People who build websites are familiar with CMS. But what does CMS stand for, and what does it mean to those who don’t know much about it? CMS, or content management system, is a software application that enables users to build and manage websites without coding from scratch. Simply, it allows users to make a website quickly, even with limited technical knowledge or resources.
Aside from CMS’ meaning, what else should you know? We will guide you through everything you need to know, from how it works to its purpose and advantages. So, read on to learn more about content management systems.
What is a CMS (Content Management System)?
As mentioned above, CMS allows accessible website building and management even for those with limited technical knowledge. Using a CMS, developers can instead build, manage, make changes, and publish content in a user-friendly interface.
What is the Purpose of Using a CMS in Web Design?
When CMS didn’t exist in the early days, developers built websites with handmade, static web pages created on flat and simple HTML files. These files were placed in a directory under a running web server using an FTP program. This process took up too much time and was reserved only for those with extensive technical know-how.
A content management system does away with complicated steps and allows quick website building. With many website templates, developers and even regular end-users can create customised websites that fit their needs. By building a CMS website, developers can not only manage texts and images displayed on the website but track user sessions, handle search queries, and the like.
What is a CMS Website?
A CMS website is built using a CMS platform. Depending on the platform, plugins, and extensions, CMS websites can have plenty of unique features that different types of websites can take advantage of to achieve their purpose.
How to Use a CMS
Content management systems comprise two core parts: a content delivery application (CDA) and a content management application (CMA). When combined, these applications handle all the infrastructure, code, and database queries in the back end. With that, you can focus on the front end of your website.
Can a Beginner Use CMS?
Yes. But there are also CMS platforms meant for more complex websites. These platforms offer extensive features that can be difficult to use with limited technical knowledge.
What are the Advantages of a Content Management System?
There are many advantages of a content management system that developers can take advantage of, and here are some of them.
No one likes using complex software, so people tend to avoid them since it would be a waste of time and effort trying to figure out how it works. Thankfully, most CMS platforms are geared towards user-friendliness and don’t require extensive coding knowledge to use.
While you may still need a professional developer to build your CMS website, you can manage the content and everything else.
Simple Website Redesign and Easy Customisation
Websites built with CMS have designs separate from the content. So, if you want to make decision-specific changes or completely redesign your website, you can do so without rehauling the entire website. CMS platforms also provide predesigned templates that are already responsive, so your website looks good on any device.
CMS plugins and extensions also give access to an array of valuable functions, such as:
- Extra Security
- Contact Forms
- Shopping Carts
- Image Compression
- Email List Management Syncing
Multiple users can work in the back end of a CMS website at any time. They can all work on different website pages at the same time or even on the same landing page. It means developers can add custom codes while marketers produce content and IT professionals implement security protocols.
With built-in and customisable user roles and permissions, different users can work without messing up other people’s work. For instance, writers can write, publish, and manage content but can’t delete plugins.
CMS platforms also offer built-in features and add-ons that help with search engine optimisation.
For instance, you can:
- Customise meta descriptions and page titles
- Create XML sitemaps
- Add image alt texts
- Choose URL structures that are SEO-friendly
- Create 301 redirects
- Optimise page load times
- Include breadcrumb navigation
Website security should be a top priority in a fast-growing online world where eCommerce is prevalent. Content management systems are tested regularly by computer scientists to ensure websites are entirely secure and cannot be hacked. CMS platforms also offer several security plugins and tools to increase a website’s safety.
One of the significant advantages of a content management system is its built-in blogging functionality. Without it, developers would have to build a blog from scratch, which is often tricky. But with a CMS, creating and publishing blog content has become more accessible.
Blogging generates backlinks and drives traffic to websites that eventually convert to leads. Blogging is also a great way to establish authority in a specific industry and achieve other long-term goals.
CMS allows you to draft content and schedule it for later publishing. You can schedule content publishing for a few days, weeks, and even months. However, you will need an editorial or content calendar to plan your content.
Some Popular CMS Examples
There are many CMS platforms that you can choose from depending on your website needs.
CMS Hub is an all-in-one connected platform ideal for businesses of any size since you can build secure websites that are not only powerful but also optimised for search engines.
WordPress is a self-hosted platform powering millions of websites and is ideal for small businesses and freelancers. You can build a WordPress website using the Gutenberg editor and customise it with plugins and themes.
Joomla is an open-source CMS like WordPress with built-in multilingual support, making it perfect for global companies. It also has advanced user and content management options for community, membership, and social networking sites.
Drupal is a highly flexible content management system preferred by large corporations and government agencies (like NASA). Although web development experience is needed to use the platform’s features fully, you won’t have to worry about starting from scratch.
Magento allows eCommerce businesses to manage multiple stores and use varied worldwide shipping providers. This platform also enables users to transact in varying countries in different languages and currencies. Everything is done within the same dashboard.
Even though it’s highly flexible and secure, it can be challenging to learn and take advantage of its full potential.
Webflow is an example of a “visual” CMS that is designed to fill a market gap for web designers and agencies wanting to focus on building and customising sites without worrying about performance, hosting, or security. With this CMS, you can choose from their abundant pre-built templates, or you can also start from scratch.
Should I Hire a Website Development Agency?
Even with content management systems making website building more accessible, you can’t learn everything in one day. And if you would like to have complex features and applications included on your website, you would need people who are well-versed in using extensive features of content management systems.
Hiring a website development agency gives you access to talented developers who can bring out the full potential of CMS platforms. Moreover, they can build a website that perfectly reflects your brand and purpose.
New to CMS? Let Us Help
These are just some of the people’s most common questions about content management systems (CMS). With the diversity of CMS platforms available, you may also have difficulty choosing the right one for your business. If you have more questions or would like a solution to your dilemma, reach out to us at SEO Services Australia.