Is anyone using a CMS they really love, besides Wordpress?

I don't really want to start a <cms> vs wordpress debate, I'm just really interested to see what awesome CMS alternatives people have been using.

All of my freelance client marketing sites have been built in Wordpress for years now, but I'm finding I haven't really needed the huge plugin/theme ecosystem in a long time, and even a fresh install of wordpress feels really slow on a $10 dollar digital ocean droplet.

  1. 5

    I love Statamic by @jackmcdade and co! Easy to install, a delight to use, and the team behind it is top notch!

  2. 3

    Most headless options out there are awesome. I spent a decent amount of time and research with a ton of them, and personally sanity.io has been the best experience I've ever had with a CMS and organization BY FAR. I know a bunch of other people out there have had the same exact experience.

  3. 3

    Another vote for Statamic by @jackmcdade here. For static sites Jigsaw by tighten combined with github pages or Netlify makes for a really speedy setup.

    We recently moved https://serverauth.com over to the Jigsaw + Netlify setup. If you run Google Lighthouse on it you'll see what I mean.

    1. 2

      Thanks for the shoutout! Statamic does static site generation too just FYI. Best of both worlds. :) https://github.com/statamic/ssg

      1. 2

        Oh awesome, had no idea! Thanks for creating such an awesome CMS :)

  4. 3

    We're using ghost and I've had no complaints

  5. 3

    I am always going with sanity.io (a headless cms)
    I love it!

    1. 1

      Haven't used this yet, but I think strapi is extremely promising and will only get better in the future. Surprised not many mentions of it.

  6. 2

    I'm all about Butter CMS. As a developer I really like that I have 100% control over the code/design, while the CMS purely focuses on the content.


  7. 2

    Webflow! It's amazing. It has been made more and more powerful over the years.

  8. 1

    Another vote for Statamic here. It’s just great!

  9. 1

    Can any CMS experts here, please evaluate if XgeneCloud can be turned into an Headless CMS. It is open source & free.

    XgeneCloud already provides a GUI to build your database and create instant REST/GraphQL on top of them. And these APIs can be deployed as a single serverless function as well (AWS Lambda, Azure FunctionApp, GCP Cloud functions)

    Could you please help point us in right direction.

  10. 1

    I'm using NetlifyCMS and I love it!

    It's an open-source git-based content management library. Content is stored in your Git repository alongside your code for easier versioning, multi-channel publishing, and the option to handle content updates directly in Git. It's basically a React library that gives you a nice UI for editing your markdown files.

    I will integrate it in https://serverlesssaas.com/, a React boilerplate for building SaaS applications.

    1. 1

      Found it recently and it seems quite perfect for my needs too! I don't know react (just a bit of Vue), will that be an issue for me ?
      Does it do e-commerce too ? Or are you aware of a similar solution for e-commerce ?

      1. 1

        Not sure about e-commerce, but I know you can customize it very well. It might take some time to understand how the plugins work but after that, I think you should be good.

        You don't have to deal with any React stuff, so no worries about that. It's mostly just a config file you can edit and will result in a nice UI that is all handled by the Netlify CMS package.

        1. 1

          Thanks ! I looked a bit into it and there seems to have an issue for ecommerce. For security reasons a stripe call has to be done from a Netlify function. I'll have to look if I can plug this loop into the cms, but that's for future me to figure it out.

  11. 1

    I used Notion as CMS for a couple of projects now and I love it. Super easy to use, while still having a powerful editor with a lot of flexibility.

    react-notion makes it simple to render Notion content inside your page. https://github.com/splitbee/react-notion

    1. 1

      They even offer really fast email support for free users.

      Once they sent me a piece of custom code so i could develop my own plugin

  12. 1

    I am just using my Text Editor to edit markdown files, which are compiled into static blog posts using GatsbyJS

  13. 1

    I've been using Grav for years and I still really love it. WordPress is great but Grav feels much more orderly in my opinion. Plus I love the modular pages template system and how easy it is to define standardized UI on the backend for page and theme metadata.

    That said, it is a lot trickier to get the flexibility for backend design the way that the WP block editor provides. You could technically get the same kind of functionality using multiple levels of modular pages, but it would be a lot fussier to design pages than with WP drag and droppable blocks.

  14. 1

    Joomla is my love. I use it for all my sites

  15. 1

    Ive been using October CMS. It's flexible, coder friendly and lightning fast. It's client friendly as well

  16. 1

    I'd suggest taking a look at the codered CMS.
    AFAIK, it's specifically built for SMB marketing websites and really fast out of the box thanks to an efficient caching system.
    Here's the link to its github repository: https://github.com/coderedcorp/coderedcms. And here's the one to it's official page https://www.coderedcorp.com/cms/.
    As for me, I use the Publii CMS for my own projects. It's a bit like the combination of WordPress with a static site generator with a nice GUI and many features for further optimization (speed, SEO, ..). Its official website is located at getpublii.com and the associated github repository can be found at https://github.com/GetPublii/Publii.

  17. 1

    Last one I tried was https://bolt.cm/ At the time I tried the workflow was fine. It was really easy to create a new theme for it as well.

  18. 1

    If it's just basic marketing sites, I've been impressed with Unstack. Posted a quick review yesterday with my updated landing page.

  19. 1

    My personal fave is MODX. Any MODX fans in the room?

  20. 1

    I’ve been using Forestry and enjoying it a lot so far.


  21. 1

    For sites that need a page builder and blog we have https://versoly.com/ we just added team management as well.

    All websites are optimised no need for plugins, backups etc.

  22. 1

    Just because you put WordPress on a DigitalOcean droplet does not mean it going to be faster, you still have to properly configure the server to be faster for WordPress. If you insist on hosting on your own, I recommend looking into spinupwp.com from DeliciosBrain people. Is like WPEngine but on your own.

    As for other CMS, it all depends on what you are looking for. Do you want PHP based, maybe Craft CMS or Statamic is a better choice for you (Paid). If you want headless CMS, Contentful, Netlify CMS or Strapi is a good choice as well. All those options (including WordPress via wp-graphql plugin ) give you a JSON, REST API, or GraphQL connection and you can use whatever you want on your front end, like Gatsby if you are into React, Gridsome if you are into Vue and whatever else is there that you like.

    1. 1

      Re: speed, that's true, I just don't want to have to worry about optimizing my server a bunch just to get basic decent performance out of my CMS. I've used/worked on web apps that do a whole lot more than serve basic content and they're a lot more performant out of the box with no extra optimizations. I'm not expecting the moon or anything, but I suspect there are other options out there doing a better job which is why I'm asking what people are using that they love.

      Do you have a favorite?

      1. 2

        Correct. I tried to configure my own server and I ended up using GetFlyWheel and moving to WPEngine once my 1-year contract is over. There is also Kinsta but they are double the price of WPEngine for some reason. I'm a web developer, not a dev-ops person.

        For CMS, Craft CMS is amazing and I love it. I would have to admit, I did not give Statamic a real chance so Statamic might be the one for you especially with version 3 coming up. I heard good things about them and both companies have a really nice base of followers.

        For headless CMS, I used Contentful + Gatsby and I really enjoyed the experience. Is crazy fast. As examples, I always give https://www.shopflamingo.com/. I did not work on it, it just enjoys the website and how fast it is, and if nothing changed it is a Contentful + Gatsby tech in the back end.

        1. 1

          If I don't care about CI/CD, could I build a site exactly like https://www.shopflamingo.com just using Gatsby?

          1. 2

            Gatsby is a static site generator and more. If you do not use a CI/CD you will have to manually upload what Gatsby creates on your local machine to your hosting of choice. In the end, is just HTML/CSS and JS. I recommend looking into Netlify to host your JAMStack website if you go this route.

            It all depends on what you do with the website and how you want to maintain it. I personally enjoy the Netlify workflow so I use them.

            1. 1

              Yes, that is exactly why I asked, because I am planning to use Netlify and manually upload the files.

              1. 1

                Netlify can connect to your GitHub account for example, and every time you merge something in your main branch, Netlify can do a build and deploy your site. They provide this service as part of the free tier as well.

        2. 1

          Wow, that is a seriously performant site!

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