As a small business owner, you realize that having a website can play a huge role in the success of your business. Thing is, if you don’t know much about building a website, the process can be overwhelming. For example, the foundation of your website is a content management system (CMS). What if you’ve never heard of a CMS? What if you don’t know which CMS to choose?
In this post, we’re going to discuss the top content management systems. Then, we’ll go over the pros and cons of each. Let’s get started.
What Is a Content Management System (CMS)?
A content management system, also known as CMS, is essentially what its name suggests. It’s a system that allows you to manage content, whether it’s text, images, or videos. CMSes give you the ability to create and modify content without the need for technical knowledge. You don’t need to know HTML or how to write code in order to build your website. All you need to do is choose your CMS, download a theme, publish your site, and start creating content.
Features of CMSes
Features vary from system to system, but core functions include:
- Easy content creation: CMSes let you create, edit, and publish content on your website with ease. CMSes usually have a user-friendly interface, which lets non-technical users publish content easier and faster.
- Revision features: Easily edit and update content before and after publishing. With revisions, you can track changes you make to files.
- Personalization: Choose between a wide range of paid and free themes. You have the option to download responsive and mobile-friendly themes for users on different devices.
- Superior security: Most CMSes have security features that help protect your website from cyber-attacks and data breaches. Some CMSes come with a content delivery network (CDN) to help prevent DDoS attacks. They also might include an SSL certificate and firewall for further security if you host your site on their platforms.
- Publishing: Allows you to use a template to create and modify content.
- Built-in SEO tools: Allow you to publish search engine optimized (SEO) content. Some CMSes help users with adding page titles and alt tags and avoiding duplicate content. CMS might also integrate with SEO tools like Bing Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console, and Google Analytics.
How to Choose the Best CMS to Build Your Website
There are many CMSes out there for people who want to avoid writing HTML and make content creation easy (most of us!).
Here are our top 4:
WordPress the largest CMS on the market, and powers over 34% of websites on the internet. WordPress is highly customizable, with many themes and plugins. It’s also a popular blogging platform, and for good reason. So if you blog professionally, then WordPress is likely an excellent choice.
- User-friendly (but requires a learning curve)
- SEO tools
- Social media integration
- Excellent security
- Update compatibility issues
- Certain themes might negatively impact site speed
- Better quality themes and plugins require payment
Weebly is easy to use and has lots of features and apps to help grow your site. It’s an all-inclusive web builder that has everything you need for a typical business site. Weebly is best suited for smaller businesses, especially if you’re just starting out. It’s also great for small online stores. While Weebly users won’t have as much control as they would in a more robust CMS like WordPress, they get the convenience of an all-inclusive platform.
- Easy customization
- Has a mobile app
- Free SEO support
- Customer support
- Responsive themes
- App Center
- Limited blogging tools
- Limited design flexibility
- Not great for international websites
- Limited SEO functions
- Potential for code bloat and slow sites
Wix is another great option for small businesses due to its in-house features, large app store, and SEO tools. It has an incredible website builder and over 800 templates to choose from. Its templates come with built-in features relevant to your industry. For example, a restaurant or hotel template would already have a booking feature included.
If you’re looking to build an eCommerce site or have a larger business, you might look elsewhere. Its eCommerce and CSS custom design features are limited. However, Wix is constantly working on the platform’s SEO tools and functions to be a useful CMS for any business.
- Intuitive user interface
- Flexible plans
- All-in-one solution
- Includes a built-in email marketing tool
- No unlimited plans
- Drag-and-drop designs may be too limiting
- Limited technical SEO features
- Outdated SEO tools
Squarespace is an easy-to-use CMS that allows you to choose a template, make a few tweaks, add some content, and go. It’s not the best for business owners who want to edit their web designs extensively. Squarespace is best for displaying portfolios. So if you’re an artist, designer, photographer or anyone who is trying to show off your work online, then Squarespace may be a good bet. Blogging in Squarespace is fine for most users, but if you’re a professional blogger, there are better options.
- Offers a two-week free trial
- Mobile app
- Comes with a large selection of site design templates
- 24/7 customer support
- Wide range of import tools for importing content from other platforms
- Comes with a built-in email marketing tool
- Editing and adding certain content can be difficult (i.e. adding new pages, setting up a new blog, editing design templates, etc.)
- Lack of advanced marketing tools
- No support for third-party apps, plugins, or extensions
- Score low page speed ratings
- Some limits to technical SEO capabilities
Small business CMS is all about choosing a solution that best meets your needs and delivering the best user experience (UX) possible. It doesn’t have to be complicated. We’ve done most of the work for you by listing the pros and cons of the most popular CMSes out there. Now it’s time to choose a CMS based on the features that matter most to you.
Want to get started on a website or need help with your site’s SEO? Let’s chat.