Everything in the world is a popularity contest. This is true when we talk about movies, cars or even content management systems (CMS). Everyone wants to be on top.

But unlike the first two examples, the CMS number trumps all others. It is called WordPress, and it holds more than 40% of the CMS market today. You can look down with confidence as others struggle to make a dent in the race.

We’re not going to talk about all the reasons why WordPress is at the top. Instead, let’s think about the rest of the package.

Even the number two CMS (Shopify) is still firmly below and the best of the rest (Wix, Squarespace, Joomla) barely make it to half their number.

But if you’re looking for a CMS, should the market share of the CMS influence the decision?

In this article Brandup will try to answer these questions and much more.

The benefits of being popular

Certainly, some benefits come with popularity. Often this means that a CMS has reached a certain level of respect within the industry. This must not be forgotten.

It is also likely to have a dedicated community that has an interest in the success of the CMS. With that, you’ll find tools and resources to help you learn the plot of development. It’s also a great way to discover new features and best practices.

A popular CMS can also promise a little more stability. Tools with a large user base have a better chance of being actively maintained over the long term. This is a big advantage as you want to make sure that bugs and security holes are fixed regularly. Also, seeing an abandoned project is in no one’s interest.

When it comes to working with clients, a well-known CMS might even be easier to sell. This can be particularly relevant for larger organizations. These may not be willing to experiment with more obscure systems.

 

Find the best CMS for the project

Another piece of the puzzle is determining the best fit for your needs. This can be a difficult choice when it comes to design, functionality and other technological factors. These are all areas where market share is not necessarily the best indicator.

For example, if you want to create an online store, there are a multitude of options. WordPress is more than capable, but there are also systems that can provide a more direct path to release.

Then there’s the whole idea of ​​content ownership and portability. Many open source CMS offer the ability to take your website with you to any host. On the other hand, a proprietary CMS usually means having to maintain the accommodation no matter the reason.

Maintenance responsibilities also play a role. A managed software as a service (SaaS) provider such as Wix will apply updates to the software and server for you.

One area where popularity can count is extensibility potential. With a large community, major players in the CMS market have more resources to build new features. This allows the software to grow along with your website.

Otherwise, you will have to build the resource yourself or wait for the development team to add what you are looking for.

 

Bet on the future

There are no guarantees neither in life nor on the web. Applications that were once very popular may disappear over time. And there is no shortage of surprising successes.

In terms of market share, bigger is not always better. However, there can still be a risk in adopting an underused system. How can you be sure that it will continue to grow, or will it still exist five years from now?

We don’t have a crystal ball to see the future of any CMS. But we do have historical usage trends, which may offer some guidance. Ideally, you will see these numbers increase (albeit slowly) over time. This is a sign of a developing community.

It’s also worth looking at the history of any CMS that interests you. How long has it been there? Do you have a history of constant development? Have there been any changes in ownership?

Even a system with less than 1% share can be a viable option. But finding out requires a closer look.

 

CMS market share is important, but not the only factor

The bottom line is that market share is just one factor in choosing a CMS. It shouldn’t be ignored as it can say a lot about the community behind the software. And it also has something to say about future potential.

But there are several other considerations. How does a CMS fit into your project, can it grow with your business and what it offers in terms of features. All of these should play a role in your decision.

There’s nothing wrong with using number 1. However, that doesn’t mean you should totally ignore others. After all, the perfect solution can come from anywhere.