Content management wars return

Once upon a time, brands and agencies picking a content management system (CMS) were spoiled for choice.

For many, WordPress has become the default option. Take it with a dollop of salt, but WordPress claims it runs 32.5% of all websites.

In 2019, however, this will all be thrown up in to the air again, as WordPress struggles to be all things to all people.

Many small businesses now pick easier-to-use Wix, Squarespace or Shopify, whilst many bloggers are publishing through Medium or Ghost.

WordPress developer Automattic is right to respond, but its solution – Gutenberg, a drag-and-drop page editor – has alienated one of the largest and most loyal developer communities on the internet.

That is bad timing. In the last couple of years, a range of alternate, more modern CMSes has emerged. Software like CraftCMS, Bolt and PageKit is not laden with WordPress’ blog-centric legacy.

Additionally, many developers are embracing new “headless” CMS technology, which separates database infrastructure from design elements. Developers like headless CMSes such as Contentful, CraftCMS and Cockpit because they don’t have to worry about look and feel. Customers like them because their centralised content can be piped to multiple devices and channels, not just their website.

That could help brands and agencies separate service contracts and future-proof their content operations.

But it also makes for more complexity, with dozens of new suites to choose from.

One thing is for sure – in 2019, content management selection will, after years in the wilderness, be a strategic decision again.