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Content Management Systems (CMS)
Best Content Management Systems (CMS)
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Content Management Systems (CMS) Overview
What is a CMS?
A content management system (CMS) is used to manage and deploy website content. Users can create, edit, and delete content from a site. Typically CMS software offers an interface that does not require HTML skills or other technical knowledge. Content managers and authors can make changes without the help of a developer. However, customizing the layout and site experience may still require some coding.
Users can rely on CMS software to run any of these types of sites:
Blogging platforms are essentially very basic, simple content management systems. More complex tools allow users to manage more structured content across a larger number of pages. They also offer more integrations and allow users to configure rules for personalization based on visitor site activity or demographic information. The most advanced content management systems are called digital experience management platforms.
CMS Features & Capabilities
The core purpose of CMS is to simplify content processes for non-technical people. Users can focus on creating, organizing, and delivering content instead of wrestling with code.
The most common CMS features and capabilities include:
WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor
Library of website themes
Content versioning and archiving
Mobile optimization & responsive design
Asset management (images, articles, etc.)
Page caching (or other features to speed delivery of content to the site)
Tools to tag content and create a taxonomy
E-commerce functionality (i.e., catalog, shopping cart, payment processing)
Community management (i.e., commenting, profiles)
Localization / regionalization with multi-lingual content
Other personalization options
User roles and permissions
Content management systems are usually priced based on a few factors. These include the number of users, volume of content, range of features, and whether it’s a subscription service or a lifetime license.
Some CMS options are open source, and therefore free. (However, these are usually less user-friendly for authors. Open source content management systems will likely require more HTML skills to format content and help from developers to deploy/update content.)
For lower-end options, prices can start as low as $5-$10 per month per user (MS SharePoint, for example). Other options include Wix ($5/mo.) and SquareSpace ($12./mo.) Premium packages for enterprise level CMS is typically available by request.
Content Management Products
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Progress Sitefinity is a content management and customer analytics platform. It supports content management, tailored marketing, multi-channel management, and ecommerce sites.
MindTouch is a customer experience management platform with content management and help authoring capabilities. Formerly known as MediaWiki, it is optimized for building knowledge bases for customer self-service and agent assistance purposes.
Wordpress is an open-source publishing platform popular with bloggers, and a content management system, known for its simplicity and modifiability. Websites may host their own blogging communities, controlling and moderating content from a single dashboard.
Drupal is a free, open-source content management system written in PHP that competes primarily with Joomla and Plone. The standard release of Drupal, known as Drupal core, contains basic features such as account and menu management, RSS feeds, page layout customization, and system administration.
Squarespace is a CMS platform that allows users to create a DIY blog, eCommerce store, and/or portfolio (visual art or music). Some Squarespace website and shop templates are industry or use case-specific, such as menu builders for restaurant sites.
ExpressionEngine is a content management system from EllisLab in 2002, a successor to pMachine Pro, a blogging system, which is written in object-oriented PHP and uses MySQL for data storage. ExpressionEngine is their flagship Content Delivery Platform.
Wix is a free, hosted website builder, designed to be user-friendly and customizable without requiring coding from the user. It is well-known for its eCommerce solution, which allows users to build an online store.
Joomla! is a free and open source content management system used to publish web content. Included features are page caching, RSS feeds, printable versions of pages, news flashes, blogs, polls, a search function, and support for language internationalization.
Cascade Server is a content management system from Hannon Hill. It is designed for decentralized web teams amd can be installed or hosted by Hannon Hill in the cloud. It includes access to a web marketing tool to allow content contributors to promote, measure, and optimize their web content.
Kentico is a web content management system for building websites, online stores, intranets, and Web 2.0 community sites. Kentico CMS uses ASP.NET and Microsoft SQL Server for development via its Portal Engine, using Visual Studio, or through Microsoft MVC.
Concrete5 is a free and open source, PHP built content management system for content on the web and also for intranets. It is optimized to support the creation of online magazines and newspapers.
Weebly, now from Square, is a basic content management system with blogging and eCommerce features. It can be utilized for building standard websites or specialized webpages for online stores.
Adobe Experience Manager is a combined web content management system and digital asset management system. The combined applications of Adobe Experience Manager Sites and Adobe Experience Manager Assets is offered by the vendor as an end-to-end solution for managing and delivering marketing content.
The Ektron Web Content Management System was a content management offering optimized for web that is now discontinued. Its creator, Ektron, merged with Episerver in 2015 and operates under the Episerver name.
SiteCore Web Content Management is an enterprise-grade CMS competing with Oracle WebCenter, IBM Web Content Manager, and Adobe. Features include drag-and-drop page building, a WYSIWYG editor, multi-channel support, .NET optimization, and integrations with third party software.
Adobe Business Catalyst is an all-in-one cloud-hosted system for building and managing web content and online stores. It has a built-in CRM framework in addition to sales, service, and marketing features including eCommerce and Email Marketing tools. It is scheduled to be shutdown in 2021.
Acquia Platform is a digital experience and content management platform that supports Drupal-based development tools, hosting services, site building, and marketing automation.
SDL Tridion Sites is a web content management system designed for global enterprises. It is available as an on-premises, hybrid, or fully managed cloud solution with capabilities such as translation and localization management.
Episerver CMS is a web content management system and digital marketing suite. It is designed to enable editors with drag-and-drop content. It is optimized for supporting ecommerce, digital content, and marketing campaigns.
Plone is a free and open source content management system built on top of the Zope application server. Plone can be used for any kind of website, including blogs, internet sites, webshops, and internal websites.
Jahia is a Java-based enterprise content management system. It features an integrated user portal, web publishing and content management, document management, collaboration, and multi-channel publishing.
Movable Type is a Perl-based content management system from Six Apart, featuring the capability to host multiple weblogs and standalone content pages, manage files and user roles, templates, tags, categories, and trackback links.
Clickability is a content management system acquired by Upland Software in 2013 which provides a SaaS platform for web content creation, management, publishing, analytics, digital marketing, and online publishing for marketers and enterprises.
Evoq Content is a content management system within the Evoq business suite. Evoq Content is extensible with many modules that add caching, advanced content approval workflow, granular permissions, document management, mobile accessibility of content, web farm support, and an ecommerce engine.