CRM vs CMS: Differences Explained

Last Updated:Wednesday, June 12, 2024

When managing and optimizing business operations, two essential systems come into play: CRM vs CMS. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management) and CMS is short for Content Management System.

But what is the difference between CRM and CMS? For starters, they have different purposes and functionalities. 

A CRM system is designed to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, aiming to enhance customer service relationships and assist in customer retention and sales growth.

On the other hand, a CMS is built to simplify the creation, management, and modification of digital content, providing a backbone for websites and online platforms without the need for specialized technical knowledge.

This article will discuss the key differences between these well-known systems, so let’s dive right in.


What is the Difference Between CRM and CMS?

The main difference between CMS and CRM is their purpose. CMS stands for Content Management System, whereas CRM is short for Customer Relationship Management. CRM systems can help manage and nurture customer relationships. On the other hand, CMS systems focus on creating, organizing, and publishing digital content.

Overall, CMS and CRM stands for helping businesses of any size and kind flourish in various fields.

The primary goal of CMS is managing and organizing content like web pages, articles, images, and multimedia elements. It offers many tools and features for content creation, editing, publishing, and customization.

Generally, CMS allows users to update and maintain their website or online platform, ensuring a seamless user experience.

On the other hand, the best customer relationship management solutions can help businesses of all sizes manage and nurture customer relationships. They collect, organize, and analyze customer data, interactions, and activities.

Additionally, CRM systems enable businesses to track leads, manage sales processes, automate marketing campaigns, and provide personalized customer support.

A CRM system aims to enhance customer satisfaction, improve sales performance, and foster long-term customer loyalty.

In a nutshell, there’s some overlap in functionality. However, the fundamental distinction lies in their core objectives.

A CMS empowers organizations to manage content, while a CRM system facilitates the management of customer relationships and related business processes.

Lastly, sometimes, the term “CMS” is used interchangeably for “customer management system” and “contact management system.”

However, in the broader context of digital technology, CMS is usually used for Content Management Systems.

This can confuse looking for information about CMS, as both meanings may be present in search results. Therefore, you should clarify the intended context and definition when seeking specific information related to CMS or CRM.


CRM vs CMS Comparison

What is CRM and CMS? Stick around and find out! This section will compare CRM and CMS in great detail.

We will explore their features, use cases, and how they contribute to business success. So, let’s uncover the differences between CRM and CMS and determine which system fits your organization best.

CMS (Content Management System)

content management systems

A Content Management System (CMS) is a software platform that facilitates digital content creation, management, and organization.

It provides a centralized system for content resource management, allowing businesses to efficiently create, edit, publish, and customize various types of content, such as web pages, articles, images, and multimedia elements.

Ideal for:

Content management systems (CMS) can help numerous industries to meet various purposes. Some common use cases include:

  • Website Management: CMS systems empower businesses to easily create and maintain websites, manage page structure, and update content in real time.

  • Blogging and Publishing: CMS platforms offer specialized features for bloggers and publishers to manage and publish articles, organize content categories, and engage with their audience on social media.

  • E-commerce: CMS systems with e-commerce capabilities enable businesses to create and manage online stores, handle product catalogs, process transactions, and track inventory.


The pricing of content management systems (CMS) varies based on factors such as the CMS provider, the scale of implementation, and additional features required.

Some CMS systems offer free or open-source options, while others may have subscription-based pricing plans or one-time license fees.


Content management systems (CMS) typically offer a range of features, including:

  • Content Creation and Editing: Intuitive interfaces and editors for creating and editing content, often with WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) capabilities.

  • Content Publishing and Versioning: Tools for publishing content to websites or other platforms, managing multiple versions of content, and scheduling content releases.

  • Media Management: Facilities to organize and manage various media assets, such as images, videos, and documents, including resizing, cropping, and optimizing features.

  • User Management and Permissions: User roles and permissions management to manage access to specific content and functionalities within the CMS.

  • SEO and Metadata Management: Features to optimize content for search engines, including metadata management, URL structure control, and SEO-friendly options.


Implementing a content management system (CMS) offers several benefits, including:

  • Easy Content Updates: CMS systems enable non-technical users to update and modify content without relying on web developers, resulting in faster content updates and increased agility.

  • Consistent Branding and Design: CMS platforms provide templates and themes that ensure consistent branding and design across the website or platform.

  • Workflow Collaboration: CMS systems facilitate collaboration among content creators, editors, and stakeholders, allowing for efficient content creation and approval processes.

  • Scalability and Customization: CMS platforms offer flexibility to scale as your content grows and provide customization options to adapt to unique business needs.

  • Content Governance and Control: CMS systems enable content governance by enforcing workflows, permissions, and approval processes, ensuring content quality and compliance.


CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

customer relationship management systems

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.

Our CRM definition is that CRM solutions usually include various strategies, practices, and technologies designed to manage and nurture customer relationships.

They encompass various processes, tools, and systems that help businesses effectively interact with customers, track interactions, analyze data, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, etc.

Ideal for:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems find applications across different industries and departments. Some common use cases of CRM include:

  • Sales Management: CRM systems assist in lead tracking, opportunity management, and sales forecasting, empowering sales teams to manage their pipeline and close deals.

  • Marketing Campaigns: CRM systems enable targeted marketing campaigns by segmenting customers based on their preferences and behaviors, improving campaign effectiveness and customer engagement.

  • Customer Support and Service: CRM systems centralize customer data, allowing support teams to provide personalized assistance, track customer issues, and ensure timely resolution.


The pricing of CRM systems varies depending on factors such as the CRM provider, the scale of implementation, and the specific features and functionalities required.

CRM systems typically offer pricing plans based on the number of users, features, and data storage limits.


CRM systems offer a range of features to support customer relationship management, including:

  • Contact Management: Capturing and storing customer contact details, communication history, and preferences in a centralized database.

  • Sales and Opportunity Management: Tracking leads, managing sales pipelines, forecasting revenue, and automating sales processes.

  • Marketing Automation: Automating marketing campaigns, lead nurturing, email marketing, and tracking campaign performance.

  • Reporting and Analytics: Generating reports and analytics on customer interactions, sales performance, and campaign effectiveness.

  • Collaboration and Workflow Management: Facilitating collaboration among team members, assigning tasks, and streamlining communication and workflows.


Implementing a CRM system offers several benefits for businesses, including:

  • Improved Customer Relationships: CRM systems enable businesses to provide personalized experiences, anticipate customer needs, and build long-term relationships.

  • Enhanced Sales Efficiency: CRM systems streamline sales processes, improve lead management, and provide insights that enhance sales performance.

  • Targeted Marketing and Campaign Effectiveness: CRM systems enable targeted marketing efforts by segmenting customers, resulting in improved campaign effectiveness and higher ROI.

  • Centralized Customer Data: CRM systems provide a single source of truth for customer information, making it easily accessible and enabling consistent and personalized interactions across the organization.

  • Data-Driven Insights: CRM systems offer analytics and reporting capabilities that provide valuable insights into customer behavior, helping businesses make data-driven decisions and identify growth opportunities.


How to Integrate CMS and CRM Solutions

In this section, we will explore popular CMS and CRM platforms that can integrate together and help you with both customer relationship management and content management.


Drupal content management system

Drupal is a special kind of software open for everyone to use without cost. It’s widely liked, and many people use it as their content management system, ranking it third in popularity.

This system is flexible and can be adjusted according to different needs. It’s used in various industries, like selling things online, caring for people’s health, and working with advanced technology. A famous example is the Tesla website, which was created using Drupal.

It’s a strong platform that can do many things, including connecting with other programs. 

To integrate CRM functionalities with Drupal, you can utilize modules such as CRM Core or Webform, which seamlessly bridge your CRM software—like Salesforce or HubSpot—with your Drupal site.

This integration allows for effective data synchronization between your customer management tools and content strategy, enhancing both user engagement and customer insights.



Joomla CMS

Joomla is a content management system that costs nothing and allows anyone to use and modify it.

It’s quite popular, utilized by approximately 9% of all business websites.

This system is built to adapt as your organization expands. As you grow, you can easily incorporate new functions and accommodate more users. Additionally, you can adjust access permissions according to your needs.

You can find various extensions available for Joomla that vendors have verified. These extensions enhance the system’s capabilities and provide additional features.

You can leverage extensions like JoomCRM or CiviCRM that enable robust CRM functionality within the Joomla environment. These extensions facilitate the synchronization of customer data and interactions with your Joomla site, streamlining customer relationship management alongside content management.

Moreover, various customizable templates can be tailored to your language, layout, and color scheme preferences.



Shopify CMS

Shopify is a content management system (CMS) designed explicitly for online businesses. It simplifies setting up a marketplace or online store and lets you receive customer payments easily.

With Shopify, you can swiftly establish your brand and personalize your store using over 70 professionally crafted themes.

One of the key features is the automatic handling of taxes based on customer location, ensuring compliance.

Additionally, Shopify offers flexible shipping rates, accommodating different shipping needs. It also handles web hosting and provides SSL certificates for secure transactions.

Through its extensive app marketplace, Shopify allows for direct integrations with various CRM systems like HubSpot, Salesforce, or Zoho. By linking a CRM system, Shopify store owners can automate customer data collection, personalize marketing campaigns, and enhance customer service by gaining a more comprehensive view of customer interactions across all touchpoints. 

What’s more, Shopify integrates seamlessly with WordPress. This integration offers the advantage of reducing expenses and expanding the possibilities for customizing your website according to your specific requirements.



wordpress cms

WordPress is extremely well-liked. It’s both free and open-source. Remarkably, around 36% of all websites utilize WordPress. Aside from being cost-effective, many individuals and businesses prefer WordPress over other CMS because it’s user-friendly.

The platform boasts a straightforward interface that swiftly empowers you to create personalized themes for your website. Additionally, you have the option to purchase professional templates. Once a template is installed, adding and editing content becomes effortless.

WordPress is also a highly flexible, all-in-one solution. It offers a wide array of plug-ins to boost various aspects of your website, such as SEO optimization, security encryption, flexible dashboards, statistical analysis, cloud backup, and more.

It’s important to mention that there are many WordPress CRM plugins that make this CMS work perfectly with a range of CRMs. By utilizing plugins like WP-CRM or Zoho CRM for WordPress, users can directly connect their website with CRM tools to manage customer information, track interactions, and automate marketing processes directly from their WordPress dashboard.

This integration allows for the seamless transfer of lead and customer data from WordPress forms to the CRM, ensuring that every user interaction is captured and utilized effectively. Additionally, these plugins often provide features such as customer activity tracking, lead generation forms, and detailed analytics, all of which are crucial for optimizing customer relations and driving business growth.

Read our comprehensive WordPress review for more details.



Squarespace CMS

Squarespace is recognized as one of the leading content management system (CMS) platforms available today. It features a user-friendly drag-and-drop editor and visually appealing templates.

This CMS caters to many users, including those looking to create online stores, websites, or professional portfolios.

Squarespace offers a collection of templates, analytics tools, and point-of-sale services to assist in achieving these goals. Furthermore, it simplifies the blogging experience by providing features for categorizing, sharing, and scheduling posts.

Additionally, Squarespace can be integrated with various CRM systems to enhance customer engagement and streamline customer data management. This integration is facilitated through third-party service connectors or direct API connections, allowing businesses to sync customer information, sales data, and engagement metrics directly with their CRM platforms. 



Weebly CMS

Weebly is a content management system (CMS) that focuses on serving businesses. It has a user-friendly interface and drag-and-drop editor, making it a great choice for new website owners.

The CMS offers a variety of templates and over 40 layout types, enabling effortless and comprehensive website customization.

It also supports video backgrounds and comes equipped with advanced animation effects to enhance the visual appeal of your site.

Weebly incorporates integrated analytics, providing convenient access to valuable website data. Additionally, Weebly allows for integration with various CRM platforms to further streamline business operations and enhance customer relationships.

Through its app center, you can add CRM functionalities such as customer data management, automated marketing campaigns, and customer interaction tracking. This integration ensures that businesses attract visitors and effectively convert and retain customers by leveraging detailed insights and automated processes.

Our latest Weebly review has more details about this popular CMS system.



Which is Right for Me, CMS or CRM? Our Conclusion

Choosing between a CMS (Content Management System) and a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system depends on your specific needs and objectives.

CMS software is the way to go if your primary focus is managing and organizing content, optimizing your website, and creating a seamless user experience.

It empowers you to efficiently handle content creation, publication, and customization, ensuring your website remains up-to-date and engaging for your audience.

On the other hand, if you prioritize building strong customer relationships, enhancing sales processes, and maximizing customer satisfaction, a CRM system is your ideal solution.

It lets you centralize customer data, track interactions, manage leads, and streamline sales and marketing efforts, ultimately fostering better customer engagement and driving business growth.

Organizations often benefit from utilizing both CMS and CRM software, as they complement each other in delivering a comprehensive digital ecosystem.

Integrating the two systems can create a powerful synergy, allowing you to leverage the strengths of both CMS and CRM to achieve your business goals.

Ultimately, the decision between CMS and CRM depends on your business needs.

Assess your objectives, evaluate the main features and functionalities offered by each system, and consider seeking expert advice to determine the best fit for your needs.

Investing in the right system can greatly contribute to your business success and propel you in the competitive digital landscape.