The State of Web Design and community in Africa.

Written By Oduor Jagero

Written By Oduor Jagero

Team Leader CMS Africa

Oduor Jagero is the founder and Lead at CMS AFRICA and CMS AFRICA SUMMIT. He is the CEO of Clubboxer.co.ke, a company that specializes in web development, domains, and web consultancies.

Every day, millions of content creators in Africa share their work using different content management systems. The widespread application of content management systems (CMS) gradually increased over the last decade. This development revolutionized how business owners manage their web properties. 

A content management system allows users to create, edit, publish, collaborate, and store digital content. Business owners now reap the rich benefits of creating and updating their web content without constantly involving the web development team.

Subheading Top Content Management Systems Used in Africa

New research by W3techs and CMS Africa finds that WordPress is the most popular content management system. It owns a large slice of the African Market. WordPress’ share is still increasing. 

A few countries do not use WordPress as their primary content management platform. These exceptions include The Republic of Congo, which favours Drupal. Niger is leaning towards Joomla, which owns 31.6% of its market share. WordPress gets only 21.1% of Niger content creators.

In Mauritania, WordPress came third after Drupal and SPIP, in that order. To summarise the research findings, 68.0% of Africa runs on WordPress. Joomla is the second popular CMS at 8.9%. Drupal holds the third-largest share of Africa’s websites at 3.9%.  Blogger is less used, and only  2.7% of African content creators use it. Shopify, loved by SME’s, commands 2.3% of the market share. 

Regardless of how the market is segmented, CoreMedia and Drupal are clear favourites for high-traffic sites. Another surprise from the survey came from a WordPress plugin. WooCommerce is holding fine on its own. It appeals to 5.9% of the African use base, compared to Joomla’s 2.6%.

In the eCommerce scene, Shopify is the leader. Online business owners love it as a hosted system. 2% of all the websites in Africa use Shopify. This percentage is higher than the sites hosted on wordpress.com, which is only 0.6%.  Specialised CMS such as CivicEngage for governments are quickly gaining ground. There is healthy optimism for similar CMS to gain traction.

Favourite Content Management Systems

The most popular content management systems are the ones that let anyone with basic knowledge build a website. In a world without CMS, you would need to learn JavaScript, CSS, and HTML.

WordPress – Africa’s Most Popular CMS

WordPress powers 68% of Africa. As a free and open-source CMS, there is no limit to what it can accomplish. WordPress offers total control over your content and the freedom to customise however you want to. The fundamental qualities of WordPress make it a popular choice for tech-savvy people and developers. Even then, non-tech people can just as easily use WordPress.

One of the features that make WordPress so popular is a dynamic library of over 57,000 plugins. You can effortlessly increase the functionality of your site. Other excellent features of WordPress include:

  • Easy access
  • Customisable design
  • Scalable content
  • SEO-friendly
  • Excellent media management tools
  • Powerful performance

The apparent downside of WordPress is that there is no exclusive customer support. Nevertheless, there is an extensive network of developers, site owners, and content creators who troubleshoot on community forums. If you choose WordPress, you will use a third party for domain registration and a hosting plan. 

Joomla! 

In the rankings, Joomla retains the spot for the second most utilised CMS in Africa. Joomla controlled the CMS market share from its inception until 2010. WordPress toppled the market and overtook Joomla’s spot to this day. 

Joomla is unique because it is the only community-driven open-source CMS. It performs well despite zero corporate backings. Let’s take a look at what makes Joomla so beloved:

  • Advanced user access management 
  • Flexible to accommodate non-standard content
  • Multilingual support, so no need for a third-party plugin
  • Switch between templates dictated by the type of content

Drupal – A Popular Alternative to WordPress

Drupal is a free and open-source CMS that is popular among developers, agencies, and marketers. The CMS provides multiple page templates and content classes. It is also well-equipped to handle complex user permissions. 

Industries such as healthcare, FinTech, eCommerce, travel, and more use Drupal to manage sensitive content securely. Some of the best features of Drupal include the following:

  • Strong security
  • Managed content as a service
  • Automated marketing 
  • High-performance CMS
  • Scalable and easy accessibility
  • Elaborate personalisation options

For content creators who are looking for an open-source CMS but do not like WordPress, Drupal will do just fine. Drupal is likewise favoured to manage high-traffic sites thanks to its superior performance.

Positive Progress For CMS In Africa

Google and CMS Africa have an ongoing partnership to discuss and improve the challenges faced by users of open-source CMS. The association aims to develop new ways of making CMS more user-friendly, better performing, and more engaging. 

The partnership’s first project is called Developers for Africa. It invites African developers to participate in creating solutions actively. Local developers identify and fill the gaps in their chosen CMS. The Developers for Africa project intends to provide a long-term solution through education, funding, and tech support.   

Google and CMS Africa held a highly successful CMS Africa Summit on five occasions. Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, and South Africa hosted the previous meetups. The latest CMS summit is scheduled for 15th -17th September this year.

Due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic and various travel restrictions, it will be a virtual meet. 

Conclusion 

The rise of social media, eCommerce, and content corporations demand highly evolved CMS. These systems must develop to handle the demands of modern content creators. Current CMS withstand high page views per visit and have high engagement while offering scalability and security. 

 

In the words of CMS Africa, founder, “Speed, scalability, and security have become more critical. With ever-diminishing user attention spans, websites should deliver what their visitors request faster, reduce waiting time, and improve user experience.”



 



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