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If you invested the time and money to integrate all of the necessary components of an effective digital or inbound marketing strategy (i.e. search engine tools, forms, etc.) into any CMS, you would essentially be creating your own version of HubSpot on top of your website.
Rather than going through that hassle and cost, the HubSpot CMS Hub (an add-on for HubSpot users) gives you all of those features in one tightly-integrated, easy-to-use CMS.
The platform offers WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) page design that requires little to no technical knowledge to edit, built-in SEO, responsive design, cross-browser and multi-device testing, and personalization in addition to the existing HubSpot marketing features.
It's a true all-in-one solution and as an Elite HubSpot Partner Agency, our go-to.
HubSpot aside, WordPress is hands-down the best and most popular free CMS available. Since it's introduction in 2003, WordPress has always been a favorite among bloggers for its ease-of-use and open-source flexibility.
It doesn't have as many features built-in marketing features as HubSpot does, but millions of plugins to choose from, it does allow you to add virtually anything you can imagine to your website.
If you're just getting started with digital marketing or don't need a CMS that acts as a powerful all-in-one marketing platform, WordPress is your best bet.
-- Or if you simply love WordPress, HubSpot, Marketo, and a host of other marketing automation platforms have integrations available for it.
Editor’s Note: This article following feature was sponsored by Magnolia.
The choice of The New York Times, Atlassian, and Fendi, Magnolia's CMS is unique to our list in that it is headless.
Simply put, there is no single "head" (display interface or visual website) produced.
Rather than generating an actual website like most options, Magnolia develops what it calls "pure content" then delivers it to other channels via powerful REST APIs whether that be a website, a mobile app, a wearable, or even a voice device.
This makes maintaining your digital experiences a lot easier because they can all be managed from one platform.
Magnolia can be connected to any third-party channel including analytics tools, CRMs, eCommerce tools, and others, simultaneously.
In fact, the platform actually dedicates UI slots to displaying data from these systems so you can literally see the analytics for a page within the Magnolia platform or pull data/images from your eCommerce platform directly into Magnolia.
This gives you comprehensive data to track customer journeys and behavior and segment audiences.
It is an extremely comprehensive choice, but by still offering a WSIWYG editor, full live preview, and out-of-the-box personalization (which you typically don’t get with headless solutions), you don't have to be a developer to use it.
You may not have heard of Sitefinity before, but, with users like Dannon and Gatorade under its belt, it's actually one of the most established CMS and digital marketing platforms around.
One of the most notable of its qualities is its beautiful design and friendly user experience including drag-and-drop widgets, forms, personalization, SEO, A/B testing functionality, built-in eCommerce capability, and accommodations for large enterprises that manage multiple brands, regions. etc.
Sitefinity also offers connectors for Salesforce, Marketo, Sharepoint, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, as well as its own digital marketing tools.
Unfortunately, some complaints you'll commonly hear is that the platform doesn't include enough templates and frankly, developers who specialize in Sitefinity are more difficult to find.
The choice of Starbucks, Mazda, and Gibson guitars, Kentico is another all-in-one CMS that allows you to build and manage your website, publish content, manage eCommerce, and run marketing campaigns from one platform.
In addition to a clean user interface and WYSIWYG editor, Kentico touts itself as the only ASP.NET CMS, and also offers unique community building abilities such as forums, groups, and message boards.
International companies will especially appreciate the support of multilingual content, allowing you to manage websites in any number of languages.
Lastly, Kentico offers ASP.NET MVC (model-view-controller) support, allowing you to create and store content in the Kentico database using Kentico API that can later populate a web layout customized by your developer separately from your content creation.
Mura is a CMS primarily developed for designers, developers, programmers, government organizations, and executives. An open source platform, its goal is to offer a tool that's easy-to-use and encourages maximum productivity.
It includes mobile support, search engine optimization, multi-language support, cross-platform flexibility, flexible licensing, scalability, and amongst other things.
Although Mura isn't one of the most widely-used CMS, it ranks highly in customer satisfaction. The biggest downside to it is the severe limitation of themes and plugins available as the software is CFML-based.
Joomla is a popular open source CMS used by over 75 million websites (and counting).
Similar to WordPress, Joomla is free and there are thousands of extensions and themes readily available for you to use.
Most people find Joomla fairly easy-to-use, even if they have zero technical experience, but it isn't an all-in-one solution and requires you to do a lot of customization yourself to get all of the features you would normally have in a premium CMS right out-of-the-box.
More technical users might also find Joomla limited in capability since it really is aimed more toward people that need a simple CMS without all of the frills.
idev CMS is a simple CMS solution that's designed to scale alongside your business as it grows from a small startup to a large enterprise and users love how easy it is to learn and use.
idev CMS uses a WYSIWYG page builder and allows you to easily add new pages, customize content, and build forms. They have a developer-friendly platform with perpetually-licensed source code that allows your developers to customize the framework however you see fit.
Now, with its enterprise-level content management with end-to-end content management from creation to archiving, this particular CMS is a robust platform that is best suited for large, established companies.
Oracle WebCenter Content provides great support for their customers and consistently maintains the quality of their CMS, ensuring bugs are solved immediately — unfortunately, this support comes with a price.
Given that this is an enterprise-level CMS with a minimum 10-user purchase, people can expect to spend at least $7,590 a year on support fees alone.
Last, but not least, Evoq Content is also an enterprise CMS that satisfies both IT and marketing departments with its balance between functionality and easy-of-use
In addition to the normal content creation and SEO features, Evoq Content supports workflows and personalization, allowing you to deploy robust inbound marketing campaigns with ease, while also maintaining an open source platform and support of highly customizable themes.
The biggest drawback of this platform, sadly, is a need for physical resources to support adoption and use. Users complain that Evoq Content lacks training materials for module development.
No matter which platform you end up going with, remember, it must be able to support your digital marketing efforts either natively or through integration.
If you're just getting started with the inbound methodology, consider HubSpot Marketing Free (formerly Leadin).
This will help you get your feet wet with lead generation and list creation, is free forever, and works on practically every CMS — or if you're ready to get started
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