Whether you are setting up your first website, or want to completely redesign it from the ground up, you may be asking yourself “which CMS should I use?”
This is an important decision, and something you should research thoroughly before choosing.
We’ve taken a look at some of the most popular CMSs available to businesses.
What is a CMS?
A CMS, or Content Management System, is a platform whereby you can upload, manage and publish content onto the web. They enable you to create professional looking sites often without having to use coding.
This is great news if you don’t know your HTML from your Python as through these CMS platforms you don’t need to study up on the latest coding language to create your ideal site.
When deciding which platform to choose you want a CMS that is suitable for your sector but more importantly you want one which is:
- Easy to upload new content
- Has the ability for multiple user profiles
- Simple to create professional looking content without needing in depth tech knowledge
- Provides simple, easy navigation for your consumers visiting the site
- A variety of design options to enable creativity
- Data portability- so that you can move and export data elsewhere when needed
- Extensions and add ons – these are important for adding a variety of different features to your site such as forms, polls etc
Which CMS should I use?
When it comes to choosing a CMS, most platforms will provide the services you need to create the site you want; but each one has its own features and additions that set it apart.
We will cover some of the most popular CMS to show you the differences.
If you have written a blog or created a site before, you will no doubt have heard of WordPress. This is the world’s most popular CMS.
With over 27 million sites live worldwide this CMS has almost 50% market share making it the most successful platform out there.
- It is free to download and use – with restrictions
- Offers thousands of professional designs, themes and plug-ins
- SEO friendly features
- User and consumer friendly
- Ecommerce compatible
- Although it is user friendly it can take some time to learn how to use the platform
- You’ll need to set up your own hosting and domain name and you will be responsible for security and back up
- Due to its popularity, WordPress can be a hotspot for hackers so unless you keep your platform and plug-ins updated your security could be weakened and open to a cyber attack
Unlike WordPress which is largely for more ‘brochure site’ requirements, Magento is an ecommerce CMS, which offers businesses a dedicated platform for selling products.
There is both a free and paid version of this depending on your requirements.
- Highly customisable with a lot of 3rd party extensions you can add to your site
- Allows you to manage a variety of different products and services on one platform
- Extensive suite of SEO features to help drive traffic to your site
- Multiple payment gateways can be added allowing for flexibility in payment methods (especially useful for B2B ecommerce)
- Prices can get very expensive especially for the premium and enterprise packages
- Developers who specialise in Magento can be difficult to find and they are often expensive due to this
- Support for this platform can be sparse especially on the Open Source version meaning you need to lean on forums for help
- The platform can be overwhelming for businesses just starting out and cost a lot of money due to the complexity of the platform
Joomla is another free to use open source platform which is fully adaptable for any requirement whether it is as an ecommerce store or simple website.
- There are plenty of extensions available to add to your site in order to make it into an ecommerce store
- Easy to edit content and you needn’t know a line of code to do this
- Provides advanced user management options
- Ability to add multilingual function to site
- Flexible platform, allowing you to create the site you want with a variety of options and customisations
- Even though you don’t need a degree in programming to use it, Joomla can still be quite complex at first
- Compatibility issues can arise if you have lots of different plug-ins and extensions installed
- The range of extensions are limited when compared to a CMS such as WordPress
Shopify is an all in one CMS platform, meaning you don’t need to buy a hosting or domain name separately. You also don’t need to worry about security and backups as these are all built in.
As you probably guessed from the name this is a CMS very much geared to ecommerce solutions and stores.
- Shopify enables you to accept debit/credit card payments through your ecommerce store. You can also add PayPal as an additional method for flexibility
- Unlike other ecommerce CMS you don’t need to upgrade your plan if you make over a certain amount of money in sales
- Shopify offers 24/7 support over live chat, email, phone and Twitter meaning you can ask for help at any time. There is also a lot of supporting documentation such as how-to guides on their site
- Large range of extensions and add-ons to add to your store and the ability to install 3rd party apps to add new features to your site
- Overall costs can be pricy especially once you start racking up the price of 3rd party applications as well
- Although Shopify have a range of extensions, they are still limited, especially if you are used to WordPress’s range.
Drupal is another open source CMS, just like WordPress and Joomla, and is the CMS behind some big titles such as The Economist along with a variety of university’s sites.
As this is not an all in one, hosting and domain name is not included in this CMS.
- Easy to add content
- Variety of different modules which can be added to your site (acts like WordPress’ plug-ins)
- Similar to other CMS, there is plenty of community support through the forums
- Simple, effective user management system
- This CMS was built for web developers so although anyone can use it, it can be difficult and time consuming to learn
- If you want to amend or alter one of the custom design templates a developer would be required due to complexity of task
- Not a beginner friendly CMS
OroCommerce is a CMS for B2B ecommerce. Earlier on in the year we became OroCommerce’s 1st UK partner, and we are proud to be able to offer to this to our clients.
This B2B ecommerce platform gives you full control allowing you to sell a range of products across any sector with the ability to customise your store to make it look how you want it to.
- Full user management system
- Customisable workflows and customer profiles
- Supports multiple price lists
- Customisable product catalogues so different customers can see different products
- Custom reports, making monitoring of supply chain and sales easy and efficient
- Also has the option of a CRM add-on to keep track of customer and reseller records
- Free and premium packages available
- Limited extensions currently available
- Limited development support due to this being a reasonably recent platform compared to others
There are so many other CMS out there with different functionalities and abilities, but these are some of the main ones to consider when setting up your ecommerce site.
What we recommend
What makes the best CMS will vary for each individual organisation’s needs.
If you require something easy to use and maintain, WordPress represents an excellent option, however, it may not be suitable for more complex, ecommerce requirements.
For ecommerce businesses, both Magento and Shopify represent good options depending on your requirements and level of complexity.
For enterprise businesses looking for a dedicated B2B ecommerce platform, designed specifically for the challenges faced by large-scale organisations, then you can look no further than OroCommerce, an out of the box B2B ecommerce platform which possesses a comprehensive set of features that fit any B2B commerce model.
How we can help
There are multiple things to consider when it comes to developing your website. As an experienced website development agency, we will help navigate you around the complexities – from integrations to design, and beyond.
If you are looking for support in setting this up or if you need some extra help in the design or developing of your platform we are here to help.
We have a strong team of developers, designers and content writers who are here to support you in building up your brand and provide you with a professional looking platform to promote your company and products. From SEO to web design we can help you in all aspects of marketing
Contact us today to find out how we can help you to produce a high quality professional ecommerce platform.