When getting a website built, most business owners simply leave it in the hands of their developer as to which platform is used to build their site. Most don’t realise however, this choice can impact their business in a number of ways.

The content management system (CMS) that powers your website will vary in terms of the following factors:

  • the ease of updating content
  • flexibility of design
  • mobile friendliness
  • range of features
  • security and support
  • third party integrations
  • framework for SEO (search engine optimisation)

A developer won’t necessarily consider all these when making the choice of CMS for your website and in all likelihood will have a “go to” platform that he or she uses on ALL projects.

best website cms for seo

For this article, we are focusing on the ability of a CMS to provide a strong framework for SEO and help provide you advice on the best CMS for SEO.

A lot of DIY website builders are renowned for hampering SEO performance with Squarespace and Shopify making it difficult to provide optimal SEO. Neither have specific SEO plugins and both also make it hard to control your sitemaps and robot.txt files. Squarespace doesn’t let you write meta tags on your blog posts, and both DIY website builders prevent you from editing old redirects.

This lack of flexibility does not bode well for a business owner when it comes to optimising your site effectively. But does this transfer over to rankings?

Which CMS is best for ranking on Google?

In a recent study, Nathan Gotch and his team looked at thousands of keywords across dozens of industries and reviewed the top 10 results for each keyword. They then identified the CMS for each of these top ranking sites and came up with a list of the content management systems that are most prominent on the first page of Google.

Here are the top CMS’s when it comes to high rankings

WordPress (45%)
MediaWiki (9%)
Drupal (8%)
Adobe Experience Manager (4%)
Ruby on Rails (4%)
ATG Web Commerce (1%)
SiteCore (< 1%)
HubSpot (< 1%)
Magento (< 1%)
Squarespace (< 1%)
Shopify (< 1%)
Liferay (< 1%)
Django Framework (< 1%)
Joomla (< 1%)
Laravel (< 1%)
Brightspot (< 1%)
Adobe Dreamweaver (< 1%)
Salesforce Commerce Cloud (< 1%)
Wix (< 1%)
IBM Websphere Commerce (< 1%)

Popularity of the CMS will obviously contribute to these results as a highly used platform will undoubtedly show up high in the rankings due to volume alone.

However, WordPress is used on around 30% of websites worldwide, yet make up 45% of the top search results. Likewise, Drupal has approximately a 5% share of the CMS market yet make up 8% of the top rankings.

On the flip side, Joomla makes up 3% of the world’s CMS use but make up less than 1% of the top rankings. Magento shows similar results.

MediaWiki was the second highest CMS for page 1 rankings, however this is platform is a free and open-source wiki engine to build information rather than being a CMS to create business websites.

Overall, WordPress is the clear winner when it comes to SEO. This is not surprising given the flexibility of their framework and the plethera of plugins available to help your search visibility.