The 10 Most Popular CMS Platforms in Canada (2024)

January 8, 2024

Justin Kerby

The 10 most popular CMS platforms in Canada

Before we get tell you about the most popular CMS platforms in Canada, it’s worth addressing what exactly defines a content management system (CMS). It is a specific kind of software application or platform that allows you to create, manage, and publish digital content on your website. A good CMS will do a lot of things for you, and make your life a lot easier by:

  • Simplifying design on your website
  • Making it easy to update your website
  • Ensuring maintenance updates are quick and painless

If you find a CMS that tackles these three issues, you’re halfway to picking the content management system that’s right for you. Of course, there’s plenty of other factors to consider. We’ll highlight those below our list of the most popular CMS platforms in Canada.

Here are the top 10 most popular CMS platforms in Canada (based on total websites built using each CMS).

1. WordPress

Total websites in Canada: 536,882

Percentage of market share in Canada: 41%

Owned by Automaticc (which also owns a ton of the tech options you see within WordPress, not to mention Tumblr and a few other tech platforms you’ve likely heard of), WordPress is still an absolute powerhouse in the Canadian CMS market. It’s powerful, it’s flexible, it’s somewhat user friendly, but it’s not our favourite CMS on the top 10 list. Scroll to number eight below to see our most-recommended CMS for Canadian businesses.

2. Wix

Total websites in Canada: 175,238

Percentage of market share in Canada: 13%

Drag and drop, anyone? It’s typically what attracts business owners to Wix, as they view drag and drop as an option for them to build their own site. Wix is simple and affordable, but it’s definitely limited in terms of customizations and scalability. SEO challenges with Wix sites are also one of the main reasons we don’t often recommend a build on Wix.

3. Squarespace

Total websites in Canada: 99,043

Percentage of market share in Canada: 7%

A lot of small business owners in Canada narrow it down to Wix and Squarespace, and for us this is a better option of the two. Another drag and drop interface, but a bit more intuitive, with options for e-commerce, blogging, and basic SEO. Pricing is slightly higher, third-party integrations are limited, and their are fewer advanced customizations available than some of the other platforms on this list.

4. GoDaddy Website Builder

Total websites in Canada: 55,852

Percentage of market share in Canada: 4%

Limited design flexibility, limited scalability, not much more than basic SEO tools, this is one of our least favourite options on this list. Book a meeting with us if you’re thinking about making a switch from a GoDaddy website.

5. Weebly

Total websites in Canada: 30,859

Percentage of market share in Canada: 2%

Weebly offers integrated hosting and e-commerce capabilities, along with professionally designed templates you can purchase for your business. SEO is an issue, and it’s relatively limited for any customization.

6. Google Sites

Total websites in Canada: 14,539

Percentage of market share in Canada: 1%

A simple site builder offered by Google. It’s not the best choice for businesses looking to establish a unique online presence, as the templates and design options are limited. It’s straightforward and simple, but we don’t like the designs offered.

7. Drupal

Total websites in Canada: 12,499

Percentage of market share in Canada: 1%

An open-source content management system, Drupal offers lots of flexibility and customization. Larger organizations with sensitive data enjoy Drupal’s security features, however it’s not as user friendly as many of the other CMS options on our list. A higher level of technical expertise is required to manage a Drupal site.

8. Webflow

Total websites in Canada: 11,795

Percentage of market share in Canada: 1%

Our CMS of choice. We’re platform agnostic and will always recommend you the CMS that best fits your needs, but more and more often we’re finding that Webflow is the CMS platform that does just that.

We design in Webflow for many reasons, but the top three reasons are because (1) it allows us to design your site from the ground up for both desktop and mobile, (2) it’s extremely user-friendly for our clients after the build is done, and (3) it’s flexible, allowing us to add custom integrations and make SEO improvements that make your website operate exactly how you want it to operate and show up in search engines.

9. Joomla!

Total websites in Canada: 11,276

Percentage of market share in Canada: 1%

This is an open-source CMS providing a robust framework for building websites, with a supportive community and a wide array of extensions. However, the learning curve is much steeper compared to the more user-friendly CMS platforms on this list, and it requires more technical expertise to manage your website.

10. myRealPage

Total websites in Canada: 5,306

Percentage of market share in Canada: 0.41%

A CMS platform exclusively for real estate agents. They incorporate IDX search into their pages. Not a bad option for a real estate agent that wants a site up ASAP, but ultimately there are better custom options available in the market, in our opinion.

Factors to consider when evaluating the top CMS platforms in Canada

CMS costs and fees

Typically, using a CMS is cost effective. Platforms make it fairly affordable to add new users, to build and make updates, and if you can gain knowledge on how to use a CMS, you can save money on development fees. Prices vary, so note them with each of the providers when evaluating, but in general they’re fairly affordable.

Ease of use

Some products are extremely simple, others take a bit of getting used to. In our experience, our clients grasp Webflow, Squarespace, and Wix extremely quickly, while Wordpress and Drupal can have a bit more of a learning curve. Nevertheless, they’re still extremely popular CMS options.

CMS scalability

As your Canadian business grows, you need to consider whether your CMS will need to grow with you. If ore content, more pages, and more functionality are in the works, some of the CMS options (we like Webflow, WordPress, or Drupal for scalability) are going to be more flexible for growth.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendliness

We’ve helped our clients establish themselves at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) for over a decade. You can read our case study on Dolphin Delivery to see how we helped them go from 88 clicks from Google Search per month to 3,469 clicks last month.

Things change quickly in search, but there’s no doubt that some of most popular CMS platforms in Canada are better for driving search engine traffic than others. CMS options like Webflow give you the ability to customize title tags and meta tags, they have built in Google connections that make setting up and submitting a sitemap or connecting Analytics a breeze, and all in give you a great shot at ranking in search.

Security concerns and CMS platforms

Reputable CMS platforms often release security updates and patches to protect your website from vulnerabilities and potential threats. This helps ensure the safety of your Canadian business's online presence.

Mobile responsiveness and CMS options

A CMS can help you create a mobile-responsive website, which is essential in an era where many Canadians access the internet through smartphones and tablets. We design websites with desktop and mobile visitors in mind, to make sure you’re presenting yourself in the best light, wherever your audience may be viewing your site–phone, tablet, or desktop.

Third-party integrations

CMS platforms often support integrations with various third-party tools and services, such as e-commerce platforms, payment gateways, and marketing automation systems, making it easier to extend the functionality of your website. For e-commerce options, Shopify is a popular CMS amongst Canadians (and it’s a Canadian company, to boot), but CMS platforms like WordPress and Webflow can also power online stores with no problems.

Choosing the CMS platform that’s right for you

Hopefully, this helps you understand what you should be looking for when choosing a CMS. If you need help deciding, we’re more than happy to assist you in your web design project–contact us anytime. A Content Management System can benefit Canadian businesses by simplifying website management, reducing costs, ensuring flexibility and scalability, improving SEO, and providing tools for security, analytics, and integration. It enables businesses to maintain an effective online presence in a competitive digital landscape.

Data from our list was provided by our friends at BuiltWith. You’ll notice other platforms listed on BuiltWith as well, note we excluded a few from our list that are not traditional CMS platforms, like Plesk and cPanel.

Ready to start your next web design project? Set up a meeting with our team, or take a look at a recent web design project we built in Webflow for Elevated Pizza in Chilliwack, BC.

Written by

Justin Kerby

Justin is the founder of Something Great Marketing, leading our Vancouver marketing agency. He specializes in content strategy, website design, and branding.

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