What Are the 3 Different Types of CMS?

Audrey Hollingshead Picture

by Audrey Hollingshead | Last Updated: Mar 26, 2023

Content management system (CMS) solutions have made it easier than ever to build a website. Some are so easy to use that you post content without coding.  But if you’re new to making websites you might have some questions. What are the different types of CMS? Which one is the best for my business? Do they really make websites without code? There are three types of CMS solutions: headless, open source, and proprietary.

Types of CMS

As we’ve said there are three different types of content management system solutions. 

Headless CMS

A content management system has two parts: where the content is stored (the body); and how that content is displayed (the head). A headless CMS separates where content is stored from where it is presented. The benefit of a headless CMS is that it provides a higher degree of flexibility when it comes to integrating with other systems.  Typically, companies pair a headless CMS with using an agency or in-house development team to build out the front-end of the digital experience or they use a digital experience platform (DXP).  Pros of a Headless CMS:  Cons of Headless CMS:

Open Source

If you’ve used WordPress to create a website, you’re in good company. About 42 percent of the web is built on WordPress, an open source CMS. It’s called open source because hundreds of developers worldwide work together to maintain and update the code instead of a  company’s in-house team. Volunteer WordPress developers add to the Plugins Directory and the Themes Directory. Pros of Open Source CMS: Cons of Open Source CMS:


Proprietary CMS is a solution built and maintained by a single company rather than a community. An organization owns the system and customers will often pay a monthly fee to use it. Pros of a Proprietary CMS:  Cons of a Proprietary CMS: Migrating off a proprietary CMS is difficult.

What Are Examples of a CMS?

There are many different examples and providers to choose from. 

CMS Examples

Headless: Craft, Strapi, and Contentful are great examples of headless CMS solutions. While it’s true a headless CMS can allow you to present information in many different forms, you’ll have to find and possibly pay for the forms you choose. You’ll also need to factor in other costs, like hosting and domain name registration. The best headless CMS solution is one that can work with whatever way you’ve chosen to present information.  Open Source: WordPress is the most popular CMS on the market today. (More on them below.) Drupal is another well-known open source CMS solution, however it does require coding knowledge and experience to build a fully-functioning site. People looking for a more user-friendly interface should look elsewhere. Proprietary: Lumavate is a no-code DXP with a proprietary CMS included in the suite of functionality. However, Lumavate is unique in its position as a proprietary solution. Lumavate allows customers to use its CMS, integrate with a third-party, such as a headless CMS, or a combination of both. Think of it this way: Marketers loved the concept of a headless CMS because the content’s presentation wasn’t limited. Lumavate’s next level. You can use it to manage all of your digital assets and create custom digital experiences. You can also use your current CMS with Lumavate, or a combination of both. There’s no stress of moving information. Once your CMS is integrated, you can get to creating. 

Best Content Management System

So what’s the best content management system for you? To decide that you must first figure out:
  1. What skills does your team have? Are they able to write code? Do they need a no-code or low-code solution?
  2. Do you want the ability to create many digital experiences? Or just one static website?
  3. What is your budget?
  4. What features are you looking for in CMS software? 

Is WordPress a Content Management System?

Yes, WordPress is. It is the most well-known CMS on the market. While some like WordPress, G2.com reported that users want a more intuitive interface. WordPress also lacks drag-and-drop features.  If you’re not familiar with the WordPress content management system, there is a bit of a learning curve. There may also be a learning curve to the plugins you choose too. No matter what web content management system you choose, it needs to match the skillset of your team.

Is WordPress a Free CMS?

Yes, WordPress is free. However, there are some things to consider. For instance, hosting and domain costs. If you want a unique domain name related to your business you’ll have to buy that domain name registration. Not to mention that not all WordPress plugins are free. 

Check Out Lumavate Today 

Lumavate is a next-generation digital experience platform that can take your content to the next level. Book a demo to see for yourself what Lumavate can do for you.

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Meet with one of our experts to see how easy it is to centralize your product data, manage digital assets, and create digital product experiences. Trust us…you’re going to be wowed.