What is a CMS?

A contents management system (CMS) is a computer program that allow publishing, editing and modifying contents (ref 1). In general they will let you store and organise files, and provide version access to data. How many types of CMSs are available? How long is a piece of string? You see there are so many different systems depending on the underlying content management framework or technology (ref 2); the underlying release licenses and the database support.


Web Application Frameworks:


Web Application Frameworks are the technologies that sits behind dynamic websites (ref 3). The following are the more widely used frameworks:  

Web Application Framework Link to Website
Microsoft Windows .NET Framework  Active Server Pages (ASP.NET) Link
Oracle Corporation  JAVA & JavaScript Link
The PHP Group (open source) PHP server side scripting Link 
Python Software Foundation (open source) Python server side scripting Link
Rails Core Team (open source) Ruby on Rails Link
Asynchronous JavaScript and XML(open source) AJAX  Link 
 Perl Mongers (open source) Perl  Link 
It should come as no surprise that most of the more popular CMSs were built on open source technology because of the low acquisition costs.


The Most Popular CMSs


The nice folks at Web Technology Survey (ref 4), regularly monitors the usage of CMS for websites. As of 6th of March 2014, it reported 64.3% of the websites use none of the content management systems that they monitor. For the websites that did, these are the results:  

Ranking (by market share) CMS (Web Application Framework) Absolute Usage % Market Share %
1 WordPress (PHP and MySQL)  21.4 60
2 Joomla (PHP and MySQL)  3.1 8.8
3 Drupal (PHP and MySQL/MariaDB/PostgreSQL/SQLite)  1.9 5.4
4 Blogger (AJAX, HTML5 and CSS3)  1.1 3.2
5 Magento (PHP and MySQL) 0.9 2.6
  Why am I not surprise that WordPress has such a commanding lead. It is all my fault 😉 Vast majority of my web projects are based on WordPress. It is just a good and sleek product that does all the basic things right and is supported by a strong ecosystem. That is not to say some of the other CMS systems are not good. Whist market share is a good indicator of acceptance, it does not guarantee that the product will work for each project. In any case, it is a good idea to support the different ecosystems – a little competition is good..isn’t it? That is why I will make conscious efforts to use other CMS for some of my other projects. The following are a list of some of the other CMSs, that I feel needs a mention:


Java Technology

 Microsoft ASP.NET




Ruby on Rails


Software as a service (SaaS)


Now you know what they are, which one are you going to choose? For me, it boils down to familiarity with the CMS system and a solid ecosystem which can cut down on deployment time. I have used WordPress (duh!), Google Blogger, Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365, Share Point Server, InsiteCreation and will soon be adding Joomla!, Drupal and one from each of the other technologies (to be decided) to my feathers: if needed of course.   Now go and build that nice CMS website.  


CEO and Technology Manager at Iforg Limited

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