With the news of Drupal hitting the 1 million mark in terms of websites deployed worldwide, what better time to dive into the Web content management systems (CMS) space. So what's going on?

Million Mark

First, we wondered how that one million number stacks up in Web CMS. For starters, Drupal is still behind Wordpress as we reported last week. Drupal powers more than 12 percent of the world's top 100 websites, and Wordpress is behind 43 percent of those sites.

But the million mark does stack up pretty well for Drupal, said Sue Clarke, senior analyst for Ovum Research.

"However," she cautioned, "the big advantage of open source is that it can be freely downloaded. Open source vendors will gain a lot of customers that never contribute to their revenues because they only use the free version and will never purchase additional support and maintenance. An open source vendor can have millions of customers but still have very small revenues."

What's Hot?

Web content management is evolving into web experience management solutions, Clarke said, with capabilities that help organizations provide site visitors with an engaging highly personalized experience.

"This means," she said, "that WEM systems are now a series of integrated products that include analytics, social features and market automation to create solutions to address specific issues. Organizations want to use their WEM solution to drive marketing campaigns, and this also requires integration with CRM systems."

So what are advanced WEM vendors providing? Sentiment analysis, which allows organizations to monitor the sentiment of messages that are posted on social network sites.

"The main benefit being that they can quickly address negative sentiment such as complaints in order to minimize brand damage," Clarke said.

WCM vendors also need to provide support for a wide range of mobile devices so content is optimized for each device it's viewed on, she added.

Learning Opportunities

"Geo location features allow organizations to target individual visitors with content relevant to their location," Clarke said.

What's Fading?

When it comes to Web CMS, the industry is focusing a lot less now on static content, Clarke said.

"Although there is still a requirement for static information-type content, the focus is now very much on dynamic, content that is created on the fly in response to the profile of the customer, which is built in real time during their site visit," she added.


Sitecore, OpenText, IBM, Oracle (FatWire) and HP Autonomy (Interwoven) still dominate the Web CMS market, Clarke said.

Squiz, an open source Australian company, is an up-and-comer, she said. It is able to compete on equal terms with the big multiple-product vendors such as OpenText, IBM, Oracle and HP Autonomy in terms of technology.

"However as an open source vendor, its revenues are lower than might otherwise be expected," Clarke said. "It has a much lower market profile than the larger vendors. It does, however, have some large enterprise customers."