There are dozens of great CMSs out there. Regardless of what type of site you’re building, there’s probably one perfectly-suited to it.
The problem is that most designers and developers don’t want to spend time learning a bunch of different CMSs. They want to learn one, or maybe two, and use those for all of their sites. That means they need something that’s both flexible and powerful.
The CMSs below fit that bill pretty well. Some have practically become household names (in designer households, at least), while others are a bit more obscure.
The first three, WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal, are pretty unarguably the best CMSs out there. The next seven are a bit more subjective, but have a good combination of support, features, and ease-of-use.
Try them out, and decide for yourself which one best fits your needs and the needs of your clients.
A couple years ago, it was widely debated whether WordPress should really be considered a CMS considering its roots as a blogging platform. That debate has pretty much fallen by the wayside at this point, as WordPress now powers plenty of non-blog websites, including everything from simple multi-page brochure style sites right up to full-fledged social networks (using plugins like BuddyPress).
There are thousands of themes available for WordPress, as well as thousands of plugins and widgets to extend its functionality. WordPress also has an incredibly active community surrounding it, meaning it’s easy to find tutorials or information about nearly every aspect of developing for WP.
Through plugins and custom themes, you can turn WP into a social network, forum, e-commerce site, and much, much more. There’s also built-in functionality for creating blog networks or other multi-blog installations from a single core installation. WordPress.com offers a hosted, less-versatile version of WordPress, though the basic functionality is all there.
- Huge developer community with plenty of documentation and tutorials available
- Free and paid plugins and specialized themes make it possible to create virtually any kind of site with WordPress
- User-friendly dashboard for managing content
- Can be overkill for basic sites
- A standard installation can have a lot of security issues, and is very vulnerable to attack without additional security measures
- No official support outside of user forums, where you may or may not get an official response