Content Management System Examples

Businesses today need numerous digital tools to keep their companies running effectively. One of the most important tools is a content management system. But what is a content management system? Are there different types? What is the best one to use?

Below is everything you need to know about content management systems and how they can benefit your business. 

What is a Content Management System 

Content Management System (CMS) is a software that allows you to store many types of content your business needs. This content can be:

  • Audio - Store audio like songs or podcasts.
  • Documents - Store files such as Word Documents, PDFs, Excel Sheets, or PowerPoints. 
  • Forms - Build forms that can capture event registration, lead capture, or even email and mobile opt-ins. 
  • Icons - Access a library of icons to use in your digital experiences.
  • Images - Pull in images to use in your digital experiences related to products, headshots, and more. 
  • Quizzes - Create engaging product or content recommendation quizzes that help entice customers to purchase recommended products. 
  • Text - Use the same plain text or rich text in multiple digital experiences and ensure any edits made to this text are automatically updated across all experiences using it.
  • Videos - Store all types of video files for product training, employee onboarding, etc.

These digital assets can then be used when creating your website and ensure consistency across your digital properties. Depending on your CMS selection, you may be able to build your website completely without code using a digital experience platform (DXP) or you may need to write custom code using developers or a marketing agency. According to one Zippia CMS statistic, 36 percent of websites are built solely with code. The Built With website reported this month that 78 Million websites are made with a CMS.

The Three Different Types of CMSs

Before we dive deep into the three main CMS types, it’s important to understand the most common functionality of a content management system.

  • Content Storage, Creation, and Editing - Stores content in one place, in a consistent fashion, and allows users to easily create and format content.
  • Workflow Management - Related to ease of use is workflow management. A CMS is designed for every individual on a marketing team to easily use the platform depending on their tasks. 
  • Search Functionality - Just like any other search engine, the search functionality in a content management system allows users to search for specific pieces of content using keywords.
  • Third-Party Integrations - This allows you to integrate your content management system with the rest of your tech stack.
  • User Management - Assigns permissions for managing content based on roles such as authors, editors and admins.

The main three different types of a CMS are:

  • Open Source
  • Headless CMS
  • Proprietary SaaS

Open Source

Have you ever looked at a Wikipedia page? It’s a great example of  an open source encyclopedia because anyone can update the Wiki page with new information at any time.  Think of an open source CMS in this way because any developer can edit or add code, create new plug-ins, etc. for any users of the open source CMS to take advantage of immediately. There isn’t an overall organization that manages the functionality of the open source CMS or determines what gets released. This type of CMS has its shares of pros and cons.

Pros of Open Source CMS:

  • Extremely affordable and easy to get started. Many open source CMS offerings such as WordPress are free to use with liminal costs for hosting, domain, etc.
  • Numerous plug-ins and templates to choose from with new functionality launching almost every day.
  • Flexibility to develop the front-end to meet your specific design needs by using internal development resources, third-party developers, or your marketing agency.

Cons of Open Source CMS:

  • Open source CMS can be subject to more security issues than traditional CMS types since there is limited oversight into the functionality made available to users. 
  • Limited (if any) technical support available. 
  • Almost always requires development resources. 

Headless CMS

A headless CMS provides the backend functionality of a CMS without the ability to design the front-end. Instead, companies use a DXP or development resources to build out the front-end. 

Pros of a Headless CMS: 

  • Aligns with a composable architecture strategy and is often seen as futureproof giving you the ability to switch the front-end of your digital experiences without having to move all of your content. 
  • Solely focused on delivering the best content functionality so oftentimes has more functionality available than other CMS types. 
  • Designed to be managed by marketing without requiring any technical expertise. 
  • Often includes built-in functionality or integrations to conduct A/B testing.  
  • Flexibility to use a third-party DXP or development resources for designing and building the front-end.

Cons of Headless CMS:

  • Requires another expense or contract to build out the front-end. 
  • Another tool for your team to learn how to effectively use. 
  • Annual subscription required for using the CMS.

Proprietary SaaS

The third type of a CMS is often referred to as proprietary SaaS CMS or cloud-based CMS because the platform is hosted in the cloud and often requires an annual subscription. This type of CMS is fully managed by the company providing it and they are solely responsible for adding new functionality. These CMS platforms offer a front-end solution that can be used in conjunction with their CMS. 

Pros of a SaaS CMS: 

  • Single platform to manage your content and front-end of all of your digital experiences. 
  • Regular product enhancements to add new or improve existing functionality. 
  • Technical support available. 

Cons of Saas CMS:

  • Annual subscription cost that can vary greatly depending on the vendor and level of functionality required. 
  • Often limited to only using their CMS when building out a digital experience using their front-end solution. However, Lumavate is an exception here since our platform allows you to use our built-in CMS, an integrated third-party CMS, or a combination of the both when building out digital experiences. 

Examples of Content Management Systems

Now that you know what the different types are, let's go over the most popular examples of each type.

Open Source Examples

The most well-known open source CMS is WordPress. If you’re a marketer, you’ve likely used WordPress at some point in your career. It’s highly used by small and midsize businesses because it’s extremely cost-effective to get started (oftentimes free!). 

The challenge with using WordPress and similar solutions is that while the initial costs may be minimal and limited to costs for domain, hosting, etc. , there are serious limitations that need to be considered when evaluating an open source CMS. For example, an open source CMS may have new functionality launching on a regular basis, but this functionality is typically not evaluated by a third-party before it’s made available to users. This means almost any developer can build a plug-in for WordPress and launch it without any required security reviews. This is one of the reasons why many enterprise companies don’t consider using WordPress because it can pose a potential security risk. 

Another potential drawback for WordPress is the process for updating versions. When WordPress launches a new version, users are given a set period of time to upgrade to the new version. However, if you don’t take advantage of this upgrade during a designated time period then WordPress will automatically upgrade your version to the latest without any warning. Instead, you receive an email alerting you to the upgrade after it’s happened. This upgrade process has caused headaches for marketers for years and can even cause significant issues with your digital experience depending on how you built the front-end. 

Headless CMS Examples

Unlike open source CMS where there is a dominant solution, headless CMS is a fairly emerging category with numerous vendors but no clear leader yet. Instead, there are countless solutions to evaluate to determine which one meets the needs of your business. For example, Sanity, Contentstack, Craft, and Contentful are all examples of a headless CMS. 

While there are many benefits to using a headless CMS and its composable architecture structure, a headless CMS does not allow you to build out a front-end for your digital experience. The lack of this functionality is what differentiates it the most from other vendors that are open source CMS or proprietary SaaS CMS. 

Proprietary Saas Examples

As previously mentioned, a proprietary SaaS CMS or cloud-based CMS is owned and managed by a third-party software company. This type of solution requires an annual subscription and almost always includes both a built-in CMS with functionality to build the front-end of your digital experience. However, cloud-based CMS vendors do differ on whether or not building out the front-end of a digital experience requires a developer or not. For example, most companies using Sitecore will still require a developer to build out the front-end for a new digital experience while companies using Lumavate can quickly build out any digital experience without any code and often in a fraction of the time. 

What is the Most Widely Used Content Management System? 

The most widely used CMS is an open source CMS called WordPress. In fact, there are more than 34 million users of WordPress. The second most used CMS is WIX with more than seven million websites. 

Best Content Management System? 

The best content management system is one that fits your needs and budget. We know you’re probably tired of hearing that. But it’s true. To find the best CMS you need to figure out your budget and functionality requirements. 

While the evaluation process for any new CMS can be overwhelming given the number of options to choose from and the various types, most of the leading CMS vendors offer a free trial or freemium offering to give you a sense of what to expect from the solution before making a purchase. This can be a great way to get your hands on the tool before diving into a lengthy sales process and to validate that the platform works the way the sales team says it does. 

You’ll also want to reach out to references provided by the vendor as well as other customers directly that the vendor doesn’t give you to ensure you’re obtaining an unbiased review of the offering. 

Why Lumavate?

We highly encourage you to consider Lumavate in your evaluation process for a new CMS because we are extremely different compared to other CMS vendors. First, we’re a full digital experience platform with a built-in CMS allowing you to manage both your content and front-end design within a single platform. We also enable you to use not only our CMS, but any integrated third-party CMS when building your digital experiences. In fact, you can even pull content from multiple CMS vendors onto a single page in a Lumavate digital experience. This isn’t any other vendor today that provides you with this level of flexibility.

Additionally, Lumavate is constantly enhancing our platform by launching new functionality every two weeks. This release schedule frequency is significantly higher than any of our competitors. We also give all of our new functionality to our Professional and Enterprise Plan customers at no additional cost. 

Another huge benefit for using Lumavate is our strategic consulting and support. Every customer is assigned a Strategic Consultant who is an expert in the industry and oversees all of our customers in that industry. This means you have an expert you can reach out to at any time for guidance about how to get the most out of our platform or how to improve one of your digital experiences. We also provide real-time access to analytics via Google Analytics as well as a monthly report with recommendations on how to improve your digital experiences to ensure you hit your key performance indicators (KPIs). 

Finally, Lumavate also offers a product information management (PIM) solution and mobile messaging functionality. This means you can manage all of your product data and digital assets within Lumavate and can send out real-time or scheduled text messages to your customers from the same platform. 

Ready to learn more about Lumavate? Book a demo today to see what Lumavate can do for your business! 

See Lumavate in Action

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.