WordPress is undisputedly the most popular CMS for bloggers. WordPress is used by almost 30% of the internet, and possesses 50-60% of the global CMS market. Almost 16 million of the websites on the internet are run by WordPress. What’s interesting is what is lost in the details. Almost 10% of the top 100 blogs use WordPress. So what other platforms are being used besides WordPress?
The Most Used CMS Platforms
Tumblr – Tumblr has almost as large of a market share as WordPress, being used on almost 16 million websites as well. This is probably due to it having an interface even easier to navigate than WordPress. However, there are no plugins, and theme customization is limited to Tumblr’s unique style of layout. This is the best platform to use if you are a beginner or someone who doesn’t want to spend much time getting your blog’s layout set up.
Installation – Tumblr is completely dependent on the Tumblr website, so there is no installation.
Menus – Menus are simple and easy to navigate, with most of their options available through separate pages or the sidebar.
Plugins – There are no plugins for Tumblr.
Themes – There are various themes available for Tumblr that are available through point and click. You can also create your own themes or copy and paste themes found online in to their CSS editor.
Upgrades – The Tumblr website handles all updates and upgrades, so there is nothing for you to do here.
Web Dot Com – Web.com’s website builder comes in a surprising third place for being one of the most popular CMS’, with a market share of over one million websites. That’s not so surprising though when you look at Web.com’s plans. Their plans involve building your website for you as well as being personally coached through building your own website. This of course are features other CMS’ can’t possibly offer as standalone systems.
Installation – Installation is automatically managed by Web.com, so there is nothing for you to do here.
Menus – The menus are simple and easy to navigate through buttons and sidebars.
Plugins – Web.com has hundreds of plugins available via point and click. There is no ability to install plugins from outside websites.
Themes – There is a limited amount of themes, but all are aesthetically pleasing. There is no ability to install themes from outside websites.
Upgrades – Upgrades and updates are all handled by Web.com’s website, so there is nothing to do here.
uCoz – uCoz is an easy, free-to-use CMS only installed by about 300,000 websites but is quickly growing in popularity. This CMS walks you through every step of creating your first website, and offers themes and plugins to enhance your website’s style and functionality. This CMS is best for beginners thanks to its simple walkthroughs and menus, however it may prove to be frustrating for users looking for more power over their website due to its limited menus and insufficient FTP, database, and command prompt access.
Installation – Installation is handled by the uCoz website, so there is nothing for you to do here.
Menus – The menus are all easy to navigate and available through the sidebar or buttons.
Plugins – There are a handful of modules and extensions available to help increase the website’s functionality. There is no ability to install plugins from outside websites.
Themes – There are a handful of themes made available when you create your site. You can further modify your theme or import outside themes via the Website Layout menu.
Upgrades – There are no upgrades or updates because they are all managed by the uCoz website.
Drupal – Drupal is most commonly used for business and industry websites. It is also in popular usage by general interest and hobby blogs. While Drupal does make tools available for folks who are not code-savvy, unlike WordPress, that is not its primary focus as is speed and simplicity. The menu options can be slightly confusing and overwhelming for new users. It is definitely built with coders in mind. It is probably due to this that Drupal has a small market share – there are only about 100,000 websites using it.
- Installation – Drupal installation is fairly complicated without an automatic installation script from your web host. You have to create the database as well as some directories before running its installation script.
- Menus – The menus in Drupal are fairly complicated to navigate. Page placement varies and there are many menus nested inside of menus that are nested inside of more menus.
- Plugins – Plugins can be downloaded and installed directly through their URL, or they can be uploaded and installed.
- Themes – Themes also can be downloaded and installed directly through their URL, or uploaded and installed.
- Upgrades – Both updates and upgrades are fairly complicated as they must be done manually instead of through an installation script. There is no notification for new updates or upgrades.
Joomla – Joomla is another platform with only about 100,000 websites using it, probably because it too, has coders in mind. The menus are slightly easier to navigate than Drupal, but only slightly, and there are no tools for uploading themes and plugins. Joomla is definitely not a platform for those uncomfortable navigating their site directories via FTP at the least.
Installation – Installing Joomla without a web host’s automatic script installer is tricky business. Like Drupal, you must create the appropriate databases and directories, as well as edit a PHP configuration file before running the installation script.
Menus – The menus are fairly confusing in Joomla and difficult to find. While they are not endlessly nested like some of Drupal’s menus are, they can be difficult to find and understand.
Plugins – Joomla’s plugins must be installed manually via FTP. This can be a bit difficult for beginners.
Themes – Themes can be configured and installed via FTP. This also can be difficult for beginners.
Upgrades – Joomla does not notify you for updates or upgrades. They must be installed manually, which can be fairly difficult for beginners.
Blogger – Google’s CMS platform Blogger used to be popular, but has been on the decline in recent years, probably due to its limited functionality in lieu of other CMS platforms. However, it too offers greater speed and simplicity like Joomla and Drupal, but without all the bells and whistles. So, it’s easy to use for beginners and those who don’t want to spend significant time configuring their websites.
Installation – There is no installation required since all Blogger sites are hosted by the Blogger website.
Menus – All menus are accessible through the administration panel’s sidebar. They are easy to understand, navigate, and use.
Plugins – Simple plugins are available through the administration panel.
Themes – A handful of basic themes are available through the administration panel, and thousands more are available online to copy and paste using Blogger’s XHTML editor.
Upgrades – Upgrades and updates are all handled by Blogger, so there is nothing for you to do here.
What Makes WordPress So Special?
WordPress is the only CMS to date that offers a complete roster of functionality and customization in an easy to use and easy to learn package that can also be just as technical and in depth as you want it to be. Every other platform makes sacrifices to lean towards ease of use or towards customization and power. With WordPress, you can have it all.
- Installation – Installation of WordPress is a simple click-through process made even easier by web host installation scripts like Softalicious. Even without a web host installation script, it is as easy as pointing and clicking then filling out the appropriate information for each page. Other standalone customizable CMS platforms require you to fill out PHP configuration forms to install them if you don’t have an automatic installation script to do it for you.
- Menus – WordPress’ menus are logical and intuitive to navigate, as well as easy to see and access. There is not an endless maze of nested menus, and each menu is shown to you through the sidebar. Even plugin menus are easy to see and access through the sidebar.
- Plugins – Plugins are easily installed via point and click by going to the WordPress Plugins directory through the Plugin menu. Plugins come with their own customization menus that appear in the sidebar after being installed. WordPress has thousands of plugins available compared to the hundreds available for other CMS platforms.
- Themes – Themes can be easily installed via point and click by going to the WordPress Themes website through the Themes menu. Themes also come with their own customization menus so you will never have to edit any CSS or PHP. A CSS editor is made available though for those who would like to tweak their themes in depth. There are thousands of themes available for WordPress, so you are sure to find a theme you like.
- Upgrades – Upgrades are also easily available through point and click installation. The WordPress administration page alerts you to new upgrades that are available for the platform, themes, and plugins. These all install within seconds so you don’t have to have your website down for long.
Which CMS Should I Choose?
Which CMS you will prefer depends drastically on your needs. However, WordPress provides a decent base from which you can begin whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned veteran. It also allows newcomers to grow in their abilities, and seasoned vets to customize their websites to the maximum degree. When taking into account the variety of skills and needs in a CMS platform, WordPress truly comes out being the best possible option for all kinds of bloggers.