22 May The Best and Worst Content Management Systems
We’re ranking the best and worst content management systems (CMS) by how we’ve seen them work for clients, based on our experience with website development, SEO, and custom integrations. Before we dive in, a content management system is an online platform that makes it easy to update your website. It stores your image and video assets, and allows you to change copy, content, and make updates for SEO.
When you’re deciding between content management systems, you’re deciding how to run your business. Limitations in your CMS affect your marketing funnel when potential customers leave your website after not submitting their information, and the number of leads a business can bring in significantly impacts its bottom line. The best content management systems are customizable and offer plugins so that business owners don’t have to know how to code to make changes on their website.
1. Tie: WordPress and Shopify
WordPress and Shopify both offer customizable content management systems with easy-to-navigate admin interfaces and a large library of plugins and apps to enhance the functionality of a website. WordPress is the best content management system for service and industry businesses, while Shopify is the best option when it comes to retail and e-commerce businesses because of its built-in payment processing, basic inventory management, and POS software. Both content management systems have a large selection of templates and prompts for improving your SEO, which is the biggest benefit for organic lead generation.
If you don’t know where your business falls between service and retail, ask yourself, “How do my customers purchase my product / service?” If you provide custom quotes via email and send paper or digital invoices to request payment, your business most likely falls into a service category and WordPress is the best CMS for you. If customers select and buy products via in-person interactions or a checkout flow on your website, Shopify is the best fit for your business.
Squarespace ranks number two on our list of best content management systems because of its available templates and options to add advanced features. While Squarespace’s interface is less complicated to learn, it’s also less customizable than our top pics for web design and development. Advanced features, like optimizing for SEO and adding CSS, are also difficult to implement without clicking around to different tabs and pages. Squarespace makes it easy to add new pages and sections, but it’s easy to get lost in the details and lose your place.
Kajabi’s all-in-one platform is one of the less prominent content management systems simply because it’s a paid platform. It offers robust features including easy-to-implement SEO, unlimited marketing emails, and a suite of free workshops for members. While these are great features, at Blüm Agency we work with small businesses and local entrepreneurs who are typically looking for free content management systems to establish their online presence. Small business owners rarely have $1500+ to pay up front for a content management system, and want to choose between one of the free platforms when they need support with web design and development. Kajabi – with all of its features – ranks third on our list based on pricing accessibility.
While better than Weebly, Wix is one of the worst content management systems. Business owners have to develop two separate websites to make it accessible via desktop and mobile – instead of using a responsive CMS like WordPress, Shopify, or Squarespace. When developing separate desktop and mobile websites, you have the ability for customization but it’s easy to become inconsistent in design and content from one screen size to the other. Wix-hosted websites are typically more reliant on images than websites using other content management systems, which can also make them slower to load. When your prospective clients or customers have to wait longer to get to your website, there’s a higher chance of them leaving before seeing any of your content. The benefits of Wix are its’ easy-to-use SEO optimization and that the CMS is intuitive for someone with little design background to put together a website using drag-and-drop technology.
Like Wix and Squarespace, Weebly uses content blocks to make creating pages relatively simple. However, Weebly’s content management system is clunky and difficult to optimize for SEO. It also structures all pages and URLs with .html added to the end, which makes it difficult to advertise on popular paid media platforms like Google and Facebook. When you spend the time and effort to build a website, you want to make sure you choose the best platform for future building and branding, not only what’s easiest in the moment.
While not technically a content management system, we have seen increasing usage of this landing page system to promote online programs. ClickFunnels is the worst product you can use if you’re trying to rank in search engine results (on Google or Bing) because it doesn’t build domain authority and it’s not a customizable system. ClickFunnels also charges more per month than buying a domain and hosting it for a year on WordPress. We ranked ClickFunnels last in this list based on being an overpriced system that does the least for your business in terms of long-term functionality.
WordPress and Shopify are our number one picks for best content management system based on the degree of customization available, library of templates, and available plugins to increase the functionality of your website. Weebly and ClickFunnels fall at the bottom of our rankings for CMS, but you can always invest in a website redesign if you’re currently using one of these systems!