11 Best and Most Popular CMS Platforms in (2023)

most popular cms

What CMS platform should you choose for developing your website, do you question?

Without knowing any programming language, you may simply establish a website using a CMS (Content Management System) platform (at least for the majority of them). There are many CMS solutions available, therefore picking the ideal CMS for your needs may be difficult.

We’ll discuss why selecting the ideal CMS platform for your website is so essential in this article. Together with contrast, we’re going to also list the best CMS platform recommendations.

What is a CMS Platform?

A CMS platform is an application of software that makes it simple to handle content and build websites.

To create web pages, developers typically use programming languages like HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. If you were interested in building a website without using a CMS platform, you’d need to develop these languages and write a lot of code.

By enabling you to create a website without writing code or understanding programming, CMS solutions address this issue.

How to Select the Correct CMS Platform for Your Website

Which CMS platform would you choose given the wide variety available? Here are the qualities a top-notch CMS should have before we get to our comparison of CMS platforms.

Ease of use

A CMS that makes it simple for you to modify and produce content is what you desire. To add various features to your pages, you frequently need a drag-and-drop interface.

You should be able to quickly and easily edit the material on your website once it has been published.

Design options

There should be a wide selection of website design templates available in your CMS software. Additionally, it should make it simple for you to modify those designs to meet your needs (preferably without using any code).

Data portability

You should be able to smoothly transfer your data from a superb CMS platform and relocate it somewhere else.

For example, you might later decide to select a different platform or hosting provider. Your capacity of moving around freely is made easier by data availability.

Extensions and addons

There are variations among websites. Because of this, no CMS platform can offer all the capabilities that would satisfy the needs of every website.

That issue is resolved by plugins and extensions. These are independent programs that you may simply put on your CMS software to increase its functionality and add additional capabilities as necessary. 

Help and support options

Even though CMS platforms strive for making website creation as simple as feasible, you could still have some questions. If you get into trouble, find out what assistance and support are available.

Most CMS companies will only offer a few FAQs and a severely slow customer service team. Some will have a sizable supportive network that is there to assist you whenever you need it.

How much does it cost?

There are some CMS that are totally free. Others require a monthly payment. You’ll frequently have to pay for third-party extensions, designs, and/or web hosting services even with free CMS platforms.

Before selecting your CMS, try to learn as much as possible about its costs to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Let’s explore the top CMS platforms with these considerations in mind.

WordPress CMS.org

WordPress.org is the most effective CMS platform, in our opinion. It is the most widely used CMS software in the entire globe, and it underpins 43% of the overall websites on the world wide web.

It’s crucial to distinguish between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The free and open-source content management system (CMS), WordPress.org, was initially created for blogging but has since found utilization across a variety of websites and online retailers.A platform for hosting blogs is WordPress.com.

Note: On WPBeginner, we typically refer to WordPress.org when we discuss the platform. WordPress.com is mentioned when it is suitable.

Finding a reputable WordPress hosting provider is necessary if you want to host your WordPress website yourself.

Pros

  • It doesn’t call for any technical knowledge or coding expertise. It’s quite simple to design stunning pages for your website with the WordPress block editor.
  • You are completely free to monetize your website however you see fit.
  • WordPress offers over 10,000 themes and plugins, both paid and unpaid. These allow you to include a variety of practical additions to your website, such as photo galleries, contact forms, and more.

Cons

  • You will be in charge of handling issues like protection and backups in addition to setting up your hosting and domain name.
  • When you are first starting out, WordPress can often feel slightly overwhelming because it provides a lot of choices and versatility. For this reason, many new users of WordPress use drag-and-drop page builder plugins.

Pricing

WordPress itself is free to use. But you’ll require a domain name (about $9–$15 yearly) and a hosting package with a web server that supports WordPress (often starting at $7.99/month).

You can purchase WordPress hosting from Bluehost for just $2.75 per month, along with a free domain and a free SSL, due to a special offer we have with them.

Look out for our easy-to-follow guide on how to create a website when you require assistance getting your WordPress site up and running.

HubSpot CMS Hub

HubSpot CMS Hub is an entirely connected CMS created with marketers and business owners in consideration.

CMS Hub is a great option for developing businesses as well as large companies seeking a complete solution for handling their website because it operates on top of HubSpot’s CRM platform, which contains a variety of marketing automation, sales, service, and operations features.

Pros

  • The drag-and-drop editor, integrated SEO tools, and contacts attribution together make it simple to develop and optimize your web content using the HubSpot website builder, even if you’re a beginner with little to no technical knowledge.
  • Due to command line tools, adjustable theme options, and server functionality, programmers may alter resources more quickly.

Cons

  • There is a free trial available, but there isn’t a trial subscription.
  • The HubSpot CMS doesn’t have additional design features for e-commerce websites. The positive aspect is that WooCommerce and WordPress can both be easily integrated.

Pricing

There are three levels of CMS Hub: Starter, Professional, and Enterprise.

Every feature required to create a fully functional website is included in the Starter plan, which costs $25 per month. The higher levels are better suitable for creating more complex web-based applications with flexible customization and internal processes.

Many intelligent business owners construct their websites utilizing WordPress as the CMS platform with HubSpot’s free marketing tools.

Joomla CMS

Joomla is another well-liked, free to use, free CMS platform that offers a wide variety of templates and addons. Although you’ll require hosting and a domain name, using it is free. Our CMS market share analysis shows that Joomla powers the majority of websites (1.72%).

Like WordPress, it was first made available in 2005, thus it has been around for a while. With numerous capabilities, Joomla can be installed with only one click on various web hosting. It’s not a great option for beginners, but it’s a great CMS platform for programmers and seasoned website designers.

Pros

  • You have a tonne of flexibility and choice with Joomla. If you’re creating anything complex or custom, it’s a good option.
  • Even if you don’t intend to ever write a line of code, you may still utilize Joomla because it is very helpful for developers. Content editing is simple.
  • Similar to WordPress, Joomla is open source, and if you run into problems, there is a tonne of community assistance accessible.

Cons

  • In addition to its admirers, Joomla can be fairly challenging. You might need to work with a developer dependent on what you’re hoping to accomplish with it.
  • There are not a lot of choices for extra extensions. Joomla may disappoint you if you’re used to a CMS like WordPress, which includes thousands of free themes and plugins that enhance the basic capabilities.
  • When you have several distinct extensions and plugins set up there can be some issues with compatibility.

Pricing

Although a domain name and web hosting which supports Joomla are not free, Joomla itself is. Given that they offer specialized Joomla hosting plans with a wealth of useful features, SiteGround is a suitable choice in this case.

You might have to spend money on some addons to give your website extra features. Depending on what you desire to accomplish, you could possibly require a budget for hiring a developer.

WooCommerce CMS

WooCommerce is the most widely utilized eCommerce platform. It is quite manageable and versatile.

From a technical standpoint, WooCommerce is not a platform for a CMS. WooCommerce functions as a plugin on WordPress, therefore you need to have WordPress set up on the site for you to set up it.

However, if it were a CMS platform, W3Techs estimates that it would own 5.8% of the market. The proportion of all websites in the entire globe which utilize it is that.

Pros

  • Getting started with WooCommerce requires hosting and a domain, even though it’s offered as free software.
  • With so many WooCommerce themes available, customizing the appearance of your website is really simple.
  • Utilizing WooCommerce, you may offer both physical and digital goods. With affiliate links, you may additionally offer affiliate products.
  • WooCommerce allows you to completely handle your inventory, making it simple to keep track of what you have on-site.

Cons

  • WooCommerce offers a tonne of choices, which can be confusing if you’ve never set up a website before.
  • Although WooCommerce technically operates with every WordPress theme, for the best assistance, you may want to continue with themes designed for WooCommerce.

Pricing

Although the WooCommerce plugin is free, other plugins and extensions for your online store could cost money.A domain name and a hosting account are additional costs. Due to the fact that they will set up WooCommerce and the Storefront Theme for your website, SiteGround, and Bluehost are excellent web hosts to choose.

Drupal CMS

Drupal is a different open source CMS system. This CMS powers notable websites like The Economist’s website and several university websites.

For developers or those who can afford a developer, Drupal is an excellent alternative. It’s especially beneficial if you want to create a fully customized website that can manage a lot of data.

On SiteGround, you may host a Drupal website. Additionally to helping you move a current Drupal site, they provide installation for free.

Pros:

  • Drupal makes adding content simple. There are many options and flexibility in the custom content kinds.
  • Community support channels offer assistance, much like other well-known systems such as Joomla and WordPress.
  • With an integrated system that allows you to establish new roles and define their rights, user management is simple.

Cons:

  • It can be challenging to understand how to modify your site’s design or add new features when using Drupal. It surely isn’t as user-friendly for beginners as WordPress.
  • Developers use significantly customized themes, which can be very expensive, on the majority of Drupal websites.

Wix

Wix is a well-liked CMS platform, however, it has certain drawbacks. Because every shrewd business owner is aware that WordPress is unquestionably superior to Wix, we frequently receive questions from visitors about how to make the conversion from Wix to WordPress.

Having said that, Wix is user-friendly for beginners and may be a good option. It also provides a free plan.

Pros

  • It’s really simple to design sites that appear exactly as you would like them to with Wix’s drag-and-drop system. Any area of your page can be chosen and edited.
  • In Wix, there are several pre-made templates to pick from. They’re completely responsive and look fantastic on both computers and mobile devices.

Cons

  • On Wix, you cannot switch to another template after making your selection. 
  • Only the premium plan on Wix allows you to establish an eCommerce store, restricting payment acceptance to PayPal or Authorize.net.
  • If you use the trial version, your website will contain Wix-branded advertisements and a domain name. Wix makes money from the adverts, not you.

Pricing

If you don’t mind having Wix-branded domain names and adverts on your website, you may utilize Wix for free. The premium plans start at $13 per month (paid upfront annually) and provide greater adaptability.

If you’d like to accept payments online, you must pay at least $23 each month (again, upfront per year).

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a one-stop system that is an entirely hosted eCommerce platform. If you’re a newbie, getting started is simple.

BigCommerce offers the CMS platform itself in addition to hosting your website. It also takes care of backups and protection for you.

Pros

  • With BigCommerce, you can accept payments in a variety of methods. Customers have the option of paying using credit or debit cards or digital wallets like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay.
  • You can contact BigCommerce assistance options at any time through your dashboard. They involve community support, live chat, email, phone assistance, and more.

Cons

  • Compared to WooCommerce, BigCommerce doesn’t allow you a lot of control over your store. The limited themes and integrations available might discourage you from utilizing a third-party solution to expand your business.
  • The system will promote you to the next phase of the price plan whenever your annual sales exceed a particular amount. You can find this challenging if you have a lot of bills.

Pricing

BigCommerce requires a monthly subscription fee, making it less affordable than other alternative solutions. Considering all of the options, paying yearly in advance rather than on a monthly basis can help you save some money.

For sales of up to $50,000 per year, the Standard pricing plan’s lowest rate is $29.95 per month. The Pro plan, which costs $249.85 per month and covers up to $400k in sales, is the most expensive. After this, you’ll need to purchase a unique Enterprise plan…

Shopify

Shopify is a different hosted, a one-stop CMS platform. There is no need for you to purchase hosting, set up any software, or handle backups and upgrades.

It has a straightforward drag-and-drop user interface. If you operate both an online and a physical business, it allows in-store sales, which is fantastic.

Pros

  • With Shopify Payments, the built-in payment system of Shopify, you may accept credit and debit cards. One of Shopify’s default payment processors is also PayPal.
  • For Shopify, there are numerous extensions and themes accessible. You may add a variety of capabilities to your online store by purchasing third-party Shopify apps.
  • There’s no requirement to upgrade if your sales exceed a set monetary threshold, unlike with BigCommerce.
  • There is also an enormous amount of documentation accessible, like online forums and written and video lessons on how to do things.

Cons

  • Especially if you wish to add numerous third-party apps to your shop, your charges may end up being rather substantial.
  • You might discover that there’s functionality you’d like to add but it’s just not there: Compared to items like WordPress plugins, Shopify’s apps are less flexible.

Pricing

BigCommerce and Shopify provide equivalent price categories. However, there is one significant distinction. Shopify won’t force you to upgrade to the next plan if your sales fall below a particular threshold.

The smallest package costs $29 per month. The most expensive plan has a monthly fee of $299 and includes additional services. You save money when you purchase a year in advance.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is WordPress’s hosted, for-profit version. It is simple to mistake it for the open source, self-hosted WordPress found at WordPress.org.

You can acquire a hosted, a one-stop CMS platform with WordPress.com. Use a paid domain name or a complimentary subdomain that bears the WordPress.com branding.

Pros

  • It’s simple to get started with WordPress.com. The CMS is simple to use for beginners and allows for simple content addition and editing.
  • WordPress.com offers absolutely free website creation. For those interested in using their own domain name, it’s advisable to opt for at least the most affordable option.
  • You can choose from a variety of themes (designs) for your WordPress.com website. Changing between these is simple on your WordPress.com dashboard.
  • If you choose to move to a more robust and adaptable CMS in the future, switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org is rather simple.

Cons

  • Even with their business model, WordPress.com only has a few revenue alternatives.
  • In spite of their business model, WordPress.com only has a few revenue alternatives.
  • For a WordPress.com site, you may use plugins, but there aren’t as many options as there are for WordPress.org.
  • You don’t have as much power over your website as you would if you were using WordPress.org.

Pricing

There is a free WordPress.com plan available, but you must select one from their paying packages if you would like your own domain name (and to prevent WordPress from placing advertisements on your website).

The most affordable plan costs $48/year ($4/month), but you can upgrade to more expensive ones, such the $540/year ($45/month) eCommerce package for online retailers. WordPress VIP packages are available that offer additional functionality in addition to this.

Ghost

Ghost is a CMS platform made with bloggers in mind. It may sound strange to hear it called a “headless CMS,” but you’ll hear that description a lot. Simply said, this indicates that the CMS platform does not mandate a particular method of content delivery.

In other words, you could deliver the information you create to a mobile app, a website, or something entirely different.However, you need not be concerned if you are not a developer or if you only intend to use Ghost for blogging.

Pros

  • When using the Ghost editor, you can write in Markdown. In order to format text using markdown, you must add special characters surrounding words to make them bold, italic, etc.
  • The content editor in Ghost employs playing cards. These function somewhat similarly to WordPress blocks in the block editor.
  • Ghost has excellent SEO (search engine optimisation) support. To deliver this, no further plugins are required.
  • Ghost perfectly suits charging for content, enabling the easy establishment of an online publication or magazine that customers pay for.

Cons

  • WordPress provides more power and flexibility than Ghost offers.
  • While Ghost began as a CMS platform created specifically for blogging, some users believe it has grown too complex because it now includes features like paid memberships for your site’s visitors.

Pricing

Even though Ghost is a free program, you’ll still need to pay for a domain name and site hosting. There aren’t as many web hosts supporting Ghost as there are for larger CMS platforms.

Ghost(Pro) offers hosting for Ghost. The entry-level subscription is $36 per month, but if you’d like more staff members or subscribers, you’ll require an improve, which might cost you up to $249 per month.

Magento

Magento is a potent open source eCommerce platform developed by the enormous software firm Adobe. It’s Open Source is a free version that you may download and set up on your own web hosting account.

The simplest way to get started using this would be using  SiteGround hosting.

You have the option to purchase it if you’d like. Despite being hosted for you and coming with complete support, the cost proves prohibitive.

Pros

  • You may add more functionality to using the many third-party extensions that are readily accessible.
  • You may manage numerous goods and customers. It enables easy business expansion without causing your website to load slowly. (Your hosting package will probably need to be upgraded, though.)
  • Various payment gateways can be connected. Additionally, it has several built-in choices, such as PayPal, cash on delivery, and bank transfer.

Cons

  • Starting out in eCommerce may feel overwhelming.
  • Finding competent to developers can be challenging, and hiring them can be highly expensive.
  • If you utilise in Open Source and rely on online forums for assistance, the degree of assistance provided may vary.

Pricing

Costs are high. It’s so expensive, in fact, that the website doesn’t even provide a price.

Prices start at about $22,000 per year, which is beyond the means of many start-up enterprises. But it might be a choice to take into account if your established firm needs a strong eCommerce CMS platform.

But a lot of bigger retailers are switching to WooCommerce, Shopify, or BigCommerce.