In the internet age, content is king. Solid content creates conversions, from the top of the marketing funnel to the bottom of the sales funnel. If you want to succeed in your niche, your content needs to be better and more unique than that of your competitors. 

You’ll also need to publish more content than your competitors do. Attention spans are shorter than they’ve ever been, meaning that even the best, most painstakingly crafted content is often drowned out by the sheer volume of low quality information on the web. 

For content managers, editors and writers, this means a huge, nigh-overwhelming amount of work. Not just writing, mind you; a sizable chunk of this work is managing all the other moving parts at the heart of any successful content team. 

Synergy, strategy, synthesis and all the other little tasks a marketing team is usually tasked with can take time away from writing, leading to less content and lower quality across the board. Luckily, you can do away with a lot of this busywork using one simple tool: a power content management system! 

So… what is a content management system?     

Before we go any further, we need to explain what a content management system is, what it does, and how businesses typically use it

In broad strokes, a content management system (often abbreviated as CMS) is any digital tool used to assist organizations in creating, managing, and publishing content. These tools generally provide content teams with a user-friendly interface that equips them with a feature set that allows them to streamline their workflows in a wide variety of ways. 

With a CMS, users can easily create and format text, upload and manage media files, and organize content into a hierarchical structure. CMS platforms enable multiple users to collaborate on content, with different levels of access and permissions. 

Content management systems often offer features like version control, workflow management, and content scheduling, allowing for efficient content management and publication workflows. 

Additionally, CMS systems provide templates and themes for designing the appearance of websites or other digital channels. 

Headless content management systems vs. traditional CMS; what’s the difference? 

If you’ve spent any amount of time researching content management systems, you’ve probably heard the terms “headless CMS” and “traditional CMS” thrown around quite a lot. So what’s all the fuss about, and how does headless CMS differ from its traditional counterpart? 

The main difference between headless content management systems and traditional CMS lies in the way content is delivered and presented. Traditional CMS tightly couples the content management backend with the front-end presentation layer. 

It typically provides a user-friendly interface for content creation and editing, along with pre-defined templates and themes for website design. The content and its presentation are intrinsically linked.

Headless CMS, on the other hand, decouples the content management backend from the presentation layer, giving more flexibility and freedom in content delivery. With a headless CMS, content is stored and managed separately from its presentation. 

It is delivered through APIs, allowing it to be displayed on various platforms, such as websites, mobile apps, IoT devices, or even voice assistants. The front-end developers have complete control over the presentation layer, as they can use any technology or framework to consume the content.

Here’s the TL;DR version: 

Headless Content Management Systems: 

  • Enables organizations to deliver content to multiple channels and devices consistently
  • Helps users adapt quickly to changing technologies 
  • Equips businesses to provide personalized experiences 

Traditional CMS:

  • Is usually simpler than headless CMS
  • Typically offers users with more approachable UI and UX
  • Often offers a more limited feature set than headless CMS 

Today’s top content management systems 

Now that you’ve got a solid grasp on what a CMS is and which different types are available, it’s time to take a look at the industry leaders. These tools vary widely when it comes to their target market and viable use cases, so you’d better soak up this info instead of just skimming it! 

WordPress

The WordPress homepage

Average review on G2: 4.4/ 5

WordPress is the reigning champion of CMS platforms, powering millions of websites worldwide. Its user-friendly interface, extensive plugin ecosystem, and customizable themes make it an ideal choice for bloggers, small businesses, and large enterprises alike. With robust content editing capabilities and a vibrant community, WordPress offers endless possibilities for creating stunning websites.

Kentico

The Kentico homepage

Average review on G2: 4.4/5

Kentico is a comprehensive CMS platform that combines content management, e-commerce, and digital marketing capabilities. With its all-in-one approach, Kentico enables businesses to create engaging websites, optimize customer experiences, and drive conversions through personalized content and targeted marketing campaigns.

Joomla

Joomla Hompage

Average review on G2: 4.0/5

Joomla walks a fine line; the one between ease-of-use and advanced functionality! This makes it a popular choice for building dynamic websites and online applications. Its intuitive interface, extensive extension library, and multilingual capabilities have made it a go-to CMS for creating interactive and community-driven websites.

Wix

Wix website builder and CMS

Average review on G2: 4.2/5 

Wix is a beginner-friendly CMS that combines drag-and-drop website building with powerful customization options. Ideal for small businesses and creative professionals, Wix offers visually stunning templates, seamless eCommerce integration, and a user-friendly editor that requires no coding skills.

Squarespace

Squarespace website builder and CMS

Average review on G2: 4.4/5

Squarespace is known for its visually striking templates, making it a top choice for artists, photographers, and creative entrepreneurs. With its intuitive interface and built-in marketing tools, Squarespace enables users to create stunning portfolios, e-commerce websites, and blogs with minimal effort.

Shopify

Shopify eCommerce and CMS solution

Average review on G2: 4.4/5

Focused on e-commerce, Shopify is a leading CMS platform for building and managing online stores. With its extensive range of themes, secure payment gateways, and inventory management features, Shopify simplifies the process of setting up and scaling an online business.

HubSpot CMS

HubSpot CMS

Average review on G2: 4.5/5

HubSpot CMS integrates content management with powerful marketing automation tools, making it an excellent choice for inbound marketing strategies. It offers personalized content recommendations, advanced SEO optimization, and seamless integration with the HubSpot CRM, allowing businesses to deliver targeted and engaging experiences to their audience.

Contentful

Contentful CMS

Average review on G2: 4.2/5

Contentful is a headless CMS that decouples content creation and presentation, providing flexibility for omnichannel experiences. With its robust API-first approach and cloud-based infrastructure, Contentful enables businesses to deliver content across various devices and platforms, while maintaining a streamlined content authoring process.

Ghost

Ghost CMS

Average review on G2: 4.1/5

Ghost is a lightweight and elegant CMS designed specifically for bloggers and publications. With its minimalistic interface and focus on writing, Ghost offers a distraction-free environment for content creators. It provides advanced content scheduling, membership management, and integrated email newsletters, making it a favorite among writers and publishers.

Drupal

Drupal CMS

Average review on G2: 3.8/5

Renowned for its scalability and flexibility, Drupal is a powerhouse CMS trusted by enterprises and government institutions. Its modular architecture and robust security features provide unparalleled control over content creation and management. From complex websites to intranets and online communities, Drupal excels at handling diverse and content-heavy projects.

In closing… 

Choosing the right CMS system is a crucial decision for businesses aiming to deliver exceptional digital experiences. The featured SaaS CMS platforms discussed in this roundup offer a wide range of options, from user-friendly interfaces to advanced customization and marketing features. 

Whether you’re a blogger, an e-commerce entrepreneur, or an enterprise there’s a good chance you’ll find these tools immensely useful; so get out there and try em’ out for yourself!