Last Updated: September 6th, 2020 by Dan Astriden.
The best CMS for a business website will vary depending upon the needs of a business. Frankly, a content management system is typically not needed and causes more maintenance than a standard HTML website. Sure, the plugins are great and vastly cut down development expenses but for the most part the excessive code and management of a robust systems outweighs the cost of a stand alone HTML site. This isn’t true in all cases so you need a professional to evaluate your needs and determine the right path. Find out how much does a website cost per month when you account for all expenses and not just the obvious ones.
I can’t tell you how many companies go to a web designer and say we need a website that we can update ourselves. From my experience, they all say this but when it comes down to it, almost all don’t make the CMS platform updates themselves. Even if they did, it would be a huge mistake as they don’t have the knowledge to optimize images and implement proper web techniques.
WordPress is by far the most popular content management system used and is a decent website builder platform. There are numerous plugins available which significantly drive down development costs. This is especially true for e-commerce plugins as well as member registration plugins and portal websites. One disadvantage of customizable content management systems is security and the source code for plugins is open source so anybody can view the PHP code. This creates server security vulnerabilities and if you use plugins you should make sure the plugins on your website have the latest version installed and the plugins is actively being managed by the developer. A web hosting account is needed to host the CMS on the web.
The best CMS for small businesses really depends on a backend admin solution that is user friendly and can conveniently edit articles, pages and metadata tags. You want to ensure the blogging system has the functionality and editing features that allow you to customize the website easily. It’s also a good idea to research and pick quality software that has advanced customization features and meets your requirements. Picking the wrong free cms software can result in a costly website migration installation done by development companies.
There are many pros and cons such as steep learning curve or themes and plugins. WordPress open source CMS is my personal pick since the company is in full control over the code and content. Platforms such as Shopify, Wix, Magento, Cushycms, Motocms & Weebly are great as a business owner can do themselves if they are on a budget but also have a huge disadvantage. Websites build strength over time and search engine signals are accrued. The free or cheap platforms are many times a good choice to get started but realize in most cases you can’t transfer the signals to a new platform or may be forced to pay for the platform for the life of the business. Another problem with the free platforms is the manager doesn’t have the technical knowledge to ensure a fast loading, responsive webpage that looks good and works on all devices. The free platforms create many shortcut options but are not good enough to full manage a website properly.
The best open source CMS system for small business ultimately depends upon your own needs and may vary depending upon industry. Don’t select a system by the latest modern ux web design trends rather pick an editing solution that allows you to quickly customize and will be around in the future. Theme, plug-in, templates and extensions are helpful and designed to reduce expensive development costs. Finding the right builder and using the right tools is unique for every situation so it’s best to have a developer guide you through the large and complex cloud of web cms builders.
Honestly, the content management systems are not good for web development or mobile app development. Popular CMS themes and extension plugins have so much excessive code and the top CMS platforms have so many bells and whistles. A simple drag and drop system with a wysiwyg editor is great for a user to edit web content. On the surface it’s simple but realize your dealing with a complex system and things can go wrong. Your business has to hire a web developer to spend time to fix and maintain all of these issues. However, if you are in the position where a content management makes sense for the company, WordPress installation is usually a good call from a development perspective. It’s best to consult with a professional to determine options and pick the right platform for your business. Which is the best domain name provider is another consideration.
My top choice for ecommerce would be a Shopify CMS store built with an easy to use interface. They make it easy for users that doesn’t have technical skills to run a ecommerce site. However, there are significant limitations such as little control over the url structure and the online editor is limited and not flexible. A business owner will most likely choose a developer to make more advanced edits and create custom elements.
Some CMS website examples. This website is using WordPress. https://www.cio.gov/ is a nice example of a website using a content management system.