Top 10 content management systems

There are dozens of great CMSs out there. Regardless of what type of site you’re building, there’s probably one perfectly-suited to it.

The problem is that most designers and developers don’t want to spend time learning a bunch of different CMSs. They want to learn one, or maybe two, and use those for all of their sites. That means they need something that’s both flexible and powerful.

The CMSs below fit that bill pretty well. Some have practically become household names (in designer households, at least), while others are a bit more obscure.

The first three, WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal, are pretty unarguably the best CMSs out there. The next seven are a bit more subjective, but have a good combination of support, features, and ease-of-use.

Try them out, and decide for yourself which one best fits your needs and the needs of your clients.

 

WordPress

Free, PHP-based

A couple years ago, it was widely debated whether WordPress should really be considered a CMS considering its roots as a blogging platform. That debate has pretty much fallen by the wayside at this point, as WordPress now powers plenty of non-blog websites, including everything from simple multi-page brochure style sites right up to full-fledged social networks (using plugins like BuddyPress).

There are thousands of themes available for WordPress, as well as thousands of plugins and widgets to extend its functionality. WordPress also has an incredibly active community surrounding it, meaning it’s easy to find tutorials or information about nearly every aspect of developing for WP.

Through plugins and custom themes, you can turn WP into a social network, forum, e-commerce site, and much, much more. There’s also built-in functionality for creating blog networks or other multi-blog installations from a single core installation. WordPress.com offers a hosted, less-versatile version of WordPress, though the basic functionality is all there.

Strengths

  • Huge developer community with plenty of documentation and tutorials available
  • Free and paid plugins and specialized themes make it possible to create virtually any kind of site with WordPress
  • User-friendly dashboard for managing content

Weaknesses

  • Can be overkill for basic sites
  • A standard installation can have a lot of security issues, and is very vulnerable to attack without additional security measures
  • No official support outside of user forums, where you may or may not get an official response

 

Joomla!

Free, PHP-based

Joomla! is used by some very prominent companies as the CMS for their websites, including MTV, Harvard University, and IHOP. It’s suitable for back-end networks, too, and is used by Citibank for just that purpose. Joomla! has been used for everything from inventory control systems to reservation systems, to complex business directories, in addition to normal websites.

Joomla! has a long development history and a very active developer community (with over 200,000 users and contributors), so finding information and tutorials is easy. There are also tons of plugins and add-ons for Joomla!, so extending Joomla!’s functionality doesn’t necessarily require any custom coding.

While there are plenty of themes out there for Joomla!, the quality for many doesn’t compare to what’s available for WordPress. There are some great themes, available, though, if you’re willing to look for them.

Strengths

  • User authentication can be done with OpenID, Google, and LDAP, among others
  • More than 7000 extensions
  • Very active user community and tons of documentation available

Weaknesses

  • Back-end isn’t as user-friendly as some CMSs, though it’s still very usable
  • Lack of high-quality themes when compared to some other CMSs
  • Can be overkill for simple sites

 

Drupal

Free, PHP-based

Drupal is another very popular CMS, used by a number of high-profile companies including the New York Observer, Popular Science, MIT, Sony Music, Fast Company, and others. It includes a bunch of features for building internal and external sites, and a ton of tools for organizing your content.

Drupal has a very active community, with a number of IRC channels, forums, and even face-to-face Drupal events. There’s also community-generated documentation that is constantly being updated and improved. This documentation includes all you need to know about installation, building sites and modules, designing themes, and more.

There are more than 6,000 add-ons (“modules”) available for Drupal, making it easy to extend Drupal’s functionality to do just about anything you want. This means you can spend your time focusing on design and content, rather than having to code a bunch of complicated features.

Strengths

  • Robust community support, including IRC channels and face-to-face meetups
  • More than 6,000 modules, making Drupal highly extensible
  • A large number of companies offering commercial support for Drupal

Weaknesses

  • Can be overkill for simple sites
  • A lack of really high-quality free and commercial themes (there are some, but not nearly as many as there are for some CMSs)
  • Theming system is fairly complicated

 

ExpressionEngine

$99.95 to $299.95 depending on license, PHP-based

ExpressionEngine is an interested hybrid of commercial and open-source software. The base code for the ExpressionEngine core is built on CodeIgniter, which is their own open-source PHP framework. But the commercial aspect of the CMS means that there’s committed developers and technical support people focused solely on EE.

There are a ton of great websites built on ExpressionEngine, and they’ve set up a showcase site, Show-EE, specifically to share them. Some sites built on EE include A|X Life, the Canon Ixus site, and LivingSocial Adventures.

ExpressionEngine doesn’t have as many add-ons and plugins as many other CMSs, with only 22 add-on modules and a little over 100 official plugins. But, the plugins and add-ons they have are some of the most likely to be used, and include a wiki, discussion forum, member manager, mailing list, e-commerce, statistics, and more. There are also community plugins, if you can’t find what you need in the official plugins. The core feature set of EE is impressive, too.

Strengths

  • Commercial support
  • Focus on security, with no major security breaches ever
  • No restrictions on how a site can be designed

Weaknesses

  • Cost is high, especially for commercial sites
  • Can be overkill for simple or smaller sites
  • No interactive demo to try it out before you purchase

 

TextPattern

Free, PHP-based

TextPattern is probably one of the more overlooked CMSs out there. TextPattern is a highly flexible CMS, though, that’s easy to use out of the box and easy to customize by designers and developers. It uses a tagging system to make content retrieval and display easily controllable. TextPattern uses Textile to quickly convert plain text to valid XHTML in your articles and content, which makes it very user-friendly for less technical users.

TextPattern doesn’t have the huge variety of themes or templates available for WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla!, with only a little over 120 front-end themes readily available. They also offer back-end admin themes, for customizing the user experience for content creators.

There are nearly 700 plugins for TextPattern, and another 50+ mods. Plugin categories include image galleries, integrations, e-commerce, custom fields, archives, articles, admin features, navigation, and more. The mods and plugins available greatly increase the functionality of TextPattern and can make it a much more powerful CMS.

Strengths

  • Really easy to use interface
  • Well suited for sites of all sizes
  • Really great documentation, including a full online manual

Weaknesses

  • Smaller community
  • Fewer plugins than the more popular CMSs
  • Relatively few high-quality templates available

 

Contao (formerly TYPOlight)

Free, PHP-based

Contao has a user interface that incorporate Ajax and other Web 2.0 features to improve usability. It includes advanced editing features for content, including editing multiple records at once or rolling back to prior versions of content.

It also includes a number of common built-in modules. The calendar module supports multiple calendars, all-day and multi-day events, open-ended events, and syndication via RSS or Atom. The built-in newsletter module supports double opt-in emails in either HTML or plain text. You can import recipients from a CSV file, and even personalize newsletters being sent. The build-tin news/blog module includes support for multiple categories, archives, featured posts, comments, and RSS or Atom syndication. Tons of additional modules are also available, to further extend Contao’s functionality.

There are a few premium theme marketplace for Contao, though there appear to be even fewer free themes available. This isn’t really an issue for designers who plan to create all their sites from scratch (and Contao includes a built-in CSS framework to make this easier).

Strengths

  • No restrictions on how you can design a site
  • Not much learning curve for content editors and authors
  • Good built-in modules

Weaknesses

  • Hardly any themes available, high-quality or not
  • Back-end is sluggish and not particularly well-thought-out
  • Because of back-end setup, it’s probably better-suited to smaller sites without dozens or hundreds of pages

 

SilverStripe

Free, PHP-based

SilverStripe is an open source CMS that is well-suited for developers and designers who are comfortable with code. They have recipes and tutorials for beginning developers, and plenty of modules for things like blogs, forms, and forums. Code is isolated in Sapphire, so designers can use whatever HTML and CSS they want to style their sites. It also supports multiple page templates to support different needs.

SilverStripe also has powerful content authoring tools. You can set up your own content approval process, as well as publish or unpublish content on specific dates, and have differing permissions levels for different parts of the site. That can be very useful if you have multiple editors or authors who only need access to a specific part of the site.

SilverStripe has been downloaded over 350,000 times and there is a robust development community. SilverStripe LTD. manages the development of the code, so there’s always someone you can call on if you need help. At the same time, though, they have partners in over 30 countries, meaning you’re not locked into a single vendor like you are with many enterprise-level and commercial CMSs.

Strengths

  • Basic functions in the back-end are easy to perform
  • Designers are free to use HTML and CSS however they want to design their site
  • Developed on open standards, so it plays well with others

Weaknesses

  • Not everything is intuitive in the back-end, which increases the learning curve
  • Only a little over 150 extensions/modules
  • Not many high-quality themes available

 

Umbraco

Free, .NET-based

Umbraco gives designers full control over design aspects, and focuses on web-standards and a completely open template system. There are starter kits and skins available to make it faster to get started. It’s also easy to integrate Flash and Silverlight content into your Umbraco-based site. A number of high-profile sites are built on Umbraco, including the Heinz and ABBA sites.

On the content-creation side, Umbraco makes it easy to manage content by using a tree-based view of your site. It allows for user-defined presentation of information about your content, so you only see what you need to. It supports versioning, scheduled publishing, and previews. One advantage Umbraco has over many other CMSs is that it works well with content created in Microsoft Word, which can be a huge advantage to users who are used to dealing with Office products. (How many times have clients sent you documents with detailed Word formatting that they expected you to recreate perfectly?)

Umbraco has support for developers and designers to customize the back end with custom applications. It has an open API so that developers can easily access every aspect of Umbraco that can be accessed via the back-end. This opens up a ton of custom application options for developers.

Strengths

  • Free and paid tutorials and support
  • Powerful and flexible for both websites and intranets
  • An open API

Weaknesses

  • Primary add-ons are paid
  • No demo available to try before you download
  • Not really any prebuilt themes available for the front-end

 

concrete5

Free, PHP-based

concrete5 is not only a powerful CMS, but can also be used as a framework for developing web apps. Designing sites is easy, and can be done at a variety of levels. You can start with a theme and then override styles without touching the code. Or you can code your own themes with HTML and CSS. If you’re comfortable with PHP, you can use custom templates that can override the way any block looks.

One advantage concrete5 has over some other CMSs is the in-context editing. They’ve attempted to replicate the functionality of a word processor, while also making it simple to edit pages as you view them. It makes it very user-friendly for non-technical users, who may be the ones managing the site’s content.

According to the 2010 Open Source CMS Market Share Report, concrete5’s developer community is the fastest growing among any open source CMS. They have a very active community, with how-tos geared toward designers, add-ons and themes with actual support, and even support ticketing if you run into an issue that can’t be solved on the forums. The community and support surrounding concrete5 make it a very appealing CMS for users at the beginning and intermediate levels.

Strengths

  • Easy to convert a basic HTML site to a concrete5 site in minutes
  • Active and growing developer community
  • Offer business-class hosting that includes support

Weaknesses

  • Many useful and basic plugins are quite costly
  • Almost all of the best themes are paid
  • Paid support is expensive if you don’t host with them ($125 and up)

 

CushyCMS

Free – $28/month depending on feature set, hosted

CushyCMS is the only hosted CMS on this list. There’s a limited-feature free version that includes an unlimited number of sites, pages, and editors, but doesn’t let you use your own logo or your own domain name for the admin panel, or customize the admin experience. If you don’t care about your own branding in the admin panel, it may work for your business. The paid version, which is $28/month, has many more features, including branding support.

The main thing that sets CushyCMS apart from most others is that it’s specifically meant to make it easy for your clients to edit their own content. You design the website however you want, and then add it to the CushyCMS account. From there you can define which parts are editable and give your clients access.

Because of the nature of CushyCMS, there are no plugins or pre-defined themes. But for designers who might not be used to working with a CMS, or who design a lot of basic sites that don’t really need a full-featured CMS, but do need to be editable by their clients, CushyCMS is a great option.

Strengths

  • Incredibly easy for content managers to edit their content
  • Free plan is suitable for many users
  • Very easy and quick to get started

Weaknesses

  • Paid plan could be pricey if you’re not using it for multiple sites
  • Email support only available for the paid version
  • Too basic for many types of sites or particularly large sites

 

Which CMS do you use? Since the “best” CMSs are very subjective, is there one you think should have been included instead of one of the above? Let us know in the comments!

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  • http://twitter.com/Herschel_R Emanuel Kluge

    why didn’t you mention modx?

    • http://twitter.com/jonrawlins Jon Rawlins

      Totally agree MODx should be mentioned here for sure. Great CMS.

    • http://twitter.com/cameron_chapman Cameron Chapman

      I obviously couldn’t include every great CMS on this list (have to draw the line somewhere), and while MODx is great, the CMSs included above I felt were better. If this had been the “top 12″ or “top 15″, MODx would have been there. But, to me, it just doesn’t quite hit the top 10. Of course other people are going to feel differently about it, and that’s cool. I’d definitely encourage people to check out MODx and see if it works for them better than the ones above.

    • Anonymous

      Wholeheartedly agree. While you may not agree that MODX should be included, it seems that many folks here disagree :)

    • http://twitter.com/Joost_baas Joostmaes

      Modx should be definitely on the list. Joomla shouldn’t.

  • http://www.paulund.co.uk Paul

    Yes WordPress is a little overkill for basic sites but surely the ease of install and picking a theme being so quick that it makes it a perfect candidate for a basic site?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ivoivan Ivo Ivan

    I’m missing CMS Made Simple here. Is also great for designers with basic development skills. It offers fast installation, simple templating, many ready made modules and is very simple for administrators/editors.

    • Edwin Rovers

      I Agree with you Ivo. CMS Made Simple defenitely needs to be on this list. Easy to implement for designer and Simple to use for client.

    • http://twitter.com/cameron_chapman Cameron Chapman

      CMS Made Simple was the first CMS I ever really used, and I agree that it’s great. Just not quite in my top 10. Like MODx, if this had been a “top 12″ or “top 15″, it would have been included.

  • http://featurethem.com Angelee

    I thought another CMS would top over WordPress… Wp’s friendly ways is good enough for my blog. 

  • Anonymous

    It’s not the first that designerdepot make a CMS roundup without MODx in it.
    I guess the author don’t like it or haven’t tested it.

    • http://twitter.com/saertus Andres Botero

      I would have left out Silverstripe, I don’t know if thereare many people using it. Would love to read some comments on Modx, strengths and weaknesses

      • Anonymous

        Major strength of MODX is flexibility. It’s not necessarily your grandma’s user friendly blogging CMS (*COUGH*wordpress*COUGH*) but you can do practically anything you want with it, whether you’re talking about front end design or backend. Personally, I’ve worked almost exclusively with MODX and EE, and I like them both equally. 

  • Anonymous

    I really missing MODx in this list. Joomla… i hate it.

  • Tomdaley

    agreed modx should be on the list, its imo one of the best CMS’s for designers

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1190978506 Mac Conin

      MODX is not only a CMS, its a CMF with CMS on a rock solid built API which can be really easily triggered from your templates.

      If you (as a non-programmer) ever thought about how to change your date format to your choice, your headlines from lower case to upper case or something mixed, if you want to genereate intelligent formulars, give MODX a try. MODX will support you in your work an you’ll love it.

  • Anonymous

    i love wordpress. thax for insiration

  • http://twitter.com/SoerenS Søren Sprogø

    Nice overview!

    However, it doesnt seem like you’ve tried Umbraco at all.

    “Weaknesses: Primary add-ons are paid”
    The Umbraco team itself offer two packages for sale. However these are for advanced users (a form builder and a migration tool), and are no where near being “primary add-ons”. Most add-ons for Umbraco are in fact free.

    “Weaknesses: Not really any prebuilt themes available for the front-end”
    Huh? There’s 4 different themes to choose from, right there in the install wizard. But otherwise you’re right, there aren’t really a “theme engine” built into Umbraco, and thus not so many ready-to-launch themes you can install and play around with. But I think that’s because you have complete control over the markup, and can pretty much do anything you want.

    • http://twitter.com/cameron_chapman Cameron Chapman

      Sorry, I should have phrased it differently: there aren’t very many prebuilt themes (4 is practically 0 compared to a lot of CMSs). For some, that’s a deal-breaker, and for others, it doesn’t matter. But I would still say that it’s a weakness.

  • Anonymous

    Arguments??? To list 10 random systems isn’t really helpful!
    TYPO3 is huge!

  • http://optiss.si/ Tomaz

    Couldn’t agree more. Pretty much all European corporations and governments use it.

  • http://twitter.com/expanism Expanism Webdesign

    Where is MODX?

  • Anonymous

    TYPO3 is now called Contao

    • http://twitter.com/Herschel_R Emanuel Kluge

      nope. it’s typolight, that’s renamed to contao. one reason was to avoid name confusions with typo3 ;-)

    • Anonymous

      Oops!! My bad

  • http://www.jamienorthrup.com Jamie Northrup

    Nice list, I’ve heard of most of them, but curious to see the others. I use WordPress for most of all my projects, but you never know when a different option can be valuable.

  • http://twitter.com/expanism Expanism Webdesign

    Why is MODX not mentioned?

  • http://twitter.com/just4TheALofit TheAL

    I kinda agree that WordPress [read: any CMS] is a bit overkill for very simple sites. But WordPress seems to be the go-to for small, simple sites. Most small sites I see nowdays have WP under the hood. All in all, if you use a CMS for a small site, WordPress is viable. It’s well known, there is no shortage of gorgeous themes to download or buy, and it’s easy as cake to use. I always use Drupal for medium to bigger sites, though. All in all, I prefer Drupal.

  • http://twitter.com/kvdtales kristof vandommele

    I fail to see why ‘no prebuilt themes’ is a weakness.  I’d rather have the option to easily integrate my own templates, then stretching my design to fit a generic prebuilt theme.

    • http://twitter.com/cameron_chapman Cameron Chapman

      For some it is and for some it isn’t. And there’s a difference between being forced to use a pre-built theme (which would also be a huge weakness, and probably enough to knock a CMS right off this list), and not having pre-built themes available.

  • http://smasty.net/ Smasty

    I cannot agree. In my opinion, the best CMS is definitely Drupal.
    – Despite WordPress is really great for blog-like sites, it’s really awful for other types of sites
    – Joomla is just a piece of crap, not usable and way too overkill for anything. Its a CMS of previous century.
    – Drupal theme system is robust, however, very easy to learn and use. For many things, you don’t even need to write a line of HTML/PHP, all you need is a CSS file.
    – Drupal is not overikill for small sites – you can get a fresh Drupal site running in less than 30 minutes.

  • http://twitter.com/ArturoRyes Arturo Ryes

    Good post. Just to let you know it’s Textpattern and not TextPattern.

    P.S. I also think MODx should’ve been mentioned.

  • Anonymous

    WordPress is the most used cms, definitely is not the best.

  • http://twitter.com/FeyerMarketing Feyer Marketing

    Totally agree with this list. I’m WordPress all the way!

  • http://twitter.com/cameron_chapman Cameron Chapman

    The last time I used TYPO3, I found it really, really difficult to use. Now, that was awhile ago, so it may have changed, but at the time I gave up on using it and went with something else. Granted, it’s incredibly powerful if you have the patience to get over the learning curve. But that learning curve bumped it out of the top 10 for me.

    • http://cmsexpo.net/ CMS Expo

      TYPO3 is a phenomenal CMS, but it’s driven by an entirely different set of criteria on the business-end, far beyond what WordPress was ever intended to accomplish. It’s all about using the right tool for the job at hand. 

  • http://twitter.com/9thwave 9thwave

    Another nod for MODX here and surprised it doesn’t get in your top 10.
    i’ve been using it for 4 years and (imo) it’s the best CMS out there for designers. The newer Revolution version has a slightly steeper learning curve than the previous Evolution but once grasped it’s a really powerful and intuitive CMS.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone is going to have opinions, and Ill take a look at Typo3 and ModX, 

    BUT just because you have not heard of a CMS on the list does not means its not good, and even more reason to give it a go.

    I’m a concrete5 fan but I am not married to it, I as a developer am always on the look out for a CMS that offers a mix of simplicity and complexity that does what I want it to do and yet can still be used by an end user.

    Thanks to the author, I’ll of to play with some new CMS systems

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002160516457 Julius Fatherofkraken

    “MODx stores template data in its database; you cannot create a template by uploading a file to the filesystem, you must create a template using the manager.”

    I think this is why MODx is not in the list. Editing your template with a form, seriously ? This can drive a front end developer really crazy.

    • http://www.extra-live.net/ almas iqbal shuvro

      thanks

    • Anonymous

      I’ve found making MODX templates very straightforward – it’s flexible and scales well.
      It’s not so much ‘editing with a form’, rather dividing your template into discrete chunks as you see fit. If desired, you can have the whole page as a static template and simply include a variable telling the CMS where you want the editable content to be.

    • http://www.markhamstra.nl Mark Hamstra

      You’ve always been able of using a simple, one line snippet to include a static file you can edit with your favorite IDE. There’s even a package for it in the built-in package retriever so you don’t even have to code it yourself..

      I’ve been developing websites in MODX for over three years (probably nearing 4 now), and I honestly never understood the fuzz of needing to use a form to edit your template. There’s a CodeMirror plugin for Revolution that gives you a simple IDE to work with if you need it.

      Now – if you are still frustrated with having to use a form, you’ll be thrilled to know that the next release (2.2) of which a release candidate is due soon has a new core featured called static elements. That allows you to simply pick a file on the filesystem (or your S3 bucket if you want) that is your template/chunk/snippet. Haven’t played with it myself yet, but if I understood it correctly it syncs both ways: edits made from MODX are written to file, and edits to the file are made editable in MODX again as well.

      • Anonymous

        “I’ve been developing websites in MODX for over three years (probably
        nearing 4 now), and I honestly never understood the fuzz of needing to
        use a form to edit your template”

        That Mark, is because you’re more a developper than a designer.
        Even more, you’re a good developper who know you way in modx very well.
        But for a beginner dev point of view, or a real designer, compared to homemade solution or other OSS CMS’s (like WP), it was a big minus for MODx.

      • Anonymous

        “I’ve been developing websites in MODX for over three years (probably
        nearing 4 now), and I honestly never understood the fuzz of needing to
        use a form to edit your template”

        That Mark, is because you’re more a developper than a designer.
        Even more, you’re a good developper who know you way in modx very well.
        But for a beginner dev point of view, or a real designer, compared to homemade solution or other OSS CMS’s (like WP), it was a big minus for MODx.

      • http://www.markhamstra.nl Mark Hamstra

        I didn’t magically suddenly knew what I know now tho.. I started out being a “front end developer” (taking a design from my associate and making that into a functional site) three years ago (only switched to back-end last year) and I can’t remember ever struggling with having to put my html in a form..

        Some people do and some people don’t struggle with it. I would probably struggle with the way WordPress handles templates now too. Just depends where you’re coming from and how much you need to (un)learn. If you’re used to file templates you’ll be looking for that.

        Ah well. Only have to wait until 2.2 is publicly released and then this wont ever be a minus to people ever again. Feels good.

      • Anonymous

        For people coming from other CMS’s (or not any CMS at all), which use static files for each and everything (not limited to templates/chunks), the modx way is not the easy way.

        It forces a user to change directly his habits by forcing him to use the manager instead of his editor/IDE.

        When prototyping an application with lots of modifications each seconds (add a div, add a list, add a link, add a class to the link…), going into the manager for each operation feels not natural and difficult to understand from a design (not designer) standpoint.

        But yes, 2.2 will definitely solve this (imo) issue making MODx even better than it is now :)

  • Anonymous

    I use joomla because the number of extensions makes it usable for the vast majority of clients.

  • http://twitter.com/gudehus Jörg Gudehus

    Expression Engine. The only CMS that let my use my HTML as I like it so I don’t have to reprogram everything just to fit the CMS.
    And a simple site is converted in EE in about half an hour.
    Excellent support btw.

  • Anonymous

    Nice summary… grammar and general writing mistakes very distracting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/niknewys Nik Nieuwenhuis

    + for Drupal!! (It’s a bit of a learning curve, but when you get used to it, it’s uses are endless!!)

  • http://www.valpocreative.com ValpoCreative

    Modx is way better then wordpress.  In terms of faster, light weight, seo friendly-ness, need for plugins, and overall performance.. WordPress is better for blogging platform, nowhere near the level of modx for a website platform.

  • http://www.configpixel.com/ Configpixel

    nice collections…I am a WordPress Lover :)

  • http://bjoern.amherd.net Björn

    Clearly missing: Adobe CQ5

  • Bas van Ginkel

    A weakness of Expression Engine being expensive?
    True, it does up to $ 300 for a commercial license but what you get in return is a kick-ass system that allows you to build large complex site’s with ease. I you take into consideration the cost of interaction design, graphic design, text writers and all other work needed for a professional site $ 300 is nothing for a professional cms. WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and all others are also great CMS’s but they do target a slightly different audience that tend to create sites from start (idea) to launch all by them selves.

  • Gaurav

    Wow this is the top most post of yours……….

  • http://inkscar.tumblr.com inkscar

    I personally find it good when CMSs I don’t know are mentioned in lists — it’s more than clear that everybody have their own favourites so no list would be full, but one could at least learn something new.

    In this sense, thanks for mentioning Textpattern, which unfortunately has never had big PR and due to it’s somewhat modest looks, has not managed to interest the masses. Something that is slowly but surely changing lately. I only want to note that though it may not sport the largest user community out there, the one it has is very helpful, so its smaller size is not much of weakness really.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ehuertas3 Edwin Huertas

    I use Isis CMS because of its marketing capabilities.

  • http://www.climaxmedia.com/ Climax Media

    To each their own! Great list of awesome CMSs. Though it seems the debate will always be which CMS is the best, I think we’d all agree that it is completely objective to the developer/designer and the task at hand.

  • http://twitter.com/webbasica Manuel Diaz

    One of the biggest Joomla strengths is the complete control it provides to the end user. That’s actually the main reason we use it, so that our clients can change everything afterwards.

  • http://www.universalwebdesign.co.uk Danny

    WordPress is fantastic!

  • http://twitter.com/mikkorajala Mikko Rajala

    Expression Engine is so good that it’s okay to pay for it.

  • David Poul

    Nice post, good overview of available CMS.I love WordPress.

  • http://twitter.com/mattslav Matt Slavin

    I really like fuel cms too – which is also built on codeigniter – http://www.getfuelcms.com/ 
    Layout is completely flexible – you can take an existing html site and bolt the cms into the back of it – and this includes inline editing. Fantastic…

  • http://twitter.com/DGStephenson Dan Stephenson

    I am a huge SilverStripe fan.  It is easy to use, has a great CMS interface for the client, and so extendable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1190978506 Mac Conin

    MODX is a rock solid base for a system you’re thinking of.

    The built in API
    lets you easily add features like output filtering or modifying of content,
    add additionals subsites in different languages and rhight roles,
    using the built in lexikon (which does not translate but helps you
    using often used sentences or Phrases up to date (like Mr, Herr, Ms, Frau, Mme etc.)

    A granular rights system that fits everything you even cant imagine.
    Admin, editor, contributor, reader, groups of users – its all up to you
    to shape the system you need.

    There is a complete seperation between HTML Code and CSS.
    Let the design made by designers. they do not need any piece of PHP to
    design templates or pages. CSS is and should completely separated.
    All functionality can be done by Snippets (small pieces of native or
    api based PHP code).
    Chunks (in Word you would call them textmodules) can hold
    reoccuring text fragments (as eg the footer of any page) and also
    complex snippet calls (eg get me all courses of next week and
    output them to a table)

    For me lies the beauty of this system in the easyness how you
    can realise your ideas.

    An last but not least, you can change easily also the backend to your needs.
    Don’t need a input field or want to rearrange them – no problem.
    You can even bind these changes to groups and users. For example the admin has full sight to all input fields as delete a page or move it to another location.
    The editor needs additional input fields like a contact person and phone number.
    Add that field, assign it to a template and you’re done.

    Thats some of the points i felt in love with MODX.

  • http://seojoey.com Joey

    Never even heard of ExpressionEngine or Umbraco, so this is a pretty helpful list. Still hard to look beyond WordPress once you know which plugins and widgets you are gonna need.

  • http://www.facebook.com/quantumninja Dale Baldwin

    I’ve been building in Drupal for over 3 years and find it has a level of flexibility that no other CMS I have used has ever provided. It has an amazing API base, excelent SEO features and no other CMS has anything remotely close to what the views module and api provide. 

    A lot of people say that it’s difficult to use but that is mostly based of previous experience with Drupal 4 and 5. The latest version which is 7 has had a heap of UI tweaks done and it is very quick to setup and get going even in a multi site environment. On the security side I have never had an issue, you can set your permission controls to very specific levels with full control over user rolls etc. It also has an extensive logging system so you can easily see who has done what and when.

    The only thing I would keep in mind when chosing drupal is that it is a website engine, it’s not a simple blogging engine, it is designed from the ground up with the intent to do custom functionallity. The best way I like to describe it is that with a CMS like WordPress or Joomla you will find that they behave like a matchbox car, it comes prepainted and you can’t add anything to it without stripping the paint back and getting out the crazy glue. Drupal is more like lego, if you want to add wings you just find the part, if you want to change the color you just find different color blocks. 

  • http://twitter.com/jtuds James Tudsbury

    There’s no way I’d put WordPress on there, it seems outdated and unfit for purpose to me. I agree CMS Made Simple should be on there, it really is simple, but hugely effective and efficient.

  • http://twitter.com/onfx Rudy Espinosa

    Looks like several people don’t like Joomla but don’t explain why. I would respect a detailed explanation and simply dismiss a negative bashing comment.

    Joomla has come a long way. There are companies that now offer live training classes. There are companies that offer hosted solutions and upgrade support plans.

    In terms of themes, Joomla easily has some of the best themes that also support mobile devices out of the box. Some of these themes include full installable packages with matching skinned extensions, modules and many 3rd party applications. This means you can launch a fully operational customized soluton out of the box within minutes.

    The SEO extensions are simply unmatched. One such extension includes automatic QR codes. This is due to the intense passion behind the Joomla World Wide Community that constantly grows a great CMS solution.

  • Fredrick

    We’re really pleased with Silverstripe’s stageing and release capabilities.

  • http://ixcreative.com/ Evan Jacobs

    Squarespace should replace CushyCMS imho, it’s much more powerful, cheaper and intuitive to use.

  • http://twitter.com/domhare Dominic Hare

    Magento?

  • http://twitter.com/jtesarik Jaroslav Tesarik

    In my point of view Joomla! is the best solution