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CMS Trends for 2014

As one year ends everyone turns to the next trying to guess or predict the future. And it’s a really good tradition. If you strongly believe in it, it may become self fulfilling prophecy.

Despite the fact that you can read many ideas about trends in many areas, let’s stick to what I know the best – the Internet and, more precisely, web CMSs that powers it.

Here’s my original answer on Quora after which I was asked by Tomas, Editor in Chief at Despreneur, to extend my thoughts and write a full length article about this topic. I asked many people to share their own thoughts about trends in web CMSs and I’ll happily share that with you.

Content is a King

2014 will be the Content’s year. After more than a decade of CMS (Content Management System) evolution we finally emphasizing the “C” part in the “CMS”.

It has started from “M”. Everyone was happy to have an ability to manage something dynamically on a pretty static environment (as it was those days). Then we moved to “S” having all those CMSs evolved beyond their initial idea and purpose. And a lot of them became as frameworks that allow you to build anything you want.

Since “M” and “S” parts are already mature (or close to that), now it’s right about time to fix the last part of the puzzle starting with “C”. And everyone is expecting that. The reason is, as Aleksander Farstad, CEO of eZ, well said:

“Content Mean Business and the trend of #digitalmarketing being content driven.”

James Stout, Developer Evangelist at Ektron, also added that “in general, systems will start (or continue to) targeting more and more of the Marketing / Business side than the IT / Developer side (following the $).”

If you build CMS then start thinking about businesses who actually use your tool every day. If you are a user of it, push core developers to serve your business, not your developers.

You can join discussions on Quora or LinkedIn groups here and here.

Two different content strategies

After talking with different professionals I began to see two different approaches/expectations emerging for content management.

The first one is in­place editing. After such a successful Wix IPO on NASDAQ (now already reached 1 billion market cap) and a similar rise of Weebly and Squarespace (all of them are hosted website builders and not CMSs) more and more people will expect content management to be similar to what those services offer. It’s simple, it’s visual, it’s real­time and people love it.

Franz Maruna, CEO of Concrete5, summarized this:

“In context editing will become the norm from the ground up <…> [on] enterprise solutions as well.” At ImpressPages we believe in that, too. You shouldn’t think about “what’s gonna happen when I click publish”.

The second approach is the opposite, decoupling content from presentation and structure. Here are a couple of thoughts about that:

“In many ways, we’re returning to the roots. Stuff that was all en vogue during the bubble (placeless content! granular content! separating content from design and structure!) was ignored for a long while.” – Adriaan Bloem, Senior Manager Online at MBC Group

“The return of decoupled content management to the mid­market.” – Deane Barker, Business Development Director at Blend Interactive

CMS market landscape is changing

w3techs.com tracks 160+ content management system (including wikis, blog engines or discussion boards built on any platform). If you go through each of them (yes, I honestly went through everyone on the list) you’ll see the following trends:

  • 24% are growing
  • 28% are stagnating
  • 48% are shrinking

The results are very interesting. Despite the fact that a lot of people are saying that there are hundreds of CMSs in the market, what we can see that only ¼ (around 40 CMSs) are actually growing. If you’re not growing together with a growing market it means you’re losing grounds. Therefore, ¾ of the systems are going under.

There’s no surprise here. CMS market is maturing, systems become more and more complicated, users are expecting for more every day. Those days when CMSs were alive because of supporting and contributing community just to keep the idea are gone. Sad to say but now it’s all about business. Either a tool helps you to reach your goals or not. And even open source is no different.

In the upcoming years there will be less and less options to choose from. There will be a few well known CMSs in each niche/platform.

We are used to see the TOP3 of WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. And this will change. If not in 2014 then still pretty soon. And the reason is that the market share of Drupal and Joomla is shrinking for the last 6 months.

Next year WordPress will still be a leader. But we need to reserve a position in top list for one of the builders (Weebly, Wix, or Squarespace), another one for the ecommerce platform (Magento or PrestaShop), and, hopefully, for one of the CMSs with drag&drop and in ­place editing approach (Concrete5 or ImpressPages). And don’t forget to keep an eye on Ghost (that tries to bite into a heel of WordPress by bringing back a real blogging experience).

The workflow of building websites will change

2014 will be yet another year of doing more while writing less code. High quality developers become more and more expensive, therefore, designers and small web agencies are forced to search for a new website building approach. That’s why Webydo, Froont or Macaw are so successful and so important for this market.

From writing code we will move to dragging and dropping, having everything visual and instant.

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