What CMS is the best choice for you?

This article is purely for explaining the advantages and disadvantages of using some of the most popular CMS choices out there.

WordPress

In this section, we are referring to WordPress.org, not WordPress.com.

WordPress is the most popular CMS by a wide margin, it holds 64.9% of the CMS market share and powers 41% of all websites on the internet.

Advantages

WordPress gives you the power to build any kind of website, single-page website, multi-page, eCommerce site, subscription site and more, you can even create learning environments. You do not need ANY coding knowledge whatsoever, all of the features are straightforward to learn and there are plenty of resources both on the WordPress website and on websites like YouTube and WPTavern.

If you are creating an eCommerce website, you do not need to give a single penny of your revenue to WordPress, WordPress is completely free and open-source and you are not tied in by a contract.

If WordPress alone is not sufficient, then there are thousands (and we mean THOUSANDS) of plugins online, both free and paid, and there is always going to be a plugin for the problem you are trying to solve. If in the rare case there isn’t a plugin for your specific need, you can use go into the directory of the WordPress website (you can do this through your hosting provider), then follow the steps below:

1. Search for the location of your WordPress folder
2. Go to wp-content > themes > *YOURTHEME* > functions.php
3. Place your custom PHP code into the functions.php file and save your changes

WordPress supports the XML format and also allows you to import/export content, so you can safely backup content and even transfer it from one WordPress website to another.

Disadvantages

The advantage of having the power to do almost anything on WordPress can seem daunting and can cause some to not know where to start. Also, the burden of selecting a domain, hosting provider, security and backups rests on the shoulders of the user and is not handled by anyone else.

Costs

WordPress itself does not incur any costs, it’s the setup and plugins that do. Registering a domain and setting up a hosting account will both incur costs and there is no way around this.

There are many free plugins but there are also paid plugins that will either charge a one-time cost or a monthly/yearly cost.

Joomla

Joomla holds 3.6% of the CMS market share and powering 1.9% of all websites, making it the 3rd most popular CMS. It is free, open-source, and chock-full with features. It is recognised as the ideal option for experienced website creators. Please see below for all of the advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

Joomla is great for developers and those who don’t have coding knowledge, editing is pretty easy. Joomla has a supportive community and a lot of flexibility, like WordPress, the possibilities are endless.

Disadvantages

Joomla is complex, even seasoned users can agree. Joomla isn’t as popular as WordPress and therefore it doesn’t have as big of a community, or anywhere near as many plugins, so you may experience more unsolvable issues that require actual development work (such as hiring a Joomla developer).

Costs

Joomla is completely free, the only costs are the domain, hosting account and premium plugins.

Drupal

Drupal is a free and open-source CMS just like Joomla/WordPress, and it even powers some of the most popular websites on the internet. Drupal is a great CMS choice for those looking to build large websites that hold vast amounts of data. Drupal holds 2.2% of the CMS market share and powers just over 1% of all websites.

Advantages

Editing content and adding plugins to your Drupal site is straightforward to do, and there is an open community that can offer support where it is needed.

Like WordPress, Drupal has a simple role management system where you can manage user permissions and set user roles.

Disadvantages

The site layout is not so easy, and it isn’t that friendly to beginners. And many Drupal websites have bespoke themes that can’t be found on an online marketplace.

Costs

Drupal is free and open-source and therefore the only costs incurred are the domain, hosting account and any premium themes/plugins you choose to add.

We will also reiterate that many Drupal websites use bespoke themes that can’t be found on an online marketplace and therefore can incur major costs.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the commercial version of WordPress.org and makes it easier for beginners to get their website set up and configured.

Advantages

WordPress.com is initially free and they handle the hosting, so users can get straight into their site and begin publishing content. WordPress.com comes pre-built with an analytics system and this can be viewed in the Dashboard of the backend of your website.

If your website ends up growing and you need to upgrade, WordPress.com makes it very easy to do so and there are 4 levels of plans (Personal, Premium, Business and eCommerce), which can be paid monthly or up-front annually.

If your website grows to such an extent that it would make more sense to use WordPress.org, then all you need to do is export ALL of your content into XML format and then set up a new WordPress.org site with the same domain and re-upload the content.

Disadvantages

You are quite limited with WordPress.com in comparison to WordPress.org; there aren’t as many plugins available, you aren’t able to add a domain unless you buy a plan, and even with the £27/month Business plan (£20/month if paid up-front annually), there are limited options for monetisation.

Costs

WordPress.com has 5 plans:

  • Free
  • Personal – £6/month (£3/month paid up-front annually)
  • Premium – £13/month (£7/month paid up-front annually)
  • Business – £27/month (£20/month paid up-front annually)
  • eCommerce – £47/month (£36/month paid up-front annually)

Conclusion

Our conclusion is that WordPress.org is the best CMS choice, it is the easiest to setup, the easiest to manage and it easily has the widest range of plugins and themes, as well as having a huge, open community.

We use WordPress ourselves to build websites, and if you use whatcms.org you can see that we even built this website using WordPress.

We offer website packages that you’ll find on the homepage starting from £495, and we can even create a bespoke package just for your business, you can call our office on 01329 535 002 or email [email protected] and we will be in-touch with you.

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