Most User-Friendly CMS
Jan 06, 2017
Any user friendly CMS should be intuitive. After all, if your open source CMS offering is not user-friendly at every stage of web design and web development, why should you even bother with it at all?
The content management system (CMS) is truly the core application for your website. It will provide not only the content and imagery for the site, but it also manages the user registration system and all data pertaining to customers and products. Plus, its administrative console will be used by content editors as their main interface to the system.
This article delves into the different intuitive CMS platforms that help you create an optimum user experience, which one works the best given your specific needs, which CMS is best for blogs, and which can be customizable.
As a San Francisco Bay Area based web design and SEO company with a business-focused approach to your entire online marketing channel, we’re also going to discuss which user-friendly content management system you should avoid if you’re a beginner, and which ones you should definitely check out if you’re somewhat or very experienced.
Content management systems (CMS) are a well-established product group. There are a wide variety of both Open Source and Commercial systems to choose from that are well designed, well tested and supported by broad developer communities. These include:
- Commercial Systems, such as Kentico, Episerver and Ektron, provide the most robust solutions with the best user interfaces or UX design, along with a broad set of features, plus a single entity responsible for quality, performance and new feature releases. Commercial Systems are integration tested, and have the best scalability and security. Commercial CMS solutions require a licenses fee ranging from a few thousand dollars to over a hundred thousand dollars. Market expertise is readily available for these systems.
- Open Source Systems provide license-free software developed by many contributors within a branded community. Quality and new feature responsibilities are self-policed and facilitated by the community of respective developers. These solutions can have a broad set of features and work very well when the existing community modules support a company’s requirements. Integration testing and maintenance of multiple community-authored plug-ins is an incremental requirement of Open Source solutions. Market expertise is readily available for these systems.
- Proprietary Systems are custom coded for the particular company’s features and operational processes. All incremental features require incremental custom coding. In general, these systems are very expensive to establish standard industry features. Market expertise is generally not available, and they are difficult to support.
Commercial CMS Solutions
Kentico Web Content Management System –– Kentico is a fully integrated ASP.NET CMS, E-commerce, and Online Marketing platform that allows you to create cutting-edge websites and optimize your digital customers’ experiences fully across multiple channels. Kentico is an all-in-one platform, meaning that you can avoid the frustrations of dealing with disparate systems.
Kentico provides easy page management and multisite functionality from a single UI, helping you to develop mobile-ready sites to create the ultimate web experience, and run your business globally. It is a favorite of Marketing personnel for its overall ease of use.
Out of the box, Kentico’s CMS solution leverages features such as ready-to-use web parts, widgets, multiple language support, and mobile previews and device detection, to free time and resources so you can accomplish more.
Plus, Kentico provides robust content management features, such as approval hierarchies, robust permission controls, work flow management, audit trail / history, change roll-back, etc.
Kentico is recognized as a “challenger” in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for WCM.
Kentico has been implemented in over 25,000 websites through over 1,000 digital agency partners, across 100 countries.
Here are a few recognizable names using Kentico Web Content Management:
- Ocean Spray
Episerver boosts operational efficiency through an advanced authoring interface. Designed to be easy to use, its interface enables you to quickly manage the content layout and maintain brand consistency. The layout is automatically responsive for any device. With Episerver, you simply click and begin typing to make immediate updates to your content.
Like most user-friendly content management systems, Episerver enables you to make content updates directly on the website using a browser-based editor The user-friendly authoring environment minimizes training for content owners, delivering instant productivity. Layout is straightforward and responsive, so you can easily define each layout option and view to fit your business. Atomized, interactive content is right at your fingertips. Create and place calls to action, images, video, and more, all within a single view.
Episerver provides a lot of features for empowering marketers, including A/B testing, automatic landing pages, personalization, adaptive content, campaign management and marketing automation.
Like most commercial CMS platforms, Episerver is very flexible and offers deep security –– with audit trail, Captcha, content approval, email verification, granular privileges, LDAP authentication, login history, various authentications, problem notification, sandbox, SSL compatibility, SSL logins and pages, and versioning.
Gartner recognizes Episerver as a “Leader” in the September 2016 “Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management.”.
Episerver is implemented in over 30,000 websites through over 34,000 developers, across 100 countries.
Here are a few recognizable names using Episerver Web Content Management:
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Pizza Hut
Open Source CMS Systems
WordPress – On its website, the most popular intuitive interface CMS on the planet boasts that it powers 27% of the Internet and is the easiest place to get started.
That translates to tens of millions of websites. That’s why WordPress appears to be the preferred open source CMS by Marketing departments and is generally a preferred system for blogs because it’s so intuitive to use
WordPress is the most accessible content management system with 350 easy-to-use themes for any type of business, e-commerce store, or blog. For that reason, we think it’s also the most intuitive CMS for small or straightforward content websites. It is the penultimate flexible platform because it installs quickly, has a tremendous developers’ community, offers tons of plugins, provides easy PHP and CSS file editing.
However, the success of a WordPress website is dependent on how well it is built and managed. Be sure to hire an agency that applies industry best practices, performance, and security principles.
WordPress is also used by some of the most recognized sites in the world. The top ten include:
- BBC America
- ebay Inc.
- MTV News
- PlayStation Blog
- Sony Music
- The New Yorker
- The official Star Wars blog
Drupal Is Another Open Source CMS – This open source, free content management system is a popular IT or Developer choice for building a company’s first website. Drupal is a pure CMS digital management system that helps you create and deliver content and experiences across the web, mobile, social, and e-commerce channels.
It’s great for personal blogs, websites, small business sites, and also offers hundreds of templates or modules to increase your website’s functionality.
Features include security, highly scalable, easy content authoring, and multilingual, as well as mobile friendly, flexible content architecture, omni channel, e-commerce and a vibrant user community.
As with all Open Source platforms, the success of a Drupal website is dependent on how well it is built and managed. Make sure your hire an agency that applies industry best practices, performance, and security principles.
The most well-known users of Drupal among its more than 1,000,000 websites include:
- Gatwick Airport
- Harvard University
- Princess Cruises
- Rainforest Alliance
- The Economist
- The Weather Channel
- The White House
Drupal is used, more often than not, by web developers who want to customize a website design vs. someone who wants to use a template or two on WordPress.
There are a handful of other CMS platforms that are similar to WordPress and Drupal, but are a bit more complex to use. These open source systems are not as popular as WordPress or Drupal. Thereby, there offer fewer plug-ins, less available expertise and are less proven for broader features. These solutions are typically not as User Friendly. They include:
- Cushy CMS
- Expression Engine
If you have a large, complex website to develop with an equally robust budget, your web designers will typically recommend a proprietary system. These are content management systems that are built, owned, licensed, and supported by one company and correspondingly, require a significant investment in your website design and development.
For any proprietary system, the UI/UX is equally important. UI is an acronym for User Interface, which is a combination of tasks that are focused on optimizing a website for the user’s enjoyment, while UX is industry shorthand for your User Experience, which is the look, the feel and the interactivity of a website for the web visitor or client.
The Most Intuitive CMS for You.
What is more intuitive for you vs. other web managers is all a matter of how much website editing experience you have, your requirements for website pages and content, and the sophistication of your web marketing initiatives.
Obviously, WordPress and Drupal are used by literally millions of people because they’re so easy to use and intuitive for CMS for smaller, less sophisticated websites. On the other hand, Kentico and Episerver are very feature robust with flexible user interfaces and advanced CMS functions supporting companies with greater marketing and communication requirements.
Ultimately, the most intuitive, easy to use CMS system will be the platform that best fits your particular website requirements, ongoing marketing and communication initiatives.
Want to Find Out More About The CMS That Is The Most Intuitive?
Now you know more about the most intuitive CMS systems, you may still need to investigate which user-friendly content management system works best for your website, and which is most customizable to address your unique requirements.
If you should need to speak with an expert San Francisco Bay Area web design and web development expert for content management systems, we invite you to contact Moonstone Interactive today.
Request a Free Consultation.