When it comes to website development, small businesses hold an advantage over their larger peers.
Not encumbered by a need for every bell and whistle, and often working within a tight budget, small businesses can choose from a variety of content management systems that provide simple, easy-to-use website templates.
The CMS you choose can depend on your budget as well as your end goal for the website. Some businesses want simple sites that make adding and changing content as easy as possible. Others may want more sophisticated systems that offer the ability to create and change many different aspects of a website whenever and however you want
The five companies below offer some of the most popular types of CMS options, ranging from the widely used WordPress to the lesser-known, but more sophisticated, Drupal. Read on to learn some of the basic pros and cons that can help you make a decision on which of the top CMS platforms to use for your website.
WordPress stands out as the most popular CMS. Once just for blogs, WordPress quickly grew into a comprehensive content management system that offers a wealth of design and usability options. Also, you don’t have to know any coding to make changes.
- A proven performer used by millions
- An interface that makes publishing and content management a snap
- The ability to handle a large number of web applications
- A large database of themes and designs as well as a large community of web developers
- WordPress frequently updates software and requires you to do so to have the latest version
- Time-consuming to make big changes to the site
- Security concerns for novice users due to WordPress being a large target for hackers, bots and similar.
Many businesses on a tight budget turn to Wix, a simplified content management platform that proves much easier to use, but offers less, than more complicated systems such as WordPress. Using the Wix templates, publishing content mostly comes down to a simple click, drag and drop.
- Extremely simple to use
- Cost effective
- Wix utilizes HTML5 and AJAX, allowing you to make a diverse number of changes while keeping certain elements static, optimize your site for mobile and use animation
- Not much room for growth, making it an ideal choice for small businesses but perhaps not ones that wish to grow larger
- Inability to port your website to other CMS platforms easily
Small businesses often look to Squarespace because it offers a professional look at a modest price. While not as many businesses use this CMS – an estimated 1.8 million – Squarespace still offers a solid return on investment for smaller businesses. And it has beautifully designed templates for those looking for a more upscale look to their site.
- Professional, clean, appealing designs to their templates
- A style editor included in the system
- Simple publishing features
- All templates are responsive, meaning they will fit the screen size of whatever device a user employs
- Easy to customize all aspects of design without knowing any coding
- Styling options can become a bit overwhelming for those not used to web design
Another good choice for small businesses, Joomla! offers templates compatible with mobile. About 50 million websites around the world already make use of the versatile CMS. Joomla! offers 64 different languages for use and full access to upgrades.
- Mobile friendly
- A strong community of tech support
- Framework written entirely in PHP, the most common scripting language
- Simple and ready to use from day one
- Not suitable for those who want to build complex sites without developer support
- Might experience slow loading speeds because Joomla! depends on a large number of server resources
Drupal often is the choice for web developers, a more advanced content management system that features more than 31,000 extensions (called modules by Drupal). Many consider Drupal as having the most sophisticated interfaces available for a CMS, making it a good choice both for large companies and smaller business who want to be more ambitious with their sites.
- Whether you want a simple or complex website, Drupal offers the functionality to get it done
- Tons of support on the Drupal communities
- Drupal offers an open-source platform that allows you to create and install your own plugins
- Perhaps more complicated than needed for many small businesses
- Recommended to leverage a web developer or agency vs. the DIY type
These are just some of the many options you have as a small business owner looking at the top CMS platforms for your site. Make sure to thoroughly check out all your options and make an informed choice. Thanks to companies like the ones listed above, successfully creating and running your own website has become far easier than ever.