Content management software is one of the most important things to you can invest time, money, creativity into when building your business- a great site can make a huge difference when it comes to building your brand and connecting with your customers. It’s important to keep in mind that you won’t always be a beginner- if you expect your business to grow in the future, make sure you pick a scalable CMS that can grow with you to meet your design and traffic needs. Our beginner CMS recommendations are all free or very affordable, so you can easily experiment with several and choose the one that best fits your needs and abilities.
The most popular CMS on the market right now is also one of the most user-friendly. Last year we wrote about why WordPress is the only CMS you’ll ever need, and that claim holds up for beginners, too. WordPress is excellent for blogs and article-based content right out of the box, but with a little tweaking you can customize it as much as you want. Whether you’re building a personal blog or a corporate site, WordPress also offers a variety of plug-ins and free themes to further customize your site. Because of its popularity, using WordPress has the added advantage of having abundant resources online to help you navigate the software and get the most out of it.
New Zealand-based Silverstripe is dedicated to making their CMS easy to learn and easy to use- they claim it only takes a couple hours to get comfortable using the software. A great feature is their Microsoft Word compatibility. Silverstripe lets you copy and paste content directly from your text editor into the CMS, which is great for users who have experience with composing and editing on Word, but don’t want to have to learn how to use a new text editor. Drag and drop editing is another feature that lets you have complete control over your design and content layout without having to touch a line of code or learn a complex system.
One of the things that makes concrete5 good for beginners is their “what you see is what you get” in-browser editing. This makes it easy to see what your changes will look like as you make them. They have an active community where you can get help and even post jobs for contractors if you want your site to get a little professional TLC while still keeping design control in your hands. This built-in support system gives concrete5 a significant advantage over its competition, letting users easily blend the ease of a do-it-yourself approach with the power of professional design.
CMS Made Simple provides just that – a simple CMS solution with a focus on creating corporate sites or sites promoting teams or individuals. There’s an emphasis on simple, however- if you want a very dynamic site with lots of bells and whistles, CMS Made Simple might not be the best solution for you. While you could build a blog or portal with CMS Made Simple if you really wanted to, there are other CMS options that will do it better and more easily. But if you just want to establish an online presence for your business and you have very little experience with web design, this CMS is your new best friend.
Clean, elegant design is where Jaws really excels. If you’re a beginner you probably won’t use it for anything more than basic site design, but that’s more than enough to create a simple, attractive website. Since it’s a smaller platform, you won’t find nearly as many plug-ins as you would for other, more popular platforms. What makes it great is its potential for power- Jaws touts itself as developer friendly in addition to being user friendly, so if you decide that you want more flexibility you (or your developer) can easily create your own modules to customize your site in any way you want.
Want more CMS recommendations? Check out our Top 10 CMS report, where we compare the best CMS software in the industry on pricing, features, delivery model and more. For additional quality reading material, visit Business-Software.com’s CMS resource page.