Best CMS Platforms in 2021 [WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal vs Squarespace vs Wix vs Medium]

Selecting a perfect CMS platform in 2021 is really a challenge. Lots of platforms are waiting out there- how will you decide about the best one?

Back a few years, we had to struggle for finding a CMS platform for blogging, doing business, or other content publishing. But the situation is totally different now. You can see a close competition among the CMS platforms and that's almost like a war!

So, how would you choose the best CMS platform to start your content marketing? Which criteria would help you meet your needs ?…Don't worry, we're here to help you.

In this article, we have covered almost everything you need to know about CMS Platforms- definition, a short introduction, features, pricing, top platforms for 2021, detailed comparison, and more. Let's have a look.

CMS and Its Outputs

live site- best CMS platform

The number of total websites is rapidly increasing. Around 2 billion websites are live now. Thanks to CMS (Content Management System) for making it possible to start and manage a website with ease. So, what are the cms platforms?

A CMS is a software that allows users without programming knowledge to create, edit, and publish web content, such as text or multimedia elements, collectively via a graphical user interface.

– Digital Guide

To perfectly manage your content marketing, you need to decide about your content strategy and set up the goal. There are basically three types of content marketing solutions in the market.

  1. Web content management solution
  2. Blog or news publishing solution
  3. Social publishing solution

When you're going to build your own site, you should consider some certain facts. This will help you perfectly design and customize your site.

Web Content Management

If you're going to start a classic content publishing site rather than blogging, news publishing, or social networking; you would need to have the capability of multiple editors' access to the backend, the optimized process of multimedia content publishing, user role management, full-text search option, multilingual support, etc.

The requirements of a classic web content management site are quite larger than a blogging or community publishing site.

Blog or News Publishing

If you want to build a blog or news publishing site, find a solution that offers easy content preparation templates, a simple way to engage with readers and content categorization, the ability to allow and manage guest posting, link building, and a powerful social sharing option, etc.

Social Publishing or Community Building

It requires much more functionality than a blogging site. In a social networking site, you need to deal with a community that is active, live, and not passive. So, with your own content, you have to manage their content too. It's called user-generated-contents.

So the performance, speed, and flexibility of your social networking site need to be better and stronger.

In general, you should look for these features when you build a website.

  • Core functionality like speed and user-friendly interface
  • Customization ability
  • Easy editing
  • Setting up User Roles
  • Custom content management applications
  • Easy search option
  • User interaction
  • Multiple site support
  • Multilingual support
  • 24/7 service etc.

Cloud vs Open Source Platforms (Commercial vs Free Software)

Most of the CMS websites today are available on open source. You may listen to some different solutions like cloud or SaaS. SaaS or software as a service is just a special form of cloud service. So, basically, there are two different solutions in the market- cloud and open source.

cloud vs SaaS- best CMS platform
Source: Bastian

The basic difference between a cloud and open-source service is their licensing. Open source comes from such a license with which you can change, customize, and improve just as you want. You're free to do almost anything with this free solution.

On the other hand, in the cloud services with proprietary software, the CMS is developed by a particular firm and shared as a commercial project. The source code is not available to users. So that the users can’t make changes on their own. Moreover, third-party applications aren't allowed in cloud services.

The solution offered by the open source providers is more attractive to the entrepreneurs in the viewpoint of budget, freedom, flexibility, a built-up community and so on. That's why open source based CMSs are the unbeatable king in today's market.

Best CMS Platforms for 2021

In the software industry, things are changing every day. So making a comparison and preparing the list of best solutions isn’t an easy task. We make this list considering the number of active installations, live sites, cost, ease of use, functionality, performance, SEO, security, and support, etc.

Hope this comparison will help you narrow down your options and choose the best one.

  1. WordPress
  2. Joomla
  3. Drupal
  4. Squarespace
  5. Wix
  6. Medium

WordPress- Best Open Source CMS

WordPress CMS- best CMS platform

WordPress started its journey in 2003 as a simple blogging platform. It became so popular both to users and developers within a short period of time. WordPress develops itself as the full functional CMS platform and now it powering over 33% of all the web.

Powerful features

  • Customizable design
  • Easy and user-friendly interface
  • Responsive mobile support
  • SEO friendly
  • High security
  • Powerful media management
  • Multilingual support

WordPress Usage Statistics

States- best CMS platform
Source: Built with

Issues You May Face with WordPress

  • Frequent security updates are really a significant matter with WordPress
  • Sometimes plugins have security issues
  • Some of the themes contain unnecessary generic code
  • Limited durability with high traffic

Small-medium or big, WordPress is the perfect solution for all. In this tight competitive era, when other platforms are struggling with their places; WordPress is the single winner in almost every aspect. Not us, data is telling this. All the recent states are the witness on this statement.

So, you can keep it (choosing WordPress) on your mind when going to start your online journey.

Joomla- Best CMS for Developers

Joomla CMS- best CMS platform

Joomla is one of the award-winning CMS platforms help you easily create websites and powerful online applications. The first version of Joomla was released in 2005 and got name and popularity within a very short period of time. After WordPress, Joomla is the biggest platform for others.

Joomla has a dedicated community just like WordPress, plugins, and templates to color your site as you want.

Powerful Features

  • Unlimited design
  • Flexible and extensible
  • SEO-friendly
  • Mobile support
  • Multiple language support

Joomla Usage Statistics

Joomla states- best CMS platform
  • Market share: 5.4% of CMS and 3.0 of all web
  • The number of live sites: 1,886,390
  • The number of sites in the top one million: 18,793
  • Most popular sites: Harvard University, Linux, etc.

Issues You Can Consider with Joomla

  • Slightly Complex regarding WordPress
  • Premium extensions are pricey
  • Small Module Marketplace
  • Extensions often require manual implementation

If you are sure you'll need extra features on your website, Joomla may not be the best CMS choice. The Joomla community offers lots of modules, but they are hard to get and harder to manage.

But for developers or people who have the technical knowledge, Joomla could be the best CMS solution.

Drupal – Top Enterprise CMS Platform

Drupal CMS- best CMS platform

Drupal was first developed as a student community solution but is now available as a fully customized open source CMS, flexible and highly scalable. The software comes to a far wider range of features out of the box than other alternatives. Drupal offers an extremely easy basic installation.

Powerful Features

  • Very flexible, user-friendly interface
  • Useful for producing highly advanced sites
  • It has more than 36,000 modules
  • Good choice for community platform sites

Drupal Usage Statistics

  • Market share: 3.5% of CMS and 1.9 of all web
  • The number of live sites: 617,691
  • The number of sites in the top one million: 30,341
  • Most popular sites: EntertainmentWeekly, Box, etc.

Issues You May Face with Drupal

  • Complex configuration for the normal users
  • Basic installation requires lots of extra installations
  • Module installation only possible via FTP

With its focus on social publishing, Drupal is especially perfect for small and medium-sized community plans.

Squarespace- Best Enterprise CMS

Squrarespace CMS- best CMS platform

Squarespace is the all in one solution to create beautiful websites. It was launched in 2004 as a basic drag-and-drop website builder. Today Squarespace has over 1 million users, which is a prove to its durability and care to customer satisfaction. One of Squarespace’s unique strengths is its exceptional analytics.

You have the opportunity to collect actual data just from the moment you start.

Powerful Features

  • Great-looking templates
  • Best quality features
  • Full customization control

Squarespace Usage Statistics

Squarespacestate- best CMS platform
  • Market share: 2.7% of CMS and 1.5 of all web
  • The number of live sites: 1,881,917
  • The number of sites in the top one million: 11,036
  • Most popular sites: Lumio, Fotio, BigHuman et.

Issues You Can Consider with Squarespace

  • Expensive price plans
  • Not so beginner-friendly
  • Processes are lengthy

Squarespace is great for photographers, artists, designers and any individual who prefers the design for their contents.

Wix- Best CMS for Small Business

Wix CMS- best CMS platform

It's another big player in the CMS market. Wix shines with its combination of user-friendly publishing. If you have coding expertise, Wix could be a better alternative for you. Wix is also known for its outstanding support and quick maintenance.

Powerful Features

  • Easy, intuitive drag and drop builder solution
  • Bundled solution to get a site up quickly
  • Full functional backend and overall design
  • A perfect selection of modern themes
  • Amazing Speed & Security

Wix Usage Statistics

Wix states- best CMS platform
  • Market share: 1.8% of CMS and 1.0 of all web
  • The number of live sites: 2,000,001
  • The number of sites in the top one million: 3,389
  • Most popular sites: GoodFeelingGood, Vintique, etc.

Issues You Can Consider with Wix

  • Long-Term Pricing
  • Complexity in Editing & Design
  • Limited and false apps collection
  • Weakness in SEO support

Wix promises 100% convenience with built-in solutions for DIY (Do it yourself) website owners and they’re trying to keep the promise. So, you can consider using Wix for especially your startup projects.

Medium- Best Free CMS for Blogging

Medium CMS- best CMS platform

Medium is famous as a blogging and content sharing platform. If you want to create a blog or news publishing site, Medium could be one of the best CMS solutions. Not only that, Medium was selected as the top 3rd blogging platform in a survey of the Slant community.

Powerful Features

  • Reader-friendly interface
  • Minimalist pages
  • Easy setup and easier publishing process
  • Stats on views, complete reads, shares, etc.

Medium Usage Statistics

Medium state- best CMS platform
  • Total site: 18,198
  • The number of live sites: 11,599
  • The number of sites in the top one million: 1,398
  • Most popular sites: Reverb, Dollarshaveclub, etc.

Issues You Can Consider with Medium

  • Limited editing with WYSIWYG
  • Poor commenting system
  • User interface isn't so good according to some experts

Medium is perfect for bloggers who just started their journey and for those who want to increase the site’s traffic. Is Medium better than WordPress too?… Check our in-depth comparison post.

A Quick Comparison on WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal vs Squarespace vs Wix vs Medium

Now, take a close look at this short comparison of these top six CMS platforms. This will surely help you make a decision with ease.

Now, it's your turn to move on with analyzing and making a final drive!

Wrapping Up on Best CMS Platforms 2021

CMS made it easy to build a website and manage your content. But you need to find the best CMS platform regarding your content's structure. In this post, we covered almost all the necessary fields of the top 6 CMS platforms that you should know.

Take a close look, consider your present capability and future needs. You will surely find you in a winning position at the end of the day.

What do you think- is our selection perfect? Share your opinion including which CMS platform you’re using now or going to start with!

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Sakil Adnan
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Sakil Adnan

Author. Analyst. Editor. Completed Graduation on Business & Marketing. Passionate about History, Religion, and Literature. Enjoy exploring new things beyond regular tasks & responsibilities. Believe in teamwork, love empowering team members.

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