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  3. Telegraph Picks: The Best CMS Systems (Updated)

Telegraph Picks: The Best CMS Systems (Updated)

Content management systems (CMS) are vital for the success of any organization. Ensuring that your CMS meets your needs is essential to the success of any organization; many nonprofits, lacking in-house tech expertise, require an easy-to-deploy CMS with drag-and-drop editing functionality to be successful online. Telegraph has rated several industry-standard CMS systems, and thought it would be appropriate to put those platforms head-to-head along with their strengths and weaknesses. We’ve evaluated CMS systems on a variety of criteria that range from the user interface, the cost for deployment, effectiveness, and overall differentiation.

The best CMS software by rating

Here is the list of the best CMS systems that we rated. The overall app rating determines these ratings. These scores are pegged to Telegraph’s standard scoring system based on four fields of 25 points each added for a total score out of 100 possible points.

  • WordPress – 90/100, “Over the moon”: WordPress is a surprisingly simple platform to manage, while capable of being deployed for complex and unique use cases. Users can rely on a comprehensive body of work covering the deployment of WordPress and how to utilize its endless features, plugins, templates, and just about anything else, there is to know. WordPress is also a lightweight software. Cost: Free download because WordPress is an open source platform.
  • Magento – 87/100, “Spiffy”: Magento, as a cloud-based solution, is built for one thing: eCommerce. The open source edition of the Magento platform is a highly customizable option for users. Despite the platform being an eCommerce tool, Magento’s faculties as a content management system (CMS) are also notable. Cost: Free download because Magento is an open source platform, with a paid enterprise version available.
  • Joomla – 83/100, “Spiffy”: Joomla is an open source content management system (CMS) similar to WordPress and other platforms. From visual in-depth and dynamic static pages to creation options, Joomla provides a diverse array of content management options. While it is similar in some ways to WordPress, it is not quite as user-friendly. Cost: Free download because Joomla is an open source platform.
  • Hubspot COS – 82/100, “Spiffy”: This platform is billed as a content optimization software (a.k.a. COS) named Marketing Hub. With Marketing Hub, HubSpot offers a website builder, a content management system, and marketing automation service built in an all-in-one software. The website builder and CMS are built on a “drag-and-drop” interface that promotes user-friendly website building design through templates and management. The downsides? The tool is expensive and you would need to recreate your entire CMS and CRM systems if you move off the software. Cost: Plans begins for free and peak out at $2,400 per month (billed annually).
  • Drupal – 82/100, “Spiffy”: Drupal is an exceptional platform for blogging and traditional web content management because of the flexibility of the software. This flexibility provides various types of content solutions for content creators. The framework is a fantastic solution for e-commerce platforms, NGOs and nonprofits, and media and publishing. Similar to Joomla, it is a bit more complex to use than WordPress. Cost: Free download because Drupal is an open source platform.
  • Wix – 74/100, “Middling”: Offering a simple “drag-and-drop” web building experience, Wix has earned accolades for its easy-to-learn user interface, setup, and beautiful templates. Wix also offers several integrations and applications that can be built into your website to give static pages bravado. Most of the integrations, however, only serve for essential functions like scheduling, contact forms, site analytics, and integrating social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Wix is not particularly flexible for unique use cases. Cost: Domain mapping begins at $5 per month while hosting begins at $11 per month.
  • uCampaign – 74/100, “Middling”: uCampaign is a fully functional community lobbying and canvassing platform. More than just a way to get volunteers, uCampaign has managed to lower the barrier to entry on couch potato activism and made it fun. Cost: uCampaign offers custom quotes to potential and current clients.
  • Leonardo/WPA Intelligence – 68/100, “Hodgepodge”: Leonardo is the core system behind an iPhone and Android app that WPA Intelligence built for campaigns. It allows for push button notifications to volunteers and supporters, and hosts live Twitter, YouTube video, and EventBrite notifications. Cost: WPA Intelligence offers custom quotes to potential and current clients.
  • Squarespace – 67/100, “Hodgepodge”: Squarespace is a website building tool for the non-developer who has an eye for design. Over the past few years, Squarespace has become the go-to service for individuals looking for a quick and easy way to launch a website that looks pretty, with an easy to use backend and professional looking templates. Cost: Plans begin at $12 per month.
  • Weebly – 60/100, “Hodgepodge”: Weebly sports a drag-and-drop website building interface for ease-of-use that is relatively beginner friendly and can be learned quickly. Weebly supports external integrations from third-party services that can augment your site’s capabilities, and the platform’s API is available for developers to create custom integrations and themes. Users can also access customer support 24/7 through email or self-diagnose their issues through an updated knowledge base. Cost: Plans begin at $8 per month.

Our recommendations

  • The best content management system is WordPress. Between the open source nature of the software and its full usage, WordPress defines the industry standard for an accessible UI and cost-effectiveness.
  • Drupal is the most secure content management system offering the least technical vulnerabilities among the world’s leading web development frameworks.
  • Beginners will have the best experience when they use Wix, a drag-and-drop solution that’s fully customizable.
  • Magento is the best open source platform for e-commerce operations.

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