Need to add more websites to your growing company or just testing out a few systems to make a short list of new Web CMS candidates? We've gathered up a few highlights from the past year to help nail down a few contenders.

Content management keeps getting more complex even as the tools we use to do it become more intuitive. Most businesses have unique needs that could be met by many systems, but it just never seems to get any easier to pick which CMS is the right fit. 

Just remember that no matter which system businesses pick, it's the experience that matters. Oh, and that experience is now in the cloud. We'll talk more about that next year.

Alfresco Cloud Debuts, Autonomy/HP Legal Dust Up + New IBM Chief Keeps Buying

In mid winter 2012, Alfresco debuted its Enterprise 4 offering, its first mobile accessible CMS version. By the time Spring arrived, the company had released its cloud storage offering. It's 50 free gigabytes of cloud storage (work email required).

We aren't going in alphabetical order, but since we are on the letter a, we feel compelled to bring up another Hewlett-Packard disaster. That a, of course, stands for Autonomy, and its effect on HP since it was purchased did not end up well in 2012. We waited a year to see what HP would do with Autonomy, and then it just all went bad. Quickly.

IBM was involved in a rumor it was going to buy RIM, makers of BlackBerry, but that was obviously wrong. 2012 kicked off with a new IBM CEO instead, and she started off doing things pretty much the same way IBM had been doing them at the end of 2011. IBM bought Green Hat in January, then followed that up almost immediately with another acquisition

Enterprise Web CMS + Web Experience Management

2012 was another banner year for Oracle acquisitions, particularly in the social media realm. Buys were made early in the year like Collective Intellect and Vitrue, and together with several other companies, they morphed into the Social Relationship Management Suite.

Oracle also launched its own private cloud and a subscription based cloud. This move absolutely cemented the Saas model as the preferred enterprise solution going forward, definitely a highlight for 2012.

OpenText also had a very busy year as it updated its social, cloud and CRM offerings. The biggest change, however, came in August when new CEO Mark J. Barrenechea helped the company hone and define its core strategy. The company made public its official strategy, and while not differing from what the company had been doing the last two years, it was a sea change no less.

No year end CMS wrap up would be complete without our old friend EMC, and like Oracle, the company was busy on the M&A front. It bought Syncplicity, a file management system, and Watch4Net a cloud monitoring system it had long partnered with. Additionally, OpenText joinded the OpenStack Foundation at the end of the year, a move that may have been inevitable given VMWare, that EMC mostly owns, joined in September.

Finally, and perhaps fittingly, we finish this segment with a look back at Microsoft's SharePoint in 2012. Yammer was brought into the Microsoft family in 2012, so it's not yet baked into the popular SharePoint platform, but we did get a beta launch of SharePoint 2013. Not excited because your company just upgraded to SharePoint 2010? We hear you.

Web CMS

Adobe, as one of the leaders in this space, did not disappoint in 2012 with the release of CQ 5.5, the company's newly integrated web content management system. The new release featured a tighter integration with marketing and e-commerce solutions Adobe's customer had been asking about. 

Other leaders in the Web CMS area are Sitecore, SDL and Ektron, and while they didn't make as many headlines, they did make notable moves in 2012. Ektron made a change at the top with a new CTO, and it also released its Cloud Manager 8.6 offering. Did we mention the cloud was popular in 2012?

Sitecore's highlight for 2012 was the release of its v6.6 offering, and the move was noted for its support of mobile and advanced targeting for marketers. Meanwhile, competitor SDL was busy buying up Alterian for added social media intelligence and campaign management and analytics.

CMS for SMBs

There were two big releases this year for CMS in the SMB sector, and both Kentico and Telerik released new versions of their flagship offerings. Kentico's CMS 7 came out in September focusing on mobile and social features.

Telerik's Sitefinity 5.0 came out early in the year, and it also focused more on mobile capabilities. PaperThin didn't release a new version of its CommonSpot CMS in 2012, but it did issue two updates for better integration with Google Analytics and social features.

Open Source, Blogging + Saas Platforms

Plenty going on in this ever growing space with big releases this year from WordPress, TYPO3 and even Movable Type. Drupal and Joomla!, two of the other most popular open source systems are always busy, and enterprises are slowly embracing open source systems. Drupal turned 10 in 2012, and fittingly has been making headway into bigger companies.

Four large European Drupal shops merged in 2012 as proof of Drupal's growing acceptance in the enterprise. Joomla! embraced the popular Bootstrap framework in 2012 with its Joomla! 3.0 release in September. 

Publishers also got some new toys in 2012 with Agility's Magazine Publishing Suite, a cloud based CMS.

We hope your favorite CMS got the killer features you were hoping for in 2012, but in 2013 the only thing that matters is the experience those systems provide to their customers.