What exactly is a CMS?
You know you need a new website for your small business, but do you know how you will update content and manage the website after it’s built?
This is what a Content Management System (i.e. CMS) is for.
Websites are a requirement for modern businesses, but not all business owners know what their options are for maintaining a new website.
Essentially all small business websites will rely on a user friendly CMS to manage the content of the website.
At the core, a CMS is software that facilitates the creation, editing, organizing, and publishing of content. The most well known and widely used CMS is WordPress. But other common CMS options are Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, and Joomla. There are certainly others, but these seem to represent the majority of websites.
What are the most popular CMS platforms for small business websites?
Most have heard of WordPress, and for good reason. It’s a free CMS solution that gives users of all technical abilities the tools they need to manage their website.
WordPress doesn’t require a user to understand code, or other technical languages. It’s a straightforward system that allows you to change the design, content, and structure of your website.
More than half of all websites are built using WordPress. This is due to the incredible flexibility and versatility WordPress provides.
One of the great advantages of using WordPress for your CMS is the customization possibilities for those who need more functionality than a basic marketing site.
Users can build a basic marketing site using a free theme, or a totally custom ecommerce solution.
At the end of the day, WordPress is the most used CMS for a reason. It serves both the local mom and pop store, as well as the enterprise customer.
Its ease of use and ability to grow with your business make this the best option for most websites.
Wix is a great basic solution for those who need an extremely simple website. Technically Wix is not a CMS, but rather a website builder that is design oriented and has CMS functionality built in.
Most businesses that are growing should probably skip over this as an option, but it can’t be denied that the Wix drag and drop interface for arranging your website is easy to use.
Ultimately, Wix could be a good choice for some, but in our opinion, its limitations outweigh its benefits for most.
Squarespace is another Wix-like option, that is highly design oriented and has CMS functionality included.
It is very different from our preferred choice, WordPress, but for some it’s a good option.
For those looking for a DIY website builder, this is what we would recommend (over Wix), since the templates are very high quality.
Compare the main differences between Wix and Squarespace here.
For businesses only needing an ecommerce solution, Shopify should be a CMS that you consider. More than 600,000 businesses trust Shopify as their ecommerce platform!
Shopify provides a fantastic all-in-one solution, for those who don’t already have a website.
It includes technical support, which can be very helpful for entrepreneurs launching an online store for the first time.
For those who have a website already, we wouldn’t recommend Shopify, but rather an ecommerce solution like WooCommerce.
WooCommerce is self-hosted ecommerce software for WordPress websites, and is a fantastic solution for businesses that have a WordPress website already.
Here’s a direct comparison between WooCommerce and Shopify if you’d like to dig in.
Joomla is another CMS that is open source (like WordPress) and has great potential for advanced users.
At the start, it’s very similar to the most popular CMS, WordPress, but Joomla seems to be best for very complex web solutions. From the start it comes with more advanced features, which are suited for tech savvy users who are looking for specific CMS functionality.
Again, we believe that for most users, WordPress is the better option. It is just as functional and robust when compared to Joomla, but much simpler to use for most business owners or marketing managers who may find themselves wanting to update content on their website.
For a WordPress vs Joomla comparison, check out this article.
Why Seadev recommends WordPress for most client websites
If it wasn’t clear above, Seadev typically recommends client’s use WordPress for their CMS, even if they’re currently using another CMS.
We think the ease of use, combined with the nearly unlimited customization, provides clients the best of both worlds. Also, when working with us, we can customize your WordPress website to meet your specific needs. Then we help you maintain that website moving forward for very little cost month to month.
Call Us Today
If you’d like to learn more about CMS options, send us an email using our contact form.