I've used Drupal for every site I've made for the last couple of years. I guess Drupal is different things to different people, but what I love is the power it gives me without having to write code. The combo of CCK, Views, Rules, Roles allows me to do almost everything I've ever needed, and I've got by without advanced development like hooks and custom modules.

I'm now learning ExpressionEngine for my company's website. It seems similar to Drupal in that by using code snippets (which isn't really coding) you can achieve some quite powerful things without having to be a full on developer.

So my question is, given my aversion to coding but need for power, are there any other CMS' worth looking at? Its not that I'm not technical (Drupal is famous for its learning curve!), but I'm much more comfortable with a UI than writing too much code.

1 Answer 1


Adobe Business Catalyst is a very powerful service that few seem to know about. (Paid, starting at $9/month.) It's pitched at non-coders, but powerful enough to build complex sites with as well.

Squarespace is another CMS pitched at non-coders. (Paid, starting at $12/month.) It's not as powerful as Drupal, but their in-browser design tools are impressive.

WordPress, Concrete 5, and Silverstripe are worth considering, but all need a limited amount of programming knowledge.

If you like ExpressionEngine, you should also check out MojoMotor, which is EllisLab's lighter-weight CMS designed to help less technical users edit simple sites.

  • The question doesn't really specify the "ownership" situation of what would eventually be built, so just in case it's a factor: It is very important to note that BusinessCatalyst is specifically targeted at consultants/agencies/designers only, who will then have clients who are the end users, similar to a reseller-type web hosting arrangement. There is no way, for example, to just set up a BC account that your client directly owns. If what you're building is just for you, this won't matter much, obviously, but so you know.
    – Su'
    Jun 16, 2011 at 10:22
  • @Su' You're right to say it's targeted at consultants, of course, but they offer client plans too. Clients can purchase the plan direct from BC and forward you the login details. That's the way I'd suggest doing it if ownership is likely to be an issue, or if you'd prefer your client to pay for the service direct. I encourage my clients to pay for their hosting direct in this way too. Being a middleman is never much fun.
    – Nick
    Jun 16, 2011 at 10:32
  • The client plans are the packages you offer to your clients, under your partnership setup. It could be clearer, I know. But pay close attention, and you'll note there's no actual "client sign-up form," only the one you'd use that gives you a free site for research/dev. Even that page refers to "your clients' needs." You can tell them to create their own account etc., but you'd be foisting a bunch of client management dashboard stuff on them. I was part of a press group Adobe introduced this to before going public. It's not an end user product.
    – Su'
    Jun 16, 2011 at 15:36
  • @Su' I was an early adopter too, and have been using it before Adobe bought it, back when it was two separate products called "GoodBarry" and "Business Catalyst". The "GoodBarry" product allowed clients to sign up directly and that's all that the "client plans" are. Yes, they've changed the phrasing to pitch it at developers, and I completely agree with you that some clients will be put off by that, but that's the only real change, and -- with a tiny amount of hand-holding -- I haven't had any clients who were put off by filling in a short (nine-field) form and forwarding an email.
    – Nick
    Jun 16, 2011 at 16:02
  • I disagree that WP requires programming knowledge any more than SquareSpace. The more advanced customizations of each require programming knowledge, but both can be used by most users with zero programming knowledge. That's the whole point of having a CMS. CMS frameworks like Drupal/Joomla OTOH are primarily aimed at developers who can build on top of them. Feb 12, 2012 at 1:24

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