Eric Caldwell is the owner and CEO of WebJIVE, a leading digital marketing agency based in Little Rock, Arkansas. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Eric has become a seasoned expert in web design, eCommerce solutions, SEO, and other digital marketing services.
Top Content Management Systems (CMS) for Small Business: A Guide to Choosing the Right System
Having a strong web presence is of crucial importance, even for the smallest of businesses. The foundation that you use for your website maintenance can either make the workflow smoother or create additional headaches down the road.
We’re here to help with choosing the best CMS platforms for small businesses that can successfully fulfill your requirements in 2021 and beyond.
What is CMS?
The best way to think about a CMS is that it allows you to create a website or a blog in a flexible way that can be used for commercial or non-commercial purposes. Two of the most popular CMS are WordPress and Joomla. Apart from these popular CMS, there are a number of other platforms that can help you create a unique website in a short amount of time.
In fact, there is a wide range of platforms to choose from and while some of them will offer amazing features, others will be a huge time sink to maintain. One of the main reasons why many small business owners opt for a CMS is the fact that they can customize it so that it’s precisely the way they want it to represent their brand.
Top 5 Best CMSs for Small Business in 2021
These days, there are a lot of different options for all different types of businesses and industries, and that’s why it’s important to choose the best CMS platform to meet your specific needs. At WebJIVE, we’ve tested these CMS platforms and tried to determine which one is the best option for your business based on various criteria. That’s why we’ve created a to help you choose the best CMS platform for your small businesses in 2021. Here are some important criteria when determining the best CMS platform for your business.
- Crawl Ratings
Some CMS platforms have very high crawl ratings, which means they have a lot of indexing power with Google and other search engines. Here WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal have a leg up.
- Ease of use
All CMSs have pros and cons when it comes to using them but, ease of use ranks high among users. WordPress is the easier of the CMSs with Joomla right behind it with their 4.0 release.
Not all CMSs are created equal here. WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are the clear winners here with their own ecosystems of plugins that the others don’t have
This is usually where small businesses run into problems, finding a reliable support company to help when you get into a pinch. With WordPress and Joomla, you’ll have access to 1000s of developers around the globe.
- Ease of design
Again this is where WordPress and Joomla both shine. Both systems have 1000s of pre-built free and purchasable themes to make the job faster and easier.
The undisputed champion in the CMS industry, WordPress is the ultimate platform for small business owners. It has been around since the year 2002 and has gone through many development stages to become the thriving CMS platform that it is today.
Developed by Automattic, this open-source CMS is considered to be the industry Gold standard. With almost 40% market share, WordPress is one of the most popular CMS platforms out there, and a true contender in the online marketing world. WordPress is simple to use and straightforward to configure. It’s also a great option for a company that’s seeking a minimalistic and clean web presence that can scale up or down to fit the needs of their business.
Why are we ranking WordPress #1?
Joomla is the most commonly used CMS among small businesses with more complex needs and wants a system that doesn’t rely on plugins – for more complex features and role-based content workflows.
The Joomla framework provides the capacity to host very fast dynamic websites as well as be able to scale very easily for large content-based sites. The Joomla project website boasts of several capabilities including integrated user account creation and, integrated group and departmental administrative roles, support for both file and database content caching, and much more – all built into the core. In its early days, Joomla experienced several ups and downs but it has made strides in recent years and boasts many integrated features other CMSs don’t have.
Why are we ranking Joomla #2?
Joomla by far is the best platform for a technical feature build with a super robust CMS and workflow system. This comes with a bit of a price when it comes to end-user ease of use.
Wix is a cloud-based CMS for creating dynamic websites. Wix allows users to build their own website using drag and drop functionality, unlike some of the more old-school CMSs that require user experience users to upload content by hand. This can be a massive time saver as well as a more interactive way to make changes to your website.
Wix is built to handle all types of content types, including rich text (text), images, videos, and graphics. The entire website can be edited by a user through Wix drag and drop tools, which users can also use to create new sites. Users can create multiple sites for the business of their choice through Wix. Additionally, Wix offers a free option for a limited number of pages and then additional licenses can be purchased for additional sites opening up higher page counts, and access to other features like a simple cart, CRM, and integration with other systems.
Why are we ranking Wix #3?
Wix is a nice system for people to build websites with but you’re stuck with their designs/templates and it’s still not great for SEO. While WIX is maturing in the SEO realm, we still feel WIX has a long way to go to catch up with the competition.
Squarespace like WIX is a cloud-based website creator that can do virtually anything from design and hosting to blog management, logo creation, shopping cart management, and more. And yes, they even offer services for iOS and Android devices, as well as Mac.
The platform boasts quick website creation, a variety of domain names, and a customizable drag and drop editor that works across all types of devices. Squarespace is also designed to work with WordPress themes (sometimes). The company even offers a free plan for anyone that wants to test the waters and see how the platform works.
Squarespace is a good CMS for users who do not wish to build a complete website from scratch with addons like a shop and payments system.
Why are we ranking Squarespace #4?
While they have great templates, the builder interface has many shortcomings and is clunky in our humble opinion compared with WordPress and Joomla. Squarespace also lacks in the SEO department like WIX.
Drupal is another popular content management system for the web. It offers a range of pre-built themes and plugins to simplify website development and management for small businesses and non-profits. Drupal is robust in its features and is often utilized for large enterprise and educational sites. As the popularity of Drupal increases, so does the number of users and companies using it.
Drupal does not come with a built-in calendar, photo gallery, or even a shopping cart, but plugins provide those services and fill those gaps.
Why are we ranking Drupal #5?
While Drupal has been around a long time, it can be a complex system compared to the other CMSs which makes learning this system much more difficult. Due to the NODE approach and technical requirements, we’d only recommend Drupal for
Future Trends for CMSs in 2021 and Beyond
The list above displays the technologies that you should look at if you want to have a top-notch website that caters to all the users in your niche. For each category, you’ll notice that a new, exciting platform has emerged over the years, that caters to different demographics.
The evolution of these platforms, both in terms of ease of use and features, is an indication of the key factors that play into your choice of CMS. In terms of ease of use, WordPress remains one of the best CMS options for small businesses. It’s one of the few CMSs that are designed for small businesses, so it’s not intimidating to a newbie.