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WordPress Alternative: 5 Top CMS Options in 2017

WordPress may bring website-building capabilities to the blogging masses, but larger brands usually need a more customized look.

Whether a company sells merchandise, deals in content, or offers professional services, here are five CMS options that give you more flexibility than WordPress.

Some will work for entry-level web managers, but be warned: some of these CMS packages require advanced web development skills.

Magento

E-commerce is growing 23% each year, so more and more retailers are trying to sell merchandise online effectively. With competition so stiff, though, e-commerce websites have to be user-friendly and attractive to keep shoppers from bouncing.

Magento makes it easy for anyone to set up an e-commerce site. You can build or import your own code, but you can also take advantage of out-of-the-box templates, themes, and features without any advanced coding ability.

Most importantly, you can manage your commerce end-to-end. Set up multiple payment methods in a secure way, handle shipping, and send out invoices automatically in the interface. You can even generate reports from the Magento UI.

In short, it’s a user-friendly e-commerce CMS for beginners and advanced web managers.

Example of a company using Magento: authentic sports apparel brand Mitchell and Ness.

Drupal

Drupal

Drupal is a powerful CMS—and with great power comes great responsibility. Unless you are a developer or plan to hire one (along with an advanced designer), you should probably look somewhere else.

If you do feel comfortable working with a highly advanced CMS, then the possibilities are endless with Drupal! The CMS comes with lots of latitudes, so developers and designers with a vision can build their vision without the CMS getting in the way.

The site is excellent for news or content organizations with a huge number of pages; various SEO plugins help with canonicalization and hierarchy. The last “pro” here is that Drupal comes with a vibrant community of users, so you can usually find an answer to questions without contacting support.

Example of site built with Drupal: The NCAA

Craft CMS

craft-cms

Craft CMS is another developer-friendly CMS, but once developers or an agency build the initial site, it can often be handed off to staffers without real web dev chops.

Craft is an excellent option for companies desiring a custom website. This is because it includes a relatively simple software package that you build on rather than manipulate (like WordPress).

Craft still offers various tools and plugins for things like SEO and e-commerce, and it’s easy to create new content on a page or a new page altogether. A bonus is an easy access to support—it’s all right there in the dashboard. Even if you need to combine a blog, product page, and community forum all into one website, you should be able to do it easily with Craft CMS.

Example of a site using Craft CMS: Broadview Networks’ site for office phone systems.

Joomla

joomla

Like Drupal, Joomla requires a good deal of web development experience. If you have the resources, though, you can create a website through Joomla with tons of personality and independence.

Additionally, if you want to build an e-commerce site but would rather avoid Magento (for whatever reason!), Joomla has a robust lineup of e-commerce capabilities like payment methods, affiliate tracking, shipping, and Captcha.

Overall, Joomla likely has the most secure options for our favorite CMS software, so whether you’re building a dynamic corporate site with secure employees-only info or a large e-commerce site, your data will be safe.

Example of site using Joomla: Lipton Iced Tea

Web GUI

web-gui

If sharing content management with others and file transfer tasks fall into your daily routine, you might want to give Web GUI a look. Web GUI is a user-friendly CMS that is suitable for a wide variety of industries.

Users can collaborate on documents in real time and create different versions to await approval. You can also use the “sandbox” feature in Web GUI to prepare web pages for publication.

As far the interface is concerned, you can drag and drop files into web pages and use the “undo” button when necessary. The extensive list of apps makes Web GUI even easier to use.

Example of a site using Web GUI: California State University

Conclusion

Choosing the right CMS boils down to your particular needs and capabilities. If you have some coding ability, feel free to dive into a developer-friendly CMS—if not, you should probably stick with WordPress.

These CMS options all give you an opportunity to build a truly unique site, though, so it might be worth hiring a team of developers to do the job! After they are done, the user-friendly interfaces of these five programs will allow you to make updates and create content without starting from scratch.

About the author

Adam G

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