What is Content Management Software?

Content Management Software (or CMS) is a group of tools and applications organizations use to create, modify, and publish digital content online. Most CMSs use web browsers to distribute content, while there are also such that offer their own web-based GUI, and invite users to create their own templates rather than using premade pages. What you should expect from a good CMS is a variety of publishing options, in-built text editors, filtering and indexing features, SEO and metadata functionality. Advanced CMSs may also please users with advanced extensions and plugins that make content more competitive. To make the choice easier for you, we collated top performers you should know about, headed by our current leader WordPress.

Most Popular Content Management Software

WordPress reviews
WordPress

Our Score 9.2

User Satisfaction 98%

WordPress is a leading free and open-source content management and blogging system with simple interface which doesn't require HTML or FTP knowledge. Read Reviews

HubSpot reviews
HubSpot

Our Score 9.0

User Satisfaction 99%

With HubSpot's marketing, sales, and CRM software, you can grow like a company twice your size while connecting like a real human being. Read Reviews

Box reviews
Box

Our Score 8.9

User Satisfaction 98%

Box is a file sharing service that enables secure collaboration from any device. Read Reviews

How To Choose The Best Content Management Software

Content management software is the universal name for all online systems and applications that enable authoring, sharing, and administration of web content, and are at the same time designed to serve large audiences because they don’t require knowledge of web programming and markup languages. More precisely, they administer how content will be structured and shared among teams, enabling them to make the most of it at a fraction of what they otherwise invest in creation and editing. One of the most distinctive advantages of these systems is that they contain database repositories where content is stored with all relevant information the system may require.

Even if the concept of managing content online is relatively new, there is a vast multitude of vendors which offer advanced features suite and uncompromised performance, and that makes choosing the best content management software a very challenging process. In order to make the process of discovering the best CMS software for small business a bit simpler, we’ve summarized a few relevant aspects in this buying guide.

Get to know each product with free trial

A good course of action is to sign up for at least a few free trials and basic unpaid plans from the vendors that are popular. With that method you will have the opportunity to test the important elements and you will get a good overview of the capabilities of each app. The sensible thing to do is to try the list of services that currently have the highest results in our SmartScore and Customer Satisfaction Rating in the best content management software category: WordPress reviews, SharePoint, Joomla, Drupal, Acquia, Ingeniux, Episerver, Concrete5, and ocPortal.

Targeted Businesses

Buying a content management system is a complex, multi-step process where the buyer has to consider multiple factors for arriving to a decision. The first thing to be done, however, is to determine the technology that can add near-term value to his business, and to understand the buying category he belongs to:

  • Small to medium websites aiming wider availability. This scenario is by far the simplest one, as the standard function required here to become well-known, and to share content continuously without having to manage all of it. The user profile includes brochure corporation sites, community-orientated sites, basic-to-no-interactivity sites, and employees intranets.
  • Medium websites that are starting to manage content. Medium stands for growing size and complexity, where numbers jump quite seamlessly from hundreds to thousands, and a CMS becomes more than essential for achieving the targeted business goals and interaction objectives. You do qualify as a potential buyer in this category if you’re running an interactive marketing website, a site that covers multiple microsites, or an enterprise wishing to provide an intranet for its employees.
  • Large and complex websites with collections of content. It is not difficult to guess: The more content there is, the more difficult it becomes to manage it, and without an appropriate system the company would soon get lost under thousands of pages and complex workflows that can’t be followed. That’s why content management system is highly recommended for large and multinational enterprises, in particular those accommodating governance structures, handling E-business revenue streams, running ultra-big standalone sites, or serving as global employee intranets.

Content Management Software For Enterprises

Content Management Systems are ideal for large, paper-intensive businesses, as they can eliminate the time-consuming burden of running external content databases, and save the means firms are currently investing in collaboration and communication. Once all relevant corporate data is gathered under one umbrella, it is instantly backed up, while the extensive audit trail and multiple version controls will make it fully searchable. The systems are often empowered with great routing, reporting, export/import tools, and CRM capabilities. Most of them are well-integrated and priced by quote, meaning that each company will receive a price specifically tailored to its needs and expectations.

What are Examples of Content Management Software?

  • WordPress: The world’s leading open-source and PHP written creation tool which makes content management easy and less time-consuming.
  • SharePoint: A combined, browser-based set of various content management, social networking, intranet, and extranet applications that simplifies user experience.
  • Joomla: A mobile-friendly and user-ready content management platform which you can use easily, and extend to suit the needs of your company.
  • Drupal: A well-known open source content management system used to improve digital experience. Due the fact that it is free, Drupal is one of the busiest content management platform for the time being.
  • Ingeniux: A modern ASP.NET web content management system, following the latest trends in content creation, and connecting business points with a solid feature set.

Types of Content Management Software

Content management systems differ significantly from each other, mostly because of the nature and amount of content that is being managed. Using this criterion, we rounded up three specific types of content management systems for you to choose from:

  • Enterprise content management systems. These systems are designed to handle the content, records, and assets of large companies using a predefined hierarchy framework. They usually contain more formal tools, and employ a wide range of complex processes and strategies for content management. As it can be concluded so far, they rank as the most expensive, but yet most powerful and streamlining content management tools.
  • Mobile content management systems.  The development of mobile technology led buyers to demand systems that can manage content on mobile devices. Originally, these systems were developed to serve the B2C (business to customer) industry, but it soon expanded both to the B2B (business to business) and B2E (business to employee) industries.
  • Component content management systems. This is a special type of content management tools which manages your content at a deeper and granular level, and organizes even the t portions of content. Here, no paragraph or sentence will be undermined, and each of them will be tracked in a separate workflow.

Key Features of Content Management Systems

A great web content management system should allow you to create, manage, and maintain content on a single platform, ideally allowing access to multiple users, securing information, and requiring fewer expenses than the expected ones. For the purpose, you should look for a system that contains the following set of features:

  • Flexibility. Managers should be able not only to create content, but to design and customize the way pages look and feel, and to develop their own strategy for attracting customers. In the best of all cases, they won’t need any technical or programming knowledge to do it.
  • Tools to look for: Individual permissions, Group Permissions, Roles, Versioning, Audit, RSS/XML Feeds, Support, Categories, Tags, Notifications.
  • Mobile-friendliness. Note that more and more visitors will be landing on your website from their mobile devices, so choose a system that has all tools and capabilities to provide a valuable desktop experience on a mobile screen.
  • Tools to look for: Android App; iOS App; Windows Mobile App.
  • Granular role permissions. Management capabilities and workflows, such as staging and approving content are essential for every website, large ones being the most concerned in the case. That’s why you should look for a content manager that prescribes who, when, and what needs to be done to create, edit, manage, or audit content. Sounds like a complex process, but that’s what the CMS is all about: to make things easier for you!
  • Tools to look for: Adding, Editing, and Deleting Pages Roles; Descriptions; Product Catalogues.
  • Premade templates. The templating capability of your web content manager is also a critical factor you should consider in order to avoid duplicate content, or a structural mess in the layouts.
  • Tools to look for: Duplication; Distribution.
  • Scalable performance. The pages of your website should load quickly, and their performance should keep its high quality for as long as the session is lasting.
  • Tools to look for: Additional Pages; URLs; Domains; Sub-Sites; Performance Support; Add Server Licenses.
  • Search filters and strong SEO. This is another compulsory feature for optimizing your website, allowing pages to rank as high as possible on all popular search engines.  At the same time, it is the feature that will help users discover you, or reach a page easily with something specific in mind.
  • Tools to look for: URL Control; Filtering; End-User Search Options; Highlighted Results; Custom page Re-directs.
  • Delivery and deployment. The rule here is quite simple: look for a content management system that is deployed either in cloud or on-premise when you want to host it on the local server.
  • Tools to look for: Cloud Model; On-Demand Model
  • Extensive support. Before choosing a web content management system, make sure you’ve researched vendors properly, and compared their offers to find the exact one that suits your need. At this early stage it will become visible which company is willing to help and back up its users, indicating that it will be there for you whenever you need it in future.
  • Tools to look for: Training; Online Tutorial; Technical Problem Coverage; Installations; Upgrades.

Benefits of content management software

Among the many, these are the essential benefits companies experience when working with a solid content management system:

  • Effective content management. You can use the online content manager to improve your website, or to build one from scratch. Its friendly and intuitive interface will allow you to manage content without efforts and knowledge, and it will make updates easy even for the least savvy users in your team. In fact, most cloud-based content managers will update your version automatically.
  • Protection against unintentional or unauthorized changes of content. Content management systems are not only creating, but safeguarding your content too. You can use their robust security features to prevent both unintentional and unauthorized updates of your content, and to make the website less vulnerable to hacker attacks and password compromises. One of the most prominent features to help you do this is assigning roles, meaning that the admin can decide the competence of each person that can access the content.
  • A faster website. Isn’t this the core idea of keeping visitors on board? Content managers optimize the way in which your pages are loading, and improve performance by distributing requests to all servers using web farms.
  • More traffic. Clean and well-organized content is your best bet for attracting customers, especially with a CMS that automates re-directs and manages advanced URLs to help you achieve that.
  • Lower expenses. Most popular content manages systems are free, while others offer reasonable prices and make the transition to a paid plan absolutely painless. You can observe this from any perspective you want, but using a content manager to distribute content will still be more affordable than trying to do it yourself.

Latest Trends

Content management software is developing so fast that experts often wonder if there is something more to be done in order to perfect it. In this section, we’re going to share some of the most prominent current trends, and invite you to think about how powerful CMSs are going to become in future:

  • Content management is slowly turning into content performance. CMS developers didn’t settle with making content management easy, and continued looking for methods enabling users to measure their performance. That’s how today’s content management systems use feedback to reveal information, and to help companies and website owners to follow trends and to improve.
  • E-Commerce differentiation. Content management systems are now using content-driven visitors’ experiences to differentiate a business, and to make it stand out of the crowd. The niche that is taking most advantage of this principle is E-Commerce companies which have never been this able to manage their catalogues, and to personalize sales.
  • Acquisition becomes Retention. Explained in plain English, content management systems are being used to upsell and retain customers, and to enhance loyalty. In future, the whole buying process will be focused on retention rather than acquisition.

Potential Issues

As helpful as they may be, content management systems are not perfect, and there are few downsides to consider that may confirm it:

  • Breaking the looks and feel of your entire websites. Yes, content management systems are powerful, but only when put in the right hands. There are many errors that could occur, such as disproportional imagery, lack of compression, incorrect preparation and formatting, inconsistent results, and many other bugs you only get to see once they’re online. As you can guess, this can be detrimental for your website’s reputation, so try to learn something about the system before jumping on the bandwagon.
  • Lack of updating resources. By resource, we refer to motivated employees trained to pay extra attention and to assume extra responsibility for managing content online. This is one of the hidden, concurrent expenses users rarely consider when buying a CMS.

List of Content Management Software Companies

Product name:
Category:
Smart
Score:
Price:
User
Satisf.
Support:
8.0
€19.99
100%
Tickets
8.3
by quote
97%
Phone
8.5
$29
100%
Live support
7.9
$49
96%
Training
8.5
by quote
92%
Live support
8.7
by quote
100%
Phone
8.6
by quote
100%
Email
8.4
$399
97%
Tickets
6.0
by quote
100%
Email
6.0
free
99%
Tickets
8.7
by quote
100%
Email


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Our Score Read More

Our website employs our innovative SmartScore™ mode to evaluate all the software in the Content Management Software category in orded to help you select the best possible software. It takes into consideration the following factors: core features, collaboration elements, custom elements, integrations with other services, how easy a software is to use and learn, customer support, security, mobility, general media ratings. As of now, WordPress is the leader in this category and is recommended by our experts. Following detailed examination it had the best results among its competitors and our reviewers strongly suggest that you include it as one of the solutions for your needs.

User Satisfaction Read More

A look at total user satisfaction with the software in our Content Management Software category calculated using our unique algorythm that gathers user reviews, comments and opinions across a broad set of social media sites in order to help you make an informed investment choice.

98%

97%

97%

96%

99%

99%

99%

98%

94%

98%

Pricing Read More

Each vendor in the Content Management Software category will offer a different set of pricing plans for its service and every package will include a unique group of elements. Below we list the general pricing for the cheapest plan available for each service. Keep in mind that advanced features may cost extra.

Devices Supported Read More

A summary of what type of devices and operating systems are supported by the listed B2B tools in the Content Management Software category, including mobile platforms and web-based solutions.

Windows

Linux

Android

iPhone/iPad

Mac

Web-based

Windows Mobile

Laguages Supported Read More

Find out what languages and geographies are served by the popular B2B services in the Content Management Software category, including solutions intended for international markets and created for multi-cultural groups of employees.

USA

UK

Canada

International

China

Germany

India

Japan

Spain

France

Russia

Italy

Dutch

Portugal

Polish

Turkish

Swedish

Pricing Model Read More

Examine which pricing packages are offered by the vendors in the Content Management Software category to see which one fits your business preferences and expenses best. Note that certain services can offer free or freemium accounts for you to try out first.

Free

Monthly payment

One-time payment

Annual Subscription

Quote-based

Customer Types Read More

An analysis of what types of customers a selected B2B service in the Content Management Software category provides for, from small businesses and non-profits to big enterprises.

Small Business

Large Enterprises

Medium Business

Freelancers

Deployment Read More

An overview of what styles of service deployement are offered by every B2B vendor in the Content Management Software category. Even though almost all modern SaaS solutions are cloud-hosted there are solutions may offer an on-site deployment model as well.

Cloud Hosted

On Premise

Open API