very similar to WordPress but with much more interactive and professional-looking industry-specific templates, Wiz is the preferred choice who want a more robust and interactive CMS. Wiz is a cloud-based platform, designed on the drag and drop concept, which makes it very easy to work with even for beginners. Even first-time users can get a site designed and run on Wiz within a few minutes.
Using Wiz does not require any technical knowledge whatsoever. One can also use its Artificial Design Intelligence to design the website automatically, by answering a few basic questions about your business. With more than 500+ templates, Wiz is also a designers’ favorite go-to-site for creating outstanding and impressive designs.
Shopify is to e-commerce store owners, what WordPress is to bloggers; an indispensable, easy-to-use, free CMS. Designed to help small businesses and even large corporations establish their e-commerce presence online, Shopify has a free plan and also works on a monthly subscription basis to sustain its operations.
The interface and dashboard of Shopify are very user-friendly and have been designed to share key information about your business, orders, receipts, etc. in one place. Shopify also has its own app store from where you can select beautiful, professional-looking templates alongside a wide variety of apps to better manage your business and social media presence.
Magento is also one of the best content management systems for both designers and individuals to establish their presence online within a few hours and start generating orders for their business. It is an open-source platform based on MySQL and Zend PHP databases, you can customize the look and feel of your website easily if you have some basic knowledge of programming.
Like Shopify, it too has a vast collection of plug-ins that you can use to organize and manage your business better. It works with different payment gateways, CRMs, invoicing & finance apps and also helps you manage your website SEO more efficiently.
Frequently Asked Questions About CMS
To help you understand the best CMS for your organization, we have put together some FAQs for your reference.
Do we have to pay for using CMS platforms?
Most of the best content management systems have free versions, which give you access to many basic features. In case you are looking for more plug-ins or customization options, you need to buy or upgrade your plan from a free to a paid version.
Can you use the best CMS to manage an online store?
Not all the best content management systems are designed to be used for managing an e-commerce store. You would need to look for a specific CMS that can host, organize, and help you manage your store easily and more efficiently. WordPress, Shopify, and Magneto are some CMS platforms suitable for designing and managing an e-commerce store.
What are the features one can expect from a paid CMS version?
While each CMS platform is different, some of the features that you can expect from a paid version are more design templates, marketing automation features, the ability to use your existing registered domain, more hosting space, better customization options, access to different plug-ins, and so on. Apart from these features, the best CMS also offers different reports, such as active users, sales, and pending orders, etc. to help you manage your business more efficiently.
Using the best content management systems will help you achieve more efficiency in your business
Given the fact that you are more skilled in managing a business (unless you are a website designer), it makes sense to use a CMS platform to manage the design and content of your website. Using the best content management systems will help you save time, which you can use to grow your business. You also don’t need to spend hours learning programming skills to create professional-looking pages & blogs.
If you are still wondering what are the best CMS systems, you can opt for a trial version and then upgrade to a paid version if you are satisfied with its performance. So now you know how to select the best CMS platform available online, quite easily and get your website up and running within a few minutes to establish your brand identity and online presence. Just make sure you compare the different features and benefits of the best content management systems so that you don’t need to switch over to another one within a short span of time.