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Best HR Software

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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.

Human resources can be a tough department to manage. From hiring to onboarding, employee scheduling, and HR compliance, there are dozens of responsibilities being juggled.

What if an employee wants to view an old paystub? How does someone access information about their vacation days or benefits?

Without the right technology, it’s a hassle for everyone involved. 

That’s why HR software has become so popular over the years. Businesses of all sizes across every industry are leveraging these tools to reduce bottlenecks and improve workflows in their HR departments while simultaneously improving the employee experience. 

Interested in getting HR software, but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place. 

The Top 5 Options For HR Software

  1. Namely
  2. APS
  3. BerniePortal
  4. Workday
  5. Kissflow

How to Choose the Best HR Software For You

There are hundreds of different HR software options on the market today. But these solutions are definitely not created equally, so you can’t just blindly pick one and assume it’s going to be the right fit for your business.

As you’re shopping around, these are the features and considerations that must be evaluated:

Employee Self-Service

HR software with an employee self-service portal is a must-have in today’s day and age. This portal will give your staff access to crucial information, without having to call, email, or physically visit the HR department.

Want to access the employee handbook? Log in and look it up. Have questions about your benefits? It’s available in the portal. Need to request a day off? Just a few clicks away.

All of this information, and more, is available 24/7. So if one of your employees is sitting home on a Saturday night and wants to look at an old paystub, they don’t have to wait until 9:00 AM Monday morning to call HR.

As a result, everyone on your team will be more productive, and your HR staff won’t be wasting time answering questions all day.

Mobile Access

The best HR software will have a free mobile app. 

This app can be used on the employee side for the self-service tools mentioned above, but it’s also helpful from an administrative perspective. HR managers and other admins can complete tasks and view important information in real-time from anywhere. HR responsibilities won’t be tied to a physical office.

In some cases, you can even use these apps to communicate with your employees. They can opt-in for notifications delivered straight to their devices, which can reach them faster than an email.

Payroll and Benefits Administration

The vast majority of HR solutions will allow you to run payroll directly through the platform. This isn’t necessarily a make or break feature; it depends on your personal needs.

But since HR and payroll typically go hand-in-hand, lots of businesses look for an all-in-one solution for the two.

If you’re happy with your current payroll solution and don’t want to switch, that’s fine too. See if you can find an HR software that integrates with whatever you’re using for payroll. Your HR team and employees will like having access to everything from a single place. 

Automation

Efficiency is the main concept behind using HR software. Nothing is more efficient than automating repetitive tasks. 

Look for software that eliminates manual labor. For example, some HR tools will automatically track and calculate time-off requests, taxes, government filings, and more. Think about how much money you’ll save in labor hours if you can eliminate even just 5-10 hours per week on these types of tasks. At scale, the savings are astronomical. 

Company Size

Another way to narrow down your choices is by looking for software that fits the needs of your business size. 

A small business with 15 employees won’t have the same HR needs as an SME with 150 employees or an enterprise with 1,500 employees. It sounds simple, but so many companies overlook this aspect. 

Larger organizations will have more complex HR needs that some software just won’t accommodate. On the flip side, small businesses usually won’t need all of the features offered by certain HR solutions. 

The Different Types of HR Software

HR software is actually a pretty broad term. As you know, there are so many different aspects and components of human resources. Here’s a brief overview of the main types of HR software available on the market today. 

HCM Software

HCM stands for “human capital management.” 

This type of HR software primarily focuses on how individuals are managed within a company in terms of systems and HR policies. Talent management is a large component of HCM software. It’s common for HCM tools to have features for onboarding, performance management, salary planning, training, succession planning, benefits administration, and more. 

Lots of HR professionals consider HCM software to be an advanced version of HR software.

HRMS Software

HRMS stands for “human resource management system.” 

In most cases, HRMS software will include lots of the HCM software features. But there are two characteristics that all true HRMS solutions have in common—payroll and TLM (time & labor management).

Not every HRMS software will have employee scheduling features, but many do. There are standalone software products for time & labor management that are commonly referred to as “workforce management” software. But these typically fall under the umbrella of HRMS.

HRIS Software

Human resource information system—or HRIS for short—is a tool built for managing people, policies, and procedures.   

HRIS software typically includes all core HR features. But this type of software will usually have solutions for absence management, benefits administration, recruiting, compensation management, workflows, self-service portals, training, employee development, and reporting. 

Lots of this can be open for interpretation from software to software, but these are the core components you’ll likely find in an HRIS solution. 

ATS Software

ATS software is an “applicant tracking system.” 

This is a very specific type of HR software. In many cases, ATS software gets branded as a standalone product without core HR features. But with that said, lots of all-in-one HR solutions have features for applicant tracking. 

ATS software is highly beneficial for companies who are recruiting and onboarding at scale. The software makes it easier for you to find top-level talent, qualify them, schedule interviews, and onboard new hires. 

Payroll Software

Larger businesses may have separate departments for HR and payroll. But in most cases, the two go hand-in-hand. Payroll is typically considered to be a component of HR. Some of you might already be using an online payroll provider. 

Not every HR software has payroll features (although many do). And not every payroll software has every core HR feature. This is another scenario where lots of payroll solutions are branded as standalone products from HR. But there are plenty of all-in-one HR solutions that include payroll processing capabilities. However, this is usually an add-on package. 

#1 – Namely Review — Best HR Software For Employee Self-Service

Namely is an all-in-one solution for HR, talent management, payroll, and benefits. The platform makes it easy for businesses to improve their HR processes while remaining compliant. It’s trusted by 1,400+ organizations worldwide.

The software is actually branded as a “people operations platform.” It includes features for employee management, onboarding, talent management, recruiting, time and attendance, analytics, and more.

I’d say that Namely definitely falls into the HRIS category.

I like Namely because the software is designed to improve employee engagement. It gives your staff access to all of the HR information they could possibly need from an easy-to-use employee portal.

The software can be accessed from anywhere from the Namely mobile app. You can even use Namely to share company news, improve communication, and set up a company directory. 

Namely’s core HR package comes with tools and features like:

  • Onboarding
  • Performance and goal tracking
  • Task lists
  • Time off management
  • Compliance database
  • E-signature
  • Employee self-service and workflows
  • Custom fields

Then there are add-ons and extensions for things like payroll, benefits administration, recruiting, time & attendance, and managed services. 

Overall, Namely is a good fit for midsize organizations. 

#2 – APS Review — The Best HR Software For Payroll

The acronym “APS” actually stands for “Automatic Payroll Systems.” As this name clearly implies, payroll is their specialty. 

But with that said, APS is not a standalone payroll software; it’s an all-in-one solution for HR and payroll alike. 

In addition to payroll, APS has HR features for benefits administration, performance management, employee scheduling, recruiting, onboarding, compliance, employee self-service, and more. They also have industry-specific solutions for healthcare, restaurants, wholesalers, nonprofits, manufacturing, hospitality, financial services, and other unique categories. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the top benefits of using APS for payroll:

  • Streamline tax compliance with accuracy, timeliness, and wage garnishment
  • Automate your tax system to reduce your burden and risk
  • Reduce time spent processing payroll with paycheck reconciliation
  • Automate federal, state, and local tax filings
  • Improve your efficiencies and reduce costs with paperless payroll processing

The self-service tools provided by APS are outstanding; on the employee end and administrative sides alike. 

More than 2,000 businesses across different industries rely on APS. For those of you looking for an all-in-one solution for HR and payroll, APS should be at the top of your list. 

#3 – BerniePortal Review — The Best HRIS Software

BerniePortal isn’t as well-known as some of the other HR solutions available on the market today. But that shouldn’t be a reason for you to pass up on considering it. In terms of HRIS software, BerniePortal really has everything you could possibly need.

For those of you who want to use technology to improve the total lifecycle management of your employees, BerniePortal should be at the top of your list.

BerniePortal was founded back in 2008, so they have over a decade of experience in the HR software space. The software has been deployed in 5,000+ HR departments in all 50 states, and it has 210,000+ active users.

Why BerniePortal? Let’s take a closer look at what this HRIS software has to offer.

  • Attract and retain top-level talent with benefits administration
  • Compliance, custom enrollment, and payroll reporting
  • Improve productivity and engagement with seamless employee onboarding 
  • Collaborative hiring decisions with built-in applicant tracking features
  • PTO tracking, time-off management, and custom policies
  • Tools for time and attendance tracking with detailed reporting
  • Mobile access with employee self-service tools
  • Performance management and compliance features

You can even use BerniePortal for things like IRS filings. While the software doesn’t have built-in payroll features, it can seamlessly integrate with your existing payroll system. 

Most of the BerniePortal features start at $5 per employee per month, with a $15 base fee.

#4 – Workday Review — Best For Human Capital Management (HCM)

Workday is a popular HR software with a unique twist. Every component of the tool is focused on finance. It helps you manage your HR processes while always keeping your bottom line in mind—all from a single platform.

The software is used by industry leaders in a wide range of categories. Some of the well-known companies that rely on Workday include Visa, Toyota, Salesforce, CE, Target, Charles Schwab, and Adobe.

Overall, Workday is pretty versatile. The software has solutions for human capital management, talent management, enterprise planning, payroll and workforce management, spend management, and more. 

Workday is robust, but also really easy to use. You’ll benefit from features like:

  • Automation to eliminate manual work and improve productivity
  • Advanced analytics to guide decision making
  • Improve communication and engagement
  • Machine learning to identify employees’ skills
  • Time tracking tools
  • Compensation, payroll, and benefits administration
  • Employee directories and self-service tools

The software can also adapt as your HCM needs evolve over time. 

Another reason why Workday ranks so high on our list is because of its industry-specific HR solutions across a wide range of categories. Some of these include healthcare, government, hospitality, insurance, manufacturing, professional services, energy, and more. 

#5 – Kissflow Review — Best HR Software For Onboarding and Applicant Tracking

Kissflow is one of my favorite tools for managing HR processes. It’s a top choice for businesses that want to improve the talent management aspect of human resources.

The software comes with features for applicant tracking, employee onboarding, attendance management, absence management, leave management, and employee offboarding.

With Kissflow, you’ll benefit from features and functionality like:

  • Get open jobs in front of top-level talent at the perfect time
  • Improve employee engagement
  • Employee self-service tools
  • 360-degree feedback and evaluations
  • Customizable HR solutions

Kissflow is definitely designed for larger teams. Pricing starts at $690 per month, which includes 100 users. Enterprise rates with unlimited users start at $1,290 per month.

The downside of Kissflow is that it’s not a true all-in-one HR solution. It focuses on certain areas but lacks functionality for things like payroll. With that said, Kissflow does have a wide range of integrations, so you can sync it with your existing tools. 

Summary

Every business can benefit from HR software. This statement holds true regardless of your company size or industry.

But before you finalize a decision, make sure you go through the process explained in this guide. Figure out what type of HR software fits your needs the best, then follow the methodology that I explained earlier. 

The five solutions recommended in this guide will be the best place for you to start your search.

Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/best-hr-software/

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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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