Content Management System

Top Content Management Systems (CMS) Compared 2018- Form and Structure

Top Content Management Systems (CMS) Compared 2018

top content management systems (CMS) compared 2018


Website Builders and top web content management systems (CMS) systems are often confused with each other. Easy to do since there is often no distinguishable line between them and the term is sometimes used interchangeably.

This article provides a thoughtful top content management systems (CMS) compared 2018 review of the top content management systems available. It provides information to help you choose the CMS that’s right for you.

Several of the CMSs are open source software products so they are free and the code is accessible to programmers and developers.

Each CMS review includes a product description, pros and cons, and cost information.

A top content management systems (CMS)  product functionality comparison chart is provided at the end of the post.

 

What Is A Content Management System (CMS)?


top content management systems (CMS) compared 2018

The difference between website builders and content management systems (CMS) is often difficult to understand.

The top content management systems extend the functions that website builders provide with authoring, collaboration, and management tools to create and manage website content, especially eCommerce content.

Simply stated, a CMS helps organize and optimize content.

Some website building platforms provide CMS tools.

Some CMS platforms manage content but don’t include website templates and content development (blogging).

In business applications, a top content management systems (CMS) software can extend online reach, improve search engine rankings, unify communications to customers, and manage customer orders and online payment processing.

This top content management systems (CMS) compared 2018 article provides information to help you understand the functionality and cost differences of the most popular products..

 

  1. Best all-inclusive CMS with theme templates: Squarespace
  2. Best easy to use CMS: LightCMS
  3. Best technical CMS: Drupal
  4. Best feature rich CMS: Joomla

 

Squarespace – An All-in One Solution

Squarespace is an all-inclusive content management system with integrated website builder, blogging platform, hosting service, eCommerce platform, and domain name registrar.

Squarespace FactsSquarespace logo

  • Product Name: Squarespace
  • Cost: 2 levels for each of 2 categories
    • Websites: $12 per month billed annually ($16 month to month) and $18 billed annually ($26 month to month )
    • Online Stores: $26 per month billed annually ($30 month to month) and $40 per month billed annually ($46 month to month)
  • Creator: Anthony Casalena
  • Headquarters: New York City, New York
  • Website URL: https://www.squarespace.com
  • Product Tutorials: Yes
  • Website Domains: Find, Register, and Manage Domains
  • Website Building, Management, and Hosting: Yes
  • Content Developer: Yes
  • User Support: How to articles, Guides, Videos, Webinars, Forum, email, Live Chat
  • Online Business Training: No
  • Keyword/Nice Research Tool: No
  • Recommended: Yes

  • Best looking templates available
  • Good eCommerce tools
  • Knowledge Base with video training and guides
  • Powerful website-building tools and options
  • Selling capabilities including digital downloads

cons-graphic

  • Fewer and more-restrictive templates than the competition
  • Cannot host your own website
  • No free trial
  • More expensive than competitors
  • Lack of 3rd party apps and extensions

Summary: Squarespace is unique in the content management space. It competes well with the all-inclusive website builders. Squarespace has fewer and more-restrictive templates that the other web-site builders but has the best looking templates. Squarespace is recommended and should be considered with WIX and Weebly as a worthy option.

LightCMS – Not Too Technical


LightCMS is a “light” content management system with limited features when compared to other more technical solutions.

It provides blogging, eCommerce, and analytics tools. Light CMS’s drag & drop content editor and form builder make it quick and easy to use.

LightCMS provides a full suite of website development tools including blog, text, image, product listing, forms, and invitation communication features.

LightCMS is different because it is geared towards website designers and developers who want to quickly deploy manageable websites for multiple customers.

LightCMS Facts

  • Product Name: LightCMSLightCMS logo
  • Cost: 5 levels from Personal $9.99 per month with 10 pages to Unlimited at $99 per month
  • Creator: Justin Cowan
  • Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Website URL: https://www.lightcms.com
  • Product Tutorials: Yes
  • Website Domains: Find, Register, and Manage Domains
  • Website Building, Management, and Hosting: Yes
  • User Support: User guide, Developer support
  • Online Business Training: No
  • Keyword/Nice Research Tool: No
  • Content Developer: Yes
  • Recommended: Yes

  • Easy to use
  • Many templates available
  • Automatic and free upgrades
  • Online shopping cart and store functionality built-in

cons-graphic

  • Lacks export option
  • Minimal advanced user features
  • Pricing based on number of products and pages on the site
  • Not open source

Summary: LightCMS is quick and easy to use and provides blog, eCommerce, and analytics tools. It provides two options for creating websites: by using a pre-built template or by creating your own template. Although there is a free trial option, using the platform is not free. This product is recommended and should be considered alongside Squarespace, WIX, and Weebly.

WordPress.org – Technical Skills Required


There are two WordPress sites: WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress.com is a blogging platform owned and hosted by a company named Automattic. In 2010 Window’s Live Spaces, Microsoft’s blogging service, partnered with WordPress.com for blogging services and is reviewed in the Blogging Platform review post.

WordPress.org is the focus of this review.

WordPress has its roots in a product called b2 or cafelog written by Michel Valdrighi.

WordPress is a very powerful and one of the most used blog products in the marketplace reportedly supporting more than 60 million websites.

WordPress is a standalone website content management product and is often bundled into other products for their writing and content manager tool.

WordPress has over 50,316 plugins available, each of which offers custom functions and features enabling users to tailor their sites to their specific needs.

WordPress does not provide an all-inclusive tiered pricing package. Themes, hosting, and plugins can all be additional costs making WordPress more expensive than other solutions.

WordPress.org Facts

  • Product Name: WordPress.orgWordPress.com logo
  • Cost: Free (open source software)
    • Pricing depends on size and scope of site and what you buy
    • Adding cost of themes, domain names, hosting, plugins etc. can greatly increase the cost
  • Creators: Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little
  • Headquarters: A decentralized company without physical headquarters
  • Website URL: https://wordpress.org
  • Product Tutorials: No
  • Website Domains: No
  • Website Building, Management, and Hosting: No
  • Content Developer: Yes
  • User Support: Documentation, Community-based Support Forums
  • Online Business Training: No
  • Recommended: No – technical knowledge is needed
    • Better approach – select an all-inclusive product that includes WordPress for its writing tool

  • 1,000s of free templates
  • Ability to switch templates
  • Drag & drop construction
  • 50,000 plus plugins
  • Completely customizable

cons-graphic

  • Requires time to learn for effective use
  • Can require use of developers to help
  • Hosting is not included
  • No WYSIWYG editor
  • Requires maintenance
  • Can be cost prohibitive

Summary: WordPress.org is an open source content management system. Because it provides only the content manager component the blog functionality, domain name, hosting, eCommerce tools, etc. need to be purchased separately. This product is recommended for those who are technical and have the time to learn how to effectively use the product.

Joomla – Feature Rich


Joomla is less developer-oriented that Drupal and has more complex site development capability than WordPress.org.

Joomla develops websites in a way that helps manage the content on the site quickly and easily.

The goal is to give the average person some advanced tools to use to create a website design which meets specific needs.

Joomla Facts

  • Product Name: JoomlaJoomla logo
  • Cost: Free (open source software)
    • Would need to by domain name and hosting from 3rd party provider(s)
  • Project Leader: Andrew Eddie
  • Headquarters: Unknown
  • Website URL: https://www.joomla.org
  • Product Tutorials: Yes
  • Website Domains: No
  • Website Building, Management, and Hosting: No
  • Content Developer: Yes
  • User Support: Issue Tracker, Documentation, Forum
  • Online Business Training: No
  • Keyword/Nice Research Tool: No
  • Recommended: No

  • Less developer-oriented than Drupal
  • User-friendly admin interface
  • Easy installation
  • Easy to edit

cons-graphic

  • Steep learning curve
  • Lacks SEO capabilities
  • Large websites can stress server resources

Summary: Joomla is an open source product that is more feature rich than WordPress.org and less technical than Drupal. It is not an all-inclusive solution as blog functionality, domain name, hosting, eCommerce tools, etc. need to be purchased separately. This product is recommended for those looking for advanced tools to create a website meeting specific design and management requirements.

Drupal – Developer Community Focused


If you’re like me you want to know the origin of this product’s name.

Drupal is an English rendering of the Dutch word druppel, which means “drop” (as in a water droplet) and came from the now-defunct Drop.org website, whose code evolved into Drupal.

The site was supposed to be named “drop” (Dutch for “village”) for its community aspects but the word was mistyped and the originator thought the error sounded better.

Drupal is a unique community site that extends into real life including face-to-face events.

Drupal offers a lot of functionality that in other products require plugins and is favored among those with advanced technical knowledge.

Drupal Facts

  • Product Name: DrupalDrupal logo
  • Cost: Free (open source software)
    • Would need to by domain name and hosting from 3rd party provider(s)
  • Creator: Dries Buytaert
  • Headquarters: Portland, Oregon
  • Website URL: https://www.drupal.org
  • Product Tutorials: No
  • Website Domains: No
  • Website Building, Management, and Hosting: No
  • Content Developer: Yes
  • User Support: Forums, Issue Queues, Community Documentation
  • Online Business Training: No
  • Keyword/Nice Research Tool: No
  • Recommended: No

  • Supports a variety of content types
  • Powerful administration interface
  • Installing add-ons is easy
  • Most powerful content manager

cons-graphic

  • Steeper learning curve than other products
  • Doesn’t include a rich text editor in its out-of-the-box content-creation screens
  • Formatting is done in HTML
  • May not be backward compatible with other software

Summary: Drupal is an open source product and community. It is not an all-inclusive solution as blog functionality, domain name, hosting, eCommerce tools, etc. need to be purchased separately. Drupal has a lot of functionality that other products require plugins to provide. This product has a steep learning curve and is recommended for people with good technical skills.

 

Content Management Systems (CMS) Feature Comparison
FEATURESSquarespaceLightCMSWordPress.orgJoomlaDrupal
URLhttps://www.squarespace.comhttps://www.lightcms.comhttps://wordpress.orghttps://www.joomla.comhttps://www.drupal.org
   PriceWebsites: Personal $12 pm/billed yearly $16 pm
Business: $18 pm/billed yearly $26 pm
Online Stores: Basic $26 pm/billed yearly $30 pm
Advanced $40 pm/billed yearly $46 pm       
Personal: $19 pm
Standard $29 pm
Premium: $49 pm
Professional: $69
Unlimited: $99 pm
FreeFreeFree
Product Tutorials✔✔✔✔
Website Domains✔✔
Website Building, Management, & Hosting✔✔✔
Content Developer✔✔✔
Keyword/Niche Research Tool
Online Business Training
User SupportHow to articles, Guides, Videos, Webinars, Forum, email, Live ChatUser guide, Developer supportDocumentation, Community-based Support ForumsIssue Tracker, Documentation, ForumForums, Issue Queues, Community Documentation
   OtherCompetes well with top website builder productsAdvanced users can bypass built-in CMS website editor and go to the code and create custom websites with HTML, CSS, and JavaScriptOpen Source                 Need to buy Domain Name, hosting, SSL certificate, etc. Open Source              Video Training $5/1 month, $24/6 months, $44/12 months                          Need to buy Domain Name, hosting, etc. Open Source                  Need to buy Domain Name, hosting, etc. 
RecommendedYesYesNoNoNo

 

      

What Do I Recommend?


Web content management systems software helps get information published on the Internet curated and managed.          What Do I Recommend

Some top content management systems (CMS) products include websites and support eCommerce out-of-the-box while others do not.

The first task in how to choose a top content management system is to identify your content management needs and your level of technical expertise.

Top content management systems (CMS) compared 2018 has provided information to help you choose from the product that best meets your needs, technical expertise, and budget. For me, another product provided the functions and training I needed to be successful online.

 

To read about my #1 recommended product click here.

 

What do you think of Top Content Management Systems (CMS) products?
Leave any comments, questions, or concerns in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you soon!

 

 

The opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and are based on a combination of personal experience, published product reviews and users’ ratings.

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