Best CMS Platforms 2021

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Creating a website is easier than ever! Whether the site is for your business, blog or personal content, there are tools out there that will help you build exactly what you want. Once you know what you want to put on your website, you’ll need to determine the best Content Management System (CMS) for your needs. A CMS is software that lets you create, modify and manage online content.

From within your CMS, you can post blogs, set up an online store, accept payments, publish news, and let people know about your business through a wide range of plugins and extensions suited to your content.

When it comes to finding the best CMS for you, you’ll have to figure out what website features are top priority. Will beginners be managing your website or advanced CMS users? Is it for a small business with limited digital needs or do you need something more complex? Once you’ve determined your needs, it’s easy to choose a CMS that checks all the boxes. We’ve done some digging for you and outline some of the features, pros and cons associated with some of the most popular CMS platforms out there.

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Top CMS Platforms

WordPress

WordPress started as a blogging platform in 2003, and since then has become one of the most popular platforms for building and managing websites. WordPress says that 40% of the web is built on their platform, and according to their website “more bloggers, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies use WordPress than all other options combined.”

This platform has all the bells and whistles, it is fully customizable, offers thousands of templates, and allows you to publish blogs, videos and images. Since this platform is so popular, it has a strong community behind it meaning that there are frequent updates to the software, and you can always seek help from experts. The more technically advanced can download the software from WordPress.org and install it on their own server. But if this is too complicated, you can easily get a domain name and host it with WordPress.com to keep everything in one place.

Key Features:

  • Highly Customizable
  • Thousands of themes
  • Freemium model
  • Expert support

Pricing:

  • Free – $0 – contains ads
  • Personal – $4/month – removes ads, monetize your content
  • Premium – $8/month – customization tools, analytics, social
  • Business – $25/month – Remove wordpress.com branding, access to business tools
  • eCommerce – $45/month – create an online store

Overall Ratings:

SC Icon

StackCompare.com

4.8 (Aggregate Score)

Capterra.com

4.6 (10000 user reviews)

G2.com

4.3 (2083 user reviews)

SquareSpace

Squarespace started out the same way as WordPress, as a blogging platform! Today it is a full-service website builder that is beginner friendly. After creating an account on Squarespace, you can easily build a website from the ground up. No prior website development skills are required to use this platform and the layout is intuitive and easy.

By simply dragging and dropping the elements you need, you are able to quickly create sleek web pages. Squarespace also lets you build and manage an online store for all your retail needs. The personal plan is the only plan that does not enable e-commerce on this platform, all the other plans allow access to the features necessary to running an online store.

Key Features:

  • Easy eCommerce
  • Beginner friendly
  • Variety of themes
  • Great UI

Pricing:

  • Personal – $12/month – Custom domain, unlimited storage, basic metrics
  • Business – $18/ month – Advance web analytics, Banner ads, premium integrations
  • Basic Commerce – $26/ month – POS, e-comm analytics
  • Advanced Commerce – $40/ month – Advanced shipping, subscriptions

Overall Ratings:

SC Icon

StackCompare.com

4.1 (Aggregate Score)

Capterra.com

4.6 (2077 user reviews)

G2.com

4.4 (879 user reviews)

Weebly

Weebly is another great platform for beginners, and powers over 50 million websites around the world! It’s super easy to use and lets you drag and drop elements onto your web pages. The themes on this platform are simple and elegant for building anything from a portfolio to an online store. While the drag and drop feature is easy to use, it can be frustrating because it limits creative freedom when it comes to design.  For those who have knowledge of coding, Weebly has a built-in coding editor that allows even more customization.

This platform is best for small businesses who want to build a website that looks good, is straightforward and easy to manage.

Features:

  • Easy to use
  • Affordable Pricing
  • Add media easily (great for portfolios)

Pricing:

  • Free
  • $7/month – Personal – Connect custom domain
  • $15/month – Unlimited storage, free domain, remove ads
  • $30/month – Advanced stats

Overall Ratings:

SC Icon

StackCompare.com

4.0 (Aggregate Score)

Capterra.com

4.3 (1565 user reviews)

G2.com

4.2 (412 user reviews)

Joomla!

Joomla is another popular CMS software, but not as beginner friendly as the platforms we’ve discussed so far. While it’s not as easy to use, it is more flexible and allows you to manage custom posts that are media heavy. This is a great CMS if you’re building something bespoke.

If your business operates across different geographies, Joomla includes multilingual support. Meaning that you can add multiple languages to your site without downloading extra plugins.

Since Joomla is open source, just like WordPress, there is a lot of community support, so you’re not alone if you get stuck.

Features:

  • Multilingual support
  • Advanced users
  • Flexible for non-standard content types

Pricing:

  • Free
  • Personal – $99/ year – 1 Joomla site
  • Business – $199/ year – 5 sites, developer suport
  • Agency – $399/ year – Unlimited sites, 3rd level client support

Overall Ratings:

SC Icon

StackCompare.com

3.9 (Aggregate Score)

Capterra.com

4.1 (461 user reviews)

G2.com

3.9 (327 user reviews)

Product Features

WordPress

Free - $45 / month
  • Customizable
  • Multiple Themes
  • Expert Support

SquareSpace

$12 - $40 / month
  • Good for Beginners
  • Easy eCommerce
  • Elegant Themes

Weebly

Free - $30 / month
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable pricing
  • Media-focused

Joomla!

Free - $399 / year
  • Multilingual Support
  • For Advanced Users
  • Niche Content

Alternative Options

Types of Web Services

Frequently Asked Questions

There are so many content management systems on the market and determining the best one depends on your needs. If you’re a beginner, you might choose Weebly or Wix – and if you’re more advanced WordPress and Joomla! are both popular.

A content management system is software that allows you to build, modify and manage your website. Whether you’re creating a portfolio, news website, online store or landing page for your business, you’ll need a content management system to get started.

A Content Management System stores all your content in one place and allows you to easily manage and update it. You can easily optimize for search and add media rich elements through plugins and tools. You don’t need to be a web developer or expert to use a content management system, taking the grunt work out of building your website. Many content management systems will also host your domain name for you.