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Top 10 Free CMS For Website Building {2024 Review}

January 16, 2024
Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

Key Takeaways
Top 10 Free CMS For Website Building In 2024 include:

In this article, we’ll unveil the top 10 free CMS platforms for building websites, brought to you by our team of ecommerce experts with over five years of industry experience.

10 Free CMS For Website Building This 2024


Main features

WordPress stands out for its exceptional versatility and user-friendliness in this exploration of the top free website CMS platforms for 2024. Our expert team, with over three years of using it, has rigorously assessed WordPress’s capabilities, confirming its status as a top choice for businesses and individuals alike.

The homepage of WordPress

  • Theme Customization: WordPress excels in offering a diverse range of customizable CMS themes, allowing for easy adaptation to various brand aesthetics.
  • Plugin Extensibility: The platform’s robust CMS plugin library enhances functionality, covering everything from SEO to security features.
Plugin Extensibility of WordPress

  • Intuitive Content Editor: WordPress provides a user-friendly content editor within its CMS, streamlining the creation and management of digital content.
  • User Role Management: Its CMS includes a detailed system for managing user roles and permissions, which is essential for collaborative content management.
  • Optimization Tools: WordPress, as a CMS, incorporates SEO tools and supports plugins, boosting the website’s visibility in search engine results.

Leveraging the CMS SEO Optimization tools in WordPress, Porter & York significantly improved their online visibility. This adoption led to a surge in organic traffic and higher search engine rankings, driving substantial growth in their e-commerce business.

  • Multilingual Support: The CMS offers multilingual support, enabling the development of diverse, language-specific content for a global audience.


  • Extensive Customization Options
  • User-Friendly CMS Interface
  • Robust CMS Plugin Ecosystem
  • Effective CMS SEO Tools
  • Comprehensive CMS Content Management
  • CMS Multilingual Capabilities


  • CMS Plugin Overdependence
  • CMS Performance Issues with Heavy Plugins
  • Frequent CMS Updates and Maintenance
  • Variable CMS Security with Plugins and Themes
  • Learning Curve for Advanced CMS Features

The verdict

WordPress stands out in the CMS landscape with its unparalleled customization capabilities and user-friendly interface, making it an ideal choice for both beginners and seasoned developers seeking a robust, flexible, and SEO-friendly content management system.


Main features

In our comprehensive review of free website CMS platforms for 2024, dotCMS emerges as a powerful contender, known for its advanced functionalities and user-centric design.

The homepage of dotCMS
The homepage of dotCMS

  • Hybrid CMS Architecture: dotCMS offers a hybrid CMS model, blending traditional and headless CMS capabilities, allowing for both structured content management and dynamic delivery across various channels.
  • Content Personalization: The CMS provides advanced personalization options, enabling targeted content delivery based on user behavior and preferences, and enhancing user engagement.
  • Cloud-Based Scalability: dotCMS’s cloud-based infrastructure ensures scalable CMS solutions, accommodating growing traffic and content needs without compromising performance.
Cloud-Based Scability of dotCMS

  • Multi-Site Management: This CMS feature allows for seamless management of multiple sites from a single platform, streamlining operations for businesses with diverse web properties.
  • Extensive API Support: dotCMS supports extensive API integrations, facilitating smooth integration with various third-party tools and systems for enhanced CMS functionality.
  • Workflow Management: The platform includes robust workflow management tools within the CMS, ensuring efficient content review and approval processes.
  • SEO-Friendly Content Management: dotCMS provides built-in SEO tools, aiding in optimizing website content for search engines directly within the CMS.


  • Hybrid CMS Flexibility
  • Advanced Content Personalization
  • Cloud-Based CMS Scalability
  • Efficient Multi-Site Management
  • Extensive API Integration
  • Streamlined Workflow Management
  • Built-In SEO Tools


  • Steeper Learning Curve for Advanced Features
  • Potential Overhead with Multi-Site Management
  • Limited Free Plugin Options
  • Frequent Updates Necessitating Regular Maintenance

The verdict

dotCMS distinguishes itself with its innovative hybrid CMS model, combining traditional and headless content management. It shines in its advanced content personalization and seamless multi-site management, catering to businesses seeking a sophisticated, scalable CMS solution.


Main features

As we continue our exploration of the best free website CMS platforms in 2024, Bolt emerges as a noteworthy option, distinguished by its unique blend of simplicity and power in CMS functionality.

The homepage of Bolt
The homepage of Bolt

  • Straightforward CMS Interface: Bolt’s CMS is renowned for its simplicity and ease of use, offering a straightforward interface that makes content management accessible to all skill levels.
  • Flexible Content Types: The CMS allows for creating a wide range of content types, from simple blog posts to complex data structures, providing versatility in content management.
  • Extensible with Templates and Extensions: Bolt supports extensive customization through templates and extensions, enabling users to tailor the CMS to their needs.
Install a new Extension on Bolt

  • Strong Taxonomy System: The CMS includes a robust taxonomy system, allowing for efficient organization and categorization of content, enhancing discoverability and usability.
  • Built-In SEO Features: Bolt’s CMS comes with essential SEO features, aiding in optimizing content for search engines right out of the box.
  • Responsive Design Compatibility: The platform ensures that CMS-managed content is compatible with responsive design, guaranteeing a seamless user experience on various devices.
  • Intuitive Media Management: Bolt’s CMS includes an intuitive media management system, simplifying the uploading and managing multimedia content, and enhancing website engagement.


  • User-Friendly CMS Interface
  • Diverse CMS Content Types
  • Template and Extension Flexibility
  • Effective CMS Taxonomy System
  • Integrated CMS SEO Tools
  • Responsive Design Readiness
  • Streamlined CMS Media Management


  • Limited Third-Party Integrations
  • Smaller User Community
  • Basic CMS Design Customizations
  • Fewer Advanced CMS Features
  • Lesser-known CMS Platform

The verdict

Bolt stands out with its user-friendly CMS interface and flexible content management capabilities, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a straightforward yet powerful content management system focused on simplicity and efficiency.


Main features

As we explore the realm of free website CMS platforms, Wix emerges as a user-friendly and versatile choice, packed with features catering to novice and professional users alike.

The homepage of Wix
The homepage of Wix

  • Drag-and-Drop Editor: Wix’s CMS features an intuitive drag-and-drop editor simplifying the website design process without the need for coding.
  • Extensive Template Library: The platform provides a vast library of professionally designed templates, offering a wide range of aesthetic choices for various website types.
Template Library of Wix

  • Mobile Optimization: Wix CMS ensures that websites are automatically optimized for mobile devices, maintaining design integrity across different screen sizes.
  • SEO Management Tools: The CMS includes built-in SEO tools, allowing users to optimize their site for search engines quickly.
  • App Market for Extended Functionality: Wix’s CMS is complemented by an extensive app market, offering various add-ons to enhance website functionality.
  • Wix ADI for Automated Website Design: The CMS offers Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI), which auto-generates a tailored website based on user preferences and inputs.
  • E-commerce Functionality: Wix CMS provides integrated e-commerce features, enabling users to seamlessly build and manage an online store.

Coal & Canary leveraged Wix’s CMS e-commerce functionality to create an engaging and functional online store. This feature not only streamlined its product management of its candles and sales process but also significantly increased their online revenue and customer engagement.


  • Intuitive Drag-and-Drop CMS Editor
  • Wide Range of CMS Templates
  • Automatic CMS Mobile Optimization
  • Built-In CMS SEO Tools
  • Extensive CMS App Market
  • Innovative Wix ADI CMS Feature
  • Comprehensive CMS E-commerce Capabilities


  • Limited CMS Customization for Advanced Users
  • Higher Pricing for Premium Features
  • CMS Performance Issues with Complex Sites
  • SEO Limitations Compared to Other CMS Platforms
  • Restricted CMS Data Export and Portability
  • Dependency on Wix Ecosystem for CMS Add-on

The verdict

With its intuitive drag-and-drop interface and comprehensive range of templates and apps, Wix’s CMS is a top choice for those prioritizing ease of use and versatility in their website management and design needs.


Main features

As part of our comprehensive guide to the best free website CMS platforms of 2024, we present Joomla, a platform our expert team has extensively used for over five months. Joomla stands out for its rich CMS functionalities catering to a wide range of web development needs.

The homepage of Joomla
The homepage of Joomla

  • Advanced User Management: Joomla’s CMS offers a powerful and flexible user management system, allowing for detailed access control and user permissions.
  • Extensive Content Management: The platform provides a comprehensive content management system, facilitating the easy creation, editing, and organization of various content types.
  • Multilingual Support: Joomla’s CMS natively supports multiple languages, making it an excellent choice for creating multilingual websites.
  • Integrated Banner Management: The CMS includes a unique banner management tool, enabling efficient advertisement and monetization strategies directly from the dashboard.
Banner Management on Joomla
Banner Management on Joomla

  • Robust Menu Creation Tools: Joomla offers advanced menu creation and management tools within its CMS, allowing users to craft highly customized navigation experiences.
  • Template Management: The platform allows for granular template control, ensuring that the CMS can adapt the website’s appearance across different pages or sections.
  • Powerful Extension System: Joomla’s CMS is enhanced by a vast extension system, allowing users to expand their websites’ functionality easily.


  • Advanced CMS User Management
  • Comprehensive CMS Content Management
  • Native CMS Multilingual Support
  • Integrated CMS Banner Management
  • Sophisticated CMS Menu Creation Tools
  • Flexible CMS Template Management
  • Extensive CMS Extension System


  • Complex CMS Interface for Beginners
  • Steeper CMS Learning Curve
  • Limited CMS Customization in Free Templates
  • Performance Issues with Numerous Extensions
  • Less Extensive CMS Plugin Library Compared to Competitors

The verdict

Joomla excels with its advanced CMS functionalities, particularly in user management and multilingual support, making it a standout choice for users seeking a comprehensive and versatile content management system.

SilverStripe CMS

Main features

In our journey through the best free website CMS options of 2024, SilverStripe CMS emerges as a strong contender, known for its unique blend of flexibility and developer-centric features.

The homepage of SilverStripe CMS

  • Flexible Framework: SilverStripe CMS offers a highly flexible framework, allowing developers to create bespoke functionality tailored to specific website needs.
  • Intuitive Content Editing: The CMS provides an intuitive and easy-to-use content editing interface, making content management accessible for users of all skill levels.
  • Robust Security Features: SilverStripe CMS prioritizes security with built-in features that ensure the safety and integrity of website content and user data.
  • SEO-Friendly Design: The platform includes SEO optimization tools within the CMS, facilitating better search engine ranking for content.
  • Customizable Admin Interface: SilverStripe CMS allows for the customization of the admin interface, enabling users to streamline their content management workflows.
Admin Interface of SilverStripe CMS

  • Strong Templating Engine: The CMS has a powerful templating engine, providing flexibility in designing and structuring website layouts.
  • Extensive Module Ecosystem: SilverStripe CMS supports a wide range of modules, allowing for easy extension and enhancement of website functionalities.


  • Highly Flexible CMS Framework
  • User-Friendly Content Editing
  • Robust CMS Security Features
  • Built-In SEO Optimization
  • Customizable CMS Admin Interface
  • Powerful Templating Engine
  • Diverse CMS Module Ecosystem


  • Less Extensive Community Support
  • Limited CMS Theme Variety
  • Complexity in Custom Development
  • Higher Demand for Technical Expertise
  • Less Frequent Updates

The verdict

SilverStripe CMS stands out for its developer-oriented flexibility and robust security features, making it an exceptional CMS choice for those seeking a customizable and secure content management platform.


Main features

As we continue our exploration of the best free website CMS platforms, based on over 50 reviews, CushyCMS emerges as a user-friendly and efficient choice for straightforward content management.

The homepage of CushyCMS

  • Simplicity in Use: CushyCMS offers an incredibly simple and intuitive interface, making CMS management accessible to users with minimal technical expertise.
  • Quick Setup: The platform allows for a rapid CMS setup, enabling users to get their content management systems up and running quickly.
  • No Software Installation Required: CushyCMS operates entirely in the cloud, eliminating the need for any software installation for CMS functionality.
  • Flexible Content Editing: It provides flexible and straightforward content editing capabilities within the CMS, catering to basic content management needs.
It’s simple to edit content on CushyCMS
It’s simple to edit content on CushyCMS

  • Designer-Friendly Platform: The CMS is designed to be friendly for web designers, allowing them to easily define editable areas of a website.
  • Automatic RSS Feeds: CushyCMS includes an automatic RSS feed generation feature in its CMS, aiding content distribution and subscriber engagement.
  • Multi-Language Support: The platform offers multi-language support within its CMS, broadening its appeal to a diverse, global user base.


  • User-Friendly CMS Interface
  • Rapid CMS Setup Process
  • Cloud-Based, No Installation CMS
  • Simple Content Editing Tools
  • Web Designer-Friendly CMS Design
  • Automatic CMS RSS Feed Generation
  • CMS Support for Multiple Languages


  • Limited CMS Customization Options
  • No Advanced CMS Features
  • Limited CMS Template Choices
  • Not Ideal for Complex Websites

The verdict

CushyCMS distinguishes itself with its remarkable ease of use and rapid setup, offering a straightforward, cloud-based CMS solution ideal for users and designers seeking basic, hassle-free content management.


Main features

Continuing our exploration of free website CMS platforms, ExpressionEngine stands out for its powerful and flexible CMS capabilities, offering a range of features for sophisticated website management.

The homepage of ExpressionEngine
The homepage of ExpressionEngine

  • Flexible Content Channels: ExpressionEngine’s CMS allows for creating diverse content channels, each with custom fields and categories, catering to varied content types.
  • Robust Templating Engine: The CMS features a powerful templating engine, enabling the creation of unique website layouts without compromising on performance.
  • Advanced User Management: ExpressionEngine provides detailed user management within its CMS, including customizable roles and permissions for team collaboration.
  • Extensive Add-on Ecosystem: The platform has a vast ecosystem of add-ons, expanding the CMS’s functionality to cater to specific needs and use cases.
  • Built-In SEO Tools: ExpressionEngine’s CMS includes SEO tools to enhance content visibility and improve search engine ranking directly from the platform.
  • Version Control: The CMS offers version control for content, allowing users to track changes and revert to previous versions when needed.
The version control of ExpressionEngine

  • Comprehensive Security Features: ExpressionEngine strongly emphasizes security within its CMS, providing robust measures to protect website data and user information.


  • Versatile CMS Content Channels
  • Powerful CMS Templating Engine
  • Detailed CMS User Management
  • Rich CMS Add-on Ecosystem
  • Integrated CMS SEO Capabilities
  • CMS Version Control System
  • Strong CMS Security Measures


  • Complex CMS for Beginners
  • Limited Free Add-ons
  • Higher Cost for Premium Features
  • Customization Requires Technical Expertise
  • Less Extensive Community Support

The verdict

ExpressionEngine excels with its highly customizable CMS, featuring a robust templating engine and advanced user management, making it an ideal choice for professionals seeking comprehensive, secure, and flexible content management solutions


Main features

As we delve deeper into the best free website CMS platforms, Drupal stands out for its robust and versatile CMS functionalities, catering to complex and large-scale website needs.

The homepage of Drupal
The homepage of Drupal

  • Advanced Custom Content Types: Drupal’s CMS allows for creating sophisticated custom content types, offering flexibility in content structure and presentation.
  • Extensive Taxonomy System: The platform features a comprehensive taxonomy system within its CMS, enabling detailed content categorization and organization.
  • User Access Control and Permissions: Drupal provides granular user access control and permissions within its CMS, allowing for precise user roles and responsibilities management.
  • Robust Performance and Scalability: The CMS is designed for high performance and scalability, making it suitable for handling large amounts of traffic and content.
  • Strong Multilingual Capabilities: Drupal’s CMS supports extensive multilingual functionalities, facilitating the creation and management of content in multiple languages.
  • Comprehensive Module Ecosystem: The platform boasts many modules within its CMS, enhancing website functionality and customization options.
Module Ecosystem of Drupal
Module Ecosystem of Drupal

  • Built-In SEO Tools: Drupal includes integrated SEO tools in its CMS, aiding in optimizing content for better search engine visibility and ranking.


  • Advanced Custom CMS Content Types
  • Comprehensive CMS Taxonomy System
  • Granular CMS User Access Control
  • High CMS Performance and Scalability
  • Extensive CMS Multilingual Support
  • Rich CMS Module Ecosystem
  • Integrated CMS SEO Tools


  • Requires Technical Expertise for Customization
  • Higher Resource Requirements for Large Sites
  • Time-Intensive CMS Maintenance and Updates
  • Less Intuitive CMS Content Editor

The verdict

Drupal stands out as a CMS powerhouse, offering unparalleled scalability and advanced content management features, ideal for complex, high-traffic websites seeking comprehensive, multi-language support and extensive customization options.


Main features

Exploring the diverse landscape of free website CMS options, Weebly emerges as a user-centric platform, ideal for those seeking ease and functionality in their web-building experience.

The homepage of Weebly
The homepage of Weebly

  • Intuitive Content Editor: Weebly’s CMS features a straightforward content editor, enabling easy content creation and editing, even for novices.
  • Extensive Theme Library: The CMS provides various customizable themes for various website styles and industries.
  • Integrated Marketing Tools: Weebly offers integrated marketing tools within its CMS, including email marketing and customer communication features.

Douk Snow harnessed the power of Weebly’s integrated marketing tools to promote their snowboarding products effectively. This feature increased customer engagement and a significant uptick in their online sales and website traffic.

  • Comprehensive Site Analytics: The CMS includes detailed analytics tools, allowing users to track visitor behavior and optimize their site accordingly.
  • Mobile App Management: Weebly’s CMS can be managed via a mobile app, providing the flexibility to edit and update websites on the go.
Mobile App Management of Weebly
Mobile App Management of Weebly

  • Effective Image Editor: The platform has a built-in image editor within its CMS, simplifying the process of editing and uploading images.
  • Membership Area Creation: Weebly’s CMS allows users to create membership areas, enabling exclusive content access for registered members.


  • Easy-to-Use CMS Interface
  • Diverse CMS Theme Selection
  • Integrated CMS Marketing Tools
  • Detailed CMS Site Analytics
  • Mobile CMS Management
  • Built-In CMS Image Editor
  • CMS Membership Area Functionality


  • Limited CMS Customization for Advanced Users
  • Fewer CMS Plugin Options
  • Limited CMS Template Flexibility
  • Restricted CMS Data Export Capabilities

The verdict

Weebly’s CMS stands out for its exceptional ease of use, comprehensive suite of integrated marketing tools, and mobile management capabilities, making it a compelling choice for individuals and small businesses seeking a straightforward, effective website-building experience.

Tips on choosing a free CMS

By keeping these tips below in mind, you can find a free CMS that aligns with your website’s requirements and your capabilities:

  • Assess Your Needs: Clearly define what you want your website to do – blog, business site, portfolio, etc.
  • Ease of Use: Look for a user-friendly CMS, especially if you’re a beginner.
  • Customization: Ensure it offers ample themes and plugins for personalizing your site.
  • SEO Tools: Choose a CMS with good SEO features to boost your site’s visibility.
  • Scalability: Select a CMS that can grow with your site, handling more traffic and content over time.
  • Security: Prioritize a CMS with strong security measures to protect your website.
  • Support and Community: Check if there’s a helpful user community and support resources.
  • Mobile Responsiveness: Make sure the CMS supports mobile-friendly design.
  • Performance: A fast and efficient CMS ensures a better experience for your visitors.
  • Try Before You Commit: Test the CMS through demos or trials to see if it fits your needs.


WordPress is often recommended for beginners due to its intuitive interface and extensive online resources.
Yes, platforms like WooCommerce for WordPress or Magento Open Source offer robust e-commerce functionalities.
Very important. Built-in SEO tools help improve your website’s visibility and ranking on search engines.
Yes, many free CMS platforms provide strong security features. However, it’s crucial to update and maintain your site for optimal security regularly.
Yes, but migration can be complex. It’s best to choose a CMS that can scale with your growth to avoid the need for migration.

Bottom line

In conclusion, selecting the right free website CMS involves balancing ease of use, functionality, and scalability to ensure your site’s success and growth.

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.