When you create a website or start a blog you will need a website builder or a content management system. There are many website builders that exist yet they all function differently. All content management systems are website builders but not all website builders are content management systems.
What do I mean about that? Some website builders are only designed to create a website interface but not entirely manage content. So what is a content management system?
What is a content management system?
A content management system (CMS) is a web application designed to create, manage, edit and publish digital content, It can also permit multiple users at once.
A CMS can also be referred to as Web Content Management System or WCMS which automatically describes the web content part, this includes text, images, videos and more. You can also call it a digital content management tool since it stores and organizes digital content.
Most of the CMS content is mainly for websites even though you can manage other types of content such as reports and stats for your business.
How does a Content Management System Work?
Content Management Systems are database driven and mostly can be linked to MySQL databases or similar databases.
It has the back-end where the users create and publish the content. And also the front-end where the published content can be viewed in the form of a web page. Basically it allows you to build your online presence with minimum effort.
Back in the early stages of the world wide web it was difficult to create and modify multiple web pages since you had to fiddle through the html code.
With the introduction of CMS it became easier and faster to create websites and produce online content. Anyone can now manage their own website, even if you don’t have a background in web development.
What type of content can you manage with a CMS?
Well there are many types of content that can be organised and managed into a well organised data and published. Let’s look at some of the major content types that fit into the category.
Text – Text can be words, characters and symbols which can be written in a form of news, research or articles. A typical example is the news written by journalists.
Images – Images can be created, uploaded on a cms as galleries or be included in the text content to bring more clarity to the text.
Videos – Similar to images can work as the main content or be part of the whole content in a website.
Audio – It can be anything from voice notes, effects, music or podcasts.What are the benefits of using a CMS
What are the advantages of using a CMS?
- A cms is good for organizing content into a well managed content.
- It saves time, you can create and publish your content in a short period compared to doing it via html.
- You can manage multiple websites on the same content management system.
- It makes it easy to manage multiple types of content in a single platform.
- The design can be separated from the actual back-end where you update your content.
- It allows multiple content managers to access and manage the multiple content for larger projects.
- You can use extensions for more advanced features such as website analysis and more.
- Open Source CMS and Premium CMS
There are two types of content management systems that one can choose from. There are open source content management systems which are free to download and to use and premium ones are more suitable for larger organisations.
The open source cms are supported by a community of individuals who contribute to the functionality and improvement of the cms.
An open source cms can also have the same functionalities as the premium one provided your use extensions or plugins. There’s a plugin for almost anything you can think of. You can also find custom or premium versions available for more advanced features.
List of popular Content Management Systems
This is an open source content management system that you can download for free and create your own website. WordPress has many themes or templates and plugins that you can use to bring life to your site.
The WordPress CMS is supported by a large global community who see through it’s improvement, themes and plugins creation.
You can be part of the WordPress community by creating your own themes and wordpress plugins that you can sell. WordPress themes and plugins are just some of the online business ideas you can start from home.
You can find e-commerce, security, contact forms plugins and many that you wish to use. Most of it’s plugins are free with an alternative to upgrade to premium. WordPress is a great blogging tool and can easily be optimized for search engines.
This is another open source CMS that you can also use to manage your web content. Similar to WordPress, It has many themes and extensions that you can use to customize your site.
It might seem a bit complicated at first but once you get used to it you will be able to create advanced websites. Joomla!’s community is also supportive, you can find them on multiple forums.
One of the major content management systems is Drupal. It has most of the required features of any cms, and you can also choose from a vast pool of extensions to customize your site.
What is the best Content Management System?
Now comes the big question, without wasting your time, the best Content Management System is WordPress. Is easy to customize, and includes all or most of the required features that any individual or organisation needs.
If the feature is not available a plugin can be found for that or it can be custom made. The back-end of WordPress is the most easy to use and also its themes can be customized to your own liking.
As I’ve already stated, it is an open source cms which means you can install it for free and you can also contribute to the community. Not only can you contribute but you can also benefit if you can create your own themes or plugins to sell to the public.
WordPress is also used by major news sites and big corporations as their main content management system. So choosing to use WordPress over other cms would be one of the wise decisions you can make. You can check my article on how to choose a blogging platform when you start a blog.
I believe you’ve learned a lot about content management systems as I have. And I also believe you will be able to make a good decision after reading this article.