As a digital entrepreneur or an enthusiast, you must have heard the term ‘CMS’ or ‘content management system’ multiple times. But ever wondered, what is a content management system? Imagine the structure of modern applications and websites. There are complex ecosystems with numerous functions, pages, and integrations set in a streamlined manner. Content management software is what makes it possible. It is the most efficient tool for managing, organizing, and delivering content on such web resources.
Through this blog, we provide a comprehensive guide on what is CMS and help you understand why you need to have a CMS-based website.
What is CMS?
Let’s start with the basics and understand the definition of CMS. A content management system (CMS) is a software solution used for website & mobile app development that offers the ability to develop, edit, and publish different pieces of digital content (images, text, video).
A CMS is a collaborative platform that lets multiple users with admin rights access all or a limited set of functions and modifies details. In simple terms, we can describe a CMS platform as an architecture consisting of a programming framework, a presentation layer with a template set for layout settings, and a database for data storage.
Content editors and digital marketers interact directly with the presentation layer – a dynamic space where they can handle content-related tasks without the need for any special web development knowledge. This means that they do not need to learn coding in CSS and HTML, understand styles and tags, or analyze the code to work with the web resource. The interaction through GUI (graphical user interface) is intuitive, and so many processes are automated.
How does a CMS work?
Now that you know what is CMS, let’s move on to understanding its working principles and common functions.
The two main structural components of a content management system are:
- Content delivery application (CDA) – it is the backend part that is responsible for the code logic of a web solution and also for the conversion of content into a visual part.
- Content management application (CMA) – it is the frontend part and the user interface for editors where they develop and update content without touching the code.
These two components of CMS software are tightly connected, but the non-technical users operate at the interface level and therefore do not see the backend. And the backend is usually the liability of the webmasters and the developers.
Functions of a CMS platform
The basic essence of content management is the creation and modification of digital content. Therefore, any specialized software should be able to provide the following functions.
- Creating new entries
- Editing new entries
- Viewing new entries
- Storing data
- Deleting existing entries
Usually, CMS software is offered as an extraordinary solution with basic functionality. However, it can also be customized with the use of special add-ons and plug-ins. With those, you can add more capabilities to your platform and largely expand the list of its functions to include:
- Text format
- URL logic
- Publish dates
- Metadata fields
- Access control
- Version control
- SEO optimization
- Marketing campaigns
- Integration with third-party systems
How to choose a CMS platform?
There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ content management systems. There are only those that perfectly fit your company’s goals and objectives. The choice of a CMS usually depends on a variety of factors, like the company’s budget, the complexity of the website, and the level of technical proficiency. Compile your personal checklist with the following points:
- Type of system you need
- The main functionality and features the system should offer
You should also consider looking for the following features while making a decision regarding a CMS platform:
- User roles
- Customization possibilities
- Third-party integration
- Language options
- SEO optimization
- Web analytics
- Backup and security
- Customer support
Leading CMS platforms
Open-source content management system
Open-source CMS software is more frequently used for website development than others. The leading names in that list are:
o One of the most popular full-fledged content management systems that power more than half of all existing websites on the internet.
o Massive community of developers, WordPress development companies, and support sites that enable quality maintenance
o Enables non-pro users to install the system, manage content, and switch themes.
o The CMS platform provides additional features by default
o The system is backed up by an extensive developer community
o Numerous third-party modules adding multiple functionalities
o Unlimited customization capabilities, both built-in and with the help of several extensions
o Vibrant community of developers that enable constant improvement of the source code and address issues quickly
o Smooth integration with leading CRMs (client relationship management system)
Closed-source content management systems
Closed-source CMS software offers enhanced security and more reliable customer support. Some of the popular ones are:
o It efficiently combines the functionality of a website and a CMS
o Top-class personalization capabilities
o Unlimited configuration and customization
o Superior scalability
o Allows developing full-fledged websites
o Powers up intranet portals
o Significantly facilitates collaboration within a company
· SAP Customer Experience
o Popular with enterprises that base their backend on SAP solutions for commerce and marketing.
o This CMS platform provides large businesses with the flexibility and customization they require
Now that you know what is CMS and how it can help your business, you need the help of a professional CMS development company to help you build your website. Leveraging the benefits of a content management system to build and manage your website can help you easily grow over time. Not only will a CMS solution store your entire web content in one single place, but it will also help collaborations across teams, and offer extensions and templates to customize your site.