Which CMS Is the Best in 2022?
The CMS market is changing rapidly. There are new players and new options available seemingly every month. However, there are a couple of well-established platforms that effortlessly dominate the market.
Whenever I’m asked which platform I consider best, I have to ask: what are you looking to achieve with your website?
Each of the mentioned CMS has different cons and pros, and there doesn’t seem to be a magic bullet here.
With a plethora of different platforms, choosing the right content management system can be a daunting task, so whether you’re looking to improve your SEO, launch a personal blog, an online photo gallery, or an online store, I’m going to help you choose the right CMS for your particular situation.
My team and I have carefully picked and compared these five CMS because they have something to offer for users at every level: from beginner to developer.
WordPress: The Best of All
Let’s start with the big boy. WordPress.org is a free, open-source, PHP-based CMS that by now is a thing of legend.
In 2022 it continues to dominate the CMS market taking a massive 43% of all CMS platforms and a market share of 64.5%. And there are plenty of reasons why it’s so popular.
WordPress offers an intuitive drag and drop experience and a shallower learning curve when compared to most CMS platforms.
WordPress Is the Most Flexible CMS Available
WP can become practically anything you want it to be.
Whether you’re a complete greenhorn that wants to start a simple blog, a small company launching your free eCommerce store, or a massive conglomerate, WordPress has all the tools you could ever need to create the website.
You can use it as a monolithic CMS or switch to a Headless model, opening up a whole new world of possibilities.
Check our latest webinar and learn more about WordPress and its potential.
WordPress Is a Free and Open-Source CMS Platform
The only thing you’re going to have to pay for is a hosting provider, and those can be as cheap as $3 per month.
Also, you can pick managed WordPress hosting and never worry about technical issues like backups or security breaches. From this point on, you’ll only have to worry about picking the right domain name for your website.
Our top three web hosting providers are:
You Own Your Platform
Whenever you’ve suffered a breach or are simply dissatisfied with your current hosting service, WordPress makes the switch extremely straightforward.
You can easily migrate all of your content to or from WordPress, either manually or automatically, through one of the migration plugins.
Since it’s the most popular CMS, it’s also the most integrated with the web in general, so migrating cross-CMS with WordPress will be much easier than some other, less integrated CMS.
Ease of Use: Little to No Technical Expertise Required
To get your website up and running, you don’t need to have any web development skills. You can launch a website in an hour with the help of a plethora of free online community materials.
It’s worth keeping in mind that even though you can do a lot of cool stuff without any coding skills, WordPress is not limited to just that.
So, if you’re a web developer, you can also squeeze a lot of goodness out of WordPress.
WordPress offers thousands of free themes and plugins, which will be all the tools you’re ever going to need to create an online store or any other project.
WordPress themes are practically ready-made website templates. You can edit and customize them and you’re sure to find something to your liking.
What’s more, In WordPress, you get to choose whether you want to build your website from scratch or use ready, customizable drag and drop page builders. Speaking of easy!
What’s more, you get access to some 60.000 plugins that will take care of your backups, security, SEO, and pretty much everything you may ever think of. And all that for some $3 per month!
Best CMS When It Comes SEO
If you’ve chosen the right hosting service and haven’t cluttered your website too terribly, WordPress can be a perfect content management system.
It can help you reach your traffic goals and potential new customers.
A well-optimized website means a higher Google rank. With the help of tools like Yoast SEO or WP All In One SEO, you get all the necessary tools & guidance to get you started for free.
The Largest CMS Community in the World
WordPress is massive. The first thing you hear when you start looking for a website builder is usually WordPress.
Since it’s an open-source platform, you can get started and try it out completely for free, and if you decide that it’s the best CMS for you, you’ll only ever have to pay some $3 per month for hosting.
With this CMS platform, you get access to myriads of regularly-updated community resources. On YouTube, for example, you will find tutorials on how to get started, how to boost your SEO, or connect your WordPress e.g. with a WooCommerce eCommerce store.
Because of its size and popularity, WordPress has the richest and the most active community of all cms platforms. WPBeginner Facebook group, for example, has 84.000 users and counting, and the WordPress subreddit has a whopping 159.000 members.
What that means is that whenever you have a question, you’ll very likely find an answer (and probably within minutes!) That certainly makes WordPress the best CMS platform community-wise.
Without a doubt, this is one of the biggest advantages of this platform as you truly don’t ever have to worry about being lost.
It’s almost certain that whatever WordPress-related problem you might be facing, someone else had faced before. All you need to do is look for a solution.
Finding WordPress Professionals Is Easier Than in the Case of Any Other CMS
To create and manage a website equipped with all the necessary plugins and add-ons, go through domain registration, and still be able to squeeze everything out of SEO tools & marketing automation might be a daunting task even for the more advanced users.
More often than not, as our web pages develop, we’re going to find ourselves in need of some technical support. Luckily, if you’re a WordPress site owner, you’ll easily find the right man for the job. And, in many cases, for half the price of any other CMS!
Potential WordPress Downsides
WordPress Is More Vulnerable to Being Hacked, and You’re Responsible for the Backups and Security
With WordPress, you have almost unlimited control and freedom when building your project. With that, however, comes a lot of responsibility.
As the most popular CMS by far, WordPress may also be more vulnerable to potential breaches.
All in all, WordPress can be as secure as other CMS platforms, but you need to put some effort to make it so.
WordPress Is (Generally) The Best CMS Only for Websites With Comparatively Low to Medium Traffic
WordPress can get really clunky if not managed properly. That can result in low loading speeds, subpar UX, and eventually loss of traffic altogether.
Since this CMS is what you make it, it might require a little more work to make it as smooth as some of the competition.
That said, WordPress can be as fast as Webflow or Umbraco, but you might have to put some extra effort to make it so.
You can learn how to make your WordPress run faster in this article.
A CMS Platform That Needs a Lot of Updates
WordPress relies on many different plugins to run properly, and for plugins to work properly, you need to keep them up to date.
Luckily, plugins can update automatically. It is, however, a good practice to stay up to date with what’s the general direction of those updates so you don’t end up with dysfunctional plugins that slow down or endanger your website.
Is WordPress The Best CMS For Me?
Thanks to its flexibility, WordPress is a great choice for everyone, from beginners to professional web developers.
Its strongest points are its ease of use, drag and drop website builder, a plethora of plugins, a massive community, and great SEO performance.
If you’re building your first website and want to get it done easily and on budget with the help of a huge community, WordPress may be the way to go.
It’s the most popular open-source CMS among bloggers and marketers.
Web developers often migrate to other, more code-intensive platforms like Drupal and Umbraco, but will not be disappointed by the wide array of possibilities that WordPress offers them as well.
Joomla is yet another free, open-source PHP-based CMS platform that can be used in a wide variety of web projects.
Similar to WordPress, Joomla is a very flexible content management system that can run pretty much anything. Use it to build online forums, eCommerce stores, and numerous other web-based applications.
Pros of Joomla
Potentially Greater Customizability
Joomla offers a potentially increased customizability with its third-party plugins & templates. However, that comes at a cost of a steeper learning curve that might spell trouble for newbies.
A Vast Library of Extensions
Joomla offers thousands of extensions that can greatly enhance your website’s performance. Whatever extension you’re looking for, Joomla has it.
Potential Downsides of Joomla
Joomla Requires More Web Development Know-How
Similar to WordPress, you’re going to have to provide your own hosting provider & domain name. However, Joomla is often described as not very intuitive and perhaps unnecessarily complicated.
Because of that, Joomla might not be right for you if you’re just starting your website-building journey. If you do have some experience, however, Joomla might be worth looking into.
There are potentially more attractive options for web developers as well.
The Declining Popularity of Joomla
When you’re looking at WordPress, you’re looking at the biggest of the CMS world. Joomla, which used to be the main competitor of WordPress, has been declining for years.
Its market share has declined along with its popularity. That means its community is far from gigantic, leaving it with fewer resources.
To put things into perspective, Joomla’s subreddit counts 2.900 members, while the /r/WordPress has a massive 159.000.
Is Joomla the Best CMS for Me?
When choosing Joomla, you’re going to be facing a steeper learning curve, a more code-intense environment, and a much smaller community. Its popularity has been on the decline for years, with no model change coming anytime soon.
Joomla might be an acceptable choice for those with more experience in web development who want to try something different.
Non-technical users might find it challenging at first, but since it’s a free open-source CMS, why not give it a try?
Joomla is a rather niche CMS as of today, but the community is brimming with passion, and for many, Joomla is still the best CMS platform available.
Drupal: A CMS for Web Developers
Drupal, yet another free, open-source CMS, is far more code-intensive than WordPress and more advanced than Joomla. It’s aimed mostly at web developers rather than marketers or regular bloggers.
Not a platform aimed at non-technical users, but then, it probably offers the greatest flexibility when it comes to running your website.
A great choice for developers or for businesses that are looking to hire a web developer. Drupal allows you to build highly customizable websites that can handle any amount of traffic.
Pros of Drupal
Great Security With Drupal
When it comes to security, the popularity of a given CMS platform usually equals its vulnerability to being hacked. Since Drupal is nowhere near as popular as WordPress, it can be considered mostly a safer platform.
Since you have much greater control over the code and ultimately the website in general, as a skilled web developer, you’re going to have a much easier time securing your website.
Wide Range of Customizability
In this day and age, you’re going to find that every platform offers a great amount of flexibility. WordPress gives you a lot of room for customizing pre-made extensions and templates, while Drupal goes a step further, allowing you to change content taxonomy or create your own content types altogether.
A Comparatively Large and Active Community of Drupal
Even though nowhere near as massive as the 159.000 subreddit users of WordPress, Drupal touts a respectable 14.000 users on its subreddit. The Drupal community is well-specialized and full of active users that are always ready to help.
Whether you’re looking to build an online store, have any questions about web hosting, or other content management-related questions, there’s a huge chance somebody else has already had this issue and you’re sure to get assistance in no time.
Possibly the Best CMS for Enterprise and Big Corporate Websites
Drupal is great for more complex websites that might require user portals or user account management, as well as big corporate websites with lots of traffic. Again, it’s perfect for enterprise projects that require more code customization and editing.
Configuration management in Drupal can be considered better than its competition. Making changes in the development environment and exporting and deploying those changes are very advanced.
Potential Downsides of Drupal
Can Get Costly
Management professionals are quite a bit more expensive than in the case of the more popular CMS like WordPress. The reason for that is the higher learning curve and overall difficulty, as well as lower popularity levels.
Management of Drupal gets generally more costly as it is simply far more complex and code-intensive, requiring high-level web development skills.
Steep Learning Curve & Code-Intensive
Drupal is a great tool that can get you far if you’re a web developer or someone who has already got experience building websites and web apps. It’s a code-intensive CMS that you will love for its greater customizability and overall functionality, but only if you already have an idea of what you’re doing.
Even though it offers a very attractive codeless experience, in the long run, you’re likely to find yourself in a situation where you will have to code.
Drupal Portal content management system makes it complex to upgrade from one version to another. There is a learning curve for those users of Drupal who don’t have a coding background when working on upgrading or website integration projects. Because documentation is comprehensive it makes finding relevant information on APIs and libraries a time-consuming task.
One thing that Drupal users consistently point out is that it’s unnecessarily difficult to upgrade from one version to the next. Finding information on APIs and libraries might take a very long time and the learning curve for users with no coding experience seems to be overly steep.
Is Drupal the Best CMS for Me?
If you’re a web developer or a company looking to build a very active and high-performance website, Drupal might be for you. It’s safer than the more popular CMS like WordPress in its native version and is generally able to better deal with high-traffic websites.
Drupal can be a great tool if you know what you’re doing, but if you’re a newbie looking to launch your first website, I’d recommend other cms platforms like WordPress or Webflow.
Umbraco is a free, open-source ASP.NET Core CMS and it’s been released in 2004. This content management platform is considered to be more complex than WordPress but can be used with minimal technical expertise.
Umbraco is greatly appreciated among web developers but might require some effort from people with no coding experience.
That said, whatever WordPress can do, Umbraco can probably do it too. And sometimes better.
Pros of Umbraco
Freedom & Flexibility
Umbraco offers extraordinary freedom in customizing your websites and other web apps. Like the competition, it can be successfully applied in a plethora of different projects, including corporate websites, local web portals, or eCommerce stores.
Customization Potential With Microsoft .Net Framework
Umbraco is built on the Microsoft .Net framework which is a general-purpose development platform written in C# and based on ASP.NET.
Umbraco offers a great choice of useful extensions, and, if you have a basic understanding of C#, .NET, and basic web development knowledge you might even go ahead and develop your own extensions.
Automated Updates & Security
Umbraco does lots of heavy lifting for you, keeping your CMS up to date at all times.
Potential Downsides of Umbraco
Higher Development Cost
When running a WordPress website, most people can carry on quite successfully by themselves. Once they’re lost, they can reach out to a massive community and receive help almost immediately.
Umbraco shares the pains of being a much smaller platform. The market share of PHP is over 3-times higher than that of ASP.NET. That leaves you with far fewer web developers to choose from, escalating the overall cost of development.
Is Umbraco the Best CMS for Me?
Umbraco is a great CMS that is comparatively code-intensive and complex. Similar to Drupal, its users are mostly web developers. To go with Umbraco you need to have decent technical and web development skills.
Webflow – Front End Coding Without…coding?
Webflow is a popular no-code website builder that allows you to build your own themes and customized look from scratch. It gives you the possibility of front-end code without actually having to code at all.
It’s a great choice for people who simply want to build a marketing website or a gallery website that will not require too much work once it’s done.
Pros of Webflow
Fully Customizable Drop & Drag Menu
Webflow gives you access to an extremely intuitive website drop and drag builder and does whatever you want. You get to work with HTML, CSS, and JS without actually knowing the languages themselves. Webflow allows you to focus on the final, visual part of the equation – the frontend itself.
Unlike its competitors, Webflow not only allows you to drag & drop ready components but also allows you to create and fully customize them.
Webflow Is Rich in High Quality Resources
Folks at Webflow did a really great job when it comes to ensuring the highest quality of tutorials.
Webflow offers rich customer service and a vibrant online community and forums, as well as Webflow University, full of useful tips in a form of written instructions and video tutorials.
A Very Attractive Free Plan
When looking to test the Webflow free plan, you don’t need to give your credit card information and you can launch your project within minutes.
Before you know it, you’re dragging and dropping boxes, creating your own, original website look.
As long as you agree to keep the Webflow name in the URL and are OK with a tiny little advert showing at the bottom of your screen, you don’t have to pay a dime.
If you’re interested in a premium plan, however, you’re free to choose whatever hosting service and domain name you like.
Perfect for Smaller, More Static Websites
Webflow is a very attractive option when you’re looking to create a website that won’t require too many tweaks over time. It’s a perfect tool for marketers, beginners, and people with no coding experience in general.
Blasting sites one after another is just pure pleasure and you never need to worry about coding at all.
Is Webflow the Best CMS for Me?
If you’re a god-tier web dev, you’re going to get bored to death. However, if you’re just looking to launch an online gallery website, or a simple marketing landing page, then Webflow is a perfect tool for you.
Which CMS is your main pick?
Summary: Which CMS Will Be the Best for Me?
Let’s sum up which content management system will be the right one for you.
- WordPress is a great choice for pretty much everyone. It’s easy to use, has a seemingly endless supply of plugins, a big and active community, and is great when it comes to SEO. It’s the most popular CMS and probably the safest bet for most users.
- When compared to WordPress, Joomla might be an acceptable choice for those of you with more experience in web development who would like to try something new and see how you like it. However, I would personally go with WordPress as it is a much safer bet.
- Drupal and Umbraco alike can be great tools for more experienced developers who know what they’re looking for. Both CMS are incredibly flexible and offer lots of freedom for professionals. However, if you’re just trying to launch your first website and see where it takes you, I’d still recommend WordPress.
- If you’re looking to quickly launch a highly customizable website, Webflow will take you there the fastest. Its intuitive drag and drop website builder is fun to use and building simple websites has never been easier. It offers a free version as well, so there’s no reason not to give it a try.
Still not sure what to pick?