Content Management Systems
Best CMS for eCommerce
If you have an online store, what you need from a CMS will differ from that of a standard website. Many CMS applications have plug-ins for eCommerce, but there are also those that are developed specifically for eCommerce sites. Magento rates as one of the best, with an open source platform and a variety of different options for eCommerce businesses of all sizes. Prominent clients include Burger King, Nestle and Zumiez.
Magento Community Edition is the basic platform, well suited for small businesses or tech-savvy entrepreneurs just starting out who want to build a webstore from scratch. If you don’t know how to code, there is a community of users creating extensions with new features that you can add on to your store. Magento also supports multiple currencies and languages, which makes it a good choice if you have international customers.
Enterprise and Enterprise Cloud Edition are options for larger-scale sites. The Cloud Edition includes webhosting. There are costs associated with these options, but they include assistance with installation and troubleshooting.
Allow a faster and easier management of website content.
Provided CMS platforms are:
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems, servicing thousands of users and websites because it offers flexibility of tools with an easy-to-use interface. While it lacks in basic web creation tools, it still has extremely useful native and third-party business add-ons to quickly create functional eCommerce sites.
Its content-approval tools, SSL compatibility and granular privileges secure your content by limiting access according to administrative levels you set. WordPress has email verification, automatic problem-notification features and captcha tools to keep the site secure on the user side as well.
WordPress has a fair amount of standard add-ons that should be included with any content management program, such as blogs, email help forms and site maps. It is also one of the few CMS programs we reviewed that has graph and chart generators. In addition, it offers thousands of native or third-party plugins and add-ons for small businesses, including shopping carts, inventory management, affiliate tracking and point-of-sale systems. Using the clearly labeled dashboard, you can customize any of these tools to fit your personal business needs. WordPress offers a sandbox to test content changes without having to publish it first.
The Magento content management system (CMS) is geared toward creating attractive and powerful eCommerce websites. It offers out-of-the box capabilities with ready-made themes while allowing for unlimited ability to customize with your own code. Thus, it’s a good choice for growing businesses.
The dashboard has a look and organization familiar to most CMS software, making it easy to navigate. You can choose from templates or create your own. It offers security and privacy capabilities to meet current laws and payment card industry requirements. You can set up a single store or multiple stores, even stores in different languages depending on their locations.
Because this CMS is geared for eCommerce, it has extensive features for creating a product catalog, with advanced pricing tools, image watermark capabilities and the ability to add multiple attributes or variations. You can also add general content pages, formatting each page individually to meet the needs of the content. There are also customer account and grouping features.
Drupal is a well-known content management system intended to help advanced designers create a powerful website capable of handling large volumes of visitors and hundreds of pages of content. Drupal is so flexible it can create a simple blog as easily as impressive, interactive business sites. This flexibility makes this CMS a great solution for a growing business with ever-changing website needs.
While Drupal, one of the founding solutions in content management programs, has some of the best add-ons and plug-ins available, it isn’t the most user-friendly for novice web designers. It has a decent selection of themes and a site wizard for quickly getting your business site online. However, it requires a lot of coding to make a truly powerful site. Drupal offers a highly active CMS community with a lot of user support.
The Squarespace content management system software (CMS) has a user-friendly interface and includes site hosting. This service charges per month or annually, but handles updates and offers a free custom domain and SSL security.
Squarespace offers the most critical built-in features necessary for website creation and management, including access to website analytics. The content manager offers a rich text, WYSIWYG editor with the basic formatting tools found in word-processing applications such as Microsoft Word. You can also input raw HTML or formatted text.
This content management software allows for some coding in HMTL/CSS and Java. However, these are small modifications or additions only; Squarespace is not an open source software CMS. This makes it a good choice for non-developers who want a basic but powerful site, but it limits developers who need advanced solutions.
Even though add-ons are not available through third-party developers, Squarespace still provides many basic customization options. The templates are versatile, and it offers many that are eCommerce focused. You can add unlimited products with variants, accept and track payments and integrate your email marketing list. The websites are automatically mobile responsive, an important feature since more and more people are shopping using mobile devices.
While there are no options for advanced coding, the system does provide useful layout blocks, including galleries and YouTube, menus and indexes. It also has archive blocks what let you group and display up to 1,000 content items by year, month, author or category to create an index page.
Squarespace ensures your site is safe and secure with the option to SSL-enable your pages. In addition, you can designate certain users as an administrator or provide a login and registration form for site visitors. Site controls include annotations, sitewide passwords to lock the site while it’s under construction, lock screens and page-specific passwords. With multiple access levels you can limit an employee’s ability to change the site to just the areas they need.
Squarespace is a basic but versatile content management system ideal for people who are not hard-core developers but want to create a useful and secure website for personal, business or eCommerce. It’s not open source nor does it have plug-ins, but it offers the most important tools, creating an attractive small business website.
concrete5 is open source content management software with pre-designed templates and add-ons for those who want some flexibility with coding their website but aren’t interested in doing it all from scratch. It has an active user community, several training opportunities and professional support.
This CMS software allows you to select themes to start, and you can customize them using the menu or CSS coding. You can also format each page individually with videos and images, layout modules, stacks and responsive grid points. It uses a WYSIWYG editor plus drag-and-drop capabilities to create the look that matches your brand. It creates mobile-responsive sites, an important consideration since over 40 percent of consumers are now using their mobile phones to make buying decisions.
You can employ marketing tools like forms for collecting customer data, reporting both on website performance and customer use, blogs with RSS syndication and comment moderation, and site optimization features to make sure you get the best search engine optimization.
If you are looking for advanced tools, you can check the documentation for codes for specific needs, ask on the forums or check out the add-on library. You can find hundreds of add-ons for everything from image carousels to eCommerce. The eCommerce apps were limited, however.
In addition, the software is very secure. You can modify it without overriding the core, and the CMS software itself has been tested at hackerone.com. You have audit trails and CAPTCHA tools as well as login histories to track issues. The program is SSL compatible.
The website includes documentation and tutorials created by the founders and the users, plus you can purchase online courses from beginner user level to advanced developer level. There is an active forum as well as the ability to hire professional assistance.
concrete5 content management system software is open source, giving you a lot of flexibility in programming the code to create attractive, useful and mobile-friendly websites. It has themes and add-ons for those not interested in heavy coding and training for those who want to learn, but the real power of this system lies in its coding capabilities.
Composr is an open source content management system (CMS) with a large plug-and-play feature set that also allows for coding. It makes secure, mobile friendly websites with automatic SEO tools and extras to engage your visitors. It’s not the best CMS solution for eCommerce or large-scale enterprise endeavors, but it has the power and ease for most SMB sites.
The code is easy to download and install and offers some templates to get you started, or a style wizard if you prefer to design the site yourself. You can then add modules such as catalogs, galleries, blogs and documents libraries. You can integrate it with your current forum or its forum, Conversr.
You can password protect parts of the website so others can work the parts of the system they need to. It offers SSL/HTTPS support, including integration to TLS, the next generation of PCI compliance. In addition, it offers forum protections on Conversr for warning members, putting them on probation or banishing them as needed.
You can create content with the WYSIWYG editor, add images singly or in galleries, post videos and create other interactive features, such as quizzes, to engage your readers. You can find some add-ons on the website; they are easy to install. However, this content management software prides itself on not depending on additions for its power. That means, you’ll find most of tools you need already in the program, but if you want something particular, you may have to code it or seek it from other sources.
It’s a versatile program, but Composr is up front about the things it does not do well. In fact, it recommends other CMS solutions for blogs, eCommerce and large-scale enterprise-level intranets.
If you are just starting out, there are video tutorials and documentation plus an active forum where you can ask questions or swap code. This CMS provider also has professional-level assistance, though it comes with a charge. This is typical of most CMS providers that offer professional support.
Composr is not as popular as many content management software systems, but it is versatile, secure and user friendly. It can handle most business websites, although it’s not focused on eCommerce.
Open source content management system (CMS) WebGUI includes so many add-ons that a variety of organizations, ranging from small businesses and government agencies to nonprofits, have utilized it to create and maintain online content. It offers a huge toolset, including the most important eCommerce and business add-ons, such as shopping carts, POS systems and file distribution. It also has a wealth of support options.
Since content management systems are designed for multiple users to use at the same time, WebGUI has tools for real-time collaboration, such as versioning. The sandbox tool allows web developers to create new webpages and content and to see how it will look online without disrupting the live site.
WebGUI has a unique feature that allows you to customize each user’s interface to match their skill level. This means the administrator can set the level and tools available to each user depending on their experience and need for the content management system. Interfaces range from simple tools to add or delete content from the company website to portals that allow IT personnel to make large changes to the programming.
Drag and drop is one of the best tools for easily adding content to your website. WebGUI also has an easy-to-use site wizard that lets you preview your additions and before you save and publish the final product. If you make a mistake, WebGUI has an undo feature so you don’t have to delete everything and start from square one. It also includes a spell checker to help you avoid some mistakes from the get-go.
This content management software includes tools for eCommerce, such as shopping carts, inventory management and point-of-sale systems. You can add a help desk portal so clients can easily send questions to support and IT personnel. WebGUI also supports a live chat feature for further enhancing your customer’s experience on your website.
WebGUI has a contact management tool that lets you safely store and share client information. The document management feature allows you to create and store content virtually. You can also share the data entry, file distribution and database reports among different departments and employees for group collaboration projects. This CMS can help you create and manage events that are important to the growth and success of your company.
The WebGUI community is relatively active, and you can find several personal websites and blogs with codes for a variety of add-ons. WebGUI offers telephone support in addition to email. It also has user guides and forum discussions online to help you during non-business hours when customer support is not available.
Joomla is an open-source content management system designed for developers with coding experience rather than beginners who are more dependent on website builders for creating web content. With a broad selection of commerce and business add-ons, Joomla works well for companies looking to step up their basic website to something more appealing, unique, interactive and professional.
Regardless of the business add-ons you need for your website, Joomla has them all free of charge. However, the selection of website themes isn’t as extensive as its other CMS solutions. You can easily search private website and blogs to find more, and the Joomla community is quite active and available to help you hunt down what you need for your business website project. It is easy to create an eCommerce site, complete with shopping carts, point-of-sale systems, inventory management and affiliate tracking.
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