A Collection of the 20 Most Used Content Management Systems

Setting up your own website used to be a very difficult task. In those days you really need to hire a professional to create even a simple web page. Back in those days you need to have the knowledge of coding CSS and HTML. Now even an amateur can create his or her own website because of content management systems or CMS. After you purchase your web host or if you prefer to get free hosting, you just need to install the CMS and in just a short moment you can already set up your own website that you’re very happy with.  You can set it up the way you want and you don’t need to learn how CSS or HTML works, as CMS makes it much easier with their scripts.

There are a number of Content Management Systems available that are either offered for free or at a price. Choosing the CMS for you must depend on what you need and how advanced the CMS you prefer. There are many CMS that is really user-friendly while others are intended only for the professionals who know how to make their own scripts. Here are the 20 Most Used Content Management Systems:

  • WordPress

No other CMS can probably beat WordPress when it comes to its popularity. It’s the most used content management system because of how easy it is to use. Many beginners prefer to use WordPress compared to all other CMS because of its very easy installation and in just 5 minutes you can already start using your blog. Now, it even auto-update itself so you pretty much don’t need to do much to keep it updated.  WordPress is only great for blogging though as it’s built with the PHP blogging platform.  There are a great number of developers for WordPress and even if you opt to get only the free plug-ins or themes, you have a great selection to choose from.

  • Joomla

This is another very popular CMS. Unlike WordPress, Joomla is great for any purpose and it’s highly customizable.  Right now, millions of blogs and websites are running with this CMS and they offer thousands of free designs and extensions for its users. It offers a lot of great options and the admin panel is so straight forward you won’t have any difficulty handling your website.

  • Drupal

This is another great free Content Management System and it is an open source one. If you are planning to create your first website then this will be one of the top choices for you. It’s not just great for personal websites but can also be used for the enterprise sites or business websites.  It can provide you with a lot of functionality with the number of modules it has available.

It’s an open source which means its users and developers are sharing around what they have developed. With over 600,000 users worldwide, you can surely get a lot of available downloads and fresh updates every day. They are following the GPL license which means you can download anything and share anything with the other users.

  • DotNetnuke or DNN

This CMS is built for Microsoft powered websites.  Currently they are used in over 700,000 websites. The platform for DNN is simple but it’s powerful and it lets you create and manage rich content with an interface that is intuitive and allows everyone to enjoy a system that is very accessible.  It’s great for any type of website.

  • MotoCMS

This is another great Content Management System and you don’t need any type of skills in programming to use. You can easily set up your own website with the help of MotoCMS. It uses the drag and drop interface which makes it much easier for anyone to create the type of look they want for their site.

They are offering many templates for you to choose from whether you want to set up an online store or a business website or simply want to set up a personal blog.

  • Typo3

This is another open-source content management system that is enterprise-class. It is used for managing and building websites from the simple personal sites and even to sites for large companies or corporations. It is the safest type of open source CMS so you don’t have anything to worry about leaking all your site information to others.

  • ExpressionEngine

This type of CMS is known for its great flexibility. It is rich with lots of features that’s great for any kind of website project you have in mind. It’s made to be very easy to use and modify and the administration area is intuitive. Even if you are still new to using this CMS it will only take you just a few minutes to learn about its layout and you can start making your own website and modifying it to how you want. It’s a great choice for those who want an easy to use interface with a comprehensive package.

  • RefineryCMS

This type of CMS is Rails-based. It has the Ruby on Rails framework that supports Rails 3.2. It is an open source CMS and is completely free. You can even create your own extensions if you need that extra personalized functionality.

The RefineryCMS is very easy to use and it has a straight to the point and clean interface. You just need to point and click when you’re building a site so everything’s a breeze.  It also updates frequently to give you the best experience they can offer as they continue to work on making their CMS even better.

  • Contao

Contao is also open-source and is the choice of those who need the professional website without spending too much time on maintaining it. It has high security and can even be accessed by people with disabilities to help them create websites that are great for SEO.

Its powerful site structure lets you have several websites under a single tree with regular and redirect pages if you like. You are in control whether you want a page to be hidden or protected with a password or if you want it cached. You can also make your posts published timed or manually.

  • TextPattern

TextPattern is an easy to use Content Management System that is both elegant and flexible. It’s an open source CMS that’s great for building any kind of website you please. It’s one of the very simple CMS you can find and you can control all of the CSS and XHTML aspects through its administrative interface. You can choose from their many free plugins and it can also be extended.  It may be very simple but it has a highly intuitive backend.  It also lets your pages load a lot quicker.

  • MODX

MODX is another great CMS application but this is not the CMS you’d want if you have no knowledge at all with coding. For those who knows how to make their own scripts but don’t want to create their website from the ground up, here’s the content management system you may want to have. It lets you use several styles for a single web page.  It lets your pages load much faster which is a great advantage for many site owners.

  • Movable Type

This is another flexible CMS.  This is the type of CMS many people prefer for their blogs but it’s also a great CMS for creating social networking sites or any type of website. It lets you customize your website fully and this CMS is well known not just for its flexibility but for its power.  It’s a great way for developing websites that are interactive and fun.

  • Umbraco

Umbraco lets you get it for free but it also has its paid version for its different services. It’s for ASP.Net and since it’s a free and open-source CMS, it’s quite rare to find one like it.  It helps you make things simple and it has several well-known users such as Heinz.

  • Plone

Plone is available to over 40 languages so it has a wider range worldwide.  It’s one of the top open-source CMS with a global scale. It provides solutions to 57 countries and had been in business since 2001.

You can use Plone for any operating system whether it’s Linux, Windows or other O.S.  Now they are offering Plone 4 which is their latest version. It boasts of being a more powerful and fast CMS. Its security tracking is one of the best of its kind.

  • Concrete5

Concrete5 makes it very easy to set up and run your own website.  Just go to a page of your website and there’s an editing toolbar that lets you control the content of your site. You can easily make website updates and you don’t need to sweat about how to do it. It’s so easy anyone can do it.

There are so many things you can do with Concrete5. You are not just limited to setting up a personal website or blog but you can even have your own eCommerce website, a government website, virtual magazine or online newspaper, forums and any other site you have in mind.

With Concrete5 you are not just going to use it to build your website but it’s also the CMS you’ll use to make you run it.

  • TinyCMS

This content management system is perfect for those who don’t have a lot of demands from their CMS. No need to deal with a CMS with all the features that you basically won’t end up using at all. If you want to make things very simple then TinyCMS is the one for you.  It does not have a database which means when pages are already cached then the pages will open quite fast. No annoying loading time for your viewers.

If you only want to set up a personal website or blog or even a company website where you just want to showcase what your company is offering and providing them with your contact details then this is all the CMS you really need.

  • Radiant CMS

It runs on Ruby web language and not on PHP.  This CMS can easily be compared with Textpattern and it is also built with Rails framework.  The people behind the Radiant CMS worked hard to provide the CMS very simple & elegant with all the functionality that you’d need and none of those functionality that are usually left unused.  It uses the Radius language for templating.

  • SilverStripe

This CMS can be compared to WordPress but what makes it different is that it has more options and it’s more of the CMS for content management while WordPress is solely the CMS for blogging.  What makes this CMS unique is that it was created with its own framework known as Saphire. It has its own language for templating that helps with the process of designing.

The development community of SilverStripe is not that large but they add functionality through the different themes, modules and widgets they offer.  You may most likely have to modify each theme to your site as well.

  • Cushy CMS

Cushy CMS gives you all the basic functions of a CMS but it’s actually very different. It doesn’t have a specific language and it is actually a hosted solution. With Cushy CMS you won’t have to download anything in the future and it does not have any available updates.

Cushy CMS makes it very simple to work on your website. It takes your info on FTP and it uploads the content to the server. The developer then can modify its layout and its backend by simply changing its style.  It’s also free but you have the option of upgrading to a paid account so you can use your own preferred color scheme or logo and with other types of customization.

  • Typolight

If you want a well-balanced CMS then Typolight is the one for you. Its functionality can be compared with ExpressionEngine and Drupal. It also has its own CSS generator so if you’re a developer you will appreciate how it can help save a lot of your time.  One thing about Typolight is that it has a lot of features and options to configure that many site owners don’t use.  If you want to create your own website that is more advanced and if you have experience dealing with programming then Typolight would be the best choice.


These are the 20 content management systems that are most often used both by amateurs and professional web developers. They each have their own pros and cons so it’s best that you find one content management system that works best for you and that can handle the demand of your website.

If you are still in search of the CMS platform that would be best for you, it is a great idea that you go and check each one first and read more about them. You can download the software and try them out first. If the CMS platform is not for free, most likely they have a demo version that lets you have a glimpse and experience what their platform is all about.

Take into consideration what your expectations are. If you plan on setting up a small website it would be best to add a little leeway just in case you will have to expand it if it becomes successful.  The popularity of the CMS platform gives you a big idea that many people likes what they are offering. But, don’t forget that these designers and site builders have specific needs and wants which may be very different from what you need and want.

After you check out the CMS platform that you feel fits your needs and requirements then it’s time to make a choice. It’s important to find the content management system that will be most comfortable for you and will guarantee that you won’t end up suffering from a headache because of glitches or problems after an update.

Bear in mind that the content management system is there to make site building a lot easier for you. If you are still having difficulty or don’t know your way around the interface you can try to read more and learn how to work your way around it. Most of these CMS are very easy to learn but some are more technical than the others.  Some of these CMS are intended for the pros and if you’re an amateur then it’s best to stick with the simpler ones such as WordPress.

As an advice, if you are still new to site building, you can practice first by building a website that is very simple. Once you have the experience and knowledge and you are ready to take 1 step further then that’s the time you move on to create a much bigger website. The easiest way to start is by setting up a blogsite. WordPress makes it easy to create your own blog for free and you don’t need to get a web host.


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26 Notable Content Management Systems worth Using