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12 Best Content Management Software In 2023

With the help of content management software, you can keep your website up to date and manage the publication of new resources. But with so many tools available, it’s not always easy to pick the right one for your needs. 

I’ve written this article to help you pinpoint the solution that will work best for you. I conducted an in-depth evaluation of various CMS systems, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each one. After reading this post, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about the best software tool for your needs, so you can make the most of everything content marketing has to offer.

Best Content Management Software Shortlist 

Here’s the shortlist of the best tools that I’ll cover in this article.

  1. Wordpress 
  2. Drupal
  3. Joomla
  4. Shopify
  5. Wix
  6. Adobe CMS
  7. Squarespace
  8. Hubspot CMS
  9. Magnolia
  10. Optimizely
  11. Weebly
  12. Contentful

What is Content Management Software?

Content management software (CMS) describes applications used to create, organize, and publish digital content. A CMS allows individuals and organizations to manage various types of content, such as text, images, videos, and other media.

A content management system typically provides a web-based interface for managing all types of media. It may also provide features such as version control, workflow management, access control, and search capabilities.

Overviews of the 12 Best Content Management Software

You can use the simple overviews of each tool below to understand how each tool stands out from other content management software. 

1. WordPress - Best for a huge range of themes and plugins

wordpress screenshot
WordPress users have access to thousands of plugins to extend functionality.

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) that allows users to create and manage websites and blogs with an intuitive and customizable interface. WordPress can handle websites of all sizes, from small personal blogs to large enterprise sites, and can be easily scaled up or down as needed.

Why I picked WordPress: WordPress is user-friendly and easy to use, even for non-technical users. It’s also highly customizable, with thousands of templates and themes available, as well as countless plugins that can add new features and functionality.

The system is designed to be search engine optimized, with built-in features such as permalinks, metadata, and sitemaps, making it easy for search engines to crawl and index your site. The themes are mobile responsive, making your WordPress sites accessible and user-friendly on various devices.

WordPress Standout Features and Integrations

Features worth noting include is its extensive plugin ecosystem, which allows users to easily extend the functionality of their websites with a wide range of plugins. With over 58,000 free plugins available in the WordPress Plugin Directory, users can find solutions for various needs, such as SEO optimization, ecommerce integration, security enhancements, and more. This vast plugin library empowers users to customize their websites and add new features without extensive coding knowledge.

Integrations include ActiveCampaign, Elementor, Facebook, Google, HubSpot, Magento Mailchimp, SlideShare, Twitter, and WooCommerce.

WordPress is available free of charge with a .wordpress domain name.

  • Huge library of themes and plugins
  • Integrates with almost everything
  • Highly customizable with plugins
  • Plugin conflicts may occur
  • Popular target for hackers

2. Drupal - Best for a modular CMS approach

drupal screenshot
Drupal advises you of areas that need attention.

Drupal is an open-source content management solution that’s designed to offer maximum flexibility, so you can build websites the way you want. 

Why I picked Drupal: This software system is designed to be versatile, allowing you to build websites in a modular way. This gives you freedom to change and adapt your website as business conditions evolve.

Drupal can be extended with any of thousands of add-ons, while many themes are available to help you customize content presentation. You can mix and match bundles of components to enhance the software’s core capabilities. In addition, it’s easy to integrate Drupal with external services and other applications in your infrastructure.  

Drupal Standout Features and Integrations

Features worth highlighting include advanced user permission and access control system makes it ideal for managing large-scale, multi-user websites, granting granular control over content editing, publishing, and administrative tasks. The platform's emphasis on security is also noteworthy, with regular security updates and a dedicated security team ensuring a secure environment for websites. Drupal's powerful API-driven architecture and focus on enterprise-level functionality make it a preferred choice for complex and scalable web applications and websites.

Integrations include Atlassian, AWS, Beluga WebThumbs, Facebook, Google Analytics, Goodreads, HubSpot, LinkedIn, Salesforce, and ShareThis.

Drupal is a free, open-source solution.

  • Great for non-technical users
  • Error backtrace
  • Designed to be extended
  • Steep learning curve
  • Time-consuming maintenance

3. Joomla - Best for multi-user permission levels

joomla screenshot
Joomla has a clear dashboard that’s easy to understand.

Joomla is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) that allows users to easily create and manage websites.

Why I picked Joomla: Joomla is an established open source CMS built and maintained by a strong community of volunteers, all striving to produce software that’s robust, secure, easy to use. The system can be downloaded free of charge, yet it offers cutting-edge web features. 

Thousands of verified extensions and templates are available, together with documentation and video training. The software includes layout and overrides technology, plus built-in extendable functions for creating custom CMS solutions. 

Joomla Standout Features and Integrations

Features worth mentioning include its user-friendly interface and intuitive content editing capabilities, making it accessible for users of varying technical skill levels. Joomla provides a comprehensive set of built-in features, such as a powerful template system, multilingual support, user management, and robust access control, allowing users to create dynamic and interactive websites. It's robust flexibility and customization options make Joomla a popular choice for community-based websites, ecommerce platforms, and social networking sites.

Integrations include ActiveCampaign, Acuity Scheduling, Constant Contact, Google Maps, Google Analytics, Jotform, LiveChat, Mailchimp, Setmore, and Zendesk.

Joomla is a free, open-source solution.

  • Strong membership features
  • Drag-and-drop interface
  • Excellent themes
  • More tutorials needed
  • Some extensions vulnerable to hacking

4. Shopify - Best for ecommerce businesses

shopify screenshot
Shopify gives you detailed reports and analytics.

Shopify is a global commerce platform that helps you build a successful online business and scale it to new heights of success.

Why I picked Shopify: Shopify offers an easy way to quickly launch an online store without worrying about servers and development costs. The admin interface is clean, user-friendly, and intuitive, with all the features logically structured and easy to find.

Fast web hosting is included and software updates are handled automatically behind the scenes. Shopify also takes care of all server maintenance and upgrades, so your store and shopping cart are available at all times. 

All Shopify themes are mobile responsive and the platform includes a free built-in mobile commerce shopping cart. So your store looks great on all devices and your customers can shop freely wherever they are. There are also free iPhone and Android apps that let you manage your store on the go.

Shopify Standout Features and Integrations

Features that make it stand out include is its hyper-focus on online store creation, providing users with everything they need to set up and run an online store easily. Shopify offers a user-friendly interface and a wide range of professionally designed templates, making it easy for businesses to create visually appealing and mobile-responsive storefronts. It also provides comprehensive ecommerce functionalities, including inventory management, product variants, secure payment gateways, shipping integrations, and order management.

Integrations include Drip, Etsy, Gorgias, Instafeed, HeyDay, Klaviyo, Omnipage, PageFly, ShipStation, and Vitals.

Shopify costs from $25/user/month. A 14-day free trial is available.

  • Multiple payment processors
  • Easy customization
  • Built-in hosting
  • No email hosting
  • Limited content marketing features

5. Wix - Best for an AI-website building tool

wix screenshot
The Wix dashboard is easy to read and understand.

Wix is a content management system that allows you to design, manage, and develop your website according to your business needs. 

Why I picked Wix:  Wix is a well-established CMS platform that gives small businesses the advanced functionalities needed to create the ideal web presence. Built on an enterprise-grade foundation, it’s engineered to deliver limitless scalability and strong security.

Newbies can get a head start by choosing from the huge range of customizable website templates, with options available for almost every industry. Alternatively, advanced users can start with a blank canvas and build a fully-tailored web solution. 

Thanks to Wix Artificial Design Intelligence, even beginners can build professional-looking websites. Just feed in details of what your website should look like, plus your personal design preferences. Then watch the system build your custom solution in minutes.

Wix Standout Features and Integrations

Features include is its integrated Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) system. With Wix ADI, users can answer a few questions about their website's purpose and design preferences, and the system generates a personalized website design for them. This feature leverages machine learning algorithms to analyze user inputs and automatically create a customized website layout, including text, images, and overall design elements. Wix ADI provides users with a head start in building their websites, saving time and effort in the design process.

Integrations include Ads.txt, Aweber, ConstantContact, Facebook Catalog, Facebook Pixel, Google Ads, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Mailchimp, and Yandex Metrica.

Wix costs from $4.50/user/month. A 14-day free trial is available

  • An all-in-one solution
  • Strong site security
  • Fast-loading pages
  • Ads on cheaper plans
  • The Wix app store is limited

6. Adobe CMA - Best for a headless content management system

adobe cma screenshot
 Adobe Experience Manager is a powerful, headless CMS

Adobe Experience Manager headless CMS is a flexible content management system. It helps teams build and deliver customer experiences across all channels and devices.

Why I picked Adobe CMS:  Using Adobe Experience Manager, developers have advanced technology they need to build exceptional experiences for customers. They can quickly structure and deliver quality content with their preferred front-end frameworks. 

Teams have the freedom to create responsive, personalized experiences across every customer touchpoint. These can include everything from mobile apps to IoT. Comprehensive APIs help them build and deliver connected experiences faster. 

You can also boost productivity and create customized workflows, using the extensibility frameworks and integrations. Content can be created once, then reused everywhere. The system is built with flexible frameworks that deliver excellent web performance.

Adobe CMS Standout Features and Integrations

Features worth shouting out include is its robust digital asset management (DAM) capabilities. AEM provides advanced tools for organizing, managing, and distributing digital assets, enabling efficient asset reuse across multiple channels and touchpoints. Additionally, AEM's content personalization capabilities are noteworthy, allowing marketers to deliver targeted and personalized experiences to their audience based on user behavior, preferences, and demographics.

Integrations include Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, BrightEdge, ExactTarget, Facebook, LiveFyre, Salesforce, SharePoint, Twitter, and YouTube.

Adobe CMS offers customized pricing on request. A free demo is also available on request.

  • Intelligent search features
  • WYSIWYG content preview
  • Creative Cloud integration
  • Steep learning curve
  • Requires multiple sign-ons

7. Squarespace - Best for built-in scheduling

squarespace screenshot
Squarespace includes a fully-functional appointment scheduling system.

Squarespace is a popular website builder and content management system that can be used to build websites for a variety of different purposes.

Why I picked Squarespace:  Getting started with Squarespace is as simple as selecting a template, then choosing your preferred font and color palettes. The system includes a wide range of tools for building everything from online stores to personal websites. Thanks to a huge number of third-party extensions, it’s easy to customize the system to suit your needs.

Squarespace also includes a built-in scheduling system to help you promote your availability. You can share your available hours and let clients book and reschedule appointments. Get notified when clients book appointments, then sync your appointments with your existing calendar app.   

Squarespace Standout Features and Integrations

Features worth mentioning include is its focus on design and aesthetics, providing users with visually stunning templates and a user-friendly website builder. Squarespace offers a wide selection of professionally designed templates that are modern, sleek, and responsive across different devices. The platform's drag-and-drop editor allows users to easily customize their websites without the need for coding knowledge.

Integrations include Apple News, Flickr, Instagram, OpenTable, PayPal, SoundCloud, Stripe, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube, and Zola.

Squarespace costs from $23/user/month. A 14-day free trial is available.

  • Auto software updates
  • Simple to manage multiple sites
  • Ease of use for checkout pages
  • Navigation can be confusing
  • Limited support for SEO

8. HubSpot CMS - Best for conversion-optimized content

hubspot cms screenshot
HubSpot CMS delivers a great experience on both desktop and mobile.

HubSpot CMS is a content management system that helps you create web pages that are optimized for conversion from the get-go.

Why I picked HubSpot:  With HubSpot CMS, you get a drag-and-drop website builder for rapid page design, with no coding knowledge required. You can base your site on one of the pre-built themes or go for a custom development solution. Either way, it’s simple to build a cohesive site with matching designs, logos, and navigation.

The CMS is integrated with HubSpot’s CRM, so you can create personalized digital experiences that lead to high numbers of conversions. Your site will be hosted on fully managed infrastructure, so your content is always available to customers and visitors. You can also connect a custom domain or grow your audience with an SEO-friendly blog.

HubSpot Standout Features and Integrations

Features that make Hubspot CMS worthy of consideration include is its seamless integration with the broader HubSpot ecosystem. HubSpot CMS is part of the HubSpot Growth Platform, which includes a suite of marketing, sales, and customer service tools. This integration allows for a unified approach to managing content, leads, and customer interactions, providing a holistic view of the customer journey. Additionally, HubSpot CMS offers powerful personalization capabilities, allowing marketers to deliver dynamic and tailored content based on visitor behavior, demographics, and other relevant data.

Integrations include Aircall, Crossbeam, GoToWebinar, Jotform, Mailchimp, Outfunnel, Outlook, PandaDoc, WordPress, and Zoom.

HubSpot CMS costs from $50/user/month. A 14-day free trial is available.

  • Unified publishing tools
  • Built-in security
  • Advanced personalization
  • Steep learning curve
  • Not always intuitive

9. Magnolia - Best for a composable digital experience platform

magnolia screenshot
Magnolia has a simple, old-school interface.

Magnolia is an enterprise-level headless content management tool for managing digital experiences across brands, markets, and channels. 

Why I picked Magnolia:  This CMS software system allows you to connect content via APIs to drive shopping experiences in any front end or storefront. It can be used to create everything from websites to digital signage. Using Magnolia, you can contextualize content at scale, then preview how it will look to various visitor segments. 

Magnolia offers omnichannel experience management. You can easily create and manage content in a central hub using the visual editor, then reuse content across multiple channels.

Magnolia Standout Features and Integrations

Features that stand out include is its focus on flexibility and scalability. Magnolia CMS adopts a modular architecture, allowing users to easily customize and extend the platform to meet their specific needs. The system provides a wide range of pre-built modules and customizable templates, enabling users to create highly tailored and dynamic websites. Another standout feature is its robust integration capabilities, with built-in connectors to various third-party systems and services.

Integrations include Across, Adobe Analytics, Adobe Commerce Cloud, AWS, BigCommerce, CommerceTools, Crescendo Collective, Netlify, Salesforce, and SAP Commerce. 

Magnolia offers customized pricing on request. A free demo is also available.

  • Internal content search
  • Good publishing workflow
  • Support for SEO
  • More personalization required
  • No SaaS option

10. Optimizely - Best for combining content, commerce and optimization

optimizely gif
With Optimizely, it’s easy to compare checkout flows.

Optimizely allows you to create engaging content, run experiments at scale, and power your ecommerce business using a fully-composable digital experience platform. 

Why I picked Optimizely:  Optimizely helps you manage your entire content lifecycle on a single ecommerce platform, plan campaigns, create new landing pages, and collaborate effortlessly across teams. It is designed to facilitate exceptional digital experiences, testing and optimizing every customer touchpoint to ensure the best outcomes.

Using the web experimentation options, you can run tests, uncover insights, and continuously refine customer interactions. You can validate new features and deploy new content releases quickly and safely. Optimizely also includes a full suite of tools for building a fully-functional ecommerce website.

Optimizely Standout Features and Integrations

Features worthy of a special mention include is its focus on experimentation and personalization. Optimizely enables marketers to create and test different variations of their website content, allowing them to optimize user experiences and drive conversions. Another standout feature is its robust targeting and personalization capabilities, which enable marketers to deliver personalized experiences based on user segments, behavior, and other data points. Optimizely also provides in-depth analytics and reporting, allowing users to track and measure the impact of their experiments.

Integrations include, FullStory, Instagram, Magento, Office365, Openpay, Payflow Pro, PunchOut, Shopify Plus, and WordPress.

Optimizely costs from $79/user/month. A free plan with limited features is available. 

  • Targeting individual pages is easy
  • Metric tracking is customizable
  • Asynchronous object load
  • User interface needs improvement
  • Needs a WYSIWYG editor

11. Weebly - Best for a free website builder

weebly screenshot
Weebly allows you to build a theme that suits your needs.

Weebly is one of the best content management systems, designed to help you build a website that grows with your business, adding additional features as you need them.

Why I picked Weebly:  Weebly gives entrepreneurs on a budget an affordable way to launch their ecommerce business. You can build your business for free with Weebly, taking advantage of the expert starter guides and planning tools. 

The platform includes all-in-one powerful ecommerce tools that simplify order management, shipping, inventory, and payments. In addition, the integrated marketing tools help you attract customers using everything from Facebook ads to automated email campaigns. 

The integrated analytics tools give you all the data you need to make informed growth decisions. Plus, the Weebly mobile apps help you track performance, interact with visitors and manage your site from anywhere. 

Weebly Standout Features and Integrations

Features worth highlighting include is its built-in website analytics, which provides users with valuable insights into their website's performance. Weebly's analytics dashboard offers data on visitor behavior, traffic sources, popular pages, and more, enabling users to make informed decisions to optimize their website and drive better results. Another standout feature is Weebly's mobile app, which allows users to manage and update their website on the go. The mobile app provides a seamless experience for editing content, managing orders, and monitoring website activity, giving users the flexibility and convenience to work on their website from anywhere.

Integrations include ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, MailChimp, Paypal, Quickbooks, Salesforce, Slack, Shipstation, Trello, Xero, and Zendesk.

Weebly costs from $10/user/month. A free plan with limited features is also available.

  • Easy page management
  • Meets standards for securities and cookies
  • A plethora of templates
  • Some formatting options are not customizable
  • Limited number of plugins

12. Contentful - Best for orchestrating content across brands, teams, and regions

contentful screenshot
Contentful includes many UI extension options.

Thanks to Contentful, you can now orchestrate content across brands, teams, and regions worldwide to deliver new digital experiences rapidly. 

Why I picked Contentful:  Contentful helps you reduce time to market by avoiding manual migration, reducing custom development, and eliminating content change backlogs.This means you can focus on launching digital products faster by replicating content models, syncing common components, and reusing content. Contentful gives you the ability to iterate quickly and adapt.

As a result, you can quickly reach new audiences wherever they are located, using multiple channels yet keeping your messaging consistent. 

Contentful Standout Features and Integrations

Features worth noting include is its headless architecture, which allows for decoupled content management and delivery. Contentful separates the content creation and management from the presentation layer, enabling users to distribute content across multiple platforms and channels through APIs. This flexibility allows for seamless content delivery to websites, mobile apps, IoT devices, and other digital touchpoints. Additionally, Contentful excels in content modeling, providing a flexible and structured approach to content creation. Its intuitive content modeling tools enable users to define custom content types, relationships, and validations, ensuring consistency and flexibility in content management.

Integrations include BigCommerce, Dropbox, Jira, Kibo Commerce, Mux, Netlify, Optimizely, Repeater, Shopify, and Slack.

Contentful costs from $300/user/month. A free plan with limited features is also available

  • Scalability
  • Flexible content modeling
  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • Limited number of content types
  • Confusing navigation

Other Options

Here are a few more of the most popular CMS options that didn’t make the best content management software list:

How I Selected the Best Content Management Software

Perhaps you're wondering how I selected the best content management software for this list? To build this list, I evaluated and compared a wide range of CMS with positive user ratings.

After determining my long list of top choices, I further honed my list by using the selection criteria below to see how each platform stacked up against the next one. I also drew on my years of marketing operations experience to pinpoint the features that add a lot of value.

Selection Criteria

Here’s a short summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best content management software for this article:

Core Functionality:

In order to claim a spot on this list, a CMS should provide the following functionality:

  • Space to create, optimize, and publish content on your platform(s) of choice (blogs, social media, newsletters)
  • Content analytics that tell you if people are opening, clicking, reading, watching, downloading, etc.
  • Basic asset management to store, import, and export your content (text, video, image, audio, and so on)

Key Features:

Here are some of the top capabilities you should expect to find in a top-notch CMS.

  1. Content Creation & Editing: The CMS should provide intuitive and easy-to-use content creation and editing tools that support collaboration and version control.
  2. Content Storage & Organization: The system should allow structured storage and organization of content with metadata, categories, and taxonomies to make it easy to find and reuse.
  3. Publishing & Deliver: Good software offers flexible publishing options and support for various content delivery formats for channels such as websites, mobile apps, and social media.
  4. Workflow Management: Good tools provide workflow management functions to manage content creation and publishing processes, including task assignment, progress tracking, and collaboration with team members.
  5. Security & Access Control: Your CMS should provide robust security features, such as role-based access controls, user activity monitoring, and compliance with relevant regulations.


I look for software with a short learning curve, and consider the level of training or support required for users. All features must be accessible and simple to understand, so that employees make full use of the software’s capabilities. 

Software Integrations: 

The software should be compatible with your existing technology, such as your website, marketing automation, or CRM software. Evaluate the software's ability to integrate with other systems, and the ease of doing so.

Value for Price:

The software should fit the budget of most organizations and provide a good return on investment. The pricing model, including licensing, subscription, or transaction-based pricing, needs to be affordable on a per-user basis.

People Also Ask

Here are a few questions I wanted to answer for those who might need them.

Other Marketing Software Reviews

Here are some suggestions for other marketing tools you should consider adding to your software armory:

The Takeaway

Content marketing is a powerful marketing strategy that can bring you an avalanche of new leads and customers over the long-term. So with the help of the right content management software, you can set yourself on course for even greater business success. 

Be sure to sign up for The CMO newsletter for weekly marketing tips and insights from thought leaders in the industry.

By Stephanie Hood

Stephanie Hood is an experienced marketing professional and Editor of The CMO. With nearly a decade spent as Marketing Manager at Discover Holidays and Executive Editor at VIVA Lifestyle & Travel, she built her career leading editorial and marketing teams and strategies that turn six-figure budgets into seven-figure profits. She now enjoys connecting with the world's top executives to learn their secrets to business success, and shares those insights right here with her community of like-minded professionals. Curious what she’s uncovered? Be sure to sign up for The CMO newsletter.

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