Best Content Management Systems (CMS)75A content management system (CMS, or alternately WCMS for "web content management system") is a system used to manage the content of a Web site. Typically, a CMS consists of two elements: the content management application (CMA) and the content delivery application (CDA). The CMA element allows the content manager or author, who may not know Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), to manage the creation, modification, and removal of content from a Web site without needing the expertise of a Webmaster. The CDA element uses and compiles that information to update the Web site.Hoodin1 Story6 Inc.10 Content and Experience Cloud11 WEM14 CMS15 Software16

Content Management Systems (CMS)

Best Content Management Systems (CMS)

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Content Management Systems (CMS) Overview

What is a Content Management System?

A content management system (CMS) is used to manage and deploy website content. With a content management system, 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:

  • Blogs

  • News sites

  • Ecommerce sites

  • Corporate websites

  • Intranets

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. These content management systems also offer more integrations and allow users to configure rules for personalization based on visitor site activity or demographic information. The most advanced CMS software options are called digital experience management platforms.

CMS Features & Capabilities

The core purpose of CMS software 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 features and capabilities of a good content management system include:

  • WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor

  • Page templates

  • Library of website themes

  • Content versioning and archiving

  • Mobile optimization & responsive design

  • Publishing workflow

  • Form generation

  • Content scheduling

  • Asset management (images, articles, etc.)

  • Page caching (or other features to speed delivery of content to the site)

  • SEO support

  • Tools to tag content and create a taxonomy

  • Browser compatibility

  • Bulk management

  • 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

  • API

  • Analytics tools

  • Import/export content

Pricing Information

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.

There are some free content management systems that are open source. (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.) Many of these content management system options include free versions either with limited features or for a limited time. Premium packages for enterprise level CMS are typically available by request.

Content Management Products

Listings (101-116 of 116)

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Omni Observer is a content monitoring tool from Hoodin. When the management of information and insights from the outside world are of the utmost importance, Omni Observer allows users to monitor various types of digital content to create reports, and provides users with the most relevant external in…

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Elevio's knowledge platform is designed to intelligently deliver contextual content to customers. Elevio acts as a 24/7 automated support team, intelligently delivering in-app help to the right customer at the right time, and actively deflecting incoming support tickets. Elevio uses data to help con…

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Prismic ( is a headless API-driven content management system (CMS), from the company of the same name headquartered in San Francisco.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

OverDRIVE is designed for organisations using G Suite in both business and education. It makes workspaces and sites, transforming Drive and other G Suite content into web pages automatically. OverDRIVE can be used to build custom sites of any shape and size, with no need to upload and publish docum…

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Live Story is a smart content management system that aggregates existing and user generated content. Live Story editorializes it and make the content live and shoppable. The vendor states their design-forward approach seamlessly integrates into digital platforms, and is easy to use, easy to customiz…

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

The vendor says Plate allows users to launch and manage websites and portals secure, cloud-based, in less time - and at less cost. They state its features are:More Speed More websites? Plate will gladly take users further. In order to grow quickly and in a controlled way. Less slow, with a fast time…

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Strapi enables content-rich experiences to be created, managed and exposed to any digital product, channel or device. The vendor provides that it is self-hosted, 100% Javascript, headless, and state that they're committed to keeping it community first and open-source.Strapi is vendor-agnostic, it is…

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Sanity from the company of the same name in San Francisco is a platform for structured content that comes with an open-source editing environment called Sanity Studio that users can customize with JavaScript and a real-time hosted data store.

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Boxmode is a new website builder that offers a set of tools for online project, big or small. Users can obtain an online presence, ranging from promotional landing pages to comprehensive business websites and online stores. The vendor boasts its ease of use, a variety of embedded assets, and useful …

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Scrivito is presented by the vendor as a next-generation content management solution that supports enterprises in building measurable success across multiple digital channels. They state it will provides users with a powerful, flexible, future-proof foundation for a business’ digital products, where…

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Bold is described by Quintype as the CMS that understands content. Bold separates the presentation of the content from the content itself. This makes it easier to create, curate and distribute content for modern consumption across different screens and screen-less voice devices. With a content workf…

13 Ratings

OpenText's Web Experience Management is part of the Customer Experience suite and is based on the Vignette product that OpenText acquired in 2009.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

DynamicWeb is an all-in-one marketing, ecommerce, and content management platform from Dynamicweb Software in Denmark. It is meant to integrate with existing ERP, CRM, or SharePoint to create a comprehensive and simplified solution for small to medium-sized businesses.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

MadCap Software, headquartered in La Jolla, offers MadCap Flare, a help authoring and technical writing tool featuring onboarding and support from MadCap, and a set of modules for designing advanced guides, aids, and web or application help aids.

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2020

2020 Top Rated Content Management Systems (CMS)

There are plenty of options out there, but here's our shortlist of the best Content Management Systems (CMS). These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. To qualify, a product must have 10 or more recent reviews and a trScore of 7.5 or higher, indicating above-average satisfaction for business technology. The products with the highest trScores appear first on the list. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does content management system (CMS) software do?

Content management systems (CMS) give users the tools to create, manage, and deploy website content. Common use cases for CMS platforms include running and maintaining organization intranets, blogs, news websites, corporate websites, and ecommerce websites.

What are the main features included in CMS platforms?

Most CMS platforms include basic website creation and content management features. These include: a WYSIWYG editor, web page layout templates and themes, content versioning and archiving, a publishing workflow, content scheduler/calendar, content tagging tools, and mobile optimization capabilities. More advanced CMS platforms may include more features aimed at managing content with complex structures across multiple webpages.

Can I use CMS to build an ecommerce website?

Yes, CMS products can be used to build an ecommerce website and manage site content (e.g. product catalog, product descriptions, images, etc..). If you’re planning on using your CMS to build and run an online store, here are a few must-have features:

  • WYSIWYG editor
  • Publishing tools
  • Admin controls
  • SEO marketing tools
  • Deep website customization capabilities
  • Social media & email marketing integrations
  • A/B testing capabilities
  • Analytics and reporting metrics

How much does CMS software cost?

The cost of a CMS solution typically depends on a few key factors: range of features needed, number of users, and whether the product has a one-time license fee or a recurring subscription fee. Prices for subscription-based CMS products can vary between $5/user/month and $30/user/month. Some vendors don’t include prices on their websites but will provide a quote on request.