The Content Management System (CMS) has become an important tool for startups, freelancers, and even free time pursuits that call for the need to connect with others and share information. Content has become all important in the age of information, and building an online presence is something the market has come to expect. Website creation is a job many would prefer not to hand over to a contractor when they could control the process and make decisions themselves – and with greater convenience.
Without needing to build a website, there are still countless other IT issues that enterprises need to deal with. For those London-based SMEs looking for help with anything from cloud computing to disaster recovery, a provider of IT support in the London area could be just what the doctor ordered.
Reportedly used by 34.5% of all websites online, WordPress had the advantage of launching early on in the game (2003), and as a result holds a very large share of the market. Built with PHP and MySQL, it comes with a range of tools for creating simple blogs or websites comprised of text, images and videos.
Themes are available to personalise websites, aimed at different fields of industry. Domains and hosting are also options. Business plans that offer unlimited storage space, access to themes and a custom domain are priced at $25 per month.
Joomla! is the second largest CMS provider on the market, with 2.5 million installations worldwide. It isn’t considered to be as user-friendly for the beginner as WordPress, but is more flexible in some regards.
Custom post types can be managed more easily, which can be especially useful for websites that use a range of media. It also offers more options for user management, as well as multilingual support that doesn’t require a plugin or extension. The average cost of Joomla! is between $200 and $500 for 12 months.
A CMS platform that launched around the same time as WordPress, Squarespace isn’t open source and the software cannot be downloaded. However, it is subscription-based, user friendly and easy for beginners to build websites. Similar to WordPress, themes can be installed for websites with text, images and videos.
A commerce platform is also provided for building and managing online stores. The personal plan is priced at $12 per month, while the business plan, which includes a domain and unlimited bandwidth, is $18 per month.
Another player on the CMS market, Drupal is flexible when dealing with post types and offers control over user and permissions. It also can handle multilingual sites without the need for plugins or extensions, and is rated higher than other content management systems in terms of security.
Drupal may not be the best option for beginners, but its security and scalability make it a great choice for SMEs. Prices can vary based on the project.
The main focus of Magento is on building e-commerce sites, and was initiated through a greater need for security. Magento features customer service tools, detailed reporting and marketing promotion features. It is a large, powerful platform that is also easy to use.
Magento is available as a free download and also as a hosted service. Cloud and enterprise editions come at a higher price.
Wix is a cloud-based platform for content management that also enables the creation of mobile-optimised websites. It features the use of e-commerce, email marketing, contact forms, community forums and a drag-and-drop system. There is the option to add plugins for more functionality, to remove adds and use a domain name for an extra fee.
Pricing begins at $13 per month, while the Business Basic Plan is $17 per month for unlimited bandwidth, 20GB storage and a free domain.
Typo3 is a popular CMS platform, and is aimed at enterprises of all sizes. It is constantly kept up to date by its developers and has a wide range of features. It has a large community which can help beginners and there are many professional services that offer Typo3 support. It is a high-performance CMS that calls for some expert knowledge, but will deliver successful web projects. Typo3 is a free and open-source platform.
Another popular CMS platform that is easy to use, Weebly enables a website to be created in a short space of time. It uses a drag-and-drop system that allows content to be added and removed with greater ease, and it has an excellent record for design and testing.
Weebly offers a free plan, a plan for $12 per month that comes with unlimited storage and a domain name, and a small business plan priced at $25 per month with extra tools and features.
With a long list of CMS platforms to look through, small businesses will be spoilt for choice when websites need to be created. The extra competition has driven down prices and brought various features and specialisations to the market, so users are now able to plan carefully and select the platform that is most suitable to their needs. Some skills may be required when dealing with a CMS, but as a rapidly expanding industry, these will only become more valued and advantageous in the future.