Top 10 CMS systems for business websites

Last updated: May 19, 2023

Website content management systems (CMS) allow to quickly create a business website on your own hosting account and manage enterprise web content.
WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time. The core software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and when you’re ready for more there are thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine.
Drupal is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) and content management framework (CMF) written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License. Unlike alternatives it's often used for knowledge management and business collaboration. Because of this plug-in extensibility and modular design, Drupal is sometimes described as a content management framework.
Dotcms is an Open Source Content Management System (CMS), built on leading Java technology and open standards. Take the worry out of hosting your own Content Management System (CMS). DotCMS Cloud allows you to get started quickly and scale rapidly to meet your sites' growth. Allowing you to focus on what matters most, your business.
Craft is a flexible, user-friendly CMS for creating custom digital experiences on the web and beyond.
osCommerce (“open source Commerce”) is an e-commerce and online store-management software program. It can be used on any web server that has PHP and MySQL installed. It is available as free software under the GNU General Public License.
OpenCms is open source content management system (CMS) based on Java and XML for public internet website, extranet or intranet. OpenCms helps content managers worldwide to create and maintain beautiful websites fast and efficiently. The fully browser based user interface features configurable editors for structured content with well defined fields. A sophisticated template engine enforces a site-wide corporate layout and W3C standard compliance for all content.
Joomla is a free and open source content management system (CMS) for publishing content on the World Wide Web and intranets and a model–view–controller (MVC) Web application framework that can also be used independently.
Magnolia CMS is an Open Source Enterprise Content Management System, Based on Best-of-Breed Java Technology And Open Standards. The Open Java CMS that runs the digital presence of your organization. Manage marketing, sales and services content for a multi-channel world. Maximize the impact of every touchpoint with Magnolia CMS.
ExpressionEngine’s publishing features are broad, comprehensive, and highly flexible. Both business‐ and creative‐focused folks love ExpressionEngine for different reasons. While ExpressionEngine is more than the sum of its parts, it nevertheless has some pretty amazing parts.
TYPO3 is a free Open Source content management system for enterprise purposes on the web and in intranets. It offers full flexibility and extendability while featuring an accomplished set of ready-made interfaces, functions and modules.
  on Live Enterprise
October is a self-hosted content management system (CMS) based on the PHP programming language and Laravel web application framework. It supports MySQL, SQLite and PostgreSQL for the database backend and uses a flat file database for the front end structure.
Hippo CMS is the Content Management System for creating personalized experiences across all channels. Hippo’s open standards philosophy makes it the ideal solution for agile development and open integration. Editors love Hippo because it's easy to use and helps them get their work done quickly and efficiently. Marketers love Hippo because they can roll out and manage channels simply - and increase conversion with targeting and personalization.

Latest news about CMS systems for business websites

2022. Storyblok raises $47M to build out its headless CMS

Storyblok, a startup, that has built a headless CMS designed both for technical and non-technical users like marketers to manage content that appears across websites, apps and other digital interfaces for education, commerce, gaming and other kinds of publishers — has raised $47 million, funding that it will use to continue expanding its CMS platform with more functionality. The company’s tools are already used by some others 74,000 companies, including Netflix, Adidas, T-Mobile, Happy Socks and Deliveroo, which collectively have built some 120,000 projects on top of it, including the content across websites that need regular updates, side-quests in games, advertising features in apps and more.

2020. Contentful raises $80M for its headless CMS

Headless CMS company Contentful has raised $80 million Series E funding. Currently, 28% of the Fortune 500 use Contentful to manage their content across platforms. The company says it has a total of 2,200 paying customers right now and these include the likes of Spotify, ITV, the British Museum, Telus and Urban Outfitters.

2019. Ghost CMS adds SaaS subscription

Ghost, the open-source CMS, which has been around for a couple of years, is launching subscription features as part of Ghost 3.0. The features will be included in both the open-source, self-hosted version as well as the organization’s paid, hosted SaaS product. Ghost 3.0 allows publishers to connect the CMS directly to Stripe, which processes credit card transactions as well as Apple Pay out of the box. Interestingly — and something CEO John O’Nolan empathized with me — Ghost will not take an additional transaction fee (I believe Stripe’s standard fees still apply). That’s a serious difference with some of its competitors, which take 10% or more of a publisher’s revenue as part of their business model.

2018. dotCMS Launches dotCMS 5.0 – Developed with ‘NoCode’ Philosophy

dotCMS, a leading open-source Java CMS and Customer Experience Management software vendor, has launched their latest version, dotCMS 5.0, adding UI / UX features to improve the author experience, a refreshed Edit Mode, new reporting, as well as enhancements to search and security. Layouts are now tied to the page itself, making it easy to make changes to the layout without having to leave the page editor. New Workflow Builder allows for multiple workflow schemes per content type. Content Type Builder allows drag and drop from a list of fields to build out content types. Adding rows, columns, and changing the order of fields makes it easier to build out new content types, especially forms. A huge improvement to the usability of the platform, containers can be used multiple times on the same page, leading to the decrease in the number of templates and the overall ease of management of templates, layouts and containers. Along with these new drag-and-drop features, dotCMS 5.0 also includes a new reporting module that integrates with Google Analytics to allow businesses to gain insight into their website right from the dotCMS Dashboard. This visualization of your web properties can be customized to show what insights are most important to your business.

2016. Kentico CMS released cloud version

Kentico, the web content management and digital experience platform provider, released the Kentico Cloud, an "API-first," multi-tenant SaaS offering.  Kentico Cloud is comprised of three parts: Kentico Draft for authoring, Kentico Deliver for content delivery via an API and Kentico Engage for marketing and experience optimization.  The components can be licensed separately or as a bundle, and the rather aggressive pricing is tiered based on use. It starts with a free version for micro clients or experimentation, which does not require a credit card to access.

2016. E-commerce platform BloomReach acquired Hippo CMS

BloomReach, the AI-driven e-commerce personalization platform, acquired Hippo, an open-source enterprise content management provider. BloomReach provides a single personalization platform that provides a more relevant and personalized experience for consumers and more profit for the businesses serving them. And Hippo has moved in recent years from providing solely web content management to a digital experience and performance platform that analyzes visitors and anonymous ones alike. BloomReach’s machine-learning engine will integrate into the Hippo Java-based CMS technology to leverage data and algorithmic intelligence and create personalized digital experiences.

2016. Hippo released on-demand Web CMS

The open-source web content management provider Hippo released Hippo onDemand, which is designed to transform digital business ecosystems into flexible and responsive digital experiences while leveraging all the benefits of the cloud. Users of the platform will have access to the full Hippo enterprise stack with capabilities like cross channel and personalization in a Platform-as-as-Service (PaaS) platform, according to Sonja Kotrotsos, Hippo director of product marketing. What's troubling enterprises with cloud CMS platforms? Hippo officials said enterprises that deploy cloud-based platforms often encounter time-intensive custom builds or complex workarounds for inflexible platforms. Hippo onDemand is a ready-to-use cloud platform that provides build freedom and flexibility via an open REST API-driven microservices architecture. It supports interoperability with third-party data and business solutions, and scales to support cross-channel growth, according to company officials.

2016. turned on HTTPS encryption for all sites is adding HTTPS support for all of its sites without having to do anything. Each website now has an SSL certificate and will display a green lock in your address back. The nice side effect to the enhanced security is that Google tends to favor websites that support HTTPS over HTTP-only website. So your website should rank higher in Google search results.

2016. Distributed content management system Contentstack launched of a set of mobile SDKs Contentstack, the headless content management service (CMS) that aims to challenge the likes of WordPress and Drupal in the enterprise, is getting a major update today with the launch of a set of mobile SDKs for Android and iOS, as well as a refreshed interface for both developers and content editors. The idea behind offering a headless CMS is that content tends to live on a multitude of platforms these days. So instead of having a monolithic CMS that also handles the presentation of the data, a headless CMS only focuses on content creation and developers can then integrate this data across different platforms.

2015. Kentico CMS 9 is released

Web content management system (Web CMS) Kentico released the 9 version of its ASP.NET content management platform. It features improvements that will help marketers and developers deploy websites faster, simplify the production of personalized content for content editors and capture more intelligence and insights from campaigns. Improvements include continuous integration (that reduces the need for manual deployment), integrated campaign management control panel, optimized for cloud deployments ASP.NET model view controller (MVC support), improved web farm support, modularization, that allows users to code between modules, and move modules in between projects.

2015. goes Open Source and gets a desktop app, the fully hosted version of WordPress, has a received one of its biggest updates. First, is now fully separated from the WordPress core. It is now an admin interface that interacts with the WordPress core just like any other third-party interface and app out there. It uses a REST API to fetch your posts, publish new ones, upload photos and more. Second, the team behind switched to an entirely new stack. Instead of using PHP and MySQL, the developers built everything using JavaScript and API calls. It means that when you go to the website, the server will distribute a fully working WordPress client that mostly runs in your browser. Finally, everything is open source and on GitHub. You can also download a new Mac app to access In many ways, this app works like the Slack desktop app. It leverages web technologies and desktop features so that you get more or less the exact same thing as on the website, but with a few goodies, such as notifications. Windows and Linux apps are in the works.

2015. Drupal 8 is released

Drupal released the long-awaited Drupal 8.0 platform that includes: in-context, what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editing and previews, content modeling out of the box with entities, fields and views, customization of content pages and even forms and administrative pages via the administrative interface, full translatability and localization out of the box, configuration management for deployment of changes between environments, mobile-first, responsive, HTML5 output, REST-first native web services, enhanced accessibility and WAI-ARIA compliance, modern PHP standards and practices, with integration of libraries such as Composer, Symfony2, Guzzle and Twig, improved front-end performance out of the box, enhanced caching and integration with CDNs and reverse proxies, full compatibility with PHP7, and the PostgreSQL and SQLite databases

2015. Hippo CMS moves from collaboration to marketing

Hippo released the new version of its content management platform Hippo CMS 10. With this new version Hippo moves out of the category of foundation technology focused on productivity, to a solution designed to drive ROI based on content performance. With Hippo 10 marketers now become accountable for what they do with content management and how it drives the bottom line. According to Hippo, most content engagement happens with anonymous users, so it’s critical to understand their habits in order to get them to convert. This is exactly what Hippo 10 was created to do. Rather than focusing on traditional web analytics and studying individual content pieces, the new solution allows marketers to look for patterns between visitors and demographics. Marketers can now focus on their customers and how to convert them, rather than just on the content.

2015. WordPress acquired e-commerce plugin WooCommerce

Automattic, the company behind WordPress, has acquired WooCommerce which develops the popular e-commerce WordPress plugin. It lets site owners turn their self-hosted WordPress website into a bonafide online store. WooCommerce is huge when it comes to the online store space, powering at least 650,000 online stores. WooCommerce is easy to use — especially in the realm of ecommerce solutions — but it still requires some hand-holding during the setup process. Easy-to-build shopping solutions is increasingly a selling point for web solutions. competitors such as Squarespace have storefront modules and there are also hosted solutions from companies such as Shopify, Big Cartel and Bigcommerce.

2015. Hippo CMS integrates with Documentum

EMC and Hippo announced a partnership today in which Hippo, an open source web content management platform Hippo CMS, will integrate with EMC Documentum, EMC’s enterprise content management software. Thus EMC fills in a missing piece in its content management arsenal without having to spend a lot of money and Hippo gains access to a much broader enterprise market and integration with other tools in the EMC family, while maintaining its independence. For EMC Documentum, which is a long-established brand trying to fight disruption in the content management market, Hippo gives them a modern, open source web content management tool designed to help users manage customer experience.

2015. Open source CMS Jahia raises $22.5M

Switzerland-based open source content management system (CMS) vendor Jahia is getting a $22.5 million investment. The funds will help to grow Jahia's customer base, especially in the enterprise space, further develop its user experience platform and improve integration with third-party platforms. In Gartner's most recent Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals (registration required), Jahia was rated a Niche player for its Java platform that pulls together Web CMS, document management and portal capabilities.  Gartner described Jahia as one of the few vendors that offers a unified portal and Web CMS, built from the ground up with enough flexibility to enable enterprises to build and scale portals, websites and applications. In terms of bang for your buck, Gartner added that it saw Jahia’s platform as better value than many other vendors.

2014. WordPress, Squarespace offer website CMS for Google Apps customers

Website CMS providers WordPress and Squarespace have joined the Google for Work Partner Program to give users access to two of what are arguably the most agile small business content management systems (CMS) on the market. Google for Work already offers website building services Wix, Weebly and Bluehost. The core services of the Google for Work include: Gmail, Hangouts, Calendar, Google+, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides, Sites, Admin and Vault. By integrating with Squarespace and WordPress, they also get easy-to-use content management, effectively dealing with most daily needs. Integration with the products from either company is relatively easy too with APIs that enables them build Google Apps into their interfaces.

2014. Microsoft makes scaling WordPress on Azure easier

Wordpress is one of the most popular web content management systems for the Enterprise, but not the easiest to scale up for high-traffic sites. With Azure Websites, Microsoft has been offering the ability to easily set up a WordPress site for a while now, but starting today, it is offering a far more scalable solution. Azure users can now head to Azure’s App Gallery and spin up a version of what Microsoft calls “Scalable WordPress.” With just a few clicks, this will set up Azure Storage for storing all media assets and give users access to a curated set of WordPress plug-ins that are optimized for performance. Unlike the standard WordPress installs on Azure, this will also use a higher-end (and pricier) MySQL database. Recently a number of services like WP Engine and Pantheon unveiled specialized Wordpress hosting services. Unlike Azure, however, these platforms offer a completely managed service. Still, Microsoft surely hopes that it can capture business from at least a few companies that are able and willing to run their own WordPress installs by making it easier to set up a scalable version on its platform.

2014. Magnolia CMS will power creative marketing campaigns

Popular enterprise open source content management provider Magnolia CMS partnered with European digital marketing platform ETECTURE@Ogilvy to arm digital marketers with the ability to fire off creative campaigns. "Integrating digital marketing more effectively with the client’s IT and operations," said Daniel Menges, managing partner in technology for ETECTURE@Ogilvy, "is a central part of what E@O offers, and they have selected Magnolia as a best-of-breed tool to achieve this in the future. There is no integration that clients are forced to make, but they can integrate anything they wish or need to. All of the cloud integration to run and scale on Amazon has been completed with some brilliant new scripts developed by E@O."