Content Management Systems power millions of websites and experiences. They are the foundation of the modern digital stack and an essential tool for countless users and businesses. Despite their value, they exist largely behind the scenes – and recognizing their contribution has been a persistent gap in the software market.

Since 2012, the CMS Critic Awards have celebrated excellence across the CMS community, honoring vendors for their innovation and service. Each year, we recognize a single winner in a variety of industry-specific categories such as Best Cloud CMS, Best DXP, Best Headless CMS, and more – and share the results across media.

To provide a fair opportunity to all CMS, DXP, and related technology vendors, we offer two unique award platforms:

Critic's Choice Logo

Critic’s Choice Awards
Hand-selected by our CMS Critic editorial staff, vendors receive the coveted Critic's Choice Award for each category based on our internal research and criteria.

People's Choice Logo

People’s Choice Awards
These community-based awards are designed to engage with readers through an open forum. Vendors with the most nominations will be featured on our website for voting, and the platform with the most votes in each category is declared the winner. The rules are simple, and focus on fairness and integrity: participants may nominate or vote only once, and companies that offer incentives of any kind will be disqualified.

 

2021 CMS Critic Awards Nominations

Interested in having your CMS or DXP of choice in the running? It's never too early to start promoting! We'll be picking your top suggestions later this year for our official People's Choice voting, so make your nominations today!

Click here to nominate your favorite platform.

 

 

2020 Winners


Best Enterprise CMS
Acquia

Best DXP
Episerver (formerly Optimizely)

Best Free CMS
Joomla!

Best Flat File CMS
Grav

Best Open Source CMS
WordPress

Best ECM (Enterprise Content Management)
Hyland

Best E-Commerce Solution
Shopify

Best Headless CMS
Contentful

Best Website Builder
Webflow

Best Static Site Generator
Gatsby

 

2019 Winners


Best Free CMS
Joomla!

Best Flat File CMS
Grav

Best Open Source CMS
Django CMS

Best Enterprise CMS
Umbraco

Best E-Commerce Solution
Shopify

Best Headless CMS
Cosmic JS

Best Website Builder
Duda

Best Static Site Generator
Publii

 

2018 Winners


Best Free CMS
Joomla!

Best Flat File CMS
October CMS

Best Open Source Enterprise CMS
Umbraco

Best CMS for Publishers
Quintype

Best Headless CMS
Netlify

Best eCommerce Solutions
Shopify

Best Website Builder
Squarespace

 

2017 Winners


Best Cloud CMS
Agility CMS

Best CMS for SMB (Small to Midsize Business)
Craft CMS

Best CRM Solution
SugarCRM

Best E-commerce Solution
OpenCart

Best Email Marketing Solution
ConvertKit

Best Enterprise CMS
Pimcore

Best Flat File CMS
Grav CMS

Best Forum Solution
Discourse

Best Free CMS
Joomla!

Best Hosting Company
Bluehost

Best Marketing Automation Solution
Mautic

Best Open Source CMS
CMS Made Simple

Best Social Network Solution
SocialEngine

Best Theme Provider
YOOtheme

Best Website Builder
Squarespace

Best WordPress Alternative
Craft CMS

 

2016 Winners


Best Blogging Software
Bolt CMS

Best Open Source CMS
Grav

Best Website Builder
Weebly

Best Free CMS
Joomla!

Best New CMS
Pagekit

Best Enterprise CMS
eZ Platform

Best Small Business CMS
ProcessWire

Best Cloud CMS
Solodev

Best Document Management System
LogicalDOC

Best CMS for Education
Cascade Server

Best Intranet Software
Igloo Software

Best Enterprise Portal
Magentrix Portals

Best Social Network Software
Social Engine

Best eCommerce Software
PrestaShop

Best Marketing Automation Software
Hootsuite

Best Forum Software
Discourse

Best Client Relationship Management Software
HubSpot

Best Analytics Platform
Clicky

Best WordPress Managed Hosting
WP Engine

Best Hosting Provider
Bluehost

 

2015 Winners


Best Enterprise CMS
Cascade Server

Best CMS for Marketers
Sitefinity

Best CMS for Photographers
Format

Best Free CMS
Joomla

Best Open Source CMS
Django CMS

Best CMS for Communities
Black Monk

Best Social Network Software
SocialEngine

Best Marketing Automation Software
HubSpot

Best CMS for Designers
Concrete5

Best Cloud CMS
Agility CMS

Best eCommerce for SMB
NopCommerce

Best Blogging Platform
Medium

Best Wiki Software
MediaWiki

Best CMS for Education
Moodle

Best CMS for Personal Websites
WordPress

Best CMS for Small to Midsize Business
Ingeniux

Best Enterprise Portal
Liferay

Best CMS for Publishers
eZ Platform

Best eCommerce for Enterprise
Prestashop

Best Forum Software
NodeBB

Best Intranet Software
Confluence

Best CMS for Developers
Craft CMS

 

2014 Winners


Critic's Choice

Best Free PHP CMS
Processwire

Best Free JAVA CMS
Hippo

Best Free .NET CMS
Composite C1

Best Open Source PHP CMS
WordPress

Best Open Source JAVA CMS
Nuxeo

Best Open Source .NET CMS
Umbraco

Best SMB PHP CMS
Craft CMS

Best SMB JAVA CMS
Jahia

Best SMB .NET CMS
DNN Evoq Content

Best Enterprise PHP CMS
Drupal

Best Enterprise JAVA CMS
Jahia

Best Enterprise .NET CMS
Sitefinity

Best CMS for Corporate Intranets
Bitrix 24

Best eCommerce for SMB
BigCommerce

Best Enterprise eCommerce
BigCommerce

Best Free Forum
myBB

Best Commercial Forum
Get Satisfaction

Best Cloud CMS for SMB
dotCMS

Best Cloud CMS for Enterprise
CrownPeak

Best Website Builder
Weebly

Most Promising CMS
Ghost

Most Innovative CMS
Sitecore

People’s Choice

Best Enterprise CMS (Other Langs)
Mura CMS

Best Enterprise .NET CMS
Sitecore

Best Enterprise Java CMS
Hippo

Best Enterprise PHP CMS
Drupal

Best Commercial Forum and Best Free Forum
Vanilla Forums

Best Small to Midsize Business PHP CMS
CMS Made Simple

Best Small to Midsize Business JAVA CMS
Percussion

Best Small to Midsize Business NET CMS
Orchard

Best eCommerce for SMB
Prestashop

Best eCommerce for Enterprise
Prestashop

Best CMS for Corporate Intranets
Liferay

Best Cloud CMS For Enterprise
Acquia

Best Website Builder
Wix

Best Cloud CMS for SMB
LightCMS

Best Open Source PHP CMS
Joomla!

Best Open Source JAVA CMS
Magnolia

Best Open Source NET CMS
Sageframe

Best Free .NET CMS
DNN Platform

Best Free JAVA CMS
Magnolia

Best Free PHP CMS
Concrete5

 

2013 Winners


Critic's Choice

Best Open Source CMS
Hippo

Best Free CMS
Drupal

Best Small to Midsize Business CMS
eZ Publish

Best Enterprise CMS
Sitecore

Best ECommerce Solution
Magento

Best Website Builder
Squarespace

Best Forum Solution
Vanilla Forums

Best Social Networking Solution
DNN Evoq Social

Best Hosted / Cloud CMS
Acquia Cloud

People's Choice

Best Open Source CMS
MODX

Best Free CMS
WordPress

Best Small to Midsize Business CMS
DNN Evoq Content

Best Enterprise CMS
Sitecore

Best ECommerce Solution
Shopify

Best Website Builder
Adobe Business Catalyst

Best Forum Solution
Vanilla Forums

Best Social Networking Solution
Social Engine

Best Hosted / Cloud CMS
Acquia Cloud

 

2012 Winners


Critic's Choice

Best Open Source CMS
MODx

Best Free CMS
ProcessWire

Best Small to Midsize Business CMS
DotNetNuke

Best Enterprise CMS
Adobe CQ

Best Budget CMS
CMS Made Simple

Best Website Builder
Squarespace

Best Social Networking Solution
phpFox

People's Choice

Best Open Source CMS
Concrete5

Best Free CMS
Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware

Best Small to Midsize Business CMS
DotNetNuke

Best Enterprise CMS
Liferay

Best Budget CMS
Concrete5

Best Website Builder
Squarespace

Best Social Networking Solution
Oxwall