Sustainable Growth

Insights from Reddit: "What's Your Favorite CMS"

In this article, we'll explore Reddit users' diverse opinions and insights on their favorite CMS platforms. The quest for the perfect CMS is a never-ending debate among web developers, with various platforms offering unique blends of features, usability, and customization options. Let's look at how to decide which CMS should be the favorite.


Why it's essential to have a favorite content management system (CMS)

Content Management Systems (CMS) play a crucial role in high-traffic website development and maintenance. They provide a user-friendly interface for managing and organizing content, making it easier for website owners to create, edit, and publish their web pages. Without a CMS, non-technical users cannot easily update their website — putting all content creation on engineers' shoulders (not a good thing).

In this video, you can hear from First + Third CEO Greg Allen on the importance of a CMS. To put it bluntly, a poor CMS ensures that you can't redesign quickly, can't monetize well, can't find new audience, and cannot build a sustainable business. 


Under the hood, CMS platforms also offer various features that enhance the functionality of a website, such as customizable templates, built-in SEO tools, and social media integration. These features help improve the user experience and make it easier for websites to attract and retain visitors. Additionally, CMS platforms often provide security measures to protect websites from cyber threats, ensuring the safety of valuable content and user data.

Overall, the importance of CMS platforms cannot be overstated. By simplifying the website management process, empower non-technical users, and offer a range of features that enhance website functionality and security.

Key Features and Considerations in Choosing a CMS for high traffic websites

  • Ease of use: Look for a CMS with a user-friendly interface that allows you to easily create, edit, and publish content without relying on technical expertise.
  • Customization options: Choose a CMS that offers customizable templates and themes to match your brand identity and design preferences.
  • Scalability: Ensure that the CMS can handle your website's growth and accommodate increased traffic, content, and functionality.
  • SEO capabilities: Look for a CMS that provides built-in SEO tools to optimize your website for search engines and improve its visibility.
  • Security measures: Consider the security features offered by the CMS, such as regular updates, SSL certificates, and protection against malware and hacking attempts.
  • Integration with other tools: If you use other tools or platforms for your website, such as e-commerce or marketing automation software, ensure that the CMS can integrate seamlessly with them.

By considering these key features, you can select a CMS that best meets your website's requirements and allows for smooth content management and website growth.

Popular CMS Platforms Discussed on Reddit

The Reddit thread on favorite CMS platforms generated discussions around several popular options. Some of the CMS platforms mentioned by Reddit users included:

  • WordPress: Known for its user-friendly interface and extensive plugin ecosystem, WordPress is a popular choice among both beginners and experienced web developers.
    • Easy to use, extensive plugin ecosystem, large community support, frequent updates and security patches.
    • Can be resource-intensive, may require additional plugins for advanced functionality, vulnerability to security threats if not properly maintained.
  • Drupal: Drupal is favored for its flexibility and scalability, making it suitable for complex websites with advanced functionality and customization needs.
    • Highly flexible and scalable, robust security features, extensive customization options, suitable for complex websites.
    • Cons: Steeper learning curve, may require technical expertise for advanced customization, smaller community compared to WordPress.
  • Joomla: Joomla offers a balance between ease of use and advanced features, making it a popular choice for small to medium-sized websites.
    • Balance between ease of use and advanced features, suitable for small to medium-sized websites, good community support.
    • Less flexible compared to Drupal, limited scalability for large websites, fewer available plugins and themes compared to WordPress.
  • Shopify: While primarily an e-commerce platform, Shopify also offers CMS capabilities, making it a popular choice for online stores.
    • Built-in e-commerce functionality, user-friendly interface, extensive app store for additional features, reliable hosting and security.
    • Limited customization options compared to other CMS platforms, large fees for advanced features and scalability.
  • Wix: Wix is a user-friendly CMS platform that is often chosen by beginners or individuals looking to create simple websites without extensive customization.
    • Beginner-friendly, drag-and-drop website builder, visually appealing templates, good for simple websites.
    • Limited customization options, less suitable for complex or highly customized websites, may experience slower loading times.
  • Squarespace: Squarespace is known for its visually appealing templates and intuitive interface, making it a popular choice for creative professionals and small businesses.
    • Visually appealing templates, intuitive interface, good for creative professionals and small businesses, reliable hosting and security.
    • Limited customization options compared to other CMS platforms, can be more expensive for advanced features and scalability.

These popular CMS platforms were discussed on Reddit, with users sharing their experiences and preferences based on factors such as ease of use, customization options, available plugins and themes, community support, and overall performance. It's important to note that the suitability of a CMS platform may vary depending on individual requirements and the nature of the website.

Decoding the CMS Debate on Reddit: A Meta Analysis

The quest for the perfect CMS seems to be a never-ending debate among web developers, with various platforms offering their unique blends of features, usability, and customization options. 

Understanding Your Stack
The choice of CMS often boils down to what engineers are most comfortable with technology-wise. For instance, if engineers are well-versed in Python, a CMS like Wagtail might be your go-to, thanks to its Django roots. Ruby enthusiasts, on the other hand, might lean towards a Rails-based option.

This personal engineering preference underlines the need for a CMS that aligns with those engineer's technical skills and project requirements. 

That said, why should we listen to the engineers? Ultimately that's where WordPress comes in handy. A WordPress base makes the code more familiar to any engineer, designer, or other technical web developer. That matters. 

Considering the User Base
Who will be using the CMS? Is it just you, or will non-technical folks need access? This question is crucial. WordPress, for example, continues to dominate discussions due to its ease of use and robust feature set, making it a go-to for a wide user base, especially when that WordPress framework is configured and tailored specifically for high traffic websites (i.e. Organic). 

Modern Workflows and Flexibility
Reddit discussions also touch on the need for modern workflows and flexibility. Craft CMS, highlighted for its departure from traditional PHP/MySQL setups, offers a refreshing experience with its modern workflow using Composer, Git, and Twig. Its lack of a theme system is seen as an advantage, pushing towards more bespoke, tailored website solutions.

However, tailored and bespoke solutions will eventually go out of fashion. As Warren Buffet argues, invest in what was around 20-30 years ago, not what you think will be around in 20 or 30 years.  

The Rise of Headless CMS
The conversation around headless CMS options like Prismic, paired with modern front-end technologies (e.g., Next.js, Gatsby), reflects a growing trend towards more flexible, scalable solutions. This approach allows developers to choose the front-end technology they prefer, offering greater control over the UI/UX. This is exactly why Organic positions in the way we do. 

Tips and Recommendations for Selecting the Right CMS for Your Needs

In the vast ocean of the internet, where every website seeks to hook its audience with engaging content, the choice of a Content Management System (CMS) can make or break your digital presence.

But what truly sets a CMS apart in the eyes of high-traffic website owners?

1. UI/UX Frontend: The Headless Revolution
Modern websites demand more than just content; they need to deliver captivating user experiences. The shift towards headless (or "decoupled") CMS platforms allows for greater flexibility, pushing the boundaries of design and user engagement. The traditional, monolithic CMSs, which tightly couple the backend with the frontend, are increasingly unable to meet the dynamic needs of today's web.

2. Scalability: Handling the Hordes
A CMS must not just survive but thrive under the weight of high traffic. This involves not only the ability to handle millions of visits but also compliance with data protection regulations like GDPR and CCPA. Scalability ensures your website remains fast and accessible, regardless of the audience size.

3. Editorial Interface: The Power of Familiarity
The ease with which content creators can navigate and use a CMS is paramount. WordPress's dominance in the market is partly due to its intuitive editorial interface, familiar to a vast number of users. A steep learning curve can deter content teams, making user-friendly interfaces a must.

4. Monetization Capabilities: Beyond Basic Design
For high-traffic sites, monetization is not an afterthought but a necessity. Platforms like Wix might offer simplicity in design, but they falter when it comes to advanced monetization strategies required by larger sites. The ability to seamlessly integrate ads and manage affiliate links becomes crucial as your site grows.

5. Data Insights: The Revenue Perspective
Understanding the performance of your content and its impact on revenue is critical. A CMS that provides detailed analytics, from revenue per thousand sessions to earnings by content category and author, empowers publishers to make data-driven decisions.

A Word from the Wise

Jesse Knight, former CTO at VICE Media and G/O Media, now at Supertab, critically observes, "What that means is that [publisher] development teams are no longer tackling anything unique — they’re just solving the same problems as everyone else. Which just doesn’t make sense. It’s as if every record label had their own dev team building their own version of iTunes or Spotify."

This sentiment echoes the need for a common platform that can address the universal challenges faced by website owners, without reinventing the wheel.

Why Organic Stands Out

Organic's remarkable growth and success with various high traffic website operators is highlighted by our superiority over competitors like Arc XP, Wix, Contentful, and WordPress VIP. By focusing on the essential factors that matter most to high traffic websites —UI/UX, scalability, editorial interface, monetization, and data insights— Organic emerges as the preferred choice.

For a deeper dive into how Organic compares with other CMS platforms, and to explore more about the benefits it offers to high-traffic websites, here's our CMS comparison chart: 

here's our CMS comparison chart: 

High Level Take

Engaging in this Reddit discussion brings to light the diverse needs and preferences of the web development community. It's clear that there's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to choosing a CMS. Whether you prioritize ease of use for non-technical users, the flexibility of a headless CMS, or a platform that matches your tech stack, the key is finding a balance that serves both the development team and the end-users effectively.

The debate also underscores the evolving nature of web development and the continuous search for tools that can keep pace with changing technologies and user expectations. As we analyze these discussions, it's evident that the community values platforms that offer not just functionality but also foster innovation and creativity in web development.

In conclusion, while the perfect CMS might be a myth, the ongoing conversation provides valuable insights into the priorities and trends shaping web development today. Whether you're a seasoned developer or just starting out, joining these discussions can offer new perspectives and help guide your choice in a CMS that best fits your project's needs and goals.