Find out what is a CMS (Content Management System), how does it work and its different types. Also featuring the popular CMS and their features.
By definition, “A content management system, or CMS is a software application that can be used to manage the creation and modification of the digital content.” Generally, CMS can be used for Enterprise Content Management (EMS) or Web Content Management (WMS). Basically, CMS allows multiple users to collaborate and makes a suitable environment for collaboration. This is possible with the integration of digital asset management, document management and record retention. On the other hand, WCM allows collaboration for website management and can also include embedment of text, and graphics, photos, videos etc. It also has the program code that displays content to interact more with users. We can say that ECM includes a WCM function.
To talk about Content Management System (CMS), this software helps the users to create, manage and modify the content on any website. Users without technical knowledge and skill can also do manage their contents on sites effectively using content management system (CMS). So to conclude in layman terms, we can say that the content management system (CMS) can help you to build a website without the need to write codes. Even If you don’t know to code, you can create a website.
So because of the content management system (CMS), you do not need to worry about creating different web pages, storing images, and any other work. All these essential works can be carried out by the CMS. This helps you to focus more on creating content, promotion and even use your creativity to make your website look better!
The working of a Content Management System
To explain the working of a content management system (CMS), let us take an example of WordPress. WordPress is one of the best examples of a content management system (CMS).
Let’s talk about writing this article. Without the help of a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, I’d have to write all these things in a notepad in HTML format. Those who know about writing an HTML document know how hard and laborious it is to write something in HTML format. Let’s not talk about inserting images, videos and others! And then we have to upload that HTML document in the server too! With using an application of content management system (CMS) like WordPress, I can simply type the content in the form, and the app does rest of the work. The WordPress application’s interface is very much like the Microsoft Office Word, with which everyone is familiar.
Apart from just writing content, WordPress also helps you to manage media and insert them in your article. You can browse the media online instead of first downloading them in your system then uploading them separately. So this is actually a very efficient way to work, isn’t it?
So this content management system (CMS) not only provides you with an interface for working but also helps you show visitors the contents in the exact way you want!
What are the components or core parts of a Content Management System?
To talk about a special thing, we have two core parts in the Content Management System (CMS). These are:
- Content Management Application (CMA): So this part for the CMC allows you to manage and add the contents. This is the same thing we discussed in the last section.
- Content Delivery Application (CDA): This application loves doing behind the scenes work. It takes the content you put in the Content Management Application (CMA) and then stores it properly. This then makes it visible to the visitors of your website/blog.
These two systems, together make it very easy for you to maintain your website!
Examples of popular Content Management Systems
Well, in the earlier sections, I gave you an example of WordPress. WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) used by website developers. It maintains a market share of about 37.5% on the website. But, apart from WordPress, there are some other accessible Content Management System (CMS):
- TYPO 3
Of course, there are many more excellent Content Management Systems (CMS), which are less known to ordinary people. These Content Management Systems (CMS) generally target the significant companies which are ready to match their asking price. We will discuss some best Content Management System (CMS) later on in the article.
What kind of websites can you develop using Content Management System?
Well, nowadays, Content Management Systems (CMS) have become very flexible. You can develop almost any kind of website using these CMSs. Of course, there are some reputed Content Management Systems (CMS) like Magento (for e-commerce websites), which prefer to stick to one specific type of website.
Talking about WordPress, a user can use this Content Management System (CMS) to build the following types of websites:
- Static Websites
- E-commerce stores
- Social networking sites
- Online courses
- Membership sites
- Portfolios, etc.
How can you build a website using a Content Management System?
Well, if you want to build your own website using Content Management System (CMS), follow these steps:
- Buy a web hosting and a domain name for your website.
- Configure your Content Management System (CMS) to make out how your site and content should look to the visitors of your website.
- Start wiring your content with the help of Content Management System (CMS)’s interface.
So this looks very simple, isn’t it? And there are some hosts which offer to install the Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress itself so you can straightaway jump to content creation!
Content Management System at an enterprise level
When you are working as an IT employee for an enterprise which needs to develop a website, you have to make sure that you make everyone happy with the website. An enterprise-level Content Management System (CMS) requires a more than standard Content Management System (CMS) of a smaller organization. You need to ensure security, flexibility in the website etc. The marketing team or the non-technical employees need to have an interface where they can work without any technical knowledge of HTML and still make it look better. So its all much more complicated than it seems.
Enterprise Content Management, ECM is a term that represents the synchronized process tools, and techniques which are used to describe an enterprise’s strategy in the market. ECM helps deliver essential data to business stakeholders and customers, and in some cases, to the company’s staff members.
ECM makes the lifecycle of data and document process more efficient, and it also automates the process workflows. If we break down an ECM, we can find five different components. According to the AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management) describes the purpose of each component as follows:
- The Capture component: This component is concerned with creating information on the website. The capture component achieves this by converting paper documents into electronic formats, obtaining and collecting electronic files into a unified structure, and organizing the given information. This information can be invoices, research papers or reports and more.
- The manage component: This component connects, modifies and then employs the information through various means such as document management, collaborative software, web content management and records management.
- The store component: This component is vital to CMS. This component temporarily backs up the frequently changing information in the short term in flexible folder arrangements. This allows users to view or edit information without so many issues.
- The preserve component: This component is responsible for backing up the information which seldomly changes in the long term. This feature can be accomplished with the help of various record management features.
- The deliver component: This information provides the information requested by the client or the user.
Features a good Content Management System should offer
The internet is a risky terrain for users of any kind. Security attacks have become common these days. In the case of Content Management System (CMS), the hackers jump on board a standard Content Management System (CMS) which offers little to protect you. SO hackers can essentially assume control over the look, interface and the content of your website if you don’t use a good Content Management System (CMS).
Talking about a recent incident, in 2017, WordPress managed to uncover a major vulnerability of security which was affecting thousands of its user’s website. While WordPress was one of the few Content Management System (CMS) to alert its users about the security breach, not many CMS companies do this. This thing forces the users to look elsewhere to get some more security. The right Website Content Management System (WCMS) will take care of all kinds of security for you and your website. Today, it is imperative to have a Website Content Management System (WCMS) with robust security features to protect your site.
Apart from protecting the website, creators and publishers of sites should also take care of their client’s privacy and protection. The protection should be against any kind of DDoS attacks. They should also offer two-factor authentication to add extra layers of security to the privacy of its users.
According to a popular translation agency, TranslateMedia, more than 75% of internet users, do not communicate in English instead require contents to be in their native or localized language.
Apart from that, the global firms which provide services across the globe need their content to be in multiple languages. For this, their websites should be equipped with numerous translations. So to meet the goals various languages, your Content Management System (CMS) should support the following multilingual capabilities.
- Ability to import/export texts in the form of XML or other standard formats: This will make the working of the translation provider much more comfortable and efficient. This will allow the translator to import / export text of your in a standardized format.
- Site architecture for international business: This helps the enterprise to generate websites for a particular country where its native language is more popular.
- Full support for Unicode: To make sure that your website displays languages that require characters which opposes an English alphabet, for example, Hindi, Chinese, Arabic or Japanese language.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tools
Search Engine Optimization is an essential component of Content Management System (CMS), Website Content Management System (WCMS), Enterprise Content Management System (ECMS). Search Engine Optimization is “The art of getting pages to rank higher in search engines like Google.” Since search has become a primary way of discovering online content for people, it is important to take the lead In the traffic in a search engine. SEO is a key tool in online marketing.
When you search something on a search engine, you get many results, often consisting of multiple pages of that search engine. The higher is your website content in the search engine hierarchy, and higher is the view. It is evident that people tend to choose the sites which come first. And, according to some studies, generally, only 2-3% of people prefer to go beyond the first page of the search result. And to rank your website higher, SEO tools come handy! SEO tools help you to optimize your website content and use unique keywords to get a higher rank during the search. By this, you can manipulate the website rankings in the search engines. This will help you to gain more viewers, and hence more will be the profit.
Therefore, the CMS should have all the necessary features and tools to help you with SEO.
Faster Customer Support
Generally, the great Content Management System (CMS) is determined by customer satisfaction. A good CMS company should provide excellent and fast support to its customers. Hene, it is advisable to go through customer reviews before deciding on any Content Management System (CMS).
Best Content Management Systems
WordPress.org was launched in the year 2003. One of the reasons it is popular because it has a simple website development interface for everyone. In the beginning, WordPress was a blogging platform, but now it has become a Content Management Systems (CMS). Currently, 35% of the active websites use WordPress as their Content Management Systems (CMS). Bloggers love WordPress due to its design and simplicity. Two of the main reasons why WordPress is the leader in Content Management Systems (CMS) category is
- It is free to use and an open-source platform. This means that users can use it for free. At the same time, those having knowledge of programming can customize it according to their own requirement.
- A wide range of customization options is available to the users and the website developers.
- WordPress indeed uses numerous themes, but the users can also have the option to buy some third-party ideas.
And do you want to set up an online store? WordPress offers its users an open-source e-commerce plugin named as WooCommerce, which helps the users to set up an online store without the need for any technical knowledge.
One of the negatives with WordPress is that it has been vulnerable to security lapses. So if you are using WordPress, then I advise you to update your Content Management Systems (CMS) and all the plugins regularly.
Another free and open source Content Management Systems (CMS) software is Drupal. This Content Management Systems (CMS) is conventional in various industries viz sports, education, entertainment, healthcare, e-commerce etc. Drupal has around 1.38 million members. Out of these 1.38 million members, about 117000 members have helped build over 44000 free third party integrated modules. It also offers over 2800 free themes to its users.
Drupal core is the basic version of Drupal. This version offers essential Content Management Systems (CMS) features like building blogs, making online forums or developing the user-generated websites.
It’s true that people consider Drupal not to be user-friendly Content Management System (CMS). But, its multilingual site support, security system, taxonomy system etc. are good enough to attract a lot of users towards it. Though I would like to advise you to have an experienced web developer to manage the Drupal website, this is because it can become quite challenging to maintain and update the Content Management System (CMS).
Joomla, just like WordPress and Drupal, is free and open-source Content Management Systems (CMS). It is also trendy among users. According to some surveys, over 2 million websites use Joomla as their Content Management Systems (CMS). Joomla has around 1500+ active volunteers. These volunteers have so far developed around 10,000 extensions and template.
If you have to develop a website with diverse content, then Joomla is one of the best options you have with you. Joomla supports multilingual websites, provides you with multi-level user permissions, is mobile friendly and can also offer you through a set of features, which do not require third-party involvement.
Again, as with respect to WordPress and some other Content Management Systems (CMS) like Squarespace or Wix, Joomla is not beginner-friendly. Although, one of the best things about Joomla is that it provides its users with the user manual and video training classes if they want to learn how to use it effectively.
This is the first paid Content Management Systems (CMS) on our list. Squarespace is famous for its straightforward drag and drops website builder that allows the user to build a visual website interface. This Content Management System (CMS) is primarily used by small business owners, entrepreneurs, or restaurant owners or amateur bloggers. Squarespace provides all essential services needed to build a website, like the domain name, web hosting, SSL certificate, various extensions, etc. And all start right from Squarespace’s basic plan. Squarespace comes with some mobile-friendly theme, and you can modify your website using your mobile phone with the help of CSS.
The two main plans which Squarespace offers its users are basic and business plans. The basic plan starts at only $16 per month. The monthly rental of its business plan is $26. In the business plan, you can start your e-commerce website. This feature also comes with multiple layers or tires, which becomes handy in such cases.
One of the parts of Adobe’s exclusive Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Experience Manager Sites is another example of Adobe’s premium quality services. The Adobe Experience Manager Sites Content Management System (CMS) provides its users with a drag-and-drop interface and also allows the users to edit the already available templates using the template editor. Adobe also provides its users with marketing-friendly templates and specialised tools to the developers who wish to create new apps. In this Content Management Systems (CMS), you can create customer portals and even employee intranets.
Magento is a popular Content Management System (CMS) which deals exclusively with e-commerce websites. The Content Management System (CMS) offers you the drag-and-drop feature during page building so that you can deliver a great shopping experience for your customers or clients. You can also schedule software updates related to your website. This helps you to avoid bothering the IT department to update your website with newer versions. You also get fantastic personalization features like instant purchase, visual merchandising and customer segmentation.
The users can launch multilingual websites for their customers having their own native languages, although this facility may not be available with payment site though you can pay with different recognized currencies according to your geographical location. With the help of Magneto Content Management System (CMS), you can also sell on Amazon and Google Shopping.
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