2017 Guide: Take Your Design to the Next Level with the Best Content Management System

Are you less tech savvy than you’d like to be? Are you looking for a way to avoid costly website coders and searching for a way to edit and update your website by yourself instead? Thankfully, with content management systems, this is entirely possible.

A content management system is a platform that works in the shadows of your website, allowing you to quickly update and edit your site. If you want to change colors or update photos on your company website, CMS tools will allow you to do this without hiring a coder.

This is a great asset in a world where businesses are looking for any means possible to cut expenses. The ability to manage and edit your website without a technically-savvy person is a huge benefit to smaller businesses that cannot incur unnecessary expenses.

Best Content Management Systems Red Award Emblem

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Content Management Systems

The real trick with CMS tools is trying to find the best one for your business. CMS platforms range in price, functionality, and specializations. From open source to closed source, there are so many options to take into consideration. As the world becomes increasingly internet-based, more and more CMS platforms have been popping up.

While variety is nice sometimes, in this case it can quickly become overwhelming. Especially if you are not tech savvy, knowing whether a platform is open or closed source or knowing about the security features will mean little to you.

So, how do you choose the best CMS platforms? When you are going through the decision process, you may have questions, such as:

  • What is the difference between open and closed source content management systems?
  • Can CMS software be utilized for any type of business?
  • What do content management systems usually cost?
  • What is the best content management system?

Throughout our 2017 guide, we aim to answer the questions you have surrounding CMS software. We will explain what CMS software is used for and the difference between open and closed source CMS platforms. Finally, we will provide a detailed review of the six best content management systems.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best CMS Platforms

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the top content management systems below to go directly to the detailed review section for that content management system):

Top 6 Best Content Management Systems | Brief Comparison & Ranking         

Content Management Systems

Lowest Cost

Best for


Free version available

SEO optimization


Free version available

Small businesses


Free version available



Free version available



Free version available

Stunning webpage design with no coding


Free version available

Overall satisfaction

Table: Top 6 Best CMS Platforms | Above list is sorted alphabetically

Detailed Overview: What Are CMS Tools Used for?

A content management system is used to upload and manage content for a website. Essentially, content management software operates in the backend of your website, which allows you to control the content and visual layout of your website.

content management systems

Image source: Pixabay

One of the biggest benefits of top content management systems is that they allow users with limited technical abilities to operate websites.

Often when people think of websites, they think of coders spending hours developing the perfect page. Thankfully, with web content management systems, even those who are not up to date on coding can still craft stunning websites.

That is because the most popular content management systems have built-in themes with plug-ins that allow you to add things into your website and adjust parameters, such as fonts and colors, without knowing how to code.

If you think that a content management system is just for people who aren’t tech savvy, you’re wrong. The top content management systems are open source, which means that you can customize them to your exact specifications.

The best CMS options can be beneficial for businesses, no matter what type. For a restaurant, CMS platforms can allow you to update menus, offer coupons, and even let your customers make reservations online.

Small businesses utilizing the best CMS platforms can assist by providing e-commerce abilities and by limiting the expense of hiring a coder to make minor website updates.

Overall, content management softwares can be a great addition to businesses. Even nonprofits can gain use, by eliminating costly coding services and instead updating websites on their own.

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Detailed Overview: Open vs. Closed Source CMS Software

Simply put, an open source content management system is created and maintained by a community of developers. Closed source CMS tools are proprietary and will be more expensive than the alternative.

Each type of content management system has its own advantages and disadvantages. You will need to weigh your options and determine what matters most when making your final choice.

When you are utilizing open source web content management systems, your costs will be lower, since there are no fees to use it. These systems are also more customizable than other sources because there is such a large community of developers improving them. However, with open source systems, security can be an issue because there are often no personalized support options.

Closed source content management systems are much more secure because they undergo various levels of testing. You can also get support on a personal basis from the platform providers. The drawbacks with a closed source system is that the costs are much higher and there are fewer customization options.

There is no simple answer for what the best content management system type is. Each system had pros and cons, and it is up to users to determine what the best tools for their business are.

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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best CMS Software

Below, please find the detailed review of each web content management system on our list of content management softwares. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these most popular content management systems to score so highly in our selection ranking.

Drupal Review

Drupal might be the best content management system when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). Though often overlooked, SEO is far more important than the design or features of a website. Without SEO, customers won’t even be able to find your website.

Drupal is an open source CMS platform that structures your web content in a way that allows keywords to be picked up by search engine crawlers. Having CMS tools for SEO is a great way to draw your target audience to your website.

This well-known platform is capable of handling large volumes of visitors and many pages of content. That doesn’t mean this CMS software isn’t good for smaller sites, though. Drupal has flexible tools that make it a great fit for websites and clients of any size.

Bottom Line

With tools and plug-ins that are constantly being improved by a team of developers, Drupal is one of the most flexible CMS platforms and is great for those looking to improve SEO.

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Joomla Review

Joomla is another one of the best content management systems out there. If you have a bit of coding experience, then as a small business owner, Joomla might be the best content management system for you.

You know how important it is to have a topnotch website to attract new customers, and with Joomla, you can easily customize your site. There are a variety of plug-ins and over 7,500 extensions that can help adapt the website to meet your specific business needs.

This open source content management is currently powering millions of website. It’s free to use, which makes it a great tool to utilize.

Bottom Line

If you are a small business, Joomla is a great platform to help promote your business. It is easy to edit and customize, but you will need to have a bit of coding experience. 

Magento Review

When it comes to e-commerce, Magento offers superior CMS software. Their motto is “commerce without limits,” and they claim to be the world’s most flexible commerce platform.

With the Magento platform, you can cut costs, boost sales, and learn from a variety of informational sources on the site. Knowing they have customers like Burger King and Zumiez on their roster, you know that you are in good hands with Magento’s content management system.

This open source platform is specifically designed for e-commerce sites of various sizes. With the basic Community Edition, small business or tech-savvy customers can build a webstore from the ground up. There are also CMS tools available for these CMS platforms to help those who are not well-versed in coding.

Bottom Line

If you have an e-commerce business of any size, Magento might be one of the best content management systems out there.

SquareSpace Review

SquareSpace is one of the better content management systems available today. They offer unlimited hosting for free, high-end security, and 24/7 personalized support.

You can get started with a Free Trial of SquareSpace without even entering a credit card. Another great feature of SquareSpace is that you can search for domains right in their CMS software. This can prevent you from having to look at a third-party site.

SquareSpace has many services available, which range in prices. From hosting and websites to mobile apps, they have the expertise to help start-ups to established businesses.

Bottom Line

SquareSpace provides strong analytics that can help you analyze your business audience and determine if you are reaching your target audience.

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Wix Review

Wix is another great CMS platform that allows you to make a stunning website. The king of CMS platforms when it comes to website design without coding experience, Wix will help you create a gorgeous website.

There are billions of combinations of themes, fonts, images, layouts, and more. If you want to truly customize and make a website that stands out, but you don’t have any coding experience, the CMS platforms that Wix offers is hard to beat.

There used to be some questions about whether Google search engine crawlers could detect Wix sites, and now they can. While it is not the best for SEO, once your users get to the stunning website, they won’t want to leave.

Bottom Line

With drag-and-drop editing capabilities, Wix has everything you need. From add-ins and reservations, you can adapt Wix CMS software to meet your business needs.

WordPress Review

When it comes to content management systems, WordPress is certainly a heavy hitter. Their CMS platforms power an impressive 27% of the internet, and you can get a custom domain name with no ads and customer support starting at just $2.99 per month.

If you don’t want to pay for WordPress, there is a free option. In fact, WordPress offers four different types of plans ranging from free to a $24.92 per month business accounts.

This is another one of the open source CMS platforms on the web and powers websites from Best Buy and Xerox to The New Yorker.

Bottom Line

What started as primarily a blogging platform has evolved to become the best content management system in many people’s eyes. The versatility of WordPress allows it to fit many different business needs and styles.

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Conclusion – Top 6 Best CMS Platforms

A content management platform can be a great feature for any business. If you are looking to cut out coders as the middleperson between you and your website, CMS software makes that a reality.

The top platforms offer a variety of tools that helps you edit your current website and even add new web pages to your site.

Conclusion - Top cms software

Image source: Microsoft

These benefits cannot be overstated, because it allows you to save money.  CMS tools also cut down on the time required to make website updates. Minor changes can be made by you – or your team – in minutes, instead of the days it often takes professional coders.

When you are looking for the best content management system, it is important to consider all of the possibilities. You want to find the best fit for you, so ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you willing to pay to find the best content management system?
  • Are the most popular content management systems actually a good fit for your business or website?
  • Do you have any coding experience that would make an open source content management system seem more appealing?
  • Does the customization offered by open source systems entice you?

These are important factors to consider when you are working you way through the decision-making process. There are so many content management systems to consider that you might easily become overwhelmed.

Once you have established the criteria that you are looking for in the best content management system, it will be easier to find the right fit. Eliminate any of the platforms that don’t meet your specifications, and then analyze the short list to find the perfect system for you.

Start taking control of your company website today with the best content management system.

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