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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. Show moreWhat 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.Show less

How was this ranking made?

In order to devise this ranking of best Content Management Software we have analyzed 252 trending solutions currently available on the market, analyzing their features, ease-of-use, client service, offered integrations and mobile support using our unique SmartScoreTM rating system. This list has been developed by Louie Andre, our B2B expert responsible for the Content Management Software category.

List of Top 13 Content Management Software

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1. monday.com

Our score: 9.1 User satisfaction: 99%

An industry-leading collaboration app for on-site and remote work teams. This leverages tools such as Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and workflow automations to help teams handle any type of project. It also seamlessly integrates with third-party apps to ensure easier adoption and extend its capabilities.

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2. HubSpot

Our score: 9.0 User satisfaction: 99%

HubSpot is an award-winning software platform that offers marketing, sales, and CRM tools to help you grow your company by forging more authentic relationships with your customers. As an all-in-one marketing platform, it also serves as an efficient content management software.

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3. Unicheck

Our score: 8.4 User satisfaction: 100%

Powerful plagiarism checker tool that comes with an intuitive interface for ease of use and advanced plagiarism technologies to help identify similarities and achieve authenticity. It is ideal for all types of users and comes in different pricing packages suitable for personal and business use as well as for academic and research purposes.

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4. WordPress

Our score: 9.2 User satisfaction: N/A

WordPress is a leading open-source content management and blogging system with an interface that doesn't require HTML or FTP knowledge. It is a content management app that started as a simple blogging tool but moved fast towards providing fully functional CMS options through plugins, widgets, and themes.

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5. Squarespace

Our score: 9.0 User satisfaction: 96%

Squarespace is an awesome platform for individuals and small businesses that want to venture into online selling. It is a DIY website builder solution that allows you to create attractive and engaging websites. With an array of features and easy-to-use tools, it helps SMEs and individuals build an online presence.

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6. Acquia

Our score: 9.1 User satisfaction: N/A

Acquia is a software app that helps you to manage content, innovate, and grow your digital experiences to get a transformed business as the final result. It provides a cloud-based platform where you can build, deliver, and optimize digital experience for your customers.

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7. Drupal

Our score: 9.1 User satisfaction: 97%

Drupal is an open-source CMS and web development platform. With the many features and functionalities of Drupal, amazing things can be created. Furthermore, it is an application development framework that compels the developers to use a common, structured approach that leads to a modular, interoperable code with a common interface.

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8. Sitecore

Our score: 9.0 User satisfaction: 99%

Sitecore is a software platform you can use to turn things around with context marketing, and display attractive content to build solid customer relationships. It is a content management solution combined with customer experience management. With the help of Sitecore, users can control the overall customer experience throughout their websites and apps.

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9. Brightcove

Our score: 8.9 User satisfaction: 94%

Brightcove is a video content management solution designed to maximize the engagement and conversion rates of your videos. It does not only help businesses deliver video content effectively, but also monetize those videos across a vast selection of devices and platforms. Brightcove is priced by quote, meaning that users are only supposed to pay for functionalities they genuinely need.

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10. Joomla!

Our score: 8.7 User satisfaction: 99%

A free, open-source content management system (CMS) software designed to help both novice and expert web developers build websites. It provides thousands of free templates and extensions that empower web developers to create websites that fit their specific needs. Joomla! is mobile-friendly, search-engine optimized, and multilingual (supports over 70 languages).

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11. M-Files

Our score: 8.8 User satisfaction: 100%

M-Files is built to help you share and manage all important corporate documents. With it, you can streamline information management, organization, and tracking. Highly-suited for small and large companies in various sectors, the system hosts a slew of features that are bound to benefit any organization.

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12. Solodev

Our score: 7.9 User satisfaction: 100%

A web experience platform for developers, creatives, and marketers of various organizations and companies; providing them with the capability to create and manage content.

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13. Pyro CMS

Our score: 8.7 User satisfaction: N/A

With Pyro CMS in place Content management becomes simpler and more enjoyable.

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Content Management Software Guide

Table of contents

Content management tools cover all online programs and platforms 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 distinct advantages of content management tools is that they contain database repositories where content is stored with all relevant information the system may require.

Content management software do more than manage and store your content. They are also designed to help you create content. Furthermore, depending on the type of content management software you use, they let you develop different types of content.

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Even if the concept of managing content online is relatively new, there is a vast multitude of content management software providers that 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.

A good course of action is to sign up for at least a few free trials or demo 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 comparison of the capabilities of each app. The sensible thing to do is to try the list of services that currently have the highest SmartScore rankings and Customer Satisfaction Rating in the best content management software category: WordPress reviews, SharePoint, Joomla, Drupal, Acquia, Ingeniux, Episerver, Concrete5, and ocPortal.

A free trial gives you a hands-on experience as to what a content management software has to offer. While product reviews give you a list of a software’s features and unbiased insights on its functionalities, a free trial allows you to see the features and benefits for yourself. This can help you decide which content management software suits your needs.

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 prove helpful to any kind of business. As long as you deal with any type of content, market products and services, and/or manage a website, you’d find that a good content management software is a vital investment.

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.

Furthermore, enterprises would find that content management software are not just for managing content itself. This kind of software also helps users create and maintain websites easily even if they don’t know much about coding.

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

Our content management software reviews show that these 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.

To know which type of content management software to get for your organization, you should first assess your needs. By having a good grasp of your business and team’s requirements, it will be easier for you to choose the right content management software.

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.

Content management software features vary from system to system. However, the features listed above are those that are common among them. You can expect to find these features in the content management software that you choose along with others that are unique to the system.

Benefits of content management software

Our in-depth comparisons show that 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.

When chosen carefully, content management software can effectively solve your content management concerns. Utilizing the right software for your needs allow you to maximize its features and benefit from it the most.

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.
  • The impact of artificial intelligence. AI is everywhere and it has also reached the content management realm. Aside from considering AI as a means to help automate different aspects of content management, content managers should also ensure that their AI-powered tools are also supplied with user-friendly content that promotes human experience.

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.
  • Limited usability. Most content management software come with robust sets of features and they often already offer the basic tools one could ever need to manage content effectively. However, the reality is that you will still be limited by what your choice of software would allow you to do within the system.

Best Practices for Content Management

Every business deals with different forms of content. Systems such as content management software can significantly help you store, control, and track your content. But to fully maximize your software’s potential and further streamline content management, it will also help to apply these best practices:

  • Focus on a single content management software. By checking out reviews and subscribing to free trials or demos, you’ll be able to find the right CMS for your needs. When you do, standardize your content management efforts using that particular software.
  • Create a single source of truth for content. If you currently have multiple content silos, try consolidating them. Make sure you remove duplicates and update old content as well.
  • Opt for cloud-based CMS. If possible and applicable, consider a cloud-based content management software solution. In general, they help reduce time and money spent on content management.
  • Perform regular CMS health checks. From time to time, analyze your CMS implementation. Look for potential challenges and issues so you can work out solutions with your team.

Choosing the Right Content Management Software (CMS)

Now that you know the benefits you can get from using content management software and the features you can expect to find in one, the next step is to find the right one for your needs. It’s a given that digesting product reviews and leveraging free trials are a must. But to make your search more fruitful, you should take the time to consider several things. Doing so will help you look at a CMS in a way that is in accordance with your requirements. 

Furthermore, you should also evaluate your own technical capabilities. For instance, what do you already know about content management? Does the CMS you’re currently looking at support what you know? Finding a CMS that you can implement easily without a lot of training could prove helpful if you need to get started immediately.

List of Content Management Software Companies

Order by:

Newest
  • Newest
  • Score
  • User Score
Product name:
Category:
Smart Score:
Price:
User Satisf.
User reviews:
Netvisual reviews

Netvisual

Content Management Software
8.0
By quote
100%
MagicBox reviews

MagicBox

Content Management Software
8.0
By quote
100%
Marketpath reviews

Marketpath

Content Management Software
8.0
$49
94%
Cirasync reviews

Cirasync

Content Management Software
8.0
$1
95%
dirico.io reviews

dirico.io

Content Management Software
8.0
720€
92%
Smartwcm reviews

Smartwcm

Content Management Software
8.0
By quote
100%
MadCap AMS reviews

MadCap AMS

Content Management Software
8.3
$249
-
MadCap Flare reviews

MadCap Flare

Content Management Software
8.3
$1799
-
Keeeb Collections reviews

Keeeb Collections

Content Management Software
7.3
By quote
100%
ImageRight reviews

ImageRight

Content Management Software
8.7
By quote
-
Somatic reviews

Somatic

Content Management Software
6.3
$49
-
Strapi reviews

Strapi

Content Management Software
8.7
Free
-
Content Snare reviews

Content Snare

Content Management Software
7.7
$24
94%
Zesty.io reviews

Zesty.io

Content Management Software
8.0
By quote
-
Plone reviews

Plone

Content Management Software
8.3
Free
-

Things to consider when you invest in a SaaS

Infrastructure plays a key role in a SaaS solution. If there is an outage, you would not be able to access the service. So, you should pay good attention to the program’s infrastructure when evaluating SaaS vendors.

Many firms fail to ask their shortlisted SaaS vendors questions about disaster recovery, service level agreements (SLAs), and security. These are crucial infrastructure elements that need careful consideration when analyzing a vendor.

SaaS is straightforward to subscribe to. All you need to do is go the website and buy a suitable plan for the required number of users. For this reason, many organizations pay attention only to the rate of the software and not to infrastructure considerations. They may also think that careful evaluation is not needed since it is so easy to get started quickly.

But you need to be prepared for situations as such as the SaaS vendor going out of business or their website going down. You need to have contingency measures in place to tackle these situations to make sure they do not have a deleterious effect on your firm. It is simple to subscribe to a SaaS system, but think about the impact on your enterprise if the platform is withdrawn by the provider.

Frequently asked questions about Content Management Software

What is the best content management software?

Based on reviews and user satisfaction scores, the best content management software is WordPress. This open-source CMS started as a simple blogging app but quickly developed into a full-featured content management platform. With robust plugins, widgets, and other features, WordPress powers many websites today.

What are the benefits of content management software?

There are several benefits to using a CMS. While user experience may vary depending on the type of software they use, these are the common benefits you may enjoy:

  • Most CMS solutions today are designed to be user-friendly, so they can be used even by beginners.
  • Content management tools can support team collaboration as multiple authorized users can access it.
  • These platforms enhance and streamline website maintenance.
  • They help you update content faster and easier.
  • They give you full control of your content.
What are the features of content management software?

The exact features of content management software vary depending on the CMS you use. However, there are functionalities common among CMS, including the following:

  • User-friendly interface and navigation
  • Robust publishing tools
  • Built-in SEO features
  • Content archiving
  • Permission hierarchies
  • Multi-platform compatibility
  • Content templates
  • Powerful plugins and widgets
  • Content search
What is the easiest content management software to use?

The easiest content management software to use is Joomla!. It is built on a powerful but lightweight PHP framework that allows users and developers to easily create and manage websites. It comes with templates that are very easy to customize. What’s more, you can also find a wealth of instructional Joomla! documentation and videos that make training a breeze.

What is a good free content management software?

A good free content management software to check out is Drupal. It is an open-source content management platform that empowers many of today’s websites and apps. Drupal encourages developers to create an integrated platform that can be used for training, communication, publication, and even e-commerce.

Louie Andre

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. From pitch deck to exit strategy, he is no stranger to project business hiccups and essentials. He has been involved in a few internet startups including a digital route planner for a triple A affiliate. His advice to vendors and users alike? "Think of benefits, not features."

Updated

Why is FinancesOnline free? Why is FinancesOnline free?

FinancesOnline is available for free for all business professionals interested in an efficient way to find top-notch SaaS solutions. We are able to keep our service free of charge thanks to cooperation with some of the vendors, who are willing to pay us for traffic and sales opportunities provided by our website. Please note, that FinancesOnline lists all vendors, we’re not limited only to the ones that pay us, and all software providers have an equal opportunity to get featured in our rankings and comparisons, win awards, gather user reviews, all in our effort to give you reliable advice that will enable you to make well-informed purchase decisions.

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