What’s the best CMS?

What is the best CMS? This is a question that I am asked all the time. There are so many options out there that answering this question is no small task. Once again Jeffery Scott comes through with an amazing article as he reviews the The Top 10 Open Source Content Management Systems. What does his list look like? Here it is:

  1. Drupal
  2. WordPress
  3. Joomla
  4. Media Wiki
  5. Liferay
  6. TYPO3
  7. Moodle
  8. Dolphin
  9. Pligg
  10. Movable Type

His conclusion was that Drupal edged out the top spot because of its ease of use, great support, and vast number of modules. He concedes that WordPress is a really a close second. I’m not sure I agree with his exact order, but I’m biased because I’ve been developing on WordPress for years and I’m very familiar with it. I’d probably put the top three like this:

  1. WordPress
  2. Drupal
  3. Movable Type

Of course, with the introduction of Acquia to the scene, that may change in the near future. Either way, the article is a great read.

About Aaron D. Campbell

Owner and lead developer at BlueDog, Aaron has 10+ years of web development experience, it a regular core contributor to the WordPress project, and has released many WordPress plugins.
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34 thoughts on “What’s the best CMS?

  1. ismael says:

    You have forgotten one of the best CMS: XOOPS! :-(

    wordpress is a pure CMS? Is great but not a cms at all!

    • Hey… I know this topic is quite old but I couldn’t resist to comment on this…

      Ismael is asking if WordPress is pure CMS… after all he says that it’s not….. OMG the meaning of CMS is “Content Management System”… if you can’t manage content using WordPress so I’m completely lost by now.

      WORDPRESS IS A CMS!!!!!

      • You’re right. It’s a CMS by the literal definition. However, it’s not what most would consider a “full featured CMS,” which is usually what people mean when they say that it’s not a CMS. This is actually something that came up a few times in various discussions this last weekend at the Google Summer of Code Mentors Summit.

        • I believe that todays WordPress is solid and full featured. I challenge you or anyone else reading this great blog to point something that the other CMS systems you mentioned is able to do that WordPress can´t… while you guys warm up your engines looking for it I will tell you something WordPress is able to do that the others can´t: http://wordpress.org/news/2010/09/ios-v2-6/

          Check it out…

          • Well, Drupal has ACL implementations which is something WordPress could definitely benefit from.

            I’ve heard that it’s available shopping cart modules are better than what’s available for WordPress (Yes, I’ve used Shopp and WP E-commerce), but I don’t have personal experience in working with any of them.

            Just a couple things off the top of my head. I’m obviously a WordPress guy. Just look through the “WordPress Plugins” item in the nav above, check out my WordPress Profile, or look at my core contributions.

            Still, as someone that’s quite involved in WordPress, I understand that we’re not quite there yet. We’re WAY closer than we’ve ever been (even compare to just a year ago), but there’s still more to do.

  2. William says:

    Everyone has preferences and they should be respected. So, I do respect your thoughts. However, to me Joomla is the greatest content management system ever.

  3. Maymuncuk says:

    For me the best is drupal, second one is joomla.
    Here at http://www.maymuncuk.org i used joomla for frontend and phpbb for backend.

  4. jeeremie says:

    Drupal is good and very flexible but for the ease of use I would definitely recommend WordPress .

  5. Web Design says:

    I would also have to recommend drupal for its in depth functionality. But Joomla is a close second for me.

  6. Rokon Boss says:

    joomla is the best of all…………plz vote joomla

  7. Cafe Viet Name says:

    Hey guys,

    To get out of subjective opinions why you don't put CMS names into Google to see how many hits. At least we can see most use, most discussion … by that Joomla is the king.
    How big community how many ideas contributed, how many bugs fixed, how much support you can get, how easy to go on …

  8. Sytun says:

    Tried them all, Drupal wins hands down
    http://www.stunch.com – took about 2 days the modules and community support are a cut above the rest

  9. Adney says:

    You are wrong.. WordPress is a complete CMS, you can build any type of site with theme.. the difference is how much you explore it..

  10. Finkpad says:

    I used to use Joomla and migrated to Drupal about a year ago… I host 15 Drupal websites for customers.

    Joomla = 217,000 results in Bing.
    Drupal = 1,060,000 results!

    Way more Drupal sites out there in internet land…

    Word press is the closest second place but not as flexible as Drupal with Droop’s massive range of addon modules…

  11. JT says:

    Drupal is a nightmare to use – and indeed, while it can be said it is very functional, it takes too many third party modules to make it work. This is a hindrance, not a feature. Try adding simple pictures. There are so many modules to handle this simple task that it fails to become simple anymore.

    Joomla, is best suited for small to medium sized businesses and promotes better webmaster independence because it is colossally easier to use than Drupal, but a little harder than WordPress.

    I can’t beleive I’m seeing people put WordPress second to Drupal and over Joomla – what? WordPress is too simple.

    If these were cars Drupal is the Ferrari (high performance yet high maintenance – better be a trained driver) Joomla is a caddy, smooth ride with expected performance – many templates available. WordPress is like a Geo Metro. Super simple and economical, something EVERYBODY can drive or use.

    I use and build with all three – Joomla is the winner – and when Joomla 1.6 comes out, it will leave Drupal in the dust. Depending, durpal’s out of the box features with blogs and forums may still beat Joomla, but not in the form of user groups anymore.

  12. CMSseeker says:

    i like joomla because its not simple and its hard to configure. i like to challenge my self but to people want ease of use AVOID JOOMLA. time to learn Drupal.

    WORDPRESS is the easiest one. most likely wordpress is used for blogging.

    for beginners i recommend use WORDPRESS.

    learning is fun.

  13. Adam says:

    October 7th 2009.

    as a beginner with all this stuff with only a few hours of browsing and trying all these products i really like joomla 1.6, its a little more harder to use but the backend use is very nice and crisp.
    once you figure out the sections, content, and articles along with the registration setups and installation of modules and plugins its gets really easy to use.

    right now im using drupal and i haven’t a clue how to use it. from doing research on all the cms portal systems drupal is said to have a very hard interface to understand.

    and wordpress im my opinion of using it for about 2 days is completely useless in my opinion.

    i personally think that creating your own website with php & mysql is a much better way to go, very little restrictions. then again i may be wrong. really depends on what you want to do.

    i have been playing with the new FROG CMS, seems VERY promising.

    as of right now i think JOOMLA is the best way to go. the website showing on my name was made in 15 minutes with very basic stuff.

    as JT – http://planettucker.com says:
    “when Joomla 1.6 comes out, it will leave Drupal in the dust”

    i strongly agree with that. has many free plugins and modules, along with plenty of templates, once you wrap your head around it you are pretty much set.

  14. Gul says:

    How could he forget the CMSMS.
    Suppose it was not the best. But it did not even included in the first tenth.
    And by the way CMSMS is the best. definitly .

  15. Altinkum says:

    l just love wordpress and joomla and cant be with out theme

  16. Chris says:

    They’re all good. But I personally would never use WP. I’ve seen WAY too many backdoor holes and way too many bugs. For it to have been around as long as it is, it really should be a better CMS than its current state.

    Joomla!… I use to use occasionally, but not anymore. From what I found, a good bit of mods for Joomla! are poorly written with VERY frequent bugs. I also found the community there to be a little on the cold side. As far as the CMS itself, you know… I never really liked the way things are categorized, the way you create pages in general, the child/parent relationship, the menus, etc. It’s definitely not the most user-friendly CMS. Plus, many of my clients absolutely hated the backend and found it very frustrating. I agree. The process of creating a very simple page is just not that simple.

    Now, a few years ago, I decided to take the plunge and dive into “The Big Boy”… the one everyone seemed to be afraid of… DRUPAL.
    And I really honestly have to say that this was the absolute best move for me and my company.

    For starters: The Drupal community is awesome! The majority of mods and themes are VERY well coded and function very well. The themes are BY FAR the most well-built that I’ve seen of any CMS. And when you look at theme cores that were specifically built for Drupal, like Zen and Fusion, man… they are just as awesome as you can get. Theming in general is much easier with Drupal. The depth of available mods are just unmatched by any other CMS.

    For scalability, “true” management, flexibility, stability and security, there really is no other CMS that holds its own against Drupal.

    OK, yeah… Drupal does have a very steep learning curve, but guys… in all reality, it’s not “that” bad. Read documentation, ask for help, watch video tutorials. There’s TONS of help. And honestly, once you learn Drupal, you’ll be amazed at how easy it truly is. I can create a simple page in less than a minute. And no matter who you ask, everyone WILL tell you that NOBODY touches Drupal’s categorization and taxonomy. And with the introduction of Acquia, Drupal has stepped that much further away from everyone else. I’ll NEVER use another CMS unless specifically requested by a client.

    Joomla! 1.6 leaving Drupal “in the dust”???
    Sorry guys, it aint happening. You also have to keep in mind that Drupal 7 is on the way as well. And when you guys see some of what’s under the hood, you’ll think twice about Joomla!

    Joom’s nice… and don’t get me wrong, it’s a very good CMS. So it Pligg, Xoops, SilverStripe is not bad either. But for the total package, Drupal is the clear winner. And I’m not along in my conclusion.

  17. cidalan says:

    well, i agreed with Chris. Drupal is the winner, but still joomla and the other is nice cms.

  18. D.J.Rony says:

    Hmm.. I am using one of my site in pligg. I thinks it will be the next generation software. O am not quite impressed what they are now, But in future shall be. Right now I think Joomla and word press are the best

    • Light CMS says:

      There are a lot of content management systems out there and they don’t have to open source. There are a lot of really good content management systems out there that are free and/or not open source. It’s often easier to have someone else worry about support and upgrades instead of trying to fix problems yourself, especially if you’re not a techie at heart but to each is own. If you found something that works for your website more power to you.

  19. Brian says:

    If you’re willing to use a commercial service, Verb CMS is pretty great.

  20. Lucas says:

    In my opinion, WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are too bloated and confusing for the end user to edit. My clients love Concrete5, which uses simple in-context editing and point/click/drag all wrapped up in a shiny interface. It’s easy for developers to extend and easier for users to work with. Try it at http://bit.ly/concrete5cms if you find yourself spending large amounts of time training and supporting your clients on one of the bigger systems.

  21. ali says:

    my idea is WORD PRESS because it’s very easy for write and post and install plugins or theme, of course.

  22. kaven says:

    i find that joomla and drupal are too blotted full of stuff that they slow a page down. most top cms are too different too learn. you might want to consider the other cms out there. phpwarmsky is a nice alternative and is a bit lightweight.

  23. Dali says:

    I think that the three bes cms are

    1.joomla
    2.drupal
    3.wordpress

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