You may have often come across the term 'CMS' or 'Content Management System,' but what does it really mean? If you are not well-versed in coding or are starting out as a web designer to learn the craft, you should know about CMS.
In today's digital era, more than half the globe relies on the internet every day to access information or make purchases. In a world where technology and trends change rapidly, businesses and marketers have to constantly adapt their content and website to attract and engage their target audience.
This is where a CMS (Content Management System) comes in.
In this article, we will discuss in depth CMS, its benefits, key features, and why you should use it for web design and development.
Suggestive of the name, content management systems or CMS are software applications that provide a framework for web designers and developers to create, edit and publish various kinds of content on a website.
A CMS helps you build websites and manage the content on them without needing any technical skills. A CMS consists of two parts, one, which is used for the interface by a web designer or developer, and the second to update content on the website.
CMS is essential for building a website, without which the developer will have to create each page individually - something that will waste precious time. A CMS standardizes templated pages like blogs, case studies, etc., in a single place.
Ask a web designer or developer about a CMS, and they would answer that it is software that allows users with no technical skill to create and update their website.
In other words, the ultimate goal of a CMS platform is to assist a beginner in creating a website with defined web pages and publish and edit the content within it regularly.
It should be noted that 'content' here means any digital information that can be stored and accessed through the internet.
A CMS provides you with the tools to create, edit, and publish content on your website. If you are a business or a marketer, a CMS will come in handy for you to manage your site without any technical skills. It can assist you in the following:
Besides the ones listed above, a CMS also provides control mechanisms for accessibility to other users to adjust and manage content.
As mentioned above, there are various kinds of CMS. Though most of them share common basic features, others have more advanced functionalities for better management of complex websites.
The key features common to all CMS platforms are listed below:
Create, edit, store, format, organize, publish, and delete content on the website.
Option to customize the design of the template and change its appearance.
Ability to search and retrieve content for the users.
Grant user permissions for accessing and modifying content.
Analytical tools and reporting dashboards to keep track of performance.
Integrating multiple interfaces and channels for easy content access.
Tools to create content in SEO-friendly formats.
Maintenance solutions to keep the website in optimal performance.
So far, you know what a CMS is and its features. Before, we talked about various CMS software for varying purposes. Let us now look into the types of CMS platforms and their applications.
CMS can be differentiated on the basis of the resulting website that the user intends to build. In this regard, there are three kinds of CMS platforms:
These are the most basic kinds of CMS platforms designed to build and manage websites. A common example would be WordPress, which allows you to easily create blog posts and articles and publish them on your site.
These are more advanced-level CMS software with management tools for beginners and experienced developers to manage web content. Joomla and Drupal are types of web content management systems.
These web applications provide the ability to conduct commerce online with easy management, navigation, purchasing, and transactions. Shopify is a well-known CMS used to build e-commerce websites.
So CMS allows you to create, store, publish, and edit the content on your website. But why really use it? Will it do any good for your business website?
The answer is a resounding yes.
Now that we know all about what CMS is, their types, and their key features, here are some reasons why you need a CMS to build your website:
A website has a large volume of content, including text and media files. A CMS stores all content on your website and keeps them organized. With well-organized content, you can focus on site design to present the content in the best possible way. From blog posts to products on your e-commerce site, CMS collects and organizes content and also indexes them to make searching them easier. Thus, CMS is like a vast storage space for any web content that can be easily accessed through a PC or smartphone.
CMS makes it simple to build web content, saving a lot of time and effort in the process. You can manage your web pages and keep them organized in one place. A CMS makes it easier and faster to manage content. They also eliminate the need to hire designers or developers to build your site, reducing costs. Some CMS also have reusable elements to help you make repetitive pages, which is of immense use to marketers and bloggers to create additional landing pages for their marketing campaigns or blog posts.
A CMS is also useful when you need your team to participate in building your website. Many CMS platforms have specific permission features that allow you to collaborate with other team members without giving them access to any sensitive or important data. Mainly, the permission feature works by multiple workspaces or different kinds of logins with specific permissions for each of them.
Choosing the right CMS platform for your website is all about the features and functionalities they offer. You will want an easy-to-use site if you are a beginner. For those with more advanced programming skills, a platform that provides more complex functionality would be right.
Nonetheless, you would want an easy-to-use site with the right features that will help you build your website at the right cost.
You would want an easy-to-use CMS for your web design while retaining the ability to collaborate with clients and team members. Though most CMS platforms are easy-to-use, some are more complex because they give you more control over your design and content with advanced functionalities.
Remember that this should not compromise your ability to use your website for the intended purpose. It would be best if you struck the right balance between easily building your website and having the desired functionalities.
Price is the second factor to consider when you have to purchase a CMS platform. You should compare each platform's different features and functionalities and use the free trials to understand its usage before making the final decision.
Some platforms offer free trials; some have subscription-based models with multiple tiers suitable to different needs or business sizes. Remember that some platforms like WordPress are free to start, but you have to pay for themes and plug-ins if you want added functionalities.
Security is paramount because a CMS is designed to store and manage website importance. Your sensitive information should not be prone to malware attacks. To secure your site data, look for safety features like two-factor authentication and SSL and SOC 2 certifications.
Last but not least, you would want an SEO-friendly site that offers you the tools you need to optimize the website and make it visible to searchers.
CMS platforms generally offer SEO-management tools for on-page optimizations, while others offer SEO plug-ins.
By now, you know how powerful a CMS is and how it unlocks so many possibilities for businesses and marketers to build and manage their websites easily. CMS is the meeting point of content and design. The content you create has to be displayed neatly on your website. It should be easily searched and accessed by your site visitors, and you should be able to make the necessary changes to it. That is where a CMS comes in.
How your website performs depends on the performance of your CMS. At VicDigit Technologies, we can help your business scale with an enhanced web experience for your customers using the perfect CMS.