Content Management System (CMS) Explained

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Website builders have made static site creation easy, but getting traffic can be more challenging without a powerful Content Management System (CMS). You need massive, regular-updated content to draw traffic in from search engines like Google these days. 

But what exactly is a CMS, how does it work, and which should you use? Fret not – CMS choices abound, from open-source solutions to paid products, and you can easily find one that meets your needs.

What is a CMS?

As the name implies, A CMS is a software application that helps you create, manage, and modify content on a website without the need for specialized technical knowledge. It can help you add text, images, videos, and other media.

The best part is that a CMS is often easy to use, and you won’t need to know any code to create an entire website. The CMS also provides you with lots of management capabilities. Once you’ve created content, you can edit it at any time. That means your web pages can always stay fresh, with new content to keep things exciting.

The most common types of CMS platforms are open source and proprietary. Open source means you can use the platform for nothing but with limited access to technical support. Proprietary CMS often provides solid support systems, which may come at a price.

How Does a CMS work?

CMS applications often need several components to work correctly.

In most cases, the necessary features include the CMS, script support, a database, and a web server engine. For example, WordPress needs a server that supports PHP, MySQL, and Apache or Nginx as the web server.

Each time you add new content, the CMS stores data in the database. When a visitor tries to access the web page, the CMS extracts the data and serves the page following your template designs.

This methodology is consistent with almost all CMS in existence today. That means you only need to focus on creating content. Everything else is taken care of by the other components. Typically, web hosting companies provide the database and web server engine.

Key Features of a CMS

  • User-Friendly Interface: Most CMS platforms offer a graphical user interface that allows you to perform administrative tasks, from adding content to updating the design of your site.
  • Template-Based Design: CMSs provide a variety of pre-designed templates that can be customized to suit your preferences, ensuring your website looks professional without the expense of hiring a designer.
  • Extensibility: With plugins or extensions, you can add specific functionalities to your website.
  • Content Organization and Management: CMSs offer tools to categorize and tag content, making it easier to keep track of your posts and pages, schedule them, and manage drafts and publications.

Advantages of Using a CMS

Advantages of Using a CMS
CMS often allow users to modify the design of their websites with pre-built themes easily

CMS is often associated with blogs, but many overlook the versatility and distinct advantages they offer. Using a CMS can bring anything from easier website deployment to lower operations costs for website owners.

Skipping Website Deployment Costs

CMS goes beyond straightforward content; many can help you quickly build entire websites. For example, many offer templates and themes that you can use. Because of this, you should be able to skip hiring a web developer or designer to build your website, saving on cost.

Improved Productivity

Since all changes are via a user interface, there is no need for designers and developers to go back into code every time changes are needed. You can vastly shorten production times and speed up the timeliness of content publishing.

Increased Flexibility

Since your entire website runs on the CMS, you can change the layout, features, or any other part of the website anytime. There’s no need to worry about an early design flow requiring an entire website modification at the code level.

Better Scalability

CMS platforms are highly scalable, meaning they can grow with you as your business grows. Developers constantly update the apps to meet new web requirements. You can say goodbye to legacy code holding you back.

Examples of Popular CMS

There are hundreds of CMS in the market but only a few command the top spots in users’ hearts. WordPress is easily the most popular, but there are solid alternatives for those who may prefer something else.

WordPress – The Most popular CMS Worldwide

WordPress

WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system and power over 40% of all websites online today. It’s free and open-sourced, allowing you to use it on any web host. One distinct advantage of WordPress is its Plugin system, allowing you to add new features to your website easily.

Drupal

Drupal

Drupal is unique in its core philosophy of empowering every website builder to create their own custom experience in a very flexible and powerful way. It uses a MySQL, PostgreSQL, or SQLite database to store content and has a modular design. 

Joomla

Joomla is an open-source content management system (CMS) and web application framework which enables you to create websites and powerful online applications easily. Developers built Joomla on a model–view–controller web application framework, available in over 60 languages.

Conclusion

Choosing the right Content Management System (CMS) can make all the difference for anyone starting their first website. It’s like picking the best tools to build your digital home – something that fits your style and grows with you. Whether you lean towards the simplicity of WordPress or the flexibility of Drupal, there’s a CMS out there that meets your needs.

As you decide on a web host, think about the CMS options they offer and how they can help make your website easier to manage and more effective. Remember, the right combination of a web host and CMS is your first step towards a successful online presence.


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Article by Jerry Low

Jerry Low has immersed himself in web technologies for over a decade and has built many successful sites from scratch. He is a self-professed geek who has made it his life’s ambition to keep the web hosting industry honest. For latest personal updates and news, follow Jerry on Facebook and Twitter.
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