Is WordPress the best CMS?
What’s a CMS?
Content Management Systems are web applications that utilise databases or other methods to create, edit and store content that can be managed easily. With a CMS, the backend of a website (the area accessible only to webmasters and other selected users) will consist of a dashboard with organised sections and a selection of options to choose from, such as editing pages, posts, products & their features and much more!
Who uses Content Management Systems?
In short – everyone. CMSs account for approximately 3 of every 5 websites. The vast majority of websites being built in this day & age, whether off their own back or with the help of a designer/developer, will be using a content management system.
For businesses especially, a CMS that can easily store & edit content, is easy to understand for employees, and comes at a minimal cost, is paramount for both time & cost-efficiency when building & maintaining an online presence.
Examples of CMSs
There are many easy solutions for web design. The likes of Wix, Yell, GoDaddy, and Squarespace are easy to get started with, offering cheap domain names, cheap hosting, and easy drag & drop page building which requires no knowledge or experience of web developing.
As great as these options seem for a cheap and easy way to get online, payment tends to be continuous and customisation is limited. This might not seem so big of an issue at first, but when optimising your site for page speed, improving its design, or investing in an effective SEO campaign, these systems can be quite restrictive.
Of all the CMSs out there, WordPress is by far the most popular, making up 3 out of 5 CMS websites and around a third of all websites.
Why is WordPress so popular?
WordPress was created in 2003 as a blogging platform. To this day, they offer a free domain & hosting for a basic blog site which features their name in the URL e.g. johnsmithblog.wordpess.com however, it’s become the go-to web development solution for business and all kinds of sectors!
The amount of time and money you spend on WordPress is entirely in your control. Downloading & using a WordPress website is free, once you have your domain and hosting.
All you need to pay for is premium themes & plugins and of course the time of your developer, but you can avoid this if you’re willing to invest time into finding the best free themes & plugins and developing the site yourself.
Benefits overall include:
- User friendly interface
- Thousands of themes & plugins to choose from
- SEO friendly
- Mobile responsive
- Support from WordPress Community
- Integrated blog
- Open source
What about E-Commerce?
For online stores, there are CMSs designed specifically for retail. Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms with built-in speed & security as well as a range of integrated payment gateways to use. The disadvantage being that, similar to the likes of Wix, it is ideal only for easy-build small-scale sites.
Magento is widely considered as the best e-commerce platform for its range of templates, extensions and customisation potential. It is used by some of the biggest online retailers in the world, such as Land Rover, The North Face, Liverpool FC and many more.
Although there is an open-source version that can be downloaded for free, licensing for an effective Magento experience doesn’t come cheap. The Community package costs at least £1495 (per year) and the Enterprise version starts at £10,000 (per year). For this reason, Magento is recommended for large-scale retailers.
For SMEs, the likes of Shopify and Squarespace can serve you well. With WordPress however, you can easily transform a typical site with all the benefits of WordPress, into a powerful e-commerce site by simply installing a plugin called WooCommerce.
WooCommerce accounts for 22% of the top 1 million e-commerce sites – the largest amount ahead of Shopify, Magento, PrestaShop, Big Commerce & OpenCart.