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When it comes to building websites that are focused around content, the best option is usually to opt for a content management system (CMS). Having a custom website developed without a solid maintenance budget for the future can have a huge effect on your business operations in the long run, whereas most of the current content management systems today are open-source and easily maintainable, not to mention free.


Dreamweaver is great for creating website designs, but if you want to build a site that's more than a collection of static pages, you'll need a content management system. At the core of a CMS is a database that stores articles, blog posts, user data and other information. A CMS also includes features for configuring the website, posting stories, dynamically generating pages and doing pretty much everything else that we expect of a website.


Of course, there are many different ways in which you might use your website, from displaying a gallery of images to advertising your services, running a technical support page or even an online magazine. This is why, despite the popularity of the WordPress platform, there are many other content management systems available, each with its own strengths.


The following list of most popular content management systems -



10. RefineryCMSBased on the Ruby on Rails framework, RefineryCMS embraces the same conventions that have made that platform a success, adopting a strong focus on the end user when developing the user interface and providing an easy hook to add new functions and redesign both the front end and the admin screens. Featuring a range of different engines like blogs, membership, search, image gallery and many more, this is a CMS that is suitable for businesses of many different kinds.


9. TinyCMS - There is every chance that the solutions listed previously could be complete overkill for what your website is trying to achieve. Sprawling SQL databases and endless pages of active server-side code could be sitting redundant if all you need to do is display a few useful pages with the odd bit of functional eye candy, which is where TinyCMS comes in. Ideal for small sites and for keeping things simple, TinyCMS uses the TinyMCE article submission tool and a few PHP files to create the website. There is no database, meaning that once the pages are cached on the server they should open pretty quickly.


8. LightCMS - At the other end of the spectrum is LightCMS, an easy-to-use online service that includes site-design and content-management tools. Geared for rapid deployment of websites, it provides two options for creating site designs. The quickest and simplest is to begin with a built-in template, and use the online Design Editor to modify site navigation, appearance and other settings. The other option is to create your own templates - HTML files containing small bits of code called “tokens” that pull dynamically generated content onto the page. You then upload these to the site along with associated CSS, JavaScript and image files. Whichever method you choose, designs can include regions that are editable by your clients.


7. Squarespace - This online service is similar to LightCMS, providing easy-to-use tools for site-design and content management. On the whole, I think most designers will prefer LightCMS, but Squarespace is certainly worth a look. It has a comprehensive feature set that includes e-commerce, blogs, search-engine optimization and traffic analysis. You can import blog content from Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr or Posterous, but content export is limited to WordPress.


6. Shopify - Shopify is another eCommerce platform that is more focused on helping freelancers, small businesses, but also corporation size businesses that need reliable and secure eCommerce platform services. Shopify has been around for long enough to earn respect in the community as one of the leading eCommerce content management platforms, and is home to some several million community members who actively use Shopify to sell, buy and trade products. Shopify works beautifully with any type of device, making it very appealing to those who don’t have a huge budget to shell out on custom designs, and besides  - Shopify offers a range of designs, all of which can be fully optimized by yourself.


5. Blogger - Blogger has evolved drastically over the years, and while it keeps its legacy towards being a blogging platform, it has been used as a content management system in more ways than one. In recent years, a lot more flexibility was introduced in the way Blogger sites can be styled, which means that photographers, foodies and creatives have a lot more room for building a content platform that suits their needs. Blogger is part of Google, and offers a range of features like custom domains, custom styles, and customization options.


4. Magento - eCommerce is a market in itself, and it’s important that we realize that for some of our eCommerce tasks, perhaps the best choice is to opt for an independent eCommerce platform altogether, and one such platform is Magento. Whether you’re looking for a small business solution in an environment where nobody really understands technology, or you’re working from a corporation that needs a professional enterprise eCommerce solution — Magento is likely to be a choice that won’t disappoint you in either way. Companies like Nike, Gant, and Cort are just some of the people on the client list of Magento’s eCommerce platform.


3. Drupal - Drupal goes even deeper into the architecture of the content management system itself, and because of how widely adapted it is to professional coding standards, a lot of engineer and developer-type webmasters have adapted to Drupal as their primary content management platform. Drupal offers more than 30,000+ extendable modules to bring your site to a whole new level, as well as 2,000+ individual and unique themes that will help to build the site that you’ve always wanted to build. Thousands of members participate in daily forum discussions, meaning that finding support for Drupal is really not a problem, rather a question of whether you really need help or are there resources available that can solve your problem without having to visit the community forums.


2. Joomla - Joomla is for those who are looking for a little bit of a challenge, at least in terms of coding power. In many ways, Joomla has been built with medium to large sized sites in mind. Joomla's code base is much more sophisticated than that of WordPress, but it comes at the benefit of more scalability and more back-end integration. Many of the people that I know who are using Joomla are quite fond of features like native front-end content editing, content management flexibility, and a native integration of multiple languages which makes the sites content more friendly towards visitors of foreign nature.


1. Wordpress - A household name in content management system market, WordPress is the ultimate publishing platform for the web. Sites of all sizes rely on WordPress to help publish, manage and organize content of wide variety - articles, tutorials, photos, videos, stories, and much more. WordPress is not only easy to learn, but also highly flexible towards beginners and experienced users alike. The public plugin repository has an estimated 40,000+ free plugins available for download, while the public WordPress theme database has over 2,100+ styles to choose from. WordPress has become the standard for a website that’s both functional and pleasant to browse. Startups and mobile applications have long transferred to WordPress for their website needs, not only because of the wide variety of styles available and the ease of design flexibility, but because WordPress is secure, reliable and pleasant to work with. WordPress users have the option to built a site of any context eCommerce, business, creative, community, non-profit, and so forth.