Cloud CMS WordPress Alternatives
Content management systems (CMS) have grown exponentially in recent years. Their number and features have exploded. There are now dozens of cloud CMS WordPress alternatives for startups and small business.
CMS is getting more sophisticated. Website building is easier. But skewing a CMS platform to fit the culture and needs of a set business or market is trickier. Even mass platforms like WordPress can be challenging.
WordPress boasts nearly 59 percent of the content management systems market (CMS) for websites with newer cloud based platforms entering the market on a daily basis. Most of them also offer integrated e-commerce features and advanced website building functionality. Many offer free plans, hosting and domain name services alongside the drag and drop functionality that is becoming standard for modern day cloud based CMS products. They can help create content rich websites and blogs, corporate websites, or e-commerce sites. Read on for a brief overview of some of the best alternatives to WordPress, listed alphabetically.
Adobe Experience Manager is a CMS that combines functionality ranging from creation of websites and apps, through digital asset management, to user generated content management and marketing campaign content management. Webmasters can create newsletters, microsites, and landing pages. The platform allows real time analytics and marketing campaign optimisation.
Users can optimise mobile content management through commerce management tools for search engine results and can manage multiple sites at once. The platform offers pre-built integrations with Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, and Adobe Campaign. The AEM eCommerce framework enables developers to build their own integrations or integrate with third party services. The latter include Amazon SNS connection, ExactTarget, Facebook Connect, Generic Analytics Snippet, Microsoft Translator, Pushwoosh Connection, Salesforce, Silverpop Engage, Twitter, and YouTube.
Adobe Experience Manager targets the enterprise market and has no set pricing plans. They quote prices on request.
Bigcommerce is an integrated SaaS e-commerce platform. It features CMS capabilities to maintain corporate blogs or multiple pages of content rich online stores. The service is directed mainly at small businesses that trade online. Over 230 applications are available to extend the platform. Free and paid templates are available, as well as SEO optimisation tools.
The platform provides integrations with marketing and sales tools like Google Shopping and solutions for ERP, CRM and 3PL. Tax and account integrations are available.
As expected of a commercial platform, Bigcommerce offers a massive number of options. 2Checkout, Authorize.net, Australia Post SecurePay, Chase Paymentech Orbital, eSELECTplus DirectPost Canada, eWay Australia, eWay New Zealand, eWay UK, E-xact, First Data Payeezy Gateway, Heartland Payment Systems, iTransact, MIGS, MyVirtualMerchant, NAB, NetBilling, NetRegistry, NMI, NoChex, Ogone, PaymentExpress Pay, PaymentExpress Post, PayPal Express Checkout, PayPal powered by Braintree, PayStation, Pin Payments, Quantum Gateway, QuickBooks Online, Realex, Sage Pay/Protx VSP Direct, Sage Pay/Protx VSP Form, SecureNet, Simplify Commerce, Skrill, Square, Stripe, USAePay, and WorldPay are all included.
Bigcommerce offer a 15-day free trial. The baseline offer costs $29.50 a month for an unlimited number of products and staff accounts. Unlike other e-commerce CMSs, Bigcommerce levies no transaction fees, except for credit card payments via PayPal.
Concrete5 is a free open source CMS. It is fully customisable using the PHP programming language. The platform offers about 90 free and paid themes. Some 360 add-ons extend its core capabilities. Webmasters can choose between a downloadable version which they host themselves or a hosted CMS. It starts from $5 to $10 a month for individual businesses. A small business hosting service costs $30 to $250 a month and offers support directly from the Concrete5 developers.
Supported payment processors include PayPal, Snipcart, and Beanstream. An add-on for subscription payments is available, as is a donation form using Stripe.
Customisable user roles and permissions are provided for hierarchical pages. The platform is available pre-installed and tuned from a number of hosting vendors.
Advanced features include a customisable security firewall, version control, integrated SEO content fields, and integration with Google Analytics and authentication logs.
The professional open source edition is available for download on the ContentBox website.
Contentful is a CMS that allows content editing on any platform. Their own platform also allows management of environments, collaborators, billing, and access with individual spaces and organisations. Contentful is designed with both editors and developers in mind. It allows significant customisation.
The platform can deliver content through the CMS to virtual reality apps, smart watches and TVs, car interfaces, and other IoT devices. It features powerful extensions for developers and integrates with Zapier. This allows further integrations with over 100 online services. Contentful also allows developers to build mobile apps on top of its CMS.
The CMS starts with a free plan that provides access to four content APIs (Management, Delivery, Preview, and Images) and webhooks. Users get 10,000 records and 50,000 API calls a month. The free plan includes three basic accounts (for Admin, Developer, and Editor) plus three further user accounts.
Here is a heavyweight open source CMS available for free. It does, however, require more advanced tech skills. The platform core offers basic features like blogging, forums, and contact forms. Diverse pre-installed and pre-customised versions are also available for download. They provide specific functionality for e-commerce, website building, or collaboration. Many multipurpose releases are offered.
Some 2500 themes are available for Drupal. Users can install no fewer than 37,000 additional modules. They extend the core functionality of the CMS. Most reputable hosting companies support Drupal, including cloud hosts. At least three hosting providers offer demo Drupal installations. A self-hosted installation is also available.
There are more than 20,000 extension modules. They range from automated translation, through Help & Support, to merchandising and integration with numerous online services.
Many payment gateways and carts are available through modules and extensions.
Evoq Content is an enterprise level CMS. It features thousands of pluggable apps and module creator capabilities. Drag and drop page management and template management are available. The Liquid Content technology enables Evoq webmasters to publish content to a microsite, kiosk, app, or another CMS using API. The platform also features version management.
Built-in connectors perform digital asset management for Dropbox, Box, Amazon S3, and SharePoint. Evoq supports mobile devices running Apple iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone. SEO and workflow management tools are integrated alongside web analytics. Evoq’s DNN Platform is a free open source .Net CMS that can be downloaded and upgraded with over 500 free extensions.
The company does not have standard pricing plans. They quote individually depending on website particulars like size. Annual subscriptions are available for on premise installations and on demand use as a SaaS platform.
HubSpot is more than a content management service. Its thrust is weighted heavily towards marketing and integrating all manner of sales and customer management tools. HubSpot provides means to measure the performance of blogs, email, and social media marketing, all with generating leads in mind.
The platform can create landing pages and offers SEO optimisation functions. It can personalise websites by providing a unique experience for each individual visitor. The feature that does that, SmartContent, is part of the CMS.
HubSpot offer a free cloud based CRM. Its sales software can expand to include CMS and marketing tools. HubSpot’s basic plan includes content creation and optimisation. It starts at $198 a month. Webmasters can use Google Checkout or PayPal for online payments.
IM Creator is a drag and drop website builder aimed at individuals and small businesses. Templates range from blogs to fashion, to restaurants, to business. Users can tweak templates to fit their specific needs. The platform provides free e-commerce capabilities for any site free of charge. Mobile editing is available. In addition to the drag and drop functionality, IM Creator has a version named XPRS. This uses polydomes: a new technology that provides ready content blocks. All the templates are responsive and mobile ready.
The platform can be used free of charge on an IM Creator subdomain. This includes hosting of up to 50MB and access to all templates. Paid plans start from $7.95 a month. An annual subscription includes a custom domain, unlimited hosting and bandwidth, and up to ten custom email addresses. An e-commerce enabled website made with XPRS costs $6 per month.
For those wishing to sell products online, IM Creator transfers amounts paid into billing accounts monthly.
Jimdo is a CMS with a drag and drop interface for creating small business blogs and websites. They offer around a hundred template variations based on a dozen core themes. Over thirty online tools, widgets, and services can be integrated into a Jimdo website. They include Bannerashack, Vimeo, Eventbrite, Evivo, Booxi, MailChimp, Tidio Chat, Payhip, Disqus, and Google Custom Search. Webmasters can edit their properties on the go using Android and iOS apps.
The platform starts with a free plan that offers 500MB of storage and 2GB of bandwidth on a Jimdo subdomain with up to five products sold through an online store.
Paid plans start at $5.4 a month for 5GB storage, 10GB bandwidth, free domain and email account, statistics, selected widgets, and a basic online store. Any site can also have a blog. The company does not charge fees on successful transactions.
For payment, Jimdo supports Stripe (for business users only), PayPal (with card payments allowed), invoicing, local delivery, local pickup, and cheque (by snail mail).
Contact CloudTweaks for implementation and training of any of these services. Content creation, marketing and management packages are also available at flexible rates.
Stay tuned for Part 2 this week…
By Kiril V Kirilov