A content management system (CMS) is a tool that allows users to organize and manage website content. It eliminates the need of writing your own code to create pages and store content on the website. CMS offers basic, ready-made infrastructure stuff and allows you to manage your pages and content better. In this article, we will discuss what is content management system, how does it work, what are must-have features a great CMS should have and will answer the most common questions.
What is content management system (CMS)?
Content Management System (CMS) is a software platform that facilitates the management, organization, and structure of content. Many CMS systems do not require any HTML or technical knowledge and are very user-friendly.
There are many types of content management systems, from very basic to quite complex. They can be paid as well as open-source, standard and customized. Every website owner is free to choose the one that will satisfy the idea behind the website. Choosing the right CMS is crucial as it will be a platform where you will manage your page, content, internal links, and more. Yes, you can always migrate to another system later on, but it may not be easy, quick, or cheap.
Content management systems are developed on various platforms and support different databases. The most widespread programming languages for CMS are ASP.NET, PHP, Java, and Perl. Many companies offer to use proprietary software for a license fee or a monthly fee. Others sell the entire CMS they have developed as a package, and there is only one payment.
Several open-source content management systems do not require payment to be used but may be prone to limited functionality and customization. Such systems are WordPress (very popular for blog creation), Joomla, Drupal.
How does CMS work?
Content Management Systems make it much easier to create and publish pages and posts. Working on CMS to create a new post looks and feels like working in Microsoft Word. It is that easy as well. You can directly write or copy and paste the text, upload and insert media files and make your content piece look just like you want it to.
What makes a good Content Management System Software?
As Content Management System is a core component of a website, it is crucial to consider its features. From a more technical standpoint, the CMS system has two sides – frontend and backend. Some of the critical Frontend and backend features include:
Important frontend features:
- SEO friendly URLs
- Customizable page templates (feat. YouTube video embedding, RSS feed, carousel boxes, etc.)
- Integration of various web 2.0 & social networking widgets for bookmarking and sharing
- Option for an integrated blog
Important backend features:
- Secure multi-user backend administration
- Full WYSIWYG editing of the content of pages
- Keyword suggestions for every page
- Integration of Google analytics
- URL slugs autosuggestion
- Drag & drop menu reordering
- Dynamic form generation
How to choose CMS for your website
Now as we have discussed what is a CMS platform, what are main features of it and why is it so important for your website, let’s review the main points to consider before choosing the one. While the CMS of your choice should have all the features listed above, there’s more to it.
Step 1 – Determine why you need CMS
Choosing the right content management system from the very beginning of website development is very important. It can save you much time and financial resources at a later stage. It is why you should carefully review all the features and functionalities before you make a decision.
A content management system is very important for managing website content and can make your life easier, but it does not mean that companies should jump into the selection process without validating the need for CMS first.
Often enough, companies decide to migrate to another CMS as they face an issue and consider a new CMS to be a solution to it.
If this situation is familiar to you, consider that changing the content management systems and migrating from one to another can be a long process that requires a lot of work and resources.
Hence, before you take the first steps, determine what is the issue you are facing. What can be the solution to it? Can you implement the solution on the current system? Will new technology help you solve the issue more efficiently and effectively? What is the main purpose of implementing a new CMS?
Think about the long-term implication of changing the management system. If the benefits of migrating from one CMS to another outweigh the resources you need to spend on the process, start the selection of a best-fitting system.
Step 2 – Make a shortlist
What is CMS software that fits your interests the best? There are dozens of content management systems. It is virtually impossible to check all of them and evaluate their features and functionalities. Instead, focus on your business and website.
Consider your budget, if you want to have a free CMS, buy a license or make a monthly payment. Filter platforms by the technology stack and the list of functionalities you need CMS to have.
After it, you will have a shortlist of possible content management systems that you can examine more closely.
Step 3 – Request a Demo
Not many businesses take demo seriously. However, this is the best possibility to see the product clearly and evaluate if it meets your needs. Check the features and functionalities of CMS against your objective and subjective needs. If you will like the product in action and decide that it meets your criteria, you do not have to look any further.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Content Management System
What are examples of content management systems?
There are multiple content management systems readily available on the market. Some of the most popular ones include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, and Wix. WordPress is the most popular and commonly used Content Management system, followed by Joomla. Magento is one of the most commonly used CMSs for E-commerce stores and platforms.
Why is a content management system important?
Having a Content Management System allows you to have full control over your website content. It makes it easy for you to structure, create, update, change, or delete any type of content on your website, including pages, text, images, video, or audio. CMS systems are easy to use and help you keep your website fresh, well-organized, and nice looking.
What is an enterprise content management system?
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is a system solution that allows companies to manage documents digitally. It eliminates the dependence on paper documents and allows companies to store PDFs, word documents, excel spreadsheets, and scanned images and make them accessible for the right people. The purpose of implementing ECM is to make business processes easier and secure.
The role of a content management system is to allow companies, employees, and contributors to manage content on the website. A website owner can assign different roles to different people, such as admin, author, and editors to create, edit and publish content live.
How to use a CMS
Using a Content Management System is easy. However, it also depends on which CMS system will you choose for the website, some of them are very straightforward, some might be more complex. With WordPress CMS you can create different roles and create, update or delete pages and posts from Dashboard.
What makes a good content management system?
A good CMS should allow you to organize your website interestingly and uniquely for your visitors. It should be flexible for designers and developers and easy to use for content managers. It should be secure, simple, SEO friendly, easy to maintain, and customize.