12 Best Free CMS (Content Management Systems) for Website Building
What Is a Content Management System (CMS)?
Picture your local public library. The building is a great place to store information, but the only way the librarian can manage all of the books is by developing a system. Just as the librarian's system organizes and tracks each and every book in the library, a content management system (CMS) is software that helps you keep track of each and every piece of content on your website.
The content on your website can be any type of information you can think of, from simple text and documents to photos, music, and videos. The best part of a CMS is that it requires almost no technical knowledge or skill to manage and maintain; the CMS does the work for you.
The 12 Best Free Content Management Systems
In this article, you will learn about the 12 best CMSs you can use for free to create your website.
Building a website has become much easier with the availability of several content management systems. With a CMS, you no longer have to struggle with HTML and CSS coding in order to create webpages. In this article you will find the 12 best content management systems available for free that have made the jobs of web developers and website publishers much, much easier.
Although there are many different content management systems, some of them are excessively complicated and require technical knowledge. In contrast, this article will go the most simple, easy-to-use, and customizable CMSs available.
WordPress is a CMS you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. WordPress is free, and comes with priceless features, coupled with an ease of utilization that makes it hard to beat.
This software is built by the community of hundreds of volunteers, and if you decide to use this CMS, you will find thousands of plugins and themes available, which means you can customize your blog however you'd like in order to bring your dream site to life. There are over 60 million people using WordPress to power their websites.
Using Drupal will help you build any type of website, from personal blogs to enterprise applications. Again, you will find thousands of add-on modules and themes to customize your site. Drupal can be used to build an advanced database management website. For this, though, a little technical knowledge is required.
Drupal is built and supported by a community of active and diverse people from around the world. It is an open source content management platform that is used by millions of websites and applications. Most of the web-hosting services provide easy installation of Drupal.
Joomla is an award-winning CMS that can help you build websites as well as powerful online applications. Installing and setting up of Joomla is very easy, and you do not need any prior technical skills. Joomla is an open source content management solution. Many web-hosting services allow you to install Joomla with a single click, and learning to use it is just as simple—a feature that has made it popular.
4. SilverStripe CMS
SilverStripe CMS is a platform that is used for building websites, intranets, and other web applications. Most business and government and non-profit organizations are using this CMS. SilverStripe CMS is immensely flexible and easy to customize. It also provides fundamental security models, caching, workflow, and multiple languages. SilverStripe CMS is open source, contains powerful php5-based programming framework, and is underpinned by public documentation, free code, and a developer community.
5. Frog CMS
Frog CMS offers a flexible templating system, an elegant user interface, and simple user management and permissions. While the CMS does not require you to learn a scripting language (it has a simple template for you to fill out), if you know how, you can modify its code if you know PHP.
Frog CMS is based on the well-known Ruby on Rails application, and requires PHP5 and either a MySQL database or SQLite with PDO. The company's website recommends using Apache with mod_rewrite for your web server.
CushyCMS is free, lightweight, fast, and simple. The main aim of Cushy CMS is to simplify content management to make life easier for web designers. This CMS gives clients access and the ability to change the content of a specific number of pages without affecting everything else.
You can use any server, and no programming is required. You don't even have to train your clients. Provide them with FTP details, and you are done. However, with a bit of CSS knowledge, you can define editable areas of your pages.
MODX is one of the best platforms for out-of-the-box, Ajax-enhanced, accessible XHTML/CSS sites. Building CSS-based sites is easy with MODX. Also, you will easily be able to create custom applications. You don't have to learn any complex template systems, and it provides a good interface—and rumors are its next release will be more simple and flexible. MODX is like a blank canvas for a web designer's creative vision. This CMS also makes it easy to adapt your sites to any mobile platform.
The philosophy behind dotCMS Web Content Management (WCM) is that creating and managing enterprise websites should not be difficult. With dotCMS, you can easily integrate complex J2ee development stacks. This CMS also stands out because it will reduce your work time—it will finish a process in days that would take other CMSs weeks. dotCMS helps in developing engaging, responsive, multi-channel content to drive your online business. Additionally, it will provide you the ability to respond to any IT business in days, not weeks, because of its support for lightweight web scripting, web services, and comprehensive application programming interfaces (APIs).
Contao is for people who want professional presence with easy-to-maintain software. Two of the best features of Contao are the high standard of security and the ease of managing user rights. Contao also has an array of specialized modules, such as news, calendar, form, and other modules.
Radiant is an open source content management system designed for small teams. It has an elegant user interface and a great extensions/plugin system. It also features flexible templates that allow you to choose your layout, arrange page parts, add snippets, and tag your pages. This CMS makes it easy to manage your users and their permissions.
Similar to MovableType or Textpattern, Radiant is a general purpose CMS that may be used for far more than blogging. If you are a developer, it will be useful to know that Radiant uses Ruby on Rails. It has a MIT License, which means it is free for both commercial and non-profit use.
11. Expression Engine
ExpressionEngine is a powerful content delivery platform. With ExpressionEngine, web professionals can build the website or application of their dreams. Thousands of people use this CMS by EllisLab software to build their applications, sites, and businesses. It provides you with the ability to design template files in-house and manage multiple authors.
With concrete5, you will be able to start a simple content site and easily use it to share information inside of your organization (via an intranet) or allow controlled access to people outside of your organization (via an extranet) in order to create an active and vibrant community. Concrete5 is completely free to use and provides add-ons and themes that will allow you to customize your site. If you have any major enterprise requirements, they also have a good support system that will be willing to help you.
Which Content Management System Should You Choose?
So after going through the best CMSs, now the question is which one to choose. Many will settle down with Wordpress, Drupal, or Joomla because of their massive popularity and add-on availability. These are all well-suited choices for a personal website or blog. If you are a web developer making a website for your company, I recommend looking closely at the other options to see if any better fit the needs of you and your client.
© 2013 Anand Kumar