Currently, WordPress is used by 23% of all websites worldwide and is the most popular CMS with 61% market share. So from its origins as a simple blogging platform, WordPress has evolved into an extremely successful CMS, used by just about everybody.
Well not everybody, because as we know there are lots of other CMSs available. WordPress just happens to be the most popular one. So if you are just starting out and you need a new website, should you simply follow the herd and use WordPress? Or are there other CMSs that might better suit your needs?
To help clarify your thoughts, let’s look at four lesser known CMS development alternatives to WordPress, which are actually quite popular in their own right. Whilst their market shares are much smaller than that of WordPress, each of these CMSs has a dedicated following. So let’s compare them with WordPress:
This system is a relatively easy to install an out-of-the-box CMS that is extremely user-friendly. It can be up and running in its most basic configuration quite quickly. For out of the box performance, there is typically little need to write custom PHP code, and there are thousands of plugins and themes available. It can be deeply customized and has the capability to be a very unique site.
WordPress is best used by do-it-yourselfers or people who just want a basic blog, and are happy with the themes found online.
With ExpressionEngine (EE) every website is built from the ground up, so each website is completely unique and no two are alike. You do need a developer to setup and upgrade EE, as it needs coding knowledge, but once it is setup, EE can be very user-friendly. The disadvantage is that EE is not free and involves a small license fee.
EE is great for ecommerce websites, membership sites and for those who like to tinker under the hood and design their own custom website.
This is said to be the hardest CMS, but also the most flexible, and it is free to download. There are lots of free themes and plugins, and it is extremely powerful and flexible. It is also highly customizable but you do need at least a basic knowledge of HTML and PHP and experience fixing faults and errors if they occur.
Drupal is best used for sites that require high security (lots of government and enterprise level businesses use Drupal), discussion boards, multi-lingual tools and sites that need a lot of customization.
Similar to WordPress, Craft focusses more on the content of your site, but is a more pared back version of WordPress. It is highly customizable, but you do need to learn the Twig syntax for complete functionality. There are no themes, sliders or other design tools, but it is highly scalable and can be used for anything from blogs right up to large corporate sites.
Silverstripe is highly flexible, scalable and customizable, but is more of a framework than a CMS. It’s better for ecommerce sites than blogging sites and it is free to download. You will need some coding experience however, so it’s best to have a developer set this website up for you. Once it’s installed and your website has been designed, the back end is fairly intuitive and easy to manage.
In conclusion, if you have no coding experience and have the time to design and tinker with themes and plugins, then WordPress is the best CMS. At the other end is Drupal, which is really for developers and in the middle are Craft, EE and Silverstripe, all of which to some degree or another, require some knowledge of coding.