Decided you’re going to use a content management system (CMS)? You’re on track to running a well-oiled website – now you just need to find the perfect partner. Choose wisely and your CMS will become your digital soulmate. But just like with love, knee-jerk decisions can end in tears…

Check out our essential CMS guide and make informed decisions to find long-lasting website content happiness.

What is a CMS?

A CMS is a piece of software that not only lets you create website content, but you can modify and manage it as much as you like – not a single piece of code in sight! All the complex infrastructure of website building is left behind, allowing you to focus on crafting the fun stuff.

CMS platforms have come a long way over a relatively short period of time. While less than 24% of websites reported using one in 2011, by 2022 that figure had shot up to 67%. And so did the ability to turn non-technical users into website building wizards!

WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are 3 of the most popular examples of CMS. Let's take a look at the finer details.

The ultimate CMS guide

We love a good question here at Fasthosts, ask all the right ones on your quest to find a CMS match made in heaven.

How important is user experience?

If you can easily find your way around complex interfaces and controls, then firstly, well done you, and secondly you can probably explore the advanced capabilities of Joomla and Drupal. Otherwise, stick with WordPress and you’ll still be able to create a wonderful website. 

Top tip: Honesty is the best policy here, because if you aren’t comfortable navigating your chosen CMS, the honeymoon period of creating your site will soon wear off.

How big is your business?

CMS size capacity is crucial. Small businesses, like local retail stores or independent agencies, need look no further than WordPress. Medium-large businesses that need things like user logins and member-only zones are best suited to Joomla. Meanwhile, large-scale businesses are safer with Drupal’s ability to handle huge amounts of traffic and maintain efficiency.

Top tip: Size matters, so make the right decision to ensure the best experience for you and your visitors.

Do you want to create an advanced or basic website?

Think about what your website is there to do. WordPress has all the themes, functionalities and plugins you’ll ever need for standard ecommerce and small businesses.

Joomla is better suited to handling more interactive layers, like online booking systems and discussion forums.

Drupal is robust enough to support multiple territories, hundreds of websites and complex enterprise activity.

Top tip: Don’t just plan for what your website is right now, prepare for what you want it to become so your CMS can flex with your growth plans.

How much do you value customisation and plugins?

All 3 options are pretty impressive in this field. That being said, WordPress takes the crown, with 70,000+ plugins and 30,000+ themes available as of April 2024.

Drupal is also highly customisable, with 45,000+ modules, while Joomla has 8,000+ different extensions – still not bad, eh?

Top tip: Don’t get a plugin for the sake of it. Use them as problem-solvers.

Will you be starting a blog?

Did you know WordPress was born as a blogging platform? If you’re publishing personal or professional content regularly, you’ll feel like a kid in a sweet shop with all the page and post functions that make blogging easy and effective. You don't need to look anywhere else!

Top tip: Enhance your productivity and proficiency with cool plugins, such as Distraction Free Writing mode and Grammarly.

Do you want to create member-only zones?

Will people be signing up for a more personal slice of your business? Choose Joomla for the best membership experience. Its user management and access control features outperform the competition, allowing you to manage different access levels and viewing permissions.

Top tip: Make membership feel more exclusive by playing with different page designs and aesthetics for your member-only pages.

Fasthosts – your perfect partner, always

Do we have a winner? As you’ve probably gathered, there’s no right answer here – only a right fit for your preference, requirements and unique website! But if you’re like 63% of the CMS market share that have said yes to WordPress, then we’re the hosts for you!

Unbeatable page speeds, 24/7 support, and our 100% renewable-energy-powered data centres are just 3 reasons why we’ve got your WordPress websites’ back.

And if you'd like any more information, please get in touch. Our team of experts will be happy to help! Give us a call on 0800 0612 153 or message via live chat.