How to choose a CMS to promote your site

Creating a website is just the beginning of the journey. In order to fully launch the project, quality optimization is necessary. If the content management system (CMS) is not adapted for SEO, it makes the promotion process more time-consuming and labor-intensive.

How to choose a CMS for the site and what it depends on?

The website engine is the foundation on which the future project will be based. It affects the functionality of the site, the possibility for scalability, design, fault tolerance, development costs and more. Therefore, the question “what CMS to choose” requires the owner of the resource detailed analysis of its needs, opportunities and priorities.

In this article, we will first look at choosing a free CMS, as they are much more popular among webmasters. However, it is often more rational to choose a paid CMS or create your own for large-scale and demanding projects.

What optimization capabilities can be solved by CMS


The file contains important information for the search engine: which pages should be indexed and which are not. Most CMSs don’t allow editing this file through the control panel, as well as through the root file in hosting, because it can complicate the process of optimization.

However, some website builders provide access to the robots.txt file through the control panel, which can be a plus for the administrator.

Sitemap or Sitemap.xml

Many CMSs generate a sitemap automatically and update it each time changes are made. The user can create new pages and work with the site structure, and do not need to edit the Sitemap.xml file. Search engine analyzes the already updated sitemap and indexes pages with updates.


In optimizer-friendly CMS, you can configure the meta tags manually. Managing titles and descriptions will help:

  • promote the site for key queries based on your own SEO strategy;
  • form snippets in search results, include in Title and Description calls to action and advantages over competitors.

In most systems, such customization of meta tags is available by default. A more useful feature is the ability to set the meta tags on a special mask. This feature comes as a built-in CMS, and loaded with an additional plugin. It can also be added by the programmer.

Optimizing images

Images require special attention in the complex promotion of a site. Some CMSs allow you to edit Alt-tags in the corresponding field of interface admin panel, along with Title and Description.

Friendly SEO URL

Friendly SEO URL or “human readable URLs” have a double benefit:

  • Links look more attractive and informative;
  • There is an opportunity to use a key phrase in the URL text.

CMS can automatically generate Friendly SEO URL. The site administrator creates a page and enters its name, and a link appears with the same transliterated text. The new URL is relevant to the page and contains a keyword. If desired, the Friendly SEO URL can be edited in the appropriate field.

However, in some systems, such as Joomla, the correct display of Friendly SEO URL links requires careful tuning.

301 redirect

Moving the site to another domain, gluing mirrors, change the URL of the page requires 301 redirect setting up. As a rule, you need to edit the .htassess file. However, certain CMS plugins allow configuration through the admin panel or with special plugins.

Canonical links

If you have duplicate pages on the site is recommended to specify canonical URLs in the code of similar pages that lead to one — the main. Adapted for the SEO content management system allows you to prescribe canonical tag directly in the admin panel.

Ability to add scripts to the code

Tracking scripts and analytics counters are necessary for quality multi-channel promotion of a web resource. Typically, instructions for installing the counters involve copying a script in the source code of pages. A big advantage of CMS is the ability to add Google Analytics, Pixel Facebook scripts, remarketing code and other counters through the control panel, without having to make edits to the code directly.

Popular CMSs and their SEO functionality

Engine support of basic SEO-optimization tools is a pleasant bonus not only for a specialist, but also for a website owner who takes measures to promote himself. Consider the main features of popular CMSs.

#1 WordPress

 This platform is great for informational sites, blogs and online stores with a small number of pages. The advantage of CMS is that many actions can be performed without the help of a developer. The interface of the admin panel is simple and clear enough. There are multi-tasking SEO-modules for WordPress. We can highlight Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack among them.

Their main functions include:

  • txt and .htaccess setting up;
  • XML sitemap generation;
  • Friendly SEO URL support;
  • The ability to prescribe meta tags and generate snippets.

As for the installation of counters, in WordPress, they must be copied directly into the code page. The administrator has access to the directory of pages through the work panel, so this process will not take long.


Website development based on the CMS Joomla is popular because of the large selection of templates, design solutions, functionality. However, Joomla settings for unprepared users may not be as flexible and intuitive as other systems. Built-in features for SEO of the CMS include: editing Title and Description, Friendly SEO URL, URL redirections, adding suffixes to links. Before you start optimization, you should also check the robots.txt file. For example, the folder with the site images may be closed from indexing by default. Note that this control system tends to create a lot of duplicate pages. This should also be considered in the process of filling the site with content. There is no special module for Joomla similar to the All in One SEO Pack for WordPress. However, there are paid SEO extensions for deeper level optimization, such as Tag Meta, OSMap, iSEO plugin and others. In order to configure the extensions, you will most likely need the help of a programmer.


Creating a website on the CMS OpenCart provides great opportunities not only for e-commerce, but also for search engine optimization. The presence of important tools for SEO in OpenCart is an additional plus in the karma of the engine. When creating new pages, you can write meta tags right away. Friendly SEO URL is generated automatically. The issue of duplicate content solves the tag rel=»canonical». Additional modules allow easy installation and editing of scripts. In general, the CMS is quite SEO-friendly, but the work with media files has its own specifics. Images on the site is better to load after pre-optimization, because editing photos in OpenCart can be quite long.


Magento is a common choice of CMS for online store. This flexible and powerful CMS is adapted for e-commerce. The functionality of the system makes it SEO-friendly:

  • There is great potential for optimization, the ability to adapt each page of the site for search engines;
  • Some important settings are available in the general CMS functionality (robots.txt, sitemap, installation of Google Analytics tracking scripts, etc.)
  • Search Engine Optimization module will expand the range of SEO-tools.

If you compare this system with OpenCart, Magento is less common, and it will be harder to find a developer for it.

1C Bitrix

CMS provides ample opportunities for creating and managing web resources of any complexity. In addition to a user-friendly interface and a variety of options, the platform provides for website optimization, reducing the effort and time as much as possible.

The tandem of Bitrix and the Search Engine Optimization module will enable important SEO tools, such as the ability to automatically generate lists of site pages for search robots, the absence of duplicated and repeated links, meta descriptions based on templates and readable titles for images. Also, the user receives important recommendations to improve the SEO-parameters as the entire site, and individual pages.

In general, the disadvantages of this CMS can be attributed only to the complexity of its development.


This content management system, like Bitrix, is usually chosen for large-scale projects. Drupal basic options don’t provide for site optimization. In order to use the standard SEO-tools without interference in the code, you will need a package of modules. For example, Page_tile is to edit title, meta tag is for Description and Keywords, Site map is for site map, Redirect is to automatically form 301 redirect when URL changes and other modules. Module and platform compatibility may depend on its version.

Drupal is the most difficult in the development of CMS of all the above. In order to work with this system, it is desirable to have experience and profound knowledge in web programming. It is better to use it in extreme cases, if other control systems are not suitable for some reason.


The decision on which CMS to make the site depends only on the owner of the resource, its goals and capabilities, as well as objectives and priorities of the future project. During the choice of the engine is important to remember and take into account the peculiarities of SEO-optimization in each of them.

Basic settings for many CMSs provide for the use of SEO-tools. However, additional modules are needed for large-scale and high-quality optimization.

Those who are planning to create a website and are looking for a platform to manage and promote their project should be guided by both the technical features of CMS and its capabilities for SEO.

WordPress is suitable to manage and optimize a small information site or blog. Opencart will be budgeted and sufficiently equipped option for the online store. Large projects that require a great power and functionality can be placed on 1C Bitrix and Magento.

Self-written control systems and frameworks should be used with non-standard functionality, when other CMS can’t solve all the problems of the site. Possible problems in this case include a change of programmer, because it will be difficult to find someone who will understand the code of the predecessor and continue to develop the project.

This article was written under the guidance of Eugene Gluschenko, CEO of Intop-Media

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