Top 7 CMS (Content Management System) and Best Website CMS
Even though there are many websites composed of just a few pages, serious business owners know that they will need to add dozens of pages or make changes on existing ones. Unfortunately, if you don’t know HTML, the entire task can be extremely daunting. On the other hand, keeping a web designer on retainer can be equally frustrating and counter-productive if you don’t have enough money for this type of maintenance.
Content management systems (CMS) offer an easy way to add and change data on any website. Here are the top 10 CMS platforms favored by individuals and businesses alike. As you look through this list for the best content management system, you are sure to find at least one or more that will help you create the perfect website.
Cost: free, but there are other services associated with WordPress that you may need to pay for. This includes custom flash templates, plug-ins, or other scripts that may not be available for free from the script repository.
Basic Features: Even though WordPress is considered a blogging platform, it is often used by people looking to build websites. The native dashboard has everything from custom menus to date widgets that can be used to create endless variations in the sidebars. No matter whether you are looking for top bar navigation menus, custom headers, banner support, or just about any other kind of dynamic content, you can rest assured there is either a plug-in, widget, or template that can be used with this platform.
Security Features: You can control posting and comments, block URLs and IPs, capture login data, and use passwords to secure specific pages on the site. You can also use member privileges to determine who sees certain pages. Depending on the plug-ins you choose, there are also a number of other different security enhancements available. This includes spam blockers, captcha entries, and issue notifications.
Plugins and Widgets: If there is a feature found on a website, chances are you can find a free plugin for WordPress. Some of the more common plug-ins includes visitor tracking, image and video sliders, support for auctions and eCommerce, advanced editors for the content editor, and literally hundreds of different SEO gadgets.
Theme Support: When you set up a new WordPress blog on your own server, or purchase space on the WordPress website, you will have access to millions of free templates. No matter whether you are looking for a pink colored theme with menu bars on top or something that can be customized to generate four and five columns, there is sure to be a theme to suit your needs. In most cases, you will find that switching themes is easy, and your data will always transfer from one design to the next properly.
Ease of Customization: In terms of changing the basic structure of the site, adding and subtracting dynamic elements, and adding content, WordPress ranks as the easiest and most stable CMS on the market.
Ease of Use: Very easy to use for novices and advanced users.
Other Notes: WordPress is the platform of choice for affiliate marketers, small business owners, and just about anyone else that wants to create a website as quickly as possible.
Basic Features: Drupal is an open source content management system that offers features similar to WordPress. You can adjust sidebars, install custom templates, and build eCommerce websites with a fair amount of ease.
Security Features: You can track logins and use member privilege features to control some aspects of security on a Drupal site. In order to moderate comments, you will need to install a separate plugin. There are also plug-ins available to protect the site from spam, as well as a number of different protocols for captcha authentication.
Plugins and Widgets: Numerous for creating dynamic content as well as advanced markups for the editor dashboard.
Theme Support: You will usually need to pay for custom templates if you cannot find a suitable free one in the repository.
Ease of Customization: Since Drupal uses PHP for all scripts, it is fairly easy to customize. Many programmers feel that Drupal is easier and less confusing to work with than Joomla.
Ease of Use: For the most part, if you can navigate on the WordPress platform, you will adapt to Drupal fairly easily.
Other Notes: Drupal is well suited for small to medium sized websites that should not have a blog feel to them. While Drupal does not offer as many features as WordPress, you will still be able to find or build what you need, and enjoy a stable platform at the same time.
Basic Features: After installing Joomla you can generate custom top bar menus, and then install widgets in the sidebars for added functionality. As with other content management systems, you can generate new pages fairly easily, and post them to the site in a matter of seconds.
Security Features: Joomla has a reputation for a robust series of security features. This includes extensive customization of member types, group functions, and administrative levels. You can also use Captcha and other systems to prevent spam, as well as use IP blockers to prevent unwanted access to the site.
Plugins and Widgets: There are a number of plugins available to help you track visitors as well as add sliders and other functionality to the sidebars, headers, and footers. While there are some plugins available for free, most must be purchased and created by custom PHP programmers.
Theme Support: When you first install Joomla, you can choose from a handful of templates. While most find these themes distinctly unappealing and drab, you can still change text and background colors to give them a unique flavor. For the most part, you will be best served by asking a custom programmer to create a theme for your business.
Ease of Customization: Tends to be very complicated. You will find that setting up menus and attaching pages to them is a process that involves dozens of screens across different sections of the dashboard. Aside from this, if you need custom login scripts, they are often difficult, if not impossible to integrate with the Joomla native security classes. Unfortunately, many people that try to alter the security features on a Joomla site only wind up compromising the overall security of the entire setup.
Ease of Use: Difficult to setup, but offers a comfortable real time content addition panel.
Other Notes: If you are looking for a free enterprise content management system, Joomla represents a good option. That said, you should be prepared to make numerous changes to the initial installation before adding content.
Basic Features: You can use Sitecore to create everything from dynamic group sites to social networking sites.
Security Features: Capable of tracking login history, and also has built in captcha systems. You can also set up a fairly advanced hierarchy of users and administrators. Other plugins will enable you to create advanced registration pages that can be tied into the login screens.
Plugins and Widgets: usually require custom development from a C++ programmer. Since Sitecore is closed source, you will need to find someone that is familiar with the overall system.
Theme Support: Depends on package selected. You can also pay for custom themes.
Ease of Customization: Depends on package selected and skill level of the developer.
Ease of Use: Once set up, this platform tends to be easy to work with, and offers a number of utilities for creating attractive layouts for each page.
Other Notes: Sitecore is ideal for larger businesses that may want to create multiple forums or add other interactive features. Many of the plugins and customizations available can be used for advanced SEO strategies, marketing effectiveness tracking, and providing additional security for the site.
Basic Features: Drag and drop content addition, blog and forum integration. You can also add classified ads and many other items that are usually available only as plugins on many other platforms.
Security Features: The standard platform allows everything from advanced membership designations to email verification and audit trails.
Plugins and Widgets: Almost everything you need is built into the main site. Each module is fairly easy to customize, and tends to produce reliable functionality.
Theme Support: You can find some startup themes with the initial installation, but will need a custom programmer to develop others for the platform. Depending on your needs, this can be quite expensive, since you will need to find a C# programmer that has also worked with Kentico specific code. Since the program is closed source, you should only rely on certified vendors for this task.
Ease of Customization: Fairly easy for most web designers.
Ease of Use: Dashboard and content addition features are very easy to use.
Other Notes: Kentico is an ideal platform for medium sized businesses that expect to evolve to larger sizes. You can always add forums, message boards, blogs, and other functions without having to create major overhauls to your main site. As an added bonus, Kentico comes with an excellent training and certification program. Therefore, when you hire a programmer to work on your site, you can always rely on dedicated people that will do the job right.
Basic Features: fully integrated blogging, forum management and robust sales tools. You will also have access to a number of tools to create dynamic content that is easy to replicate across different domains. Ektron is ideal for high traffic websites that require advanced database loading and other features to ensure real time propagation of sensitive content.
Security Features: Email verification, advanced membership hierarchies, and a wide range of tools to prevent hijacking and unauthorized alterations to site content.
Plugins and Widgets: Most plugins required for advanced marketing and web statistics are free and already included in the main package. You can also hire programmers to create custom scripts to either modify or create new scripts for other purposes.
Theme Support: You can choose from a number of themes available in each package, or ask the developers to build custom templates on your behalf. Depending on the package selected, this service may be included in the base price.
Ease of Customization: Not as easy as open source platforms, but can still be done if you find the right programmer.
Ease of Use: Very easy to use once set up. The dashboard is easy to navigate and tools are all intuitive. Most find the dashboard as easy to use, if not easier than WordPress.
Other Notes: Even though Ektron is a bit on the expensive side, it offers a range of tools and service that tend to be harder to access on other platform. For example, the integrated wiki page makes it very easy to provide information about your company and products. You will also find dozens of features such as weather tracking and other tools that might hold some appeal for viewers in a specific geographic region. Unlike a number of open source tools, you will have to waste time guessing which plug-in or app will actually work, since all of the modules for Ektron are already tested and functional as a working whole.
Basic Features: Standard CMS platform features combined with a robust set of tools for affiliate marketers. In fact, this particular platform is favored by many in this field that require tools that go beyond those provided by WordPress. You will also find that DotNetNuke also offers plenty of sales, web tracking, and dynamic tools that can be used for just about any type of business site.
Security Features: offers full audit trail, membership hierarchy, email verification, and other tools designed to prevent unauthorized used and access to data on the server.
Plugins and Widgets: There are many plugins available for free that can be used for enhanced web statistic reporting, affiliate tracking, forum enhancement and other needs.
Theme Support: Although each installation comes with some basic themes, you may find that you need to purchase a custom theme for the sake of visual appeal and functionality.
Ease of Customization: fairly easy
Ease of Use: very easy to use.
Other Notes: This platform is favored by affiliate marketers as well as medium to large sized store based businesses, and offers an ideal “next step up” from free CMS systems.