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From the Community: What is the most Flexible CMS?

From the Community: What is the most Flexible CMS?

Welcome to From the Community, where we highlight questions from our community members. Join us each Friday as we dive into the featured inquiry. To submit your questions, head over to the Business-Software Community.

Everybody wants a flexible CMS. A desirable content management system flexes, contorts and changes, growing with your company and your industry. In our ever-changing tech environment, CMS must build tomorrow’s system today.

This week’s question comes from Zee C. who asks, “What is the most flexible CMS?” In my last post, I highlighted the characteristics of an easy-to-use system for a non-developer. But this week, we’re all about the relationship between developer and content system.

A CMS is an authoring platform and database that is able to create thousands of structured pages that are grounded in code. Users have a close relationship with this code, even while manipulating it under the WYSIWYG veil. Consequently, a flexible CMS is only as great as its code, or “muscles”, that drive the system’s power.
These top three types of content management systems will pave the path to the most flexible CMS business solution:

1. PHP Content Management

This is where the big three (WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal) made their homes. Known as the WMS coding language, PHP content management is made up of XML script, which stands for eXtensible Markup Language. XML is the more dynamic brother to HTML, able to define its own tags and track types of data in publishing or ecommerce. This system allows users to easily extract pre-defined data fields like byline, word length, date of publication and keywords.

XML transforms your static website into a database, making PHP CMS a helpful tool as both an intranet and extranet. XML content management systems often have a data backend which is able to easily track and sort articles, images and other types of content in a somewhat-rigid, categorical format that is fitting for most web content needs.modx-php-content-management

Top PHP content management vendors: MODX, Joomla!, Drupal, WordPress, GetSimple CMS, Concrete5

2. ASP.NET Content Management

ASP.NET, also known as the Microsoft framework, was originally released in 2002 and is designed specifically for building complex websites. ASP aims to enable better development through a healthy combo of scripting language (HTML, XML) and powerful computer programming languages like C#, Delphi.NET and Chrome.

ASP.NET’s greatest advantage is speed. Developing with ASP.NET creates magical results in little time, with ready-made, instantly-available controls like interactive calendars and grids. ASP is also known for its built-in security features for authorization and authentication.

As a potential downside, ASP as a Microsoft tools means better integration with Windows OS and Microsoft applications, as opposed to other operating systems.DNN-asp-net-content-management

Top ASP.NET content management vendors: DNN, Orchard Project, Umbraco, Better CMS

3. Java Content Management

Java content management systems are enterprise-friendly and comfortable. Java is a language that is owned and supported by Oracle, and is known for powering everything from your Android tablet to your local ATM machine. But why choose Java for a CMS over the popular PHP?

Java is one of the most popular programming languages in the world, which by consequence means a lot of users are comfortable developing with it. Liferay, a Java-powered CMS vendor, says it best: “You don’t have to learn everything new. If you’re a Java developer and you know web development, you’ll know [our CMS] well.” This is great for open source solutions with a community of talented programmers. The learning curve is minimal, yet the results of your work aren’t qualified.

Java content management’s greatest benefit is its horizontal scalability and ability to multi-host, which makes it a preferred CMS for enterprises. The CMS can scale across multiple servers, sharing the assets folder between nodes. Structuring a CMS is a comfortable experience as well, since Java allows users to define content based on a fixed set of fields, which are then protected so invalid data can’t be entered.liferay-java-content-management

Top Java content management vendors: Liferay, Dotcms, Magnolia, Hippo, Adobe CQ

So what is the most flexible CMS?

Each type of content management system has key advantages and disadvantages, but the best for your business depends on three factors:

  1. What do you aim to achieve with your CMS?
  2. What languages are your developers familiar with?
  3. What size is your business?


Open source CMS software is generally flexible. Whether you plan to run an enterprise content management system with Java, a web content management system with PHP or Top 10 Content Management Softwarea knowledge management system with ASP.NET, the true limit is hidden within your imagination, your business and the capable hands of your developers.

To select the best content management system to begin your content journey, always consider the CMS type. For more on CMS, download our top 10 comparisons of ECM, WCM and CMS. Visit our resource center to find additional CMS content on best practices, exclusive interviews and more.

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Miranda Limonczenko
Miranda Limonczenko is a former member of the marketing team.