Content Management System (CMS) what is it and why do you need it?

New to CMS? Let us break it down for you in a few simple points. With a CMS, you can create, manage, modify, and publish content in a user-friendly interface. You can even customize the design and functionality of your site by downloading or purchasing templates and extensions, rather than coding from scratch. Depending on the type of CMS, you don’t actually have to understand how websites work.

You might be wondering how one piece of software does all of this. So, let’s take a closer look at how a CMS works.

How a CMS Works

To know more about CMS, you first have to understand what it’s like to build a website from scratch.

Bear with us because we are getting a little bit technical here. First of all, you’d start with HTML to add text, images, navigation bars, and other building blocks of a site. You are probably thinking what’s HTML, Hypertext Markup Language is the standard markup language for documents designed to be displayed in a web browser. And is often assisted by technologies such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and scripting languages such as JavaScript.

CSS will add some style to the HTML elements to match the unique look and feel of your brand. Then you will finish up by writing some JavaScript to add more advanced functionality to your site, like Pop up or slide-in CTAs. After you have done all these things you would have to upload the HTML file to your server to be filed in your database. Whenever you want to make changes or update content you will have to repeat the whole process again manually to apply these changes.

For developers and advanced users with web development experience, building a website from scratch may be ideal and easy. But those who don’t have the coding skill or time and resources to build a site from scratch and maintain it, can use a CMS.

The benefits of using a CMS.

Now that you know how complicated it is to make a website from scratch, let’s look how working with a CMS will impact your set-up process, team’s productivity, and online visibility.

  1. No Coding Knowledge Required
    As we mentioned earlier the days of learning how to code or begging your developer for new web content are over. A CMS system helps revolutionize web designs on how they are built. You can create and manage content, customize the design of your site, and install extensions to add new functionality to your site, all without coding. Most CMS platforms will also allow you to add custom code for in-depth control over your site.

    As a result user with limited technical resources and time can still build a powerful website for their business.

  2. User Friendly Collaboration
    Multiple users can access and work in the back end of a CMS at the same time. Either your content officer is producing content, your IT may be implementing security protocols, and your developer adding custom code to your theme; all at the same time even on the same landing page.

    In short, a CMS can help improve workflows and productivity across your team.

  3. SEO Features and Extensions
    CMS platforms offer built-in features as well as add-ons to help you optimize your site for search engines. For example: customize page titles and meta descriptions; choose SEO-friendly URL; add image alt text; optimize page load times to name a few.

    Implementing those practices will help improve your chances of ranking high on Google and other major search engines.

  4. Predesigned Templates
    Most CMS platforms comes with a selection of predesigned templates that you can use to customize your website appearance and behavior. Choosing a responsive template will ensure that your site will be compatible on any device, without much fuss. Using predesigned templates will save you valuable design time on your new website or existing one.

  5. Real Time Updates
    As we mentioned above, a CMS makes it possible to make real time changes to your site, from major updates like website redesign to minor updates like changing the image on your homepage. So instead of hiring a developer or trying to edit the code yourself, you can go into the dashboard of your CMS to update and edit the content of your website in a more dynamic and relevant way.

So, there you have it a quick walkthrough on what a CMS is, and its benefits. With so many CMS platform out there, it can be a little bit overwhelming to find the right one. At Six & Ten Productions we dig into each CMS platform’s features, user skill level requirements and your business type to help you find the right platform to meet your needs. Just contact us for an appointment.