Best Content Management Software (CMS) Systems 2023 – Forbes Advisors

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To find the best content management software, Forbes Advisor researched each CMS’ popularity, pricing, built-in features, and more. We also looked at features unique to CMS systems such as post scheduling, e-commerce potential, security, and whether hosting is included.

There are also fewer specific criteria to consider. For example, is the interface easy to use, or are there too many options to overwhelm the CMS? Also, read user her reviews to get a real world example of the strengths and weaknesses of each CMS. It then compares multiple CMS systems against each other, applies a score to each element, and then averages the ratings to create a 1-5 star ranking.

  • ease of use: Ease of use is especially important for small business owners and individuals. We appreciated the simple CMS system that works right out of the box.
  • Costs and Fees: Most CMS systems on the market are open source and free to use, but every website requires hosting. So, we looked at the overall cost of using a website builder with a CMS versus choosing the open source option with a la carte hosting and extensions.
  • CMS features: Choosing a CMS with the features you need to facilitate digital asset management and content management is critical. For example, posting scheduling is important, as is the availability of SEO tools and templates.
  • Functionality: All CMS systems aim to make managing content easy, but some include more built-in features that are ranked higher. However, we also considered an official library of plugins that extend the functionality of the CMS.
  • safety: Also, CMS security is important. This comes in the form of features such as MFA, but also in the form of updates to the core CMS.

How to choose a content management software system

Not all content management software systems are created equal, but they essentially do the same thing. In other words, it makes it easier to build and manage websites with different types of content and data. Choosing the right CMS depends on cost, customization, ease of use, security, and how much hands-on administration you want to do with your CMS and website.

Consider your budget when choosing a CMS. Many are open source and therefore free to use, but there are monthly or annual fees associated with hosting, templates, site creation, and extensions. We have an affordable all-in-one solution. This includes hosting, templates, and an app marketplace with free and paid plugins to extend functionality. You can also find easy-to-use open source CMS systems with lots of built-in features and free templates. In general, the more affordable the option, the less freedom there is in source code and customization.

When it comes to customization, you’ll find more freedom with open source software that gives you access to all of the backend and frontend areas. Your limits here depend on whether you manage everything yourself or hire someone to develop and manage your content.

And that leads to usability. You need to know how much hands-on attention you want your site to have and what it can do. Not everyone knows how to code and some he CMS system can be overwhelming with all the options and all the features. Keep your content management software secure by getting core updates on a regular basis. We recommend opting for something a little more hassle-free with automatic updates and a host or all-in-one site builder that handles especially relevant updates. for security.

Security is a very important part of choosing a CMS for your site or business. You need to keep your customers and data safe by preventing hackers from finding vulnerabilities on your site. All his CMS systems include security features, but some come with MFA, granular user permission settings, and more frequent updates to the core software.

What to look for in a CMS

You can expect your CMS of choice to have certain content management features, such as a content editor, the ability to schedule posts, and security features to protect both your backend operations and your frontend users. Consider the core functionality of the CMS along with available extensions and support.

ease of use

The built-in functionality of a CMS is especially important for small business owners who don’t have development skills or don’t want to hire developers to create custom solutions. Look for an all-in-one solution that includes easy-to-use tools, automatic updates and backups, and an easy-to-use dashboard and visual editor. Consider the extensions or plugins available to extend the functionality of the CMS beyond what is included.


All CMS systems have security features, but some require the attention of administrators and administrators. To keep the core CMS system secure, it needs to be updated frequently. Can you keep yourself informed of these updates or can you set up automatic updates? Employing MFA helps keep your backend operations secure. For example, look for her CMS that provides an authentication feature that requires users to log in using passwords and codes. User group permissions are also important. For example, allow access only to users who have permission to view source code.

customer support

Many CMS systems lack traditional customer support, like live agents who answer questions and help troubleshoot problems. Platforms like Wix,, and Shopify offer such support, but others like Drupal and Joomla do not. However, most CMS systems have strong support documentation and active user communities. Avoid CMS with a dead community. We may not be able to find the help you need.

SEO tools

An SEO-friendly CMS should include features that make it easy to categorize content, manage blogs, and tag articles. You should be able to add meta descriptions and alt text to your photos, customize URLs and blog posts. Menu navigation is as relevant for SEO as it is for mobile. Whether a site is responsive depends on the web developer or template. Sitemap access and dead page 301 redirects may also be required.

Advantages of CMS

Frankly, it would be difficult to run any kind of website without some kind of CMS. The obvious advantage of a CMS is the ability to create sites, manage files on sites, and manage content. Created and hosted on your site. Moreover, different CMS systems benefit different businesses. There are two general types of CMS systems to consider:

All-in-one website builder

They are like turnkey systems that include everything you need to start and manage your site and content. The best website builders include intuitive CMS systems that anyone can use to manage SEO, blogs, files, site look and feel, and backend features. These are great for new and small business owners who don’t need a ton of customization.

Open source CMS system

An open source CMS system gives you complete control over the look and feel and functionality of your site. The trade-off is that it’s much harder to learn and use. They are suitable for web developers or large enterprises who want or need custom solutions and can afford higher development costs.


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