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Best Dedicated Hosting Plans

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Dedicated servers are the top of the line in web hosting. As the name implies, your website won’t be sharing server resources with any other sites—you’ll have a server all to yourself.  

For websites with high volumes of traffic, a dedicated hosting plan ensures high uptime rates, fast page loading times, and robust site performance.

But which dedicated hosting plan is the best? 

After extensive research and testing, we’ve narrowed down the top seven options on the market today. This guide contains the features, benefits, pricing, and recommended use cases for the top dedicated hosting plans. 

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting

Best For Performance

Choose an unmanaged or managed dedicated hosting plan. These servers are fast, reliable, and developer-friendly.

The Best Dedicated Hosting Options to Consider:

  1. A2 Hosting
  2. Bluehost
  3. GoDaddy
  4. HostGator
  5. TMDHosting
  6. DreamHost
  7. IONS by 1&1

When it Makes Sense to Invest Into Dedicated Web Hosting

Dedicated servers are for websites that have outgrown other hosting plans. If you’re currently on a shared, VPS, or cloud server that can’t accommodate your traffic, it might be time to consider dedicated hosting.

Brand new websites and small business websites almost never need a dedicated server. But sites with 100,000+ visitors per month would be candidates for a dedicated hosting plan. 

With that said, the ability to accommodate lots of traffic is just one component of a dedicated server. These plans are also ideal for anyone who wants complete control and customization of their hosting environment. Since the server is yours, you can do whatever you want with it at the server level. From hardware to software and settings, it’s all in your hands. 

Large websites that can’t afford downtime should consider dedicated hosting. 

Compared to other hosting types, dedicated hosting plans are typically the most expensive. So just make sure you’ve appropriately weighed your options before investing in a dedicated host. 

For many websites, a VPS or cloud hosting plan might still be enough to accommodate traffic spikes. But if those options aren’t giving you the server-level control you need, then it’s time for an upgrade to dedicated hosting. 

#1 – A2 Hosting Review — The Best For Performance

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting

Best For Performance

Choose an unmanaged or managed dedicated hosting plan. These servers are fast, reliable, and developer-friendly.

A2 Hosting is synonymous with speed. All of the hosting types and hosting plans offered by A2 lead the industry in this category. So it’s no surprise to see the A2 Hosting rank so high on our list. 

Another reason why A2 Hosting is a top pick for dedicated hosting is its flexibility. No matter what type of dedicated plan you’re looking for, A2 has an option for you.

You’ll have the option to choose from a managed or unmanaged dedicated hosting plan. 

  • Unmanaged Server — Starts at $99.59 per month
  • Discount SSD Server — Starts at $129.30 per month
  • Managed Flex Server — Starts at $141.09 per month
  • Core Flex Server — Starts at $141.09 per month

So if you’re super technical or you have an IT team that wants to control your server settings, an unmanaged plan will give you the flexibility to customize your settings. Add custom applications or script installs without any restrictions. The unmanaged plans are developer-friendly, so they come with root access and the ability to choose your Linux OS. 

But if you just want high performance while staying hands-off, you can go with a managed plan. A2 will migrate your site to a dedicated server for free, and you’ll have access to reliable Guru support 24/7/365.

All dedicated servers from A2 Hosting are backed by an “anytime money-back guarantee.” This promise comes with some stipulations, but you can try a dedicated plan risk-free.

#2 – Bluehost Review — The Best Dedicated Hosting Features

Bluehost

Bluehost

Best Dedicated Hosting Features

Feature-rich dedicated hosting plans backed by a 30 day money back guarantee. 24/7 dedicated support, free domain, root access, and database management.

Bluehost is one of the most popular and reputable names in the world of web hosting. If you’re looking for the ultimate control, security, and performance, a dedicated hosting plan from Bluehost will be a top choice for you to consider.

All plans come with access to 24/7 support from Bluehost’s elite dedicated server specialists. These agents have been trained specifically to accommodate dedicated hosting inquiries and issues.

Here’s a quick overview of the dedicated server plans and resources offered by Bluehost:

Bluehost really stands out from the crowd in terms of its features. Some of the top basic and advanced dedicated hosting features that come with all plans include:

  • Free domain for first year
  • Free SSL certificate
  • RAID storage
  • Root access
  • Fast provisioning (24-72 hours)
  • cPanel interface
  • Multi-server management
  • Access control
  • Database management

If you want complete control over your Bluehost dedicated server, you can get an unmanaged plan as well. 

All Bluehost dedicated servers are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

#3 – GoDaddy Review — The Best For Flexibility and Control

GoDaddy

GoDaddy

Best For Flexibility and Control

GoDaddy offers three different management levels to accommodate a wide range of hosting needs. Self-managed plans come with full root access and no resource restrictions.

GoDaddy is best known for its provocative marketing campaigns and domain registration. But this service provider also has a wide range of hosting plans, including dedicated servers.

These plans are designed for those of you who want full root access with no resource restrictions. 

In addition to websites, GoDaddy’s dedicated servers are a popular choice for resource-intensive web applications. 

GoDaddy offers three different management levels, depending on your technical needs—unmanaged, managed, and fully managed.  

If you choose one of the managed options, you’ll benefit from site and database migrations, premier-level support, three dedicated IPs, automated app installs and updates, control panel, patching, backups, and proactive monitoring. 

The unmanaged plans don’t come with nearly as many features and services, but you’ll have complete control over your server settings.

#4 – HostGator Review — The Best Customer Support

HostGator

HostGator

Best Customer Support

24/7/365 server monitoring and tech support. HostGator offers full root access, managed plans, and semi-managed hosting plans for all dedicated servers.

HostGator is another well-known name in the hosting industry. While the provider is best known for its shared and cloud hosting plans, they offer some great options for dedicated servers that shouldn’t be overlooked. 

For those of you who want the ultimate experience in power and control, HostGator will be a top option to consider.

My favorite part of HostGator is its world-class support. Their customer service team is second to none. You’ll benefit 24/7/365 server monitoring and tech support over the phone and via live chat. 

HostGator also gives you access to 500+ video tutorials and roughly 700 knowledge base articles related to dedicated hosting. 

All of the dedicated hosting plans come with unlimited databases, DDoS protection, a fully redundant network, full root access, and RAID-1 configuration.

Choose between a semi-managed or managed solution, depending on how hands-on you want to be at the server level with customization. Considering how great HostGator’s support is, I’d personally lean towards the managed plans with this provider. 

#5 – TMDHosting Review — Best For Rapid Deployment

TMDHosting

TMDHosting

Best For Rapid Deployment

Get started in 20 minutes with immediate activation. Free site transfers, database transfers, domain registration, and premium support with a fully managed hosting service.

TMDHosting isn’t as well-known as some of the other web hosting providers on our list. But don’t underestimate their dedicated hosting plans. 

These plans are built for speed and power. If your website is getting tons of traffic and you need to get a dedicated server up and running immediately, TMDHosting is the best choice.

All of TMDHosting’s dedicated servers are fully managed. So you can focus on your website and business without having to worry about the technical management. 

TMDHosting also offers free website transfers. They also claim to have you up and running in 20 minutes. Other providers take 24-72 hours to get your site deployed on a dedicated server.

Here’s a look at the dedicated server plans and price points:

  • Starter — Starts at $79.97
  • Original — Starts at $99.97
  • Smart — Starts at $124.97
  • Super Powerful — Starts at $149.97

Between the immediate activation with zero downtime, free domain registration, free installations, and 24/7/365 fully managed support, TMDHosting deserves a top spot on our list.

All plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. For a limited time, get 50% off your first month with a TMDHosting dedicated server. 

#6 – DreamHost Review — Best Fully Managed Dedicated Hosting

DreamHost

DreamHost

Best Fully Managed Servers

Managed plans with 24/7 server monitoring and 100% uptime guarantee. Dedicated plans come with root access, DDoS protection, RAID 1 storage, and a custom control panel.

If you want the benefits of dedicated hosting without having to manage the servers on your own, DreamHost should be at the top of your list.

With DreamHost, you’ll get a fully managed dedicated server at an affordable price. Their professional hosting experts provide 24/7 tech support and server monitoring.

Fully managed doesn’t mean lack of control. Even though the dedicated plans are managed, you’ll still have full root access for complete control of your settings. 

Other top features and benefits of DreamHost dedicated servers include:

  • DDoS protection
  • 100% network uptime guarantee
  • Ruby Version Manager (RVM)
  • RAID 1 storage
  • Uncapped bandwidth
  • Local MySQL server
  • Ubuntu Linux
  • Reseller and sub account features

The Standard servers start at $149 per month. This is great for those of you who are just getting started with dedicated hosting. For advanced needs, the DreamHost Enhanced servers start at $279 per month.

#7 – IONS by 1&1 Review — Best For Simple Management

IONS

IONS by 1&1

Best For Simple Management

Intuitive control panel that’s easy for anyone to use. All plans come with a personal consultant for dedicated support.

If you’re not super technical but still want complete control of your dedicated server, IONS by 1&1 will be a top choice for you to consider. 

All dedicated plans can be managed without a server admin. You’ll get the benefits of dedicated hardware while also having access to an intuitive control panel that’s easy for anyone to use.

I like IONS by 1&1 because they give you free access to a dedicated support agent. So you’ll only be dealing with one person whenever you have questions, concerns, or need assistance.

The pricing structure for your contract varies depending on the dedicated server you select. Here’s a quick overview of those starting rates:

  • A8i SSD — Starts $45 per month
  • L-16 SSD — Starts at $70 per month 
  • XL-32 SSD — Starts at $110 per month
  • XL-64 SSD — Starts at $140 per month

The rates above are promotional rates that apply to the first three or six months of your plan. Then you’ll have a price jump from there. All servers (except for the A8i SSD) also have a $50 setup fee. 

All plans accommodate unlimited traffic, come with a free domain, free site scan, DDoS protection, and exceptional performance. 

For high traffic volumes and large web projects, IONS by 1&1 has your hosting needs covered.

Methodology For Choosing The Best Dedicated Hosting Plan

With so many dedicated servers to choose from, finding the best hosting plan for your needs can be tough. To ease the buying process, we’ve narrowed down the top features that should be taken into consideration as you’re shopping around.

This is the methodology that you should be using to find the best dedicated hosting plan according to your unique situation.

Management Level

The first thing you need to do is determine how hands-on you want to be at the server level. For those of you who want complete control and customization, choose a self-managed or unmanaged plan.

Most of you will be better off with a fully managed or semi-managed dedicated server. Your hosting provider will handle all of the maintenance, migrations, backups, security, and more for you. This gives you the ability to spend more time on your website and business, without having to worry about the backend tech of your server.

Server Resources

Dedicated servers come in all different shapes and sizes. Depending on what you’re using it for, make sure you evaluate its capacity. 

Consider the disk space, RAM, CPUs, bandwidth, and server locations as you’re comparing different plans. While you don’t want to overpay for resources that you’ll never use, you definitely don’t want to exceed your limits either. 

Uptime and Performance

Dedicated servers will perform better than other types of web hosting. But with that said, some servers are definitely better than others. 

You want to make sure that your site performs well at all times, especially during the initial migration from your existing plan to your dedicated server. Downtime and poor loading speeds will have an adverse effect on your business. So always choose a reputable hosting provider. If you try to cut corners and go the cheapest possible route, don’t expect to have the best performance.

Support

Customer support is crucial for dedicated servers. 

Go with a provider that’s going to give you 24/7/365 support. Whether you need help, have a serious problem, or just need a simple question answered, the best dedicated hosting plans come with exceptional support. 

Just be aware that self-managed plans don’t always have the same support levels as a managed plan.

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting

Best For Performance

Choose an unmanaged or managed dedicated hosting plan. These servers are fast, reliable, and developer-friendly.

Summary

What’s the best dedicated hosting plan?

With thousands of options to choose from, naming just one as the best isn’t very realistic. But the seven options reviewed in this guide will accommodate the needs of every website or business type in search of a dedicated server.

Just follow our recommended use cases and methodology to find the best dedicated hosting plan for your specific circumstances. 

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Source: https://www.crazyegg.com/blog/best-dedicated-hosting-plans/

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SaaS Ventures takes the investment road less traveled

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Most venture capital firms are based in hubs like Silicon Valley, New York City and Boston. These firms nurture those ecosystems and they’ve done well, but SaaS Ventures decided to go a different route: it went to cities like Chicago, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Lincoln, Nebraska.

The firm looks for enterprise-focused entrepreneurs who are trying to solve a different set of problems than you might find in these other centers of capital, issues that require digital solutions but might fall outside a typical computer science graduate’s experience.

Saas Ventures looks at four main investment areas: trucking and logistics, manufacturing, e-commerce enablement for industries that have not typically gone online and cybersecurity, the latter being the most mainstream of the areas SaaS Ventures covers.

The company’s first fund, which launched in 2017, was worth $20 million, but SaaS Ventures launched a second fund of equal amount earlier this month. It tends to stick to small-dollar-amount investments, while partnering with larger firms when it contributes funds to a deal.

We talked to Collin Gutman, founder and managing partner at SaaS Ventures, to learn about his investment philosophy, and why he decided to take the road less traveled for his investment thesis.

A different investment approach

Gutman’s journey to find enterprise startups in out of the way places began in 2012 when he worked at an early enterprise startup accelerator called Acceleprise. “We were really the first ones who said enterprise tech companies are wired differently, and need a different set of early-stage resources,” Gutman told TechCrunch.

Through that experience, he decided to launch SaaS Ventures in 2017, with several key ideas underpinning the firm’s investment thesis: after his experience at Acceleprise, he decided to concentrate on the enterprise from a slightly different angle than most early-stage VC establishments.

Collin Gutman from SaaS Ventures

Collin Gutman, founder and managing partner at SaaS Ventures (Image Credits: SaaS Ventures)

The second part of his thesis was to concentrate on secondary markets, which meant looking beyond the popular startup ecosystem centers and investing in areas that didn’t typically get much attention. To date, SaaS Ventures has made investments in 23 states and Toronto, seeking startups that others might have overlooked.

“We have really phenomenal coverage in terms of not just geography, but in terms of what’s happening with the underlying businesses, as well as their customers,” Gutman said. He believes that broad second-tier market data gives his firm an upper hand when selecting startups to invest in. More on that later.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/09/18/saas-ventures-takes-the-investment-road-less-traveled/

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The 6 Best Digital Strategy Companies of 2020

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According to Smart Insights, 49 percent of organizations don’t have a clearly defined digital strategy. 

Choosing the right digital strategy for your business is essential. Experience helps you sift through what to do differently, what not to do, and where to focus your energy. Having a fresh perspective from an outside eye can make all the difference. What’s more important is choosing a company that can execute that strategy. 

When you need to choose the best digital strategy company, you may be wondering where to start. Here’s a list of our picks for the best digital strategy companies in the world.

1. Neil Patel Digital — Best For Content Marketing & Digital Strategy

I’ve written more than 4,294 blog posts in 10 years. I’ve created millions of words and I’ve used content marketing to build three companies of my own. I used content marketing to generate 195,013 visitors a month and I’ve done the same things for my fortune 500 clients. When it comes to digital strategy and content marketing I’ve shown it can work. 

I do the same thing for clients with my agency, NP Digital. We help our clients develop a digital strategy that maximizes the results they achieve with their content marketing, advertising, and SEO campaigns. 

The focus with our digital strategy is revenue. Everything we do is focused on producing real results for businesses whether that’s more traffic, leads, or revenue. 

NP Digital’s client list includes:

  • Facebook
  • Viacom
  • Google
  • GM
  • eBay
  • NBC
  • Thomson Reuters foundation
  • TechCrunch
  • Cheezburger
  • American Greetings

2. REQ – Best for Enterprise Business Strategy

REQ is a Washington DC based, award-winning agency with enterprise-level experience. They’re industry veterans with some of the best talent in the business. 

Projects start at $50,000. They offer a comprehensive suite of solutions for your marketing and digital strategy needs. Including: 

  • Advertising & Media
  • Digital Advocacy
  • Brand Strategy
  • Reputation Management
  • Public Relations
  • Data & Analytics

They’ve been named to both the Inc.500 and Deloitte Fast 500 lists – they’re one of the fastest growing companies in America. They have offices in Washington, DC, New York, Boston, San Diego, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.

REQ’s client list includes:

  • eBay
  • Amazon
  • StubHub
  • Sweet Green
  • Mastercard
  • Empire State Building
  • Constellation Energy

3. Usman Group – Best for Mid-market Business Strategy

With 80% of its clients in mid-market range, earning between 10M – 1B, the Usman Group specializes in digital strategy and market research. They provide analysis, strategy, execution, and measurement to help clients deploy successful campaigns.   

They apply the four key principles of design thinking, learn from people, identify patterns, make solutions tangible, iterate continuously, in all of their client engagements.

Projects start at $10,000. You get a hand-picked team that will provide evidence-based, practical strategy and recommendations.

Usman Group’s client list includes:

  • Red Prairie
  • University of Chicago
  • National Safety Council
  • Chicago Sun Times
  • Priceline
  • Baird

4. DeSantis Breindel – Best for Branding Strategy

DeSantis Breindel is a New York City based digital strategy company that specializes in end-to-end branding strategy. They help businesses with brand differentiation, customer experience, merger & acquisition branding, brand valuation, brand launch, and employee engagement.

Projects start at $75,000. They offer thorough research and measurement for your digital branding, brand identity and strategy, content marketing, customer experience design, and film production services.

DeSantis Breindel’s client list includes:

  • Verifone
  • Lathrop Gage
  • OneSpan
  • SailPoint
  • Lincoln International
  • Lewis Roca

5. Mabbly – Best for Data Analysis, Channel Strategy

Mabbly is a Chicago based strategic design agency that relies on digital strategy, market research, and data analytics. They focus on turning complex problems into growth opportunities. Supporting human connection with digital experiences, via sophisticated design and data-backed digital strategy.

Mabbly’s team of digital and brand strategists work together to curate a channel strategy that combines the message along with the medium that’s right for your business opportunity. Projects start at $25,000. 

Mabbly’s client list includes:

  • Edelman
  • Microsoft
  • Berkshire Group
  • Griffith Foods
  • 21st Century Fox
  • Limitless Coffee & Tea
  • ShopRunner

6. Ironpaper – Best for Small Business 

Ironpaper bills itself as a B2B growth agency. Their conversion growth strategy is focused on gaining traction with growth up to 1 percent. The growth phase is set at 1 to 3 percent, with anything above 3 percent listed as scaling. 

What’s interesting about Ironpaper is the fact that they discuss the elephant in the room. 

“Oftentimes, enterprises try to answer the question, ‘What is a good conversion rate?’’ without any context. What is a good conversion rate? When establishing conversion rates, context is everything.

A lack of context can actually do harm to a marketing team, because it causes teams to make the wrong assumptions.”

This tells you that Ironpaper isn’t focused on vanity metrics or conversion manipulation. They know the difference between high and low value conversions. Their projects start at $10,000 and are focused on small businesses.

Iron Paper’s client list includes:

  • Nokia
  • Echo226
  • Telmar
  • Mformation
  • Arago

3 Characteristics That Make a Great Digital Strategy Company

Your digital strategy company should be able to provide you with specifics ahead of time. While many companies are able to provide you with amazing strategies, many are unwilling to demonstrate this ahead of time. 

1. Your agency asks the right questions

Creating an exceptional digital strategy begins with your agency asking the right questions. These questions determine what will be answered and where your answers will go. Here’s a small sample of the questions your agency should be asking. 

  • How is our business currently performing? 
  • Which parts of your business are underperforming?
  • What’s our goal for each area of our business? 
  • What do customers expect from our product and our business?
  • Which marketing channels are our customers active on?
  • Which marketing channels should we use to accomplish our goals?
  • Which metrics and KPIs will we use to evaluate performance?
  • How should we promote our products and services in the market to achieve our goals? 

These questions inform your digital strategy. 

  1. Why are we in business?
  2. Where are we right now?
  3. Where do we want to go? 
  4. How will we get there?

Your digital strategy framework should answer four high-level questions. Good digital marketing agencies should be asking these questions at the beginning of the engagement process. 

2. Your agency is willing to share strategy

The agency you choose should be willing to share sample strategies with you. This doesn’t mean that you should expect your agency to provide the entire strategy upfront, for free. Spec work isn’t ideal and that’s not what you’re looking for.

You’re looking for one example. 

They can share this with you over the phone, in your proposal or quote, or in a sample report. You’re looking for them to share a small snippet, a piece of their proposed digital strategy. This is important for several reasons. With sample data you can: 

  • Evaluate your agency’s competence 
  • Use sample data to evaluate potential performance
  • Assess their digital strategy or marketing priorities
  • Outline knowledge gaps and weak points in their process

You’re not asking for a comprehensive strategy document, you’re simply asking your agency to pick one part of your business and create a strategy around that; ask your agency a question (e.g., how would you increase sales for one of my products?). 

3. Your agency can implement Strategy

Venture Capitalist Arthur Rock, believes strategy is important, but not as important as people who can execute that strategy

“Over the past 30 years, I estimate that I’ve looked at an average of one business plan per day, or about 300 a year, in addition to the large numbers of phone calls and business plans that simply are not appropriate. Of the 300 likely plans, I may invest in only one or two a year; and even among those carefully chosen few, I’d say that a good half fail to perform up to expectations. 

The problem with those companies (and with the ventures I choose not to take part in) is rarely one of strategy. Good ideas and good products are a dime a dozen. Good execution and good management in a word, good people are rare.”

A great strategy isn’t enough. You need amazing people who can implement your digital strategy and produce the results you need to grow. 

Your agency should have two things: 

  1. A team that can implement your digital strategy
  2. A proven track record showing that they’ve achieved this consistently in the past

If they can provide you with both or they’re willing to provide you with a trial period where you’re able to test their ability to execute your digital strategy, then it may be a good fit. 

What To Expect From a Great Digital Strategy Company

Your agency should provide you with detailed specifics for each of these points. If you have more questions or concerns, you’ll want to bring those up with your agency. 

  • A clear track record: Your agency should be able to show you samples, references, case studies, and reviews showing that they’ve achieved results for other clients.
  • Clear milestones: You’re looking for clear milestones, timelines, and deliverables that show you’re able to create and implement a plan successfully. Your agency should be able to provide you with a timeline, explaining how long everything will take to implement, and when they anticipate you’ll begin seeing results.
  • Agency procedures: You’ll want to see how your agency plans on approaching your campaign or project. They should be able to break down the approach that goes into their strategy document; this document should clarify how they’ll approach your campaign, what you should expect, what their goals are and more.

The digital strategy company you choose should provide you with the options you need to implement the plan successfully.  

Conclusion

Choosing the right digital strategy for your business is essential. You need a plan to guide you, outlining where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there. Having a fresh perspective from an outside eye can mean the difference between success and failure. 

Remember, executing your digital strategy plan is even more important than simply having a plan.  Use this pool to choose a digital strategy company that will partner with you to achieve your business goals.

Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/digital-strategy-companies/

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Best Content Management Systems

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Imagine moving thousands of articles, pages, images, and videos from one place to another. 

It sounds like an extensive, time-consuming mess because it is. But that’s exactly what you have to do if you choose the wrong content management system. 

A few years ago, I decided to switch one of my websites from WordPress to Squarespace. At the time, it seemed like a great idea. But… I ended up spending months painstakingly transferring everything from one platform to the other. 

The worst part? Every single page had random code snippets, weird formatting, and shortcodes I had to manually handle because there are countless things you can do in WordPress that aren’t possible in Squarespace.

It was so terrible I ended up giving up halfway through. Switching from one CMS to another is an awful experience and I definitely don’t recommend it. 

So, there’s a lot of pressure to make the right choice the first time. 

However, there are countless options to choose from, making the right decision feel impossible. So to help you get it right, I reviewed the top CMS platforms that you should consider.

Wix Logo

Wix

Best for Beginners

All-in-one drag-and-drop website builder. Includes web hosting services and a free domain name for the first year. Paid plans start at $13 per month with a limited free forever plan to try it out.

The 6 Best Content Management Systems to Consider: 

  1. Wix – Best drag and drop content management system
  2. WordPress.org – Best content management system for bloggers
  3. Squarespace – Best CMS for creative businesses
  4. Drupal – Best CMS for high-security industries
  5. Cypher Learning – Best content management system for online education
  6. CrownPeak DXM – Best enterprise CMS solution

When it Makes Sense to Invest In a Content Management System

If you’ve never created a website before, a content management system is crucial to the process. High-level developers and coders may be okay without one, but beginners and everyday business owners have a lot to gain by investing in the right platform. 

Without a CMS, you have to know (or learn) HTML and CSS. Or hire a developer to build something for you. 

And when you hire a developer, it’s hard to make changes to your website on your own. 

So, you have to go back and hire the developer again ($$$) to make simple changes like updating your brand colors or rewording a headline on your home page. 

If you’re anything like us, the lack of control and relying on someone else simply isn’t an option. Things change every day, and you want to try out new things without spending money or waiting for someone else to do it for you. 

Which… is where a content management system comes in handy. 

Essentially, the best CMS provides templates with HTML and CSS code built in. So, you don’t have to touch a single line of code to design your entire website and manage the content that lives on it. 

The bottom line: If you’re not a website developer, not interested in hiring one, you want a complex website, or you don’t want to spend several years learning two programming languages, you need a CMS platform to build your website. 

#1 – Wix — The Best Content Management System for Beginners

Wix Logo

Wix

Best for Beginners

All-in-one drag-and-drop website builder. Includes web hosting services and a free domain name for the first year. Paid plans start at $13 per month with a limited free forever plan to try it out.

Wix is an all-in-one website builder that includes web hosting services and a drag and drop interface, making it super easy to use and excellent for beginners. 

Source: Wix.com

You can choose between hundreds of free design templates to help you get started. And they offer a free Wix ADI (advanced design intelligence) tool that automatically creates your website for you. 

From there, you can edit and customize everything as much as you’d like, rather than starting from a blank page. You also get access to essential features, including:

  • Advanced design (i.e., animation, video backgrounds, and parallax)
  • Unlimited fonts with 100+ built into the platform
  • Integrated live chat to speak with customers in real-time
  • Free SSL security certificate
  • Powerful analytics and reporting
  • Intuitive ecommerce features (on specific plans)
  • Simple blogging tools

Furthermore, you can try it out and build your entire website for free. However, the free plan comes with a Wix subdomain as your URL, meaning it’ll look like this — username.wixsite.com. And Wix also displays ads on your website. 

You have to upgrade to a paid plan when you’re ready to publish your website using a custom domain name without Wix branding. 

If you don’t already have a domain name, you can get one free for the first year if you choose one of Wix’s annual paid plans. Alternatively, see our top domain registrar recommendations to purchase one elsewhere. 

Wix’s paid plans start at $13 per month and increase from there, depending on what you need. 

Get started on the free plan to take Wix for a test drive today!

#2 – WordPress.org — The Best CMS for Bloggers

WordPress.org Logo

WordPress.org

Best for Bloggers

Powers 38% of the entire internet, making it the most popular CMS on the market. Open-source with 55,000+ plugins for extended functionality. Free to download and install.

38% of the entire internet runs on the WordPress.org CMS platform. 

Plus, it’s the most popular content management system available. You can build virtually any type of website with WordPress.org. However, it’s most suitable for bloggers and websites that regularly publish new content. 

WordPress.org is a free, open-source platform that makes it easy to create, edit, and manage the pages of your website as well as your blog posts. 

Furthermore, you also get access to features, like:

  • 55,000+ free and paid plugins for added functionality
  • Complete design flexibility and freedom
  • Intuitive media management (i.e., images and videos)
  • Mobile app to manage your site on the go
  • A community of 60+ million users

We use it here at Crazy Egg, and it’s perfect for our needs. 

But despite being free to download, you need to buy web hosting before installing and using WordPress.org’s open-source software. 

With that said, most essential web hosting services cost between $3 and $10 per month for the first year (we recommend Bluehost). So, it’s one of the most affordable options on this list. 

However, there is a learning curve, so be prepared to spend some time learning how WordPress.org works. Once you get the hang of it, it’s straightforward to use, lightweight, and much easier than coding a website from scratch. 

Download WordPress.org for free today and get hosting with Bluehost!

#3 – Squarespace – The Best CMS for Creative Businesses 

Squarespace Logo

Squarespace

Best for Creative Businesses

All-in-one drag-and-drop website builder for displaying creative, visual portfolios. Includes web hosting services and a free domain name for the first year. Paid plans start at $12 per month with a free 14-day trial.

Squarespace is also an all-in-one page builder. Its intuitive drag-and-drop builder makes it perfect for beginners and creative businesses alike. 

However, it’s most suitable for businesses that rely on visual content, like photographers, illustrators, design studios, and artists. 

While Wix and WordPress.org are known for flexibility, Squarespace is known for its beautiful and professional design templates. They’re perfect and ready to go right out of the box, making Squarespace an excellent choice even if you’re not tech-savvy. 

And every plan includes powerful CMS features, like:

  • Pre-built design sections
  • Third-party extensions
  • Built-in email and social tools
  • Basic blogging features
  • Ecommerce functionality (on some plans)

Furthermore, Squarespace includes web hosting services, so you don’t have to worry about buying it elsewhere. And you can also get a free domain name if you opt for one of their annual premium plans. 

Paid plans start at $12 per month billed annually. But, you can pay a bit more for month-to-month billing if you’re not sold on the platform. 

Just keep in mind you don’t get a free domain name with Squarespace’s monthly plans. 

Start your 14-day free trial today!

#4 – Drupal — The Best Content Management System for High-Security Industries

Drupal Logo

Drupal

Best for Security

Free, open-source CMS software known for airtight security features. Best for banks, healthcare facilities, and government agencies. Requires web hosting and your own domain name.

Government agencies, universities, banks, and healthcare facilities are just a few examples of high-security industries with heightened security needs. And organizations like NASA, Cornell University, and the White House trust Drupal to keep their websites secure. 

Why? Because the open-source platform is built with security and stability in mind. 

There are more than one million developers supporting Drupal around the world. Furthermore, they have an in-house team of security experts continuously monitoring and addressing security issues and vulnerabilities. 

And many attacks and security problems get resolved before they become a threat thanks to Drupal’s extensive community code review process. 

With Drupal, you also get access to advanced security features, including:

  • Extensive user access control
  • Database encryption
  • Transparency with frequent security reports
  • Automatic updates
  • Malicious data entry protection
  • Mitigation of DDoS attacks
  • Regular security patches

Aside from security, Drupal is highly customizable and suitable for organizations of varying sizes. Plus, the software offers accessibility, automation, and personalization features straight out of the box. 

Note: You need to buy web hosting services before you can start using Drupal. Check out our top web hosting recommendations to find the right hosting services for your new website. 

Download Drupal for free today!

#5 – Cypher Learning — The Best Content Management System for Online Education

Cypher Learning Logo

Cypher Learning

Best for Online Education

Industry-leading learning management software for universities shifting to online learning and businesses interested in internal training programs or selling online courses. Complete online education environment builder.

An learning management system (LMS) is a specific type of content management system, specifically for online education. And if you’re interested in creating a website to facilitate online learning, Cypher Learning offers the top systems on the market. 

They offer specialized products for schools, businesses, and entrepreneurs. So you’re covered whether you want to build an internal training platform for your employees, an online classroom for your students, or you want to add an extra revenue stream to your online business.

NEO is Cypher Learning’s solution for schools and universities. It’s suitable for educational facilities of all shapes and sizes, anywhere in the world. 

And the best part? It’s free for basic CMS features and schools with up to 400 students. 

MATRIX is for enterprise business training programs. It’s an excellent solution whether you need to train your employees, want to sell online courses, or track your employee’s performance over time. 

Plans start at $249 per month for up to 50 learners. 

Lastly, INDIE is perfect for entrepreneurs and small business owners interested in creating and selling online courses. It includes everything you need to create, market, and sell your courses to share your expertise and make more money online. 

INDIE plans start at $103 per month for up to 1,000 students. 

Each product offers a free 14-day trial so you can try it free to see if it’s the best content management system for your organization.

#6 – CrownPeak — The Best Enterprise-Grade CMS Solution

CrownPeak Logo

CrownPeak

Best Enterprise CMS

The only cloud-native enterprise-grade CMS platform. Get everything you need to build, personalize, and launch complex websites at scale. Custom pricing plans only.

If you need to launch and scale complex websites or manage content on multiple websites from one centralized location, CrownPeak is the world’s only cloud-native enterprise-grade CMS platform. 

This powerful platform empowers enterprise users to create excellent and contextual experiences across hundreds of channels around the world. Plus, this CMS exists to help you build, personalize, and launch intricate websites at scale. 

With CrownPeak, you can use their in-line content editor or a form editor. Plus, you can create content once and deliver it across hundreds of sites with one click. Furthermore, you get access to enterprise-grade features, like:

  • Advanced A/B testing and targeting rules
  • Content localization and translation features
  • Multi-site management from one dashboard
  • Omni-channel accessibility compliance
  • Completely headless experiences
  • Consent compliance and management
  • No upsells and no downtime

CrownPeak Digital Experience Management also includes a secondary product to optimize your websites and user experiences seamlessly without breaking the bank. It helps users flag broken links, spot accessibility issues, find critical SEO errors, and more. 

It’s the only CMS on the market today that offers this level of service. 

Pricing isn’t available online. So, request a quote or schedule a free demo to see if CrownPeak DXM is the right enterprise-grade CMS solution for you. 

Methodology For Choosing The Best Content Management System

Now that you know my top CMS recommendations, let’s talk about how to choose the best content management system for you and your new website. 

Every platform is unique and serves users of differing skill levels with different requirements. So, it’s important to consider the following factors as you go through the process of making your final decision. 

Your Skill Level

If you’ve never created a website before, Wix and Squarespace are the easiest content management systems to use. 

However, if you’re up for a slight challenge, WordPress.org is an excellent alternative. It offers more flexibility and creative freedom. However, it does take a few extra steps to get going. The process starts with purchasing a shared web hosting plan.

With that said, systems like Drupal, Cypher Learning, and CrownPeak have a steeper learning curve. So, I don’t recommend them unless you know what you’re doing or have a specific need for those types of content management systems. 

Purpose of Your Website

Aside from skill level, the purpose of your website is just as important to consider. 

Drupal, Cypher Learning, and CrownPeak all have specific use cases. So, I only recommend those if you need the specific features they come with. 

On the other hand, WordPress.org is great because you can create virtually any type of website you want to. From ecommerce and blogging to restaurants and physical stores, there’s a plugin to make it happen. 

Wix and Squarespace are a bit more limited in what you can do with them. However, they’re both still a smart choice for beginners. Wix is better for ecommerce stores, bloggers, and general businesses. 

And Squarespace is best for creative businesses interested in showing off their portfolios. 

Flexibility Requirements

Some content management systems are more flexible than others. 

But if you need a simple website and want a simple setup process, Wix and Squarespace are your best options. Their drag and drop interfaces make getting started and maintaining your website easy. 

However, if you need more flexibility, WordPress.org is your best bet. With 55,000+ plugins, you can make your website do anything you want it to. But, it’s not as easy to learn, so expect to take some time to learn how to use it. 

Drupal and Cypher Learning offer a lot of flexibility for their specific use cases. But, I don’t recommend them unless you’re after airtight security or creating an online learning platform. 

Lastly, CrownPeak is highly customizable and flexible. But, it’s overkill for most websites. So, stick to one of the other options unless you need an enterprise-grade CMS. 

Wix Logo

Wix

Best for Beginners

All-in-one drag-and-drop website builder. Includes web hosting services and a free domain name for the first year. Paid plans start at $13 per month with a limited free forever plan to try it out.

Summary

For most users, WordPress.org is an excellent choice. It’s flexible, open-source, and easy to use once you figure out how it works. It’s suitable for virtually every type of website. However, you do need to buy web hosting (we highly recommend Bluehost). 

Plus, Bluehost makes it incredibly easy to get started. They offer a free domain name for the first year and one-click WordPress.org installation. So, it only takes a few clicks to get things set up. 

However, if you’re an absolute beginner and want something easy to use and simple to set up, Wix is your best option. It doesn’t offer quite as much flexibility, but it’s the easiest content management system on the market. 

Aside from WordPress.org and Wix, the right choice depends on what you need. 

So, be sure to use the criteria we talked about as you go through the process of choosing the best content management system for your new website. 

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Source: https://www.crazyegg.com/blog/best-content-management-systems/

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