Most Popular CMS by Market Share
Whether you want to build a website for a professional, scalable business or creative, design centred blog, there’s a CMS out there for everyone. But in such an over-crowded industry, where do you begin?
Here’s our guide to the top 10 most popular CMSs, based on Market Share.
What is a Content Management System (CMS)?
A content management system (CMS) is a software that allows you to manage, create and publish content including copy and images, without needing to know code. We appreciate CMS’s, because while some of us were born to code (Think Bill Gates and Dennis Ritchie) most were not.
The simplicity and accessibility of no-code-necessary websites has made them more inviting for non-techies alike. It’s no surprise then that out of over 1.7 billion websites online, nearly half use a CMS.
What is Market Share?
The market share shows how many people are using each product or service over its competitors. A varied market share is good because it means more competition for consumers.
10 Most Popular CMS as of 2021
Each CMS has its own benefits, features and quirks but they can generally be divided into two types: customizable, free, open-source software like WordPress and Drupal and more streamlined, paid SaaS options, like Squarespace and Wix.
Open-Source software gives users full control over their website and allows you to modify, adapt or extend the code, as you wish.
Apart from being free to use and download, according to McKinsey&Company, open-source appeals to companies because it promotes more collaborative, innovative and specialized solutions.
Open-source allows companies to open their network to a community of people who work together, including customers, software engineers and suppliers.
Open-source solutions aren’t generally suited to newcomers because they require you to purchase a custom domain, host your website yourself, keep up with ongoing maintenance and you won’t have any customer support.
That said, if you think this method would suit best then there are always guides and tutorials online to help you through.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions provide pre-built website templates and drag-and-drop elements to create webpages.
Users pay a monthly subscription fee to access their site anytime, anywhere and using any internet-enabled device.
According to McKinsey&Company, more companies are rapidly adopting SaaS platforms because it leaves them free from the responsibility of taking security measures and running third party applications.
SaaS is also a less expensive option and helps companies cut operational costs by providing an external support team, increasing collaboration across the globe and providing easy access to data.
Unless you’re new to the internet, you’ve probably heard of WordPress.
WordPress is a free, open-source software and is by far the most popular among CMS users with a massive 61.8% of the market share.
WordPress comes with a nice selection of standard features and allows you to enable almost any feature through the thousands of custom themes, widgets and plugins.
What Businesses Should Use WordPress?
WordPress is a great choice for enterprises and large organizations.
Why Should I Use WordPress?
WordPress gives you the ability to create custom user roles which ensures that the site is easy for everyone, an important factor for large organizations who generally have lots of different teams and partners accessing the site. It also ensures that the content caters to a wide and varied audience.
When Network Rail needed a website upgrade they looked to WordPress for a solution. They needed their website to appeal to a wide customer base across the UK, and also to their employees and business partners. This meant that usability was a key focus.
Network Rail outlined their customer personas and created a custom template based on these. They also developed several plugins and widgets, including:
- ☑️ A customized career loader plugin to pull in new job opportunities
- ☑️ A feed loader plugin to gather and publish articles from Network Rails partners
- ☑️ Custom SiteOrigin widgets to enable editors to easily add specific style content to posts
Network Rails’ new theme made the site easier to use for both customers and internal teams. It’s also made it more responsive across all mobile devices.
WordPress is the most popular CMS by far, and for good reason. It’s free, open-source and you can create custom user roles, widgets and plugins to ensure the site is easy to use for both employees and website visitors.
Please note that we’re referring to WordPress.org not WordPress.com, though both are great for hosting high-traffic websites.
Joomla has 4.7% of the market share making it the second most popular among CMS users. It’s a free, open-source solution with brands included Ebay and Peugeot
What Businesses Should Use Joomla?
Joomla is suited to any business type
Why Should I Use Joomla?
We can see Joomla’s possibilities when they a cheese factory in Frossasco called Caseificio Pezzana to update their old and tired website in line with their branding.
They wanted their website to give visitors a better customer experience, and reflect the new company’s branding; They wanted a site that was as visually tasting as their food.
Joomla updated the CMS system, improved their SEO strategy, usability and responsiveness.
In addition, the agency created animations and graphics and optimized the website to get the best results. These included:
- ☑️ Multi language features (Italian, English, German).
- ☑️ Responsive design
- ☑️ New customized template
These were all to ensure a more consistent and competitive visual brand across multiple platforms.
The Caseificio Pezzana website increased its organic web ranking and improved security aspects. It also now reflects and enhances the Caseificio Pezzana brand and can compete more aggressively against competitors.
Skill level: It Ain’t Easy
Joomla is a bit more challenging than the CMS leader WordPress and as it’s open-source there’s no customer support. However, the Joomla team kindly created a detailed Joomla documentation for users. Alternatively, if you want to communicate with humans you can visit the Joomla! User forum.
Joomla! is a responsive, scalable CMS that’s easy to update. It caters to most business types, but beginners should stay clear unless you’re looking for a challenge.
3. Shopify (1+ Million Live Websites)
If you’re looking to start your own eCommerce website business then Shopify is the most popular eCommerce focused platform with 3.2% of the pie.
Canadian born company, Shopify is a SaaS, subscription model where users can easily create a website, and add, ship and manage products.
What Companies Should Use Shopify?
Shopify is for e-commerce stores only.
Why Should I Use Shopify?
Shopify helps brands to scale-up, manage inventory and offers a good support team.
Karolyn Fox, creator of Military Hippie, a six figure women’s apparel brand, started her company fulfilling her orders at home until she was no longer able to keep up with demand. To help her meet demand, scale up and manage inventory Karolyn created a Shopify Plus account
Shopify allows Karolyn’s team to track how similar products have sold in the past, predict likely future demand, and to hold a significant amount of inventory prior to launching a marketing blitz.
The company also uses SKULabs, a multi-channel inventory and warehouse management system to optimize its new 4,000 square foot warehouse.
Karolyn also benefits from the use of a Shopify fashion buyer who scours the globe for items that can quickly be tested on Instagram and offered for sale.
Karolyn credits the following results to both her ability to adapt her brand quickly as well as Shopify Plus’s tools and team:
- ☑️ Conversion rate increased by 32% YoY
- ☑️ Returning customer rate jumped 99% YoY to 21.7%
- ☑️ Average order value (AOV) increased by 3%, topping $79
- ☑️ Revenue increased 97% in 2018 and is on track to hit $10MM
Skill level: Piece of C-C-Commerce
Shopify focus on being an easy-to-use site but if you have a query, they have a support team on hand 24/7.
Shopify is an easy-to-use eCommerce platform with plenty of sales focused features and a good support network for its users.
Drupal are another free, open source software but unlike WordPress and Joomla, Drupal focus on powering complex social publishing community sites that are content heavy and house large databases.
What Businesses Should use Drupal?
Drupal are a good option for any and all business types but keep in mind that some businesses may require additional Drupal platforms and extensions. E-commerce sites in particular can use Drupal Commerce or Ubercart.
Why Should I use Drupal?
Drupal played a pivotal role in The Economist’s shift from a weekly print magazine to a daily publishing platform.
The team needed an online tool they could access anywhere and at any time in order to publish five news stories each morning across America, Europe and Asia.
Drupal allowed the editorial team to design a content creation and publishing workflow. The content writing interface was customised to eliminate the possibility of error in formatting and to allow the authors to focus on the content.
A dashboard was also created to enable editors to create and publish issues daily; it provides visual indicators of approval status, countdown timers per region and links to make edits.
Skill level: It Ain’t Easy
Drupal is not for beginners. Making design changes and even updating extensions can be difficult with this one.
Drupal is a free, open source software for complex social community sites.
Drupal provide usability, customization, scalability, content authoring and security features but may require a developer’s assistance to navigate.
Squarespace is a SaaS, all-in-one website-building platform. They’re a design centered brand with the goal of empowering people to share their story.
What Business Type Should Use Squarespace?
Any business type can use Squarespace. but its focus on design makes it more suitable for creative brands, such as photographers.
Why Should I Use Squarespace ?
Idris Elba is an avid promoter of Squarespace and even collaborated with them this year on a campaign. When asked why he chose to collaborate with Squarespace, he said that he likes to use tools to expand his thoughts, creativity and business.
For Elba, it’s all about user experience. He wanted people to visit his site and see exactly what he’s offering, and have a very simple way of getting it.
He wants his site to be both informative and easy on the eye. Elba goes on to say, “I chose Squarespace because I want people to visit 2hrset.com and say to their friends, ‘They seem really professional. You should check them out.’”
Skill Level: You Got This
Squarespace is a relatively easy platform to get used to but if you’re unsure, you can look at some video tutorials to help you get started.
In comparison to WordPress, it doesn’t offer much flexibility or customization though, so you’ll need to hire a developer if you want to make changes outside of the themes’ template.
Squarespace is a design focused brand known for their clean, modern templates. They aim to create an impactful, stylish and easy-to-manage online presence and are particularly suited to creative industries.
Wix is another design driven, SaaS platform that offers both free and premium subscriptions.
Wix believes that everyone should be able to create a beautiful website and have soared in popularity in recent years, boasting celebrity names including Adam Grant and Karlie Kloss.
What Business Type should use Wix?
Based on our own hands on testing and review, Wix is a great starter for small businesses.
Why should I use Wix?
People are moving to Wix for its ease. Jan Avellana, a writer and Wix user describes Wix as being fun and easy to use because it’s all “about design and no code”. She seamlessly runs her brand across her website, blog and other collateral with a focus on ways to create work that gets noticed.
Wix users enjoy it because they can focus on communication without worrying about the technical side of things.
Skill Level: It’s for Everyone
Wix is user-friendly, easy to operate and has a feature that automatically assembles a first draft for you if you’re new to the world of design.
Wix is a design focused, beginner-friendly platform with over 500 designer templates, a drag and drop website editor, optimized mobile view and a wide range of SEO features that are easy to use.
Blogger is Google’s blogging platform. It’s a free, basic, open-source software that focuses on accessibility and ease of use for new or casual writers.
Blogger has gotten a bad rep. over the years because of its lack of growth and adaptation. Interestingly enough, Twitter was created by Evan Williams after he became frustrated with Blogger.
It has its benefits though, and its simplicity is endearing.
What Businesses Should Use Blogger?
Blogger isn’t intended for businesses – it’s aimed at casual writers who want to potentially start getting paid for their work.
Why Should I Use Blogger?
Okay, let’s be real here. Blogger is the definition of basic. But I think its simplicity is refreshing and many writers are returning to their Blogger roots because of its no-frills, minimalist structure.
You don’t need to sign up to anything once you have a Google account, you just go to Blogger and sign in through that.
Blogger allows you to run one blog or lots of blogs on a minimalist interface. It’s also SEO friendly, and actually it runs quite smoothly.
Skill Level: Mam Friendly
Blogger is the easiest to use CMS on this list. So, if it’s something simple and casual you’re after then give it a try.
Blogger is lovely in its simplicity and has remained accessible and free but it’s not suitable for businesses.
Magento is a free and flexible, open-source e-commerce platform but they also offer other solutions depending on the size of your business, including SaaS.
What Businesses Should Use Magento?
Magento is focused solely on e-commerce and can handle larger and enterprise-level businesses.
Why Should I Use Magento?
Magento is popular for its design and usability.
Lladró, a global porcelain company, specializing in hand-crafted figurines turned to Magento when they wanted to expand their business globally and be able to ship their products quicker.
Lladró needed a platform focused on delivering exceptional, online and mobile customer experiences.
Their new website now has many new features including enhanced gallery and product pages and a better checkout flow, that have improved customer experience.
The Lladró marketing team now spends less time managing the website and their routine work is now automated and takes up less of their time.
Skill level: Non-coders Need Not Apply
It’s not rocket science but there’s no one-click installation option for Magento so it can be difficult to get set up online.
Magento sell themselves really well and are appealing to anyone looking to start an e-commerce business. They’re a solid platform with features like order management and business intelligence. This is a difficult platform get set-up online but once you do, there’s a good support team available.
9. Bitrix (Bitrix24)
Okay, so we’re nearly at the bottom but this is an exciting one, so stay tuned. Bitrix24 is a full-scale, SaaS collaboration tool that offers a complete package of collaboration, communication and management tools for your business.
Bitrix24 claim that “it pretty much does everything but run your company for you” and I have to admit, it’s not far off.
What Companies Should Use bitrix24?
Bitrix24 caters to more established businesses from small to enterprise-level.
Why Should I Use Bitrix24?
Bitrix24 is has helped industries lacking in technology – like construction – that have complex and long projects, to become more automated and transparent.
Company RNR adopted Bitrix24 because it allowed his team to programme all tasks that needed to be completed. There was 1,800. The performer and the responsible were assigned each task then combined them into an algorithm.
Deadlines are now set for each task with filters to track any that are overdue, and the process can now be directly controlled in the system. The payment process has also been simplified.
Skill Level: Leave It to the Techies
Bitrix24 is a very comprehensive collaboration software with a steep learning curve.
Bitrix24 is ideal for helping more established business become more automated and transparent.
If you’ve made it this far then, you’re nearly there. The 10th most popular CMS is Prestashop. Similar to Magento, Prestashop is a reliable, free, open-source eCommerce solution for small to medium businesses.
What Business Type Should Use Prestashop?
Prestashop is best suited to small to medium e-commerce businesses
Why Use Prestashop?
Prestashop features are somewhat limited in comparison to Magento. Business can do the basics including allowing businesses to create a page quickly and easily.
They can also help you increase your sales per person by allowing you to create packs of products. You can also customize your order by letting customers upload images of their preferred style product.
From a configuration perspective, businesses can offer customers several payment methods, shopping methods and run geographical delivery zones and apply shipping carriers.
Prestashop Ready is a hosted, ready-to-use version where you can create a blog, customize and automate newsletters, for a cost €24.00 p/m.
Skill Level: You Could Do It but More Support Would Be Nice
Prestashop is more user-friendly than Magento but limited support is provided. If you need someone to have your back then Magento is a better option.
Prestashop has limited features and are lacking in support but they are less expensive to operate than Magento.
WordPress is still the overall champ of CMS platforms. It’s great for large and enterprise-level businesses especially, because it allows you to create custom user roles for employees and choose from its thousands of plugins and widgets, among other things.
If you’re a beginner and would like something with minimal hassle then Wix and Squarespace are both good options.
Canadian owned Shopify is the current CMS king of e-commerce with plenty of sales focused features. Prestashop is a close second.
And last but not least, my personal favorite: Bitrix24; an all-in-one collaboration, communication and management tool, perfect for business needing some more automation and transparency around their work.