what is a content management system

What is a Content Management System?

A Content Management System, normally abbreviated as CMS, is a software application that helps non technical users create, manage, edit, collaborate on, publish and store digital content including websites and various digital mediums.

Getting Started with Content Management Systems

The Content Management System (CMS) has evolved over the years. While it was primarily used to define software to manage website content, it has now grown to cover more than that.

As we are moving to the world of web 3.0, the CMS has grown beyond just publishing web pages to delivering content to various mediums such as smart watches and digital signage. CMS software used for just publishing web pages are now known as Web Content Management (WCM). They’re also known as as traditional CMS.

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For this article, we will be talking about Web Content Management (WCM) instead of headless CMS, which is usually deployed for enterprise businesses who need more than just a website.

How Does a Content Management System Work?

The traditional content management system typically has two parts:

  • The Content Management Application (CMA) , gives a person who doesn’t know coding (HTML, CSS, JavaScript & PHP), the ability to create, modify and/or remove content from a site. Usually, the CMA has a WYSIWYG editor that allows users to easily make changes to the content without the need for technical expertise.
  • The Content Delivery Application (CDA) works in the backend, compiling information changes to the site and publishing them to site visitors to see.

The combination of these two sub-interfaces allows users with various levels of technical knowledge to easily manage and update content for a site, quickly and easily.

Depending on the needs of the business or content creator, there are many different types of CMS choices today. They range from simple systems that allow users to create and edit basic web pages to complex applications that power large websites and online stores.

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The CMS can be used as a stand-alone product or it can be integrated with other applications, increasing the utility of the CMS and is getting popular.

Benefits of a Content Management System

While being useful, Content Management Systems can be frustrating to use too, as you might be limited by the capabilities of the CMS platform that you choose. In these cases, finding a web development agency to develop a customised web application via frameworks such as Laravel and ReactJS might be a better option.

However, there are many benefits of using a content management system. Let us look at the benefits below.

1) A Content Management System saves time

A content management system can be a big time-saver for businesses and organizations. Your marketing team can easily create, edit, and remove content without the need for technical knowledge. All they need is access to the admin panel and the content editor.

Furthermore, with the emergence of visual editors / drag-and-drop website builders such as Elementor , Beaver Builder , Bricks, Squarespace, Wix and Webflow, your team can quickly churn out landing pages for your marketing campaigns.

If you’re using WordPress, the Gutenberg Editor has matured over the past few years and lets you create pages and blog posts with interesting layouts. You can further extend the Gutenberg Editor with addons such as Stackable , Cwicly and Greenshift.

2) A Content Management System improves organization of your content

A content management system can help with organization by making it easier for content creators to craft and deliver quality content. The tools, addons and plugins available help with content creation, SEO and marketing efforts.

This includes the ability to easily share work, schedule blog and social media posts, while tracking the results from the admin panel of the CMS. You can have revision control over your content to quickly roll back changes you need.

Your marketing team can focus on growing the site and generate you revenue, instead of fiddling with various systems and platforms.

3) A Content Management System reduces costs

A CMS can help you save money too. With a CMS, you will be able to create, edit and deliver digital content quickly and easily. Your marketing team can be agile and quickly launch and test various landing pages for your marketing campaigns with low costs.

4) A Content Management System helps your digital marketing

A content management system helps your digital marketing by doing the heavy lifting. Stay abreast with the latest changes with search engine optimization (SEO) with SEO plugins while working on your content. Easily create custom post types if you have a large site with various sections (e.g: reviews, sports, recipes), and then let your site visitors filter through them via faceted search.

If you run Facebook ads, you can easily install a paid plugin that will help resolve your Facebook Conversions API needs, giving you data that has been hidden by ad blockers.

While all these are achiveable with a custom developed web application, it takes a lot more time and effort to maintain your site compared to a content management system.

Which Web Content Management System Should You Consider?

If you’re looking for a web content management system, we strongly recommend WordPress. It is the best cms around and is open source, letting you build any custom feature and function as needed.

WordPress hosting is affordable and allows multiple users to manage content.

Final Words

We recommend that you explore the various content management systems if you plan to have a website. It saves you time and money long term, making it an invaluable tool in your digital marketing plan.

WordPress , Drupal , Webflow and Squarespace are the popular content management systems that you can begin with. Personally, I prefer WordPress due to the robustness of the platform. As WordPress is an Open Source CMS, your content is safe and you can always hire developers to extend the features and functions of your site.

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