Introduction to our market study on Content Management Systems

Open-source, headless, and builders are the three types of software used to create a website. What is a CMS ?

State of the Website Creation Market in France

The market for website creation is immense, especially in France. The website Domain Name Stat records more than 7 million registered domains as of November 4th, 20211, representing only a 1.36% market share of the total number worldwide! Of course, the majority of these domains are not active, with up to 75%2 of the global total being automatically generated or not displaying any content. However, even applying this percentage to France, there are still, for indicative purposes, almost 2 million (1,865,355) active domains!
This staggering number is divided between websites created "from scratch" and those built using a CMS (Content Management System).

Content Management Systems (CMS) offer different functionalities tailored to specific uses. Some are specialized in e-commerce, while others focus on ease and speed in creating showcase websites. In practice, the competition lies between "open source" CMS and "hosted" CMS, each with its own advantages and disadvantages in relation to the other.
Three main types of CMS are available:

  • CMS oriented towards hosted website creation (also known as website builders).
  • CMS that offer similar features, but are open source.
  • "Headless" CMS, which can be open source or hosted, but represent a distinct category.

There is another type related to the web but not on the same level as the others: those that manage internal company data (intranet). We won't discuss it here, but it's worth mentioning that Forge, our in-house CMS, has this functionality.

Given the extensive list of CMS in each category (more than 750 CMS3 have been identified!), representative examples will be used in the comparisons to better understand the different types of CMS. Each type of CMS is the subject of a separate article, which you can find in our resources! We recommend reading them in this order: hosted, then open source, and finally headless. Don't forget our conclusion article!

1. Source: https://domainnamestat.com/statistics/country/FR, accessed on November 4th, 2021.

2. Nowadays, counting the number of active websites has become complicated. NetCraft, a reference in the field, explains it in English here. For an overview of the difference between the number of domain names and the number of active sites, here is their count as of October 2021: https://news.netcraft.com/archives/2021/10/15/october-2021-web-server-survey.html.

3. Source: https://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/content_management, accessed on November 8th, 2021.

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