A content management system (CMS) is software that enables end-users to create and manage content on a website. They are designed to make content management easy for non-technical users. One of the key features of a good content management system is that no coding is needed to create or modify content. CMS handles all the basic coding, so users can concentrate on what visitors to the website will see, rather than what goes on behind the scenes.
A content management system consists of two main elements. First, there is the content management application (CMA). The CMA is the part of the application that allows users to add content and manage it. The second element is a content delivery application (CDA). This is the backend application that formats the content and makes it available to visitors to the site.
The Benefits of a Content Management System
The main benefit of a content management system is that it allows individuals without a strong technical background to publish content. This dramatically cuts the cost of maintaining a website. You may still employ the services of a web developer to design and set up a site, but, with a CMS system, you will be able to publish and modify content yourself.
The second major advantage of a CMS is that it allows collaboration. Multiple users within an organization can create and publish content. The user interface of a CMS is usually browser-based, so any number of users can access the system from anywhere.
Examples of Content Management Systems
One of the most popular content management systems is WordPress, but there are hundreds of other CMS platforms. WordPress is an open-source CMS tool that is used by large businesses, small businesses, and individuals. It is estimated that WordPress accounts for thirty percent of the world’s websites. Some of the other popular platforms include Drupal, Joomla, and Magento.
Important Things to Consider CMS Platform
Before you choose a content management system, you should look at what your overall goals are. You will need to think in detail about the functionality that you will need. This will help you choose a CMS platform that is right for your business, rather than simply opting for the best-known CMS. Here are some of the things to consider when choosing a CMS platform.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is the main thing to look for in a CMS platform. However, some CMS systems cross the line between ease of use and lack of functionality. Make sure that the CMS platform use is intuitive, but remember to make sure that it has sufficient functionality to meet your needs.
Availability and Cost of Add-ins
You can usually add functionality to CMS platforms with modules, which are often called plugins. These are usually made available by third parties. They may, or may not, be free. When you are researching CMSs, investigate the availability and the cost of plugins. If the CMS platform you choose only has limited out-of-the-box functionality, then you will rely heavily on plugins to customize your content management solution to your own needs. Plugins expand functionality, but they can lead to maintenance issues. Because they are written by third parties, they may not always be compatible with your version of the CMS platform.
Look and Feel Flexibility
It is important that your website differentiates itself from among the hundreds of thousands of others online. This can be difficult with some CMS platforms. If there are only a limited number of themes or templates and few customization options, it will be difficult to make your website uniquely your own.
More than half of internet traffic now comes from mobile devices. So, responsive mobile design is essential in a CMS platform. Make sure that the CMS platform you select supports responsive web design that will ensure that your web pages will render properly across different types of devices.
Speed is an important consideration in several areas. The first aspect of speed relates to ease of use — how easy will it be to install software, configure the website, and publish content. The second aspect is the speed of the site. The speed at which web pages are rendered is vital. If a website is slow to load or refresh, visitors will become frustrated and move on to another website.
The ability to integrate a CMS platform with third-party applications can also be very important. You may want to integrate your website with an e-commerce solution, a CRM package, or an automated marketing system. Investigate the availability of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and find out what support there is for integration. Even if you don’t want to integrate your CMS with third-party applications now, you may want to in the future.
Another factor to consider is how scalable the CMS platform is. Will it handle large spikes in traffic? Can you add resources to cope with increasing traffic? If you plan on having more than one website, does the CMS application offer multi-site support?
Security and Support
You should also check what security features come with the software and what extra third-party security applications you may have to use. All websites are targets for hackers, but some platforms have much better security features than others. The support services that are available for CMS platforms vary as well. High-end open-source applications like WordPress are typically built with sophisticated security mechanisms; do not provide support service for CMS installation and maintenance, so you may have to use a third-party support service.
To choose the right CMS platform for your business, you will need to assess both your current and future requirements. There are plenty of CMS options, but making the right decision at the outset will save you a lot of time in the future. Content can be migrated from one platform to another, but it can be very time consuming to do so.
It is advisable to seek advice from a company that specializes in digital marketing. If you can, it is also useful to test drive the software before you commit to using it. The decision you make now on a CMS platform could have a major impact on your organization in the future.