Content Management Systems (CMS)

Best Content Management Systems (CMS) include:

Crownpeak DXM, WordPress, Wix, Joomla!, and MS SharePoint.

Content Management Systems (CMS) TrustMap

TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on trScore and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 30 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.

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

(1-25 of 119) Sorted by Most Reviews

1 ratings
1 reviews
Pegboard is an Australian company and its CMS product is aimed primarily at SMBs and agencies.
eZ Platform
3 ratings
1 reviews
ezPlatform, formerly ezPublish is a content management solution from eZ Systems. The vendor says their solution provides organizations with the technology and framework to build a suite of digital experiences including news and media sites, brand sites, multichannel apps and the Internet of Things, …
2 ratings
1 reviews
AtomicWriter helps users create original content optimized to maximize visibility for content marketing campaigns.
Bitrix Site Manager
4 ratings
1 reviews
Bitrix is an SMB content management system. In February 2015, sale of Bitrix SiteManager was discontinued, though support and upgrades for existing installations can still be obtained.
Squiz Matrix
2 ratings
1 reviews
Squiz Matrix is is an open source content management system from Squiz, an Australian software company. It is part of the Squiz Suite. Squiz Matrix combines CMS, search, web analytics, and other integration tools.
Percussion CMS
3 ratings
1 reviews
Percussion Software's content management system is used by higher education, government agencies, and business organizations - SMB to Enterprise. Marketers use Percussion CMS to create, publish, and share multi-channel content.
1 ratings
1 reviews
Amaxus is a commercial PHP-based content management system from Box UK, an agile software developer and consulting company. It provides an enterprise-level web content management system used by large brand and agencies. It is known for a focus on usability.
2 ratings
1 reviews
NVU is an open source web authoring tool for Linux, Windows, and Mac. It is designed to allow users to create web pages and manage a website with no technical expertise or knowledge of HTML.
2 ratings
1 reviews
LightCMS, from NetSuite, is a cloud-based content management system for building websites and eCommerce storefronts. It is designed to be used by individuals, non-profits, and small to medium-sized businesses.
1 ratings
1 reviews
The vendor presents OnSemble as more than an employee intranet that keeps everyone connected – but as a digital workplace that makes employees feel valued. OnSemble is designed to keep remote teams engaged, and acts as the culture champion for the organization. With no programming experience necessa…
1 ratings
1 reviews
GatherContent headquartered in London offers their content operations, collaboration and governance platform for enterprises.
Bloomreach Experience Manager (formerly Hippo)
7 ratings
1 reviews
Bloomreach Experience Manager (formerly Hippo) is an open-source Java based content management system, available under the ASL 2.0, though many modules are only available under a commercial license. The product was acquired by BloomReach in late 2016 and is offered and maintained by BloomReach.
Acoustic Content (formerly IBM Watson Content Hub)
5 ratings
1 reviews
Acoustic Content (formerly Watson Content Hub) gives business owners the power to create, robust and consistent brand experiences using cloud-based, cognitive content management capabilities. Marketing and merchandising professionals can quickly select content to create relevant offers delivered acr…
Planiro is a portfolio management solution built around features such as collaboration, measuring team efficiency, and customizable workflows.
FirstSpirit CMS
FirstSpirit CMS is a Java-based content management system now in its fifth major release, from E-Spirit, a global company.
pTools Web Content Management
pTools Web Content Management software delivers intranet, extranet and Internet solutions for critical business initiatives. pTools combines ease-of-use for non-technical personnel, coupled with rich feature functionality and expert implementation services. pTools is built upon the .Net framework te…
Atex WebCMS
Atex is a provider of content and commercial software for the global media industry that has existed since the 1970s. Presently Atex's Content Management Solution, formerly called Polopoly CMS (acquired in 2008), provides cloud-based or on-premise solutions to media companies worldwide.
cmScribe from Netreach is a browser-based content management system that lets the user easily edit and manage highly dynamic websites without knowledge of HTML or complex code.
uCoz is free web hosting from the Russian company of the same name, containing a built-in content management system. The modules of the uCoz CMS can be used together to build a fully featured website, or separately, e.g. as an online shopping platform, blog, webforum etc.
Contegro Website CMS
Contegro CMS is a content management system form the New Zealand-based company of the same name. It is developed on the ASP.NET framework and Microsoft SQL Server database, and is offered in both a cloud-based and on-premise edition.
Escenic is a content management system from the global company Escenic (headquartered in Olso, Norway) which combines digital asset management with multi-channel delivery, extensibility and flexibility, and social media elements.
Invantive Composition for Word
Invantive Composition for Word is designed to address the issue of generating complex documents with data from a database or application. This tool also addresses the need to meet laws and regulations required by users such as health care institutions, insurers and lawyers. Invantive Composition fo…
dotCMS is a Java open-source content management system for companies that demand performance in web operations and content management. With dotCMS, companies can create value and deliver dynamic user experiences across multiple channels. The solution is built on open standards: JSON, XML, REST, Spri…
OrchestraCM is a content management solution that has been built on the Salesforce platform. The vendor's value proposition is that its solution, combined with the power of Salesforce provides the best of content and brand management.
OpenText WEM
13 ratings
0 reviews
OpenText's Web Experience Management is part of the Customer Experience suite and is based on the Vignette product that OpenText acquired in 2009.

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.