Today, millions of websites and blog pages seem to be expertly made and almost standardized in their layouts as compared to those colorful, flamboyant, graphic-laden, full-fontal websites decades ago. Almost anyone now can create a blog page, company website, and even e-commerce websites with well-structured designs thanks to content management systems.

Websites 10 years CMS

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A Content management system (CMS) is a set of software tools that allow users to create, manage and publish content such as blogs, forums and company newsletters on the internet. They can be also used internally within company intranets for workflow and collaboration. They can display published content in various familiar web layouts or templates which users can choose from. 

Websites made with CMS

Daisy wine CMSInsignia CMS




Content management systems allow ordinary people to publish content to the Internet without any knowledge of web development tools through easy to use interfaces though some advanced administration is required in the back-end. They are managed by administrators through a central interface and content is stored and updated in a database.

Since content management systems are meant to be used on the web, they are highly customizable. They have their own content management frameworks and tools based on popular web development languages such as Java, PHP and ASP.NET to allow developers to enhance their site’s `appearance, ease of use and especially enhance security.

There are dozens of content management systems available on the Internet. They are either free or sold. Below are some of the most popular content management systems available.

Wordpress – is one of the most popular content management systems available used by both enterprises and private individuals because of its ease of use and thousands of available free or sold design templates to choose from, also because it’s free. Bloggers or website owners can host their websites on the Wordpress website for free or they can download the framework and host their websites on their own. There are thousands of attractive and elegant templates to choose from. There are also thousands of plugins available to add new features. This CMS uses PHP as the underlying language and MySQL to store content.

Wordpress logo and sample templates

WordPress CMSWordPress CMS themes







Drupal – is a free content management system popular for its powerful features like its ability to run on various platforms and use a wide array of databases. It was first launched in 2001. It gained notoriety after it was used by the US Democratic Party in the 2003 presidential campaign. As of 2014, over one million websites use Drupal.

Drupal logo and sample website

Drupal CMS logoDrupal CMS NASA screens

Joomla – like Wordpress and Drupal is a free and open-source CMS. Joomla was launched in August 2005 and was a fork of another CMS system known as Mambo. The name Joomla was derived from the Swahili word jumla which means ‘together as a whole’. Unlike other CMS packages, Joomla doesn’t feature wizards that enable non-developers to create a basic website however the interface is easy to navigate and intuitive enough to let developers easily build their websites. Like Drupal, Joomla also supports databases other than MySQL and can be run on various platforms. There are also plenty of Joomla themes and add-ons available. Joomla has plenty of features including the ability to be used in multiple languages natively, has page caching, has advanced search and supports RSS Feeds.

Joomla logo and sample website

Joomla CMS logoJoomla CMS website






Sharepoint – Microsoft couldn’t resist jumping into the market of content management systems. Unlike other attempts to enter into popular trends, this effort met with much success especially in the enterprise which the company targeted. Sharepoint is a commercial CMS launched in 2001 to allow medium to large-scale enterprises to manage content over the web without much HTML expertise. Sharepoint delivers professional, yet attractive enterprise-related content over the web and effectively embodies the mission of content management systems such as content publication, collaboration and ease of use. Today, Sharepoint is used by many top corporations and its functions are integrated into Microsoft Office to allow direct modification and publishing of content from Word or Excel. Sharepoint has its own content management framework based on ASP.NET technologies which allow companies to customize appearance and control and stores its content through Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Azure.

Sharepoint and sample website

SharePoint CMS logoSharePoint CMS website





DotNetNuke – or DNN Platform is a CMS based on Microsoft .NET technology like Microsoft’s Sharepoint. It also stores its content and setting using Microsoft SQL Server. DotNetNuke evolved from another product called iBuySpy Workshop and was launched in February 2003. By 2010, DNN is used by over 600,000 websites by 2010. DNN Platform or DotnetNuke Community Edition is a free version with plenty enough features to build compelling websites such as file management, rich-text editing, multiple websites on a single installation and a Social API. The Enterprise Edition has a full set of features such as page caching and advanced site search. Like other CMS systems, DNN can also be customized by skins and templates.

Dontnetnuke logo and sample templates

DotNetNuke CMS logoDotNetNuke CMS website






Magento – is a fast-rising free and open-source content management system specializing in e-commerce. It was launched in March 2008. This focus on e-commerce has attracted many people who wanted to put their businesses and shops easily on the web. By 2014, it is estimated that 1% of all websites use Magento. Only the Magento Community Edition is free and open source. There is also a Magento Enterprise Edition for businesses and a cloud-based Magento Go Edition. The Go Edition is similar to Wordpress where users can run e-commerce websites but hosted by Magento. This CMS is also based on PHP and uses MySQL as a database. Because Magento is mostly used for e-commerce, developers looking to be hired to administer websites require to be certified.

Magento logo and sample website

Magento CMSMagento CMS website





Plone – unlike the previously listed content management systems, Plone is based on the web language Python. This system was released in 2001. Unlike other CMS systems it run on a different web application server called Zope.  Among the most notable websites run through Plone include the FBI, NASA, Nokia, Yale University and Amnesty International. Plone has plenty of features that make it attractive to the mentioned entities including human-readable URLs, automatic locking and unlocking, support for HTML5, full-text indexing of Office and PDFs and page caching as well as a focus on security.

Plone logo and sample template

Plone CMS logoPlone CMS website





In conclusion, each content management system has its strengths and weaknesses, all of which have proven themselves in building attractive, easy-to-use and secure websites. These are but some of dozens of dozens of content management systems. In the end, its up to you to choose based on popularity, budget, nature of business and web expertise.