Your website should never be a finished product, and just as your business, always be improving to stay competitive. Think of your website as an online extension of your business. You should always be able to improve your website on a weekly if not daily basis.

Unless you are a technology company with a lot of programming and web development experience or have the big bucks to spend a lot on third party development you will most likely need an established content management system to manage your website’s content. This will allow you to manage your website’s content without significant coding experience, and thus improve your website on a daily basis.

Now comes the hard part. Figuring out the right content management system or platform to build your website with. Looking at the most used CMS platforms might help you make the right decision. Why do you want a platform with a large and growing user base? Well for one, a large community means there is a large community of developers, agencies, and businesses contributing to the forward momentum of the platform. Also a platform with a rapidly increasing user base has promise, whereas a platform with a decreasing user base could be a very bad sign.

Without further ado, here are the most used CMS platforms on the Internet according to Builtwith data.

Disclaimer: This is for non eCommerce CMS Platforms! Data is compiled from Builtwith.com and does not reflect server side usage of CMS, only client side.

WordPress:

Total Sites: 15,886,021

Top 1 million Sites: 297,689

Top 100k sites: 22,243

Top 10k Sites: 2,659

Trajectory: Increasing in usage

Technology: PHP / MySQL

SaaS: No

Scalability: medium to high

TCO: low to high

WordPress is clearly the leader in CMS usage across all spectrums from total sites to the top 10,000 websites on the planet. WordPress has a great open source community, is a scalable platform used by major sites like Tech Crunch and Time, but is also easy to implement for smaller businesses and websites. If you are building a new website, WordPress should absolutely be highly considered for your CMS platform. It has now reached over 25% total website market share, but still has low market share relative to its overall dominance among major enterprise organizations. It is however moving heavily upstream and has the vast majority of websites in the top 10,000, 100,000, 1 million, and overall Internet according to Builtwith. Therefore, there will likely be high adoption among most businesses as more agencies specialize in WordPress, and the community becomes more and more powerful.

Joomla:

Total Sites: 2,765,237

Top 1 million Sites: 28,013

Top 100k sites: 1,485

Top 10k Sites: 68

Trajectory: Decreasing in usage

Technology: PHP / MySQL

SaaS: No

Scalability: medium

TCO: low to medium

Joomla was once one of the most popular CMS platforms on the Internet. It still has the second most sites to WordPress but has lost a huge amount of market share to WordPress. At this point not many new websites are built on Joomla relative to the growth of the other platforms but many websites are still on the platform.

Wix:

Total Sites: 1,309,280

Top 1 million Sites: 5,986

Top 100k sites: 117

Top 10k Sites: 2

Trajectory: Increasing in usage

Technology: N/A

SaaS: Yes

Scalability: low

TCO: low

Wix.com is a cloud-based web development platform that allows users to create HTML5 web sites and mobile sites through the use of their online drag and drop tools. Although it has a large user base, mainly among small websites, its usage among larger businesses and websites is basically none as it only has 2 of the top 10,000 websites. It is a great starter option if you have a low budget but I would not plan on using it for a larger website or website you plan on growing to become more complex and scalable.

Drupal:

Total Sites: 773,689

Top 1 million Sites: 29,957

Top 100k sites: 4,563

Top 10k Sites: 613

Trajectory: Increasing in usage

Technology: PHP / MySQL

SaaS: No

Scalability: high

TCO: medium to high

Drupal is one of the top open source CMS platforms and is used by many major universities and large organizations. It is considered one of the more scalable / enterprise CMS platforms but is also used for many smaller websites too. Drupal is increasing in usage but at a much slower rate relative to WordPress because it is significantly more expensive to implement and maintain. If you have very complex website needs Drupal could be a good solution for your website.

Telerik Sitefinity:

Total Sites: 767,958

Top 1 million Sites: 1,802

Top 100k sites: 456

Top 10k Sites: 40

Trajectory: Increasing in usage

Technology: ASP.NET

SaaS: No

Scalability: Medium to high

TCO: medium to high

Sitefinity is a modern ASP.NET Web CMS that is used by many enterprise organizations. It has four paid enterprise editions that come with different enterprise features such as Salesforce connectors, eCommerce functionality and more. If you are a medium to large company, Telerik is a platform that has a large combination of eCommerce, marketing, and Intranet solutions tied into one platform that may be a good fit if you want an all in one solution.

Weebly:

Total Sites: 709,834

Top 1 million Sites: 6,632

Top 100k sites: 170

Top 10k Sites: 14

Trajectory: Increasing

Technology: N/A

SaaS: Yes

Scalability: low

TCO: low

Weebly is a low cost tool to build websites that has a free version and affordable paid options. With a large customer base and many total website, Weebly is one of the most popular website builders out there. It is not used by many major websites and shows little to no scalability relative to the major open source platforms like Drupal and WordPress. It seems to be growing in overall usage for total websites but its usage among top websites seems to be declining.

Squarespace:

Total Sites: 707,212

Top 1 million Sites: 6,290

Top 100k sites: 326

Top 10k Sites: 31

Trajectory: Increasing

Technology: NA

SaaS: Yes

Scalability: low to medium

TCO: low

Squarespace is a SaaS based Web content management system (CMS) which is composed of a website builder, blogging platform and hosting service. The service allows individuals and businesses to create and maintain websites and blogs. Squarespace usage is increasing rapidly and has even shown tremendous growth overall and in the top websites showing it has increased its scaling capabilities. If you do not feel you have the capabilities or budget to manage a open source non hosted option, Squarespace is a great software as a service CMS option with more scalability than some of the other top SaaS options. Squarespace does not however, have a free option.

Jimdo:

Total Sites: 461,345

Top 1 million Sites: 949

Top 100k sites: 19

Top 10k Sites: 2

Trajectory: Increasing

Technology: NA

SaaS: Yes

Scalability: low

TCO: low

Jimdo is a website builder and CMS web hosting service. Jimdo offers JimdoFree, a free web hosting service, JimdoPro and JimdoBusiness, both premium services similar to Wix and Weebly. Jimdo is operated by Jimdo GmbH, a Hamburg, Germany-based company. It has not shown much growth in the top websites and seems to be used by mostly smaller websites, having not proved its scalability like many of the other platforms.

TYPO3:

Total Sites: 399,341

Top 1 million Sites: 2,016

Top 100k sites: 253

Top 10k Sites: 20

Trajectory: Decreasing in usage

Technology: PHP

SaaS: No

Scalability: Medium

TCO: Medium

Typo3 is a free open source CMS platform used by many websites around the world, however it is most used by European websites, particularly Germany. It was originally started in 1997 and has since grown into one of the major CMS platforms. Although it does have large total usage base, it seems to be decreasing in overall usage relative to the other platforms.

Artisteer:

Total Sites: 273,804

Top 1 million Sites: 1,935

Top 100k sites: 105

Top 10k Sites: 6

Trajectory: Increasing in usage

Technology: NA

SaaS: No

Scalability: low

TCO: low

Artisteer is a web design tool that allows you to design websites using their software on the Windows operating system. The designs and code can also be exported to be used on CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Although its overall usage is growing it does not have much usage among the top websites and does not have proven scalability like some of the other platforms.

1and1 Website Builder:

Total Sites: 239,336

Top 1 million Sites: 747

Top 100k sites: 7

Top 10k Sites: 1

Trajectory: Neutral

Technology: NA

SaaS: Yes

Scalability: low

TCO: low

1and1 Website Builder allows you to build websites for free that also has paid options similar to Wix and Weebly. Although it has a large number of websites that use it, its usage among top websites has decreased. It may be a low cost option but it has yet to prove any level of scalability for larger websites.

Homestead:

Total Sites: 200,875

Top 1 million Sites: 3,374

Top 100k sites: 64

Top 10k Sites: 4

Trajectory: Decreasing in usage

Technology: NA

SaaS: Yes

Scalability: low

TCO: low

Homestead is another website building platform like Wix and Weebly that although has a large number of total sites using the platform, has lost a considerable amount of market share in recent years. According to Builtwith it has almost half as many websites as it used to have in the past couple of years. It also has almost no market share among the top websites proving it has yet to scale effectively.

Tumblr:

Total Sites: 182,658

Top 1 million Sites: 2,112

Top 100k sites: 433

Top 10k Sites: 116

Trajectory: Decreasing in usage

Technology: NA

SaaS: Yes

Scalability: Low to Medium

TCO: Low

Although most people think of Tumblr as a blogging software, it is actually used to power many websites around the Internet. It can be attached to a domain and used as the CMS platform to power an independent website, and not just be a subdomain of Tumblr. It has decreased overall in usage but it does show some prominence among top websites as a very low cost blogging software option.

Serif WebPlus:

Total Sites: 174,193

Top 1 million Sites: 1,271

Top 100k sites: 105

Top 10k Sites: 6

Trajectory: Increasing in usage

Technology: NA

SaaS: No

Scalability: low

TCO: low

Serif Webplus is a downloadable software for $120 that can be used to create websites. Similar to Artisteer, it is a downloadable program that can be used to quickly create websites using their templates and website builder tools. It seems to be decreasing in overall usage and also has little to no usage among the top websites.

WebsiteX5:

Total Sites: 144,102

Top 1 million Sites: 269

Top 100k sites: 25

Top 10k Sites: 2

Trajectory: Neutral

Technology: NA

SaaS: No

Scalability: low

TCO: low to medium

WebsiteX5 is just like Serif Plus in that it has a downloadable software that can be used to create and build websites. It’s editions start at $20 but go as high as $200 making it one of the more expensive software products you can buy to build and design websites for the small business market. It has not shown much usage in the top websites and its overall usage has stayed neutral for some time now.

Web.com:

Total Sites: 134,670

Top 1 million Sites: 1,743

Top 100k sites: 38

Top 10k Sites: 2

Trajectory: Decreasing in usage

Technology: NA

SaaS: Yes

Scalability: low

TCO: low

Web.com is a software as a service platform that allows you to host and build websites similar to Wix, Weebly and Squarespace. It is a low cost option that is used by over a hundred thousand websites but has very low to no usage among the top websites. Web.com offers hosting, email, marketing, and maintenance for a low cost so for a small business looking for one company to do more than just one thing it could be a solid option.

Dot Net Nuke:

Total Sites: 108,089

Top 1 million Sites: 4,796

Top 100k sites: 687

Top 10k Sites: 55

Trajectory: Decreasing in usage

Technology: ASP.NET

SaaS: No

Scalability: Medium to high

TCO: high

Dot Net Nuke or the DNN platform is an open source ASP.NET platform that is used to build websites, mainly in the enterprise space as opposed to small business. It has the second most websites of any ASP.NET platform to Telerik Sitefinity according to Builtwith making it one of the more widely used ASP.NET platforms. It seems to be decreasing in overall website usage / popularity as ASP.NET seems to be losing traction to PHP based websites. DNN Software is now leading the Dot Net Nuke platform’s future and also sells other complimentary products to the open source CMS platform.

Adobe Business Catalyst:

Total Sites: 71,759

Top 1 million Sites: 1,746

Top 100k sites: 101

Top 10k Sites: 4

Trajectory: Increasing in usage

Technology: ASP .NET

SaaS: Yes

Scalability: low

TCO: low

Business Catalyst (BC) is an all-in-one business website and online marketing solution, built for web designers. It is a unified platform that doesn’t require back-end coding so that you can build brochure websites to online stores with little to no coding expertise. The value of Business Catalyst is that it has a suite of marketing tools built into the CMS at a low cost so that a small business can utilize a collection of tools rather than adding on new tools to something like WordPress. It seems to have strong overall usage but little to no usage among top websites.

Expression Engine:

Total Sites: 60,654

Top 1 million Sites: 4,907

Top 100k sites: 676

Top 10k Sites: 76

Trajectory: Decreasing in usage

Technology: PHP / MySQL

SaaS: No

Scalability: Medium

TCO: medium to high

Expression engine is built by Ellis Labs, maker of Codeigniter, and has an open source and an enterprise edition. It is a scalable platform that powers many major websites entirely or as pieces / components of websites. It is not quite as large as the three major CMS platforms, WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, but still powers a substantial amount of websites.

vBulletin:

Total Sites: 33,487

Top 1 million Sites: 10,227

Top 100k sites: 1,125

Top 10k Sites: 115

Trajectory: Increasing in usage

Technology: PHP / MySQL

SaaS: No

Scalability: Medium to high

TCO: medium to high

vBulletin is an open source CMS platform mainly used for the development of Forum websites. It is considered one of the leading community software platforms available on the market. It was originally started in 2000, and has since been acquired by Internet Brands. It boasts a much smaller number of sites than the major CMS platforms but does power some notable business websites run by companies like EA Sports and Zynga.

Kentico:

Total Sites: 22,956

Top 1 million Sites: 1,888

Top 100k sites: 409

Top 10k Sites: 47

Trajectory: Neutral

Technology: ASP .NET

SaaS: No

Scalability: Medium to high

TCO: medium to high

Kentico is one of the only fully integrated ASP.NET CMS, E-commerce, and Online Marketing platforms that allows you to create websites, and fully optimize your digital customers’ experiences across multiple channels. It is a ASP .NET platform used by many major companies like Sony, Gap, and Starbucks to power some of their websites.

MediaWiki:

Total Sites: 19,631

Top 1 million Sites: 1,169

Top 100k sites: 283

Top 10k Sites: 43

Trajectory: Decreasing in Usage

Technology: PHP

SaaS: No

Scalability: Medium

TCO: Medium

MediaWiki is a an open source PHP framework originally used for Wikipedia. It is a great platform for developing a wiki or website with useful information for customers or other uses. It is typically used by non profit organizations and does not have heavy enterprise business use.

Ghost:

Total Sites: 15,933

Top 1 million Sites: 126

Top 100k sites: 25

Top 10k Sites: 7

Trajectory: Increasing in usage

Technology: ASP .NET

SaaS: No

Scalability: Medium to high

TCO: high

Ghost is a light weight content management system meant for blogging. It has a free open source community edition and a pro paid hosted version for less technical users. It is growing in usage but still shows little signs of cracking into the larger website customer base.

Adobe CQ:

Total Sites: 14,120

Top 1 million Sites: 1,347

Top 100k sites: 626

Top 10k Sites: 185

Trajectory: Increasing

Technology: Java

SaaS: No

Scalability: Medium to high

TCO: high

Adobe CQ is now actually Adobe Experience Manager but there are still many websites on the legacy CQ platform. It was designed to allow business to manage content, marketing assets, and many other things all in one platform. It is certainly more of an enterprise platform powering a large percentage of top sites relative to its total usage.

iAPPS:

Total Sites: 12,913

Top 1 million Sites: 1,570

Top 100k sites: 488

Top 10k Sites: 50

Trajectory: Neutral

Technology: NA

SaaS: No

Scalability: medium to high

TCO: medium to high

Bridgeline Digital created a CMS platform called iAPPS to compliment their digital services offerings. The iAPPS platform is now a standalone platform that doesn’t require Bridgeline Digital services and powers many sites around the web. It is an enterprise platform that powers many mid to larger businesses.

Liferay:

Total Sites: 12,331

Top 1 million Sites: 742

Top 100k sites: 272

Top 10k Sites: 84

Trajectory: Neutral

Technology: Java

SaaS: No

Scalability: Medium to high

TCO: high

Liferay is an enterprise CMS platform used to build websites, portals, and intranets. It seems to have found a strong niche in the customer portal / intranet space but does also power some entire websites. It is an open source based platform built with Java but has an enterprise edition for many large customers such as Cisco and Toyota.

SiteCore:

Total Sites: 8,361

Top 1 million Sites: 1,338

Top 100k sites: 522

Top 10k Sites: 77

Trajectory: Neutral

Technology: ASP .NET

SaaS: No

Scalability: Medium to high

TCO: high

Sitecore is one of the leading enterprise CMS platforms powering many large businesses websites. Since 2001, they have provided a comprehensive platform rather than a system pieced together from acquired technologies. The platform is a combination of development tools, CMS capabilities, and marketing tools to provide a unified platform to growing your business online.

Adobe Experience Manager:

Total Sites: 6,028

Top 1 million Sites: 778

Top 100k sites: 340

Top 10k Sites: 102

Trajectory: Neutral

Technology: ASP .NET

SaaS: No

Scalability: Medium to high

TCO: medium to high

Adobe experience manager is a content management system within Experience Manager that gives you one place to create, manage and deliver digital experiences across websites, mobile sites and on-site screens to make them global in reach, yet personally relevant and engaging. It is an enterprise platform that powers large organizations such as Deloitte consulting group.

Ektron:

Total Sites: 4,934

Top 1 million Sites: 1,080

Top 100k sites: 373

Top 10k Sites: 30

Trajectory: Decreasing in usage

Technology: ASP.NET

SaaS: No

Scalability: medium

TCO: medium to high

Ektron is an enterprise CMS used by many larger companies. Many would consider it a legacy platform based on ASP.NET technology but it is still a widely used software among many larger business. It is a privately held software company co-founded by brothers William Rogers and Edward Rogers based in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Adobe Scene7:

Total Sites: 3,452

Top 1 million Sites: 662

Top 100k sites: 325

Top 10k Sites: 99

Trajectory: Neutral

Technology: ASP .NET

SaaS: No

Scalability: high

TCO: high

Adobe Scene 7 similar to Adobe CQ is now also Adobe Experience Manager but is an enterprise CMS platform used for larger companies to manage complex content assets such as product images and more. It is used to power some very complex websites with large amounts of digital assets.

WordPress VIP:

Total Sites: 1,393

Top 1 million Sites: 371

Top 100k sites: 269

Top 10k Sites: 117

Trajectory: Increasing

Technology: PHP

SaaS: No

Scalability: high

TCO: high

WordPress VIP is a solution developed by Automattic to service enterprise level WordPress users. It is the leading WordPress solution for enterprises. Many large websites utilize WordPress VIP such as Tech Crunch, CNN, and Time.

The Top Small Business Platforms:

  • WordPress
  • Squarespace
  • Wix
  • Weebly

The Top Enterprise Platforms:

  • Drupal
  • WordPress / WordPress VIP
  • Adobe Experience Manager
  • Sitecore
  • vBulletin

In conclusion I highly suggest you look into all major options regarding your CMS decision. Ultimately your CMS should power your website for at least two to three years, because re platforming or rebuilding your website is a very expensive process regardless of your business size and resources. The larger you are the bigger it will be and the smaller you are the less resources you will have to invest into it, so therefore choosing a platform that will work for your needs now and in the future is critical to building a successful online presence.

Major things to consider when choosing a CMS:

  • The trajectory and future of the platform
  • The developer community around it
  • The cost of hiring developers / agencies
  • The ability to customize the platform and your website
  • The amount of maintenance required to maintain it
  • The quality / amount of plugins or extensions to the core software
  • How easy / hard it is to integrate third party apps into the software

If you would like to download the PDF version of this information please download our free eBook on the top CMS platforms.

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