The ability to produce, edit, and publish digital information is what is known as a content management system, or CMS for short. Most of the time, it also accommodates several users, enabling teamwork.
For instance, WordPress enables the creation of many administrative accounts, each with unique permissions. Text formatting options, the ability to submit movies, photographs, audio, maps, and even your own code are all included in content management systems.
Two main parts make up a content management system:
a tool for managing content (CMA). The CMA can be thought of as the graphical user interface (GUI) that enables a user to create, alter, remove, and publish material without ever needing to be familiar with HTML or programming languages.
a program for delivering content (CDA). After content enters the CMA, back-end services that manage and deliver it are the responsibility of the CDA.
Other characteristics to note are:
Online support and communities
User and group features
many formats and layouts
Wizards facilitating installation and upgrades
The world’s most commonly used content management systems internationally are Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress.
How A “CMS” works…
You also must comprehend what it’s like to develop a website from scratch in order to understand just how CMS functions.
To add text, graphics, navigation bars, and other website building pieces, you would start with HTML. In order to style those elements to reflect the distinctive look and feel of your brand, you would then use CSS.
Every time you want to update something, even something as straightforward as changing content, you have to download files from the server, open them, and manually edit the HTML code. Before transferring the data back to the server, you’ll need to double-check that no links or other connections were broken.
Sounds challenging, doesn’t it? Building a site from the ground up may be the best option for developers and other experienced users with knowledge of website creation. However, people who lack the coding expertise, the time, or the funding to create and maintain a website from scratch can use a content management system (CMS). Let’s discuss how.
How to Use a CMS
A CMS is made up of two main components: a content management application (CMA) and a content delivery application (CDA) (CDA). These applications, when combined, essentially handle all of the code, database queries, and infrastructure in the back end so you can focus on the front end of your site.
Here’s an example of how simple it is to create a blog post using WordPress.
To make other changes to your site, such as changing the permalink structure or installing extensions, simply go to the relevant section in your admin panel. This is how the CMA works: all of these changes are made through an easy-to-use interface that hides the code from you, the end user.
When you’re finished editing, the CDA will take the content you entered into the CMA, assemble the code, display it to your front-end visitors, and save it. That is, instead of manually uploading a page to your server, you can simply hit the Publish button to publish a new blog post.
Now that we know what a CMS is, how it works, and how to use it, let’s look at why using one is preferable to building a site from scratch or using another website building tool.
Why use a CMS
We’ve already mentioned some of the advantages of using a CMS, so let’s take a closer look at how it can affect your setup process, team productivity, and online visibility.
No prior coding experience is required.
CMS systems have helped to revolutionize web design by allowing non-developers and other users to build websites without coding. The days of relying on web developers and designers to create an online presence for your company are long gone.
Without coding, you can create and manage content, customize the design of your site, and install extensions to add functionality to your site. (It’s also worth noting that most platforms allow you to add custom code for even more granular control over your site.)
As a result, even users with limited technical resources and time can create a powerful website for their company.
Collaboration is simple.
A CMS’s back end can be accessed and worked on by multiple users at the same time. That means your marketers could be creating content, your IT professionals could be implementing security protocols, and your developers could be adding custom code to your theme on any given day. They could even be working on the same landing page.
HubSpot also provides a free CMS tool, which is ideal for entrepreneurs looking for a CMS that can scale with them as their businesses grow.
In short, a CMS can help your team’s workflow and productivity.
Permissions and User Roles
Thanks to built-in (and often customizable) user roles and permissions, a CMS enables you to collaborate in the most efficient and secure way possible. That means, for example, content writers can have all the permissions they need to write, publish, and manage content — but they won’t be able to delete plugins or otherwise significantly alter the site’s functionality.
Extensions and security features
CMS platforms also include built-in features and add-ons to assist you in securing your site. Some even have their own security team. CMS Hub, for example, offers a dedicated 24/7 security team, an enterprise-class web application firewall, SSL, custom CDN, SSO memberships, and other standard features.
Most CMS platforms include a library of predesigned templates that you can use to quickly customize the look of your site. They can also have an impact on how your website behaves.
Using a responsive template, for example, ensures that your site looks good on any device without requiring you to write a lot of code. Templates not only save you design time before launching your site, but they can also make a website redesign much faster and easier in the future.
Webflow is just one of the many CMSs that provide hundreds of responsive templates.
Ease of Access
A CMS platform allows you to access and edit your site from virtually any device that has an internet connection. That’s a lot easier than starting from scratch, which requires you to be on a device connected to the server or connect remotely.
Furthermore, most CMS systems provide a centralized dashboard or control panel from which you can access your site’s content, theme, plugins, settings, and more.
If your site grows in size, you may need to upgrade to a CMS to meet your requirements. You can begin your search by reviewing some of the best CMS systems listed below.
- CMS Hub