The differences between a blog, CMS and Wiki.

June 11th, 2008

What is the difference between a CMS (content management system) and a Wiki?

In a nutshell:

Both are web based applications/software designed to allow many people to contribute content (typically articles … but podcast and videos are becoming more common) to a website.

I would say the basic difference is that a CMS (Ex: Drupal) is a closed system where only certain people can add or edit content to the website/cms.


On the other hand, a wiki is an open system where anyone can edit and add content. The idea behind a wiki is that the masses will eventually correct any false information – with the help of editors.

My thoughts:

I’m no wiki expert, but I see wiki’s being more suitable to general encyclopedic information. If you need a tighter structure and control over what is being posted on your site, I would be leaning towards a CMS rather than a WIKI.

That said, I am sure that the differences between the two types of software has room for a lot of gray area – I’m sure some CMS software have WIKI like functionality and vice versa.

How about blogs?

Blogs are kinda like a CMS for one person. One other distinction would be that the blog traditionally is date driven – where newer articles are posted to the front page of the blog. As with the WIKI/CMS blurring of the lines, you see the same with blogs and CMS software.

For example: WordPress (a popular blog program) has CMS like features:

  • Multiple users can post articles.
  • You can have static non date affected pages. WordPress call these ‘pages’.

Beyond the CMS-like features built into the core WordPress package, WordPress has a huge number of plug-ins out there that extend it’s capability considerably … bringing it even closer inline with a true CMS.

A few links:

WordPress home page:
Drupal home page:
Another popular CMS – Joomla:
Wiki software: Media Wiki


Stefan Mischook

6 Responses to “The differences between a blog, CMS and Wiki.”

  1. pranati says:

    thanks,it was very valuable information

  2. mish says:

    I’ve just happened on your articles and want to say that for me, a complete newbie, the information is clear, interesting and user friendly. Thank you!

  3. homie says:

    Thanks for the post, you did a great job at explaining the differences

  4. The Schaef says:

    Ironically, I am using Drupal as a CMS to build a website that also contains a blog and a wiki, without bridging other software.

  5. […] … or any other, if you want to beat the competition these days. Other WordPress like blog engines/CMS’ you may want to consider […]

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