How To Pick a Content Management System

Forget “10 Best CMSs” or “12 open source CMSs” — these things are often better-organized as a rubric than a list. There are three things you need to pay attention to when choosing a CMS: Cost, Application, and Skill-level. Often, a more expensive CMS tends to be either easier to use or more flexible/expandable. Enterprise-class software tends to fall into this category. However, a free CMS can often be used to create an enterprise-class application, with sufficient technical ability.

It’s like the old MIT adage about “work, play, and sleep” — choose any two. Obviously, this diagram isn’t exhaustive, but at least one representative CMS is in each category. Feel free to ping me at ryan.e.mitchell@gmail.com with proposed additions!

FREE

Works out-of-box Need some skills
General-Purpose Joomla Drupal
Radiant
Specific Application WordPress
MediaWiki 
Reddit code
LiteCommerce

NOT FREE

Works out-of-box Need some skills
General-Purpose SquareSpace Sitecore
Specific Application Shopify SharePoint
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