How to choose best CMS for online business

What is a CMS

What should be taken into account choosing CMS for your online business

How to distinguish the engine of an eCommerce website

Best CMS for small online business

Best CMS for mid-size online business

Best CMS for large online business

Drawing the line

It usually takes 5-7 years for a website to look old-fashioned. Users’ habits, as well as visual triggers, experience a chain of changes, the number of conversions gradually fall. Here redesign comes handy. As a rule, we refer to SEO-optimisation and the elimination of technical problems that somehow limit website functioning. Generally, at that point, the need to replace the obsolete CMS appears.Our clients often turn to Promodo with a request to advise which “engine” is better be used to create an eCommerce website. Aleksey Gorovenko, a marketer, formed an exclusive knowledge base with a selection of the most popular control management systems that fit the needs of retailers from different niches & categories.

What is a CMS

Content Management System is a set of scripts that helps to create, edit, and manage content on a website. In professional jargon, CMS is often called the “engine.”

CMS, put short, allows users who have no technical background independently work on creating and changing their website content. Before the advent of CMS, any changes to a website could be implemented only through code. Today, any confident Microsoft Word or Google Docs user can handle this type of action.

wordpress website cms

What should be taken into account choosing a CMS for your online business

Almost all CMS developers say that using content management solutions you can create a fast, nice-looking, and SEO-optimised website that will help with the promotion & marketing. To some extent, they are all right. To choose the best CMS for your online business, we recommend starting with a market analysis: see what competitors and companies with similar business models use. Select 3-5 options that seem right and among these select the one suitable in terms of solving your business problems and budget.

Instead of focusing on industry leaders, look closer to the websites that are 5-7 times larger than yours. Lots of our customers come with the request to help them create an Amazon-like website. At the same time, they are not ready to invest the same budgets as Amazon obviously does.  

How to distinguish the engine of an eCommerce website

If you are using SimilarWeb, it wouldn’t be an issue to master one of CMS Systems. To analyse our competitors we are at Promodo are using a set of handy extensions.

  • Wappalyzer is a convenient and compact Google Chrome extension, which displays all the most important information on one screen. 


  • BuiltWith is a more advanced solution that allows not only to learn more about content management systems but also provides detailed information on all the technologies used on a website.

Best CMS for a small online business

If you are just starting your online business and the assortment of your online store is not yet extensive, then a website builder is obviously a good MVP option. The former allows you to do everything on your own, as simple as using Drag & Drop. Getting things on the website done will not take long meaning you will be able to start selling shortly.

The main task small businesses aspire to solve is quickly launching a simple website where the user can easily place an order. A well-designed PPC strategy will help you get your first conversions while analysing them will let you scale them.

Tilda is a simple and intuitive website builder created by designers. There is a huge knowledge base and the in-house community of layout designers who can realise almost any visual desires without any participation of programmers required. 

Large companies use Tilda to typeset individual landing pages with stocks and sales on the existing websites. This is definitely a quick solution that also helps save your budget.


Price: $100 – 200 per user/ year.


The downside of all CMS builders is the closed source code of the website and, as a consequence, the limited options of changing it. Closed source code imposes tangible limitations on SEO promotion, integration with third-party services, process automation, and further scaling. This means that when your project grows, you will have to create a new open-source CMS website.

Best CMS for a mid-size online business

If your website is already visited by more than thirty thousand users every month and you are comfortable with the investment of $3,000+  spent on content, SEO, support of programmers on an ongoing basis, then it’s worth considering one of the CMS platforms from this list. Each of the systems has an open code – it can be changed and adjusted to the tasks of the business. Just do not overdo it, otherwise, you will have to refuse receiving the regular CMS updates, which will affect the website’s security and stable performance.

Each of the below platforms:

  • requires the presence of an in-house or a reliable third-party programmer;
  • allows you to use the predefined design templates or implement custom visual solutions;
  • has its own base of designers, developers and off-the-shelf modules that help you quickly solve the most common issues. 

SEO requirements should be the starting point in the development of a new website on any of these platforms. Taking these recommendations into account will help to achieve the correct indexing of a website and its further growth in search engines. It will be faster, easier, cheaper, and you will not have to redo everything over again. 

OpenCart is a simple, lightweight, and cheap engine with a vast pool for customisation. OpenCart is an example where a functional component prevails over a visual one.

cms open cart

Development costs: $15-25/ hour.


WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin for the world’s most popular CMS – WordPress. This is an easy to install, configure, use and maintain solution. Almost any IT company will be able to make changes to the website or modify its functionality. Due to its popularity, WordPress has a number of known vulnerabilities, which are better to be removed from the first day of the website’s creation. 


 Development costs: : $15-40/ hour.

Best CMS for a large online business

If your business can afford spending $10,000+ per month and the assortment on your website is about thirty thousand items, we advise to take a closer look at the CMS platforms we list further. 

Magento is a strong solution in the eCommerce world. It is considered the best platform if you want to sell a large number of goods. This is a content management system with a developed community and modern functionality, though expensive to support and maintain. However, if the scale of your business is wide enough, Magento is worth your time investment.

Magento is one of the most popular eCommerce engines that has gained a good reputation among developers. Magento supports SEO settings and advanced web application technology, which provides a fine user experience on mobile devices. There is also a visual page constructor, which helps to create landing pages even with no web development skills.

Development costs: $25-55/ hour


Custom (PHP, JS, Python, etc.). Almost all large online retailers are built on custom technologies. This is so because their IT needs are advanced, and internal processes are very difficult to adapt to the limitations of many CMS. Often the IT staff of large online market retailers consists of at least 20 people.

Drawing the line

There exist no perfect CMS for your online business. Any of the listed content management systems will be able to solve the tasks they were designed for. When choosing the best option, pay attention to the functionality of the engine and make sure it’s SEO-friendly. Plan your website’s budget beforehand – as a rule, it constantly requires optimisation, debug, and automation. The best thing to focus on is to ensure this process is systematic and structured enough.

Top eCommerce Companies according to DesignRush


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