10 Most Popular Content Management Systems Online

muo 10cms intro   10 Most Popular Content Management Systems OnlineWhether you’re setting up a corporate website, a standard blog or just want to announce your presence on the web, the age of hand-coding HTML pages and CSS is long behind us. These days all it takes is to purchase hosting and install a content management system (CMS) and within minutes you can have a website that looks highly polished, displaying the very content that you wish to share with the world.

Of course, there are many different ways in which you might use your website, from displaying a gallery of images to advertising your services, running a technical support page or even an online magazine. This is why, despite the popularity of the WordPress platform, there are many other content management systems available, each with its own strengths.

The following list of content management systems are free to download and use unless otherwise stated.

WordPress

Easily the most accessible and possibly the most commonly used, the strength of WordPress is in its quick installation and the massive user and developer community that results in a vast array of plugins and enhancements for the platform.

wordpress   10 Most Popular Content Management Systems Online

Throw in the added bonus of a vast template library and easy PHP and CSS file editing from within the admin screen and it becomes quite clear why WordPress is used for everything from personal blogs to e-commerce websites.

For an in-depth look at setting up a WordPress blog, check out James’ manual called WordPress: Your Ultimate Guide.

Joomla

A quick trip to the Joomla website will reveal the claim that millions of websites are running on the software, and the reason for this is simple – it is extremely customizable, suitable for pretty much any purpose.

joomla   10 Most Popular Content Management Systems Online

This is why Joomla is often used by small and medium businesses, large organizations, non-profits and individuals. Joomla’s admin section is easy to use and with the vast array of options from templates and styles to adding feeds, content blocks, menu management tools and more, you can see why this is a popular choice.

You can visit the Joomla website to try a demo version and download a copy.  Also, don’t forget to check out our Joomla manual.

ModX

You need little or no coding knowledge to use the best CMS applications, and ModX is a strong example of this. With over 100,000 websites ranging from enterprise-scale businesses to sole traders, ModX  is easy to use, allows non-technical staff to create content and affords various advantages such as using multiple styles on the same page.

modx   10 Most Popular Content Management Systems Online

Additionally, ModX – available from http://modx.com – minimises the need for SEO expertise as it is developed as a “blood brother” of search engines, presenting all of the information required by Google, Bing, etc. without additional plugins.

TextPattern

With a minimalist, direct admin interface and flexible design engine, TextPattern is another ideal solution for producing blogs and corporate sites alike.

textpattern   10 Most Popular Content Management Systems Online

Equipped with import tools (ideal if you’re thinking of transferring content from another CMS) and featuring a native anti-spam system to block unwanted comments, TextPattern will also allow you to extend its basic functions thanks to a range of plugins that can be installed via the browser window.

Further information can be found at TextPattern.

RefineryCMS

Based on the Ruby on Rails framework, RefineryCMS embraces the same conventions that have made that platform a success, adopting a strong focus on the end user when developing the user interface and providing an easy hook to add new functions and redesign both the front end and the admin screens.

refinery   10 Most Popular Content Management Systems Online

Featuring a range of different engines (blogs, membership, search, image gallery and many more), this is a CMS that is suitable for businesses of many different kinds.

Drupal

A popular free and open source CMS, Drupal is often one of the first choices when building a new website.  Like many of the other tools listed here, Drupal can be scaled for personal blogs or enterprise mega-sites, and like WordPress there are thousands of modules that can be added to increase functionality.

drupal2   10 Most Popular Content Management Systems Online

Clicking on the link above will take you to the home page where you will be able to take a look at the showcase of sites made with Drupal. It is worth noting that questions from the user community about perceived failings in recent versions are yet to be fully addressed by developers; however Drupal remains a popular solution.

Concrete5

Aiming to make it possible for anyone to build and manage a website without investing a lot of time and money, Concrete5 has a tough job on its hands, but appears to be doing well.

concrete   10 Most Popular Content Management Systems Online

This CMS is positioned as the ultimate time saving solution to designers, developers and site owners alike, which probably accounts for its popularity. Easy to use, with a strong focus on the end user, website designer and developer alike, Concrete5 is certainly worth a look.

You can find out more by visiting Concrete5.

DotNetNuke

The world of CMS solutions is chock-a-block full of software written in PHP. DotNetNuke, meanwhile, is a rare exception. Software written in Microsoft’s ASP .Net is more suited natively to Windows servers, and this consideration (along with the fact that many corporations host their intranets on Windows servers) is one very strong reason to opt for DotNetNuke.

dotnetnuke   10 Most Popular Content Management Systems Online

Another is the ease with which developers can customise a web application in DotNetNuke thanks to the open API, while end users benefit from an easy to use system.

Unlike many other of the solutions listed here, DotNetNuke is not free to use, although a demo site and trial can be used.

Full details are at DotNetNuke.

Umbraco

Another ASP.Net solution, Umbraco is free to use, with optional paid-for services such as support and training.

umbraco   10 Most Popular Content Management Systems Online

With open source licensing (a rarity in ASP.Net) and that all-important need to keep things simple for the web publisher, this software is hugely popular among corporates, boasting Heinz, SanDisk and the pop group Take That as some of its users.

The user interface for article creation might be more familiar to any web admin who has used a browser-based web server administration console, but its clear layout is popular with website editors.

TinyCMS

There is every chance that the solutions listed previously could be complete overkill for what your website is trying to achieve. Sprawling SQL databases and endless pages of active server-side code could be sitting redundant if all you need to do is display a few useful pages with the odd bit of functional eye candy, which is where TinyCMS comes in.

tinycms   10 Most Popular Content Management Systems Online

Ideal for small sites and for keeping things simple, TinyCMS uses the TinyMCE article submission tool and a few PHP files to create the website. There is no database, meaning that once the pages are cached on the server they should open pretty quickly.

Full details and a demo can be found at TinyCMS.

Conclusion

If you’re reading this looking for a good reason to choose a particular CMS platform over another, then your best bet is to hit each of the links above and either download the software and install it to your server or find the demo version (these tend to exist on most CMS developer websites).

There are various things you should consider when choosing a content management system, and these are all informed by your own expectations, your aims and the purpose of the website. Simply choosing one and using it without being aware of how you will use could waste a lot of time.

Do you have any favourites among this list? Is there a particular CMS that you felt should be included with these? Let us know, as well as your reasons for suggesting.

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29 Comments -

1 votes

Dominik Lukes

I’m afraid that this is a rather uninformative post. The vague slanderous aside about Drupal and no mention of systems like Typo3 or Plone aside, there is no meaningful basis of comparison. The platform is not always mentioned, nor are distinguishing features, notable downsides and prominent example websites. No mention of hosting support. For instance, it might be useful to compare PHP systems, with .Net, RoR, etc. Level of community support, conferences, paid vs. free support. I understand that this would require more research than a single blog post deserves but how about a series of features?

0 votes

Mike

I agree. Also it doesn’t mention ExpressionEngine which I believe to be fairly popular since it’s been around for ages. What measurement is used to consider the mentioned CMS’s “most popular?”

1 votes

Christian Cawley

Well, since this is MakeUseOf, Mike, ExpressionEngine doesn’t make the grade since it isn’t free :)

0 votes

nutan

hi give me a cms web content management system source code it’s aurjent

0 votes

Christian Cawley

While I appreciate your comments and agree that a series of articles would be good, there are a couple of points here that I want to address.

First, Drupal *has* had some issues of late. This doesn’t mean that it should be discounted – it’s still on the list!
Second, the list was compiled based on ratings and reputation. There are items on here that you would have a hard time finding genuine reviews for online, so to be on the receiving end of a tough critique is a little galling…
Third, detailing hosting support for 10 very different CMS’ would be akin to spinning plates.
Fourth, I think your penultimate point about comparisons PHP/.NET/RoR would also be more suitable to a series.

I’m not promising anything :)

0 votes

Jim Venus

Chris:

I would like to ask you to watch this video on Centralpoint, by Oxcyon. We have been called the alternative to Sharepoint, offer source, and have been in business for 12 years, with over 320 clients. The biggest differentiators are: We integrate wtih LDAP/AD (out of the box), and support Audience, Taxonomy and Roles based filtration for each record (which no other CMS can claim), making us the most robust and universal platform out there today…

Centralpoint in Action
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qFx17dAlTQ&hd=1

Centralpoint Powerpoint overview
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucwjys47igI

Thank you
Jim

0 votes

Carl Vinken

YOOMLA FTW!

0 votes

indiandigitizer

Hey Christian,

Great post for the uninitiated, good point to start from researching about CMS.

I know, how I felt when I started out – which CMS to use???? This could have been helpful then and might be helpful for others just starting out.

Keep up the good work.

cheerios,

0 votes

Tyler

We appreciate you including our CMS, TinyCMS!

0 votes

brad_j_davis

WordPress wins without doubt as the most popular free CMS and it is exploding in popularity as well. World domination is just around the corner!

0 votes

Jarrod Mosen

Which is a massive shame… that lumbering beast is meant for blogs; and countless have smashed plugins and hacks into it to make it a ‘CMS’

0 votes

Eric Admati

I agree. I have used WP, and find it that the blogging section is hard to turn off. I use another on this list. I feel it doesn’t have the professional, crisp look which I like in WP. They have a marketplace, but the categories are messed up. Hard to search for plug-ins/add-ons.

So I am looking for a good WYSIWYG CMS alternative. Professional, clean looking, no blogging by default, and good forum support.

0 votes

Eric Admati

Another idea – it would be helpful to know:

- how many times each of these CMS, and maybe some of the ones in the comments have been downloaded (MODX boasts more than 1,000,000)
- how many sites are up with each of these CMSs (I don’t know how hard that is to find)
- how they the CMS has been around

that would help me narrow it down.

0 votes

Offlajn

I personally only reccommend WordPress of Joomla. There are thousands of free and commercial plugins/extensions for both cms systems. Also, the support great for both of them.
In fact I’m a Joomla extension developer myself: http://offlajn.com

0 votes

diogo

I recommend http://processwire.com/
I’ve been using it for 2 years now, and couldn’t be happier about it. Among other things you will find:
– low learning curve for the basics
– flexibility and markup freedom
– very good user management
– very helpful community
– fast development

0 votes

Spence Hackney

Just wanted to suggest a correction for you. DotNetNuke Community Edition is absolutely free. They do have a Professional edition that has som additional features targeted at enterprise clients that costs money.

0 votes

Sithu

Of these listed CMS wordpress can be picked up as favourite by most of them. But i feel some professional functionalities are missed in wordpress. Infact i find joomla as the best CMS for building and maintaining a good, catchy, interactive website.
http://www.usjoomlaforce.com/psd-to-joomla-conversion.html

0 votes

Dan C.

Interesting article but not entirely accurate – why do you claim Dotnetnuke is not free? DNN started as an open source community project and remains as of today.

I think you should revise your article with the number of production/public websites built on each platform.

In God we trust, all others must bring data – W. E. Deming

0 votes

Christian Cawley

Hi Dan

This is an error on my part – of course DNN is free, and I had intended to state something along the lines of (you’ll forgive as this article is a few weeks old now): “although DNN is free, support and extended options are not”.

Apologies for the confusion.

As to your second point, I’m afraid that is out of the question. Other than being completely unreasonable (requiring a level of trust in the claims of platforms that cannot be verified), it is bordering on the insane!

1 votes

SlackNetics

Why do you CamelCase the name of our favorite CMS. It is and has always been spelled Textpattern.

0 votes

uxzeal

I guess WordPress is the most popular CMS and no other CMS can beat it.

0 votes

James Brock

This was the best post ever… if I ever have another question about my pokemon site I will email you, thanks man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 votes

monis

I am afraid, where is TYPO3 in this list?

0 votes

Tom Kisielewski

Very general list of CMSs, ordered by popularity? Should be WordPress, Joomla , Drupal….Easy of use -> probably Wordpres Drupal Joomla.. How did you measure popularity, would be nice to know source of information. Anyway good list.

0 votes

vanila

WordPress and Joomla are great CMS.

I have another website to recommend: http://www.pinabc.com.

I use it as my homepage, notebook, album and as a to do list as well.

0 votes

Christine

WordPress and Joomla are great CMS.

I have another website to recommend: http://www.pinabc.com.

I use it as my homepage, notebook, album and as a to do list as well.

0 votes

Lebron

Nice article and some great comments.We have been using Contrexx cms, its quite easy to use and the admin area is great.

0 votes

PixelPinch | Abhash

Lots of CMS which I didn’t even know of. Thanks for the list!

1 votes

Sufalam Technologies

A characteristic feature of CMS is its capability to give non-technical users an opportunity to make changes to their websites. CMS greatly facilitates control, editing and auditing processes. Content management systems have automated templates that can be applied to the existing or new content.