I’ll be straightforward: You need a Content Management System (CMS) because the world has never been so interconnected. Hold on, and I’ll explain why.
Our current landscape encompasses a wide range of devices, reliable internet connections, and forward-thinking brands looking to harness all these elements through their websites and digital platforms.
We’re witnessing a wave of innovations that empower businesses to enhance their results, maintain consistent sales growth, and provide more choices to consumers, all while delivering an improved customer experience.
However, even in this evolving landscape, many companies still lack a website and struggle to achieve their expected outcomes.
Perhaps the primary reason for their online struggles is the absence of technical expertise required to create and manage web pages and online content.
This is where the Content Management System (CMS) becomes a definitive solution. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with the term.
We’ve put together this comprehensive article to educate you on everything you need to know about it. In this post, we’ll cover:
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Are you ready for this gigantic dose of knowledge? Let’s go!
What Is a CMS?
CMS stands for “content management system.” In simpler terms, it’s a system that makes it easy to get a website online.
However, that alone doesn’t set a CMS apart. After all, you can accomplish the same task with minimal technical knowledge.
What makes a CMS special is its ability, as the name suggests, to effortlessly publish and manage dynamic content. This means you can maintain a blog, e-commerce site, or virtually any kind of website that requires regular updates.
Just imagine having to manually update a website every week. That wouldn’t be practical.
However, you should be aware of the fact that CMS tools are valuable for managing and optimizing content, but the creative aspect of content creation still relies heavily on human input.
A CMS is the perfect solution for anyone in need of a well-structured and continuously updated website.
How Does a Content Management System Work?
Imagine this: you’re working for a newspaper or a magazine.
Your readers eagerly anticipate staying up-to-date with the latest news, which means your team must churn out fresh content almost every day.
But here’s the challenge: for every new piece of content, you have to revamp the entire structure and overhaul your website’s infrastructure.
What’s worse, your only option is to make these updates manually.
In such a scenario, can you fathom how expensive and time-consuming your work would become? Maintaining your communication vehicle would be nearly impossible in terms of both cost and time.
And let’s say you somehow manage to work that way and keep your website running. You’d need highly skilled experts, which could limit your potential for new business opportunities.
Thankfully, our reality today is far removed from that scenario. To tackle these structural and operational challenges, the CMS came into existence.
The concept of a CMS typically involves free software created and maintained by developers worldwide. With this support, any user can effortlessly create websites, blogs, or other types of web content.
It’s worth noting that we mentioned “typically” because not all options are free. We’ll delve into those free alternatives later in this article.
One of the most significant advantages of a CMS is its user-friendly nature, allowing individuals to focus more on strategy and less on the nitty-gritty operations.
Users don’t need to fret over technical intricacies; they simply need to regularly upload new content.
This enables people to efficiently manage all their content, while the structure ensures exceptional performance, a superb user experience, and scalability for future website growth.
What Are The Main Functions of a CMS?
It may look simple, but there’s actually a lot going on in the creation and publication of new content on a website. Each of those components needs a CMS’s support to appear online.
That becomes even clearer when we look at some of the main functions of the system:
- creation and publication of pages;
- text and code editing;
- commentary moderation;
- stock control and sales system (for e-commerce);
- installation of plugins and add-ons to extend the functionalities of the website;
- library of media, to upload images and videos;
- and much more.
How To Choose a CMS?
The task of choosing a CMS can be a little challenging. After all, there are a lot of alternatives out there. Besides, those options are very much alike.
When we look at 10 of those options, we will see that all of them have the same promises. So, how do we choose the best? The truth is you only need to understand a few aspects to make the decision.
The choice is essential. We’re not saying otherwise. But, instead of spending too much time questioning yourself, follow these practical tips:
- what’s the system’s history? Find out if the user community is big enough and active if the system has a good reputation, and if the support team is well-praised;
- what’s the system’s purpose? If the central focus of the CMS is very different from what you’re looking for, try something else. For example: you want to create a blog, but the CMS seems to concentrate on e-commerce;
- how’s the user experience? It doesn’t matter if it’s the best CMS on the market if it doesn’t have a good experience. Try to understand which option fits your company’s needs.
We, at Rock Content, have a favorite CMS: WordPress. It’s the most commonly used in the world, and it has solutions for pretty much any kind of project.
But that shouldn’t stop you from searching for more options and choosing what’s best for you.
How To Migrate Your CMS?
What should you do when you realize that your CMS doesn’t make sense for your business anymore? The answer is: to migrate to a new CMS.
If you’re wondering how to do that, we’re not going to provide you a step-by-step solution, because even we can’t do it here.
The number of options for a CMS is large, which makes it impossible to know which one you should use today, and to which you should possibly migrate.
But there are two golden rules for CMS migration:
- Do a backup of your information and database: in case everything goes wrong, you will still be able to restore your site on your old CMS with the database 100% safe;
- Contact the new CMS support team: in general, every quality CMS has great documentation and user communities. This can lead you to migrate without trouble.
What Are The Benefits of a CMS? Check 7 of Them!
The CMS presents several benefits for business people who wish to create pages on the internet. Here are 7 of them!
1. It’s easy to create and maintain pages
The most significant benefit of using a CMS may be the fact that it makes it easier to create and maintain pages daily.
You can access the system directly through the browser, and that means you don’t need to download any specific software. So, there’s nothing to take up more space in your computer or smartphone.
That allows you to create your page quickly, so you can leverage the business opportunities by delivering excellent content for your users.
2. It’s easy to use
Everyone who has a website knows that you need to pay attention to the news and trends in the market.
So, your pages have to be flexible enough to ensure the use of those new possibilities and innovative features to the fullest.
With a great content management system, any member of your team can help manage and maintain your digital strategy.
That includes creating pages on your site, adding images, adding videos, adding testimonials from your customers, and much more.
All that can be done quickly and easily, without the need for technical expertise in programming, design, or diagramming.
And there’s more: one essential aspect of the CMS is, as the name implies, the capacity to manage the content instead of only creating it.
In other words, it doesn’t matter if it’s possible to use the system, without monitoring the progress of results.
Once more, a good-quality CMS makes that part easy. After all, everything can be tested and optimized to provide the best and fastest results.
3. It offers a large number of additional features
The leading CMS on the market presents an extensive range of additional features. Those can be included on the website with only a few clicks in order to foster the best experience for clients and make the management even more efficient.
However, this is something you should take into consideration: it’s necessary to analyze the characteristics of the chosen software, so you can be sure that they match your needs.
If you notice that something is missing, look for plugins and additional tools. In case you still haven’t found what you need, maybe it’s time to search for another CMS.
4. It offers support for organic search optimization
Every business manager who seeks to establish a website as a reference in the market knows that: it’s crucial to understand and apply the techniques and strategies for organic search optimization, the so-called SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
SEO’s role is to increase the chances of your page being found online via search engines, such as Google.
And the more that people find your site organically (without ads), the better your process of customer acquisition is. At least as long as you have a solid content strategy and a well-structured marketing plan.
You can use different techniques, such as:
- link building to improve domain authority and the positioning on rankings;
- image optimization to make your content visible in visual search;
- strategic use of keywords, especially the long-tail ones;
- redefinition of the layout to make it more pleasant for readers and therefore increase the retention time.
It’s necessary to take care of every page on your site if you want to optimize SEO properly.
If the website is complex, and built with specific software, it can be hard to keep optimizing it correctly — and that’s even more challenging when the site grows.
With a CMS, though, users can do it without further problems. A few minutes per day is enough to make your pages visible in the first positions of SERPs. And there’s no need to invest 1 cent on paid advertising.
5. It offers versatility for projects
It doesn’t matter what you want your site to be: you can achieve it with a good CMS.
Do you want to create a blog to publish relevant content every week? Ok. Do you need to create pages for your e-commerce with a lot of features? No problems.
Those are only some of the possibilities. You can develop an area for members, a landing page, and even create your own social media.
That is another good point about the CMS: it can help you with different projects, of various sizes, by providing the same functions and structure.
All you need is: to mold the features according to the demands of your specific project.
6. It offers a good loading speed
Another incredible benefit is that the CMS contributes to improving your pages’ loading speed rates.
That is crucial to offer an extraordinary experience for your user. Not to mention that it’s also relevant for SEO.
The slower your pages are — and we’re talking about seconds here —, the greater the odds of your potential client closing the tab and going for another option on the internet.
That’s why it’s necessary to monitor your pages’ loading times in order to optimize them.
That becomes even clearer on mobile devices — and they are getting more attention from Google in the new ranking strategy.
The algorithm, known as the mobile-first index, prioritizes pages that load faster on mobile devices. Fortunately, every high-end CMS out there offers support for mobile-first websites.
7. It offers low cost
Last but not least, we can’t forget to mention the maintenance costs.
Imagine that you built your website with a specific developer, in a complicated language that only a few professionals know.
Can you realize how keeping the structure functioning and updated in this case can be way more expensive? After all, the lack of expertise will raise the prices for the service.
However, if you use a CMS, everything is cheaper: from the setup to the update and maintenance.
Most CMS are free because they were created by developers scattered around the world.
Of course, you can still hire a developer or designer to adapt the site to your interest and needs. But that’s different than creating a completely personalized website.
Even the changes for a CMS usually tend to be cheaper than creating something from scratch.
So, what makes a difference in the cost is the update and maintenance. That makes the CMS a more cost-effective option.
How To Choose the Best Hosting Service for a CMS?
The CMS is not the only critical component for site maintenance.
The hosting service has a special role in this too, even because if the host doesn’t offer support for the CMS you use, nothing will work.
Once more, we’re getting into the matter of the number of available options. We can’t analyze them all one by one in this article, but we can give you a step-by-step on what to take into account while choosing:
- decide first which hosting service you want. There are 4: shared hosting, cloud, VPS, and dedicated server;
- narrow the list down to the well-known options that also offer support for the CMS you’re looking for;
- compare features, client support, and prices of those alternatives left on your list.
What Are the Best CMSs in The Market?
Now that you know what a content management system is, we’re going to show you the best options on the market. Let’s kick off with our recommendation, WordPress:
WordPress (WP) is the most used CMS platform in the world. But that’s not why we like it so much. First of all, it’s a free alternative, used by blogs, e-commerce, and a variety of other projects.
There are various additional features, such as plugins and templates already built so users can customize their solutions according to their needs and business strategies.
One of the most significant advantages is its active community. There are thousands of developers with the necessary expertise to keep the system up to date, providing changes and improvements.
In addition to that, security is also a key factor. Since WP is an open-source alternative, crackers can seek security holes in the system to attack private information. So, we recommend using extra resources to ensure the CMS reliability.
Another outstanding CMS is Joomla. It’s been used by many prominent companies around the world. One of them is the renowned Harvard University in the United States.
Like WordPress, it’s a free system, based on PHP, with a lot of additional functions.
Even though the community and the support are not as good as those of the most famous options, Joomla is a robust and reliable CMS.
What can we say about the CMS that’s used by the government of the United States? That’s right! The North-American government chose Drupal as its content platform.
The software encompasses modules that interact with one another, which allows personalization.
When talking about Drupal, it’s essential to mention the large community of experts on the system — also one of the principal WordPress advantages.
Those who aim at creating simple pages and seek high-speed page loading must consider TextPattern as an option.
It’s a little behind the first alternatives we’ve mentioned because it doesn’t offer a massive variety of pre-configured templates. But there’s still a lot of extra features.
Finally, we can’t finish the list without mentioning Radiant. It’s a content and permission management system based on Ruby, recommended for smaller-size projects.
It has its own language, very similar to HTML, and it offers excellent plugin options.
What Are The Differences Between CMS, WCM, ECM, DAM and DXP?
CMS is a system that encompasses several kinds of software. Each one of them exists to match different needs.
That’s why we will show you some of the categories and their differences.
WCM – Web Content Management
WCM is an ideal tool to create, manage, store, and display content on web pages.
It provides the capacity to plot and organize sites, so the content is always up-to-date and easy to access at any given moment.
Besides, it allows control and content preparation for publication, with review and approval before putting anything online.
WCM also permits automation for content publication, which generates better performance.
ECM — Enterprise Content Management
ECM is the technology behind the capture, management, preservation, and distribution of the content and documents related to business processes.
The ECM tools and strategies allow users to organize information throughout the life of the company.
Amid those tools, there are the WCM, which we’ve just seen, and the DAM, our next topic.
DAM — Digital Asset Management
Digital Asset Management is a similar concept to ECM.
The main difference, though, is that the DAM has a specialized focus on rich media management, such as videos, audio, images, and others.
However, the ECM works on file management, in general. So, if you need a solution to store multimedia files efficiently, the DAM is relevant.
DXP — Digital Experience Platform
With the growing number of access channels for customers, integrated strategies to improve the purchase experience are not an option anymore.
The DXP (Digital Experience Platform) turns it into reality and unifies the experiences and sensations at every point of interaction, which strengthens the brand identity.
We’re talking about a platform that was made to create and offer integrated and optimized experiences for users.
Those optimized experiences must happen in several channels and always have to consider not only the customer’s preferences but also his lifecycle.
Why Should Companies Adopt a Content Management System?
In the virtual realm, brands face fierce competition.
Business managers continually seek novel ways to enhance user experiences on their websites while introducing innovations, all while maintaining a firm grip on their strategies.
To achieve these objectives, a content management system (CMS) can be your ally. However, as we’ve discovered, the market offers numerous options.
So, don’t rush into thinking that choosing a system is something you can do haphazardly.
The primary challenge for companies lies in aligning their needs with the available resources. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all platform that can solve every problem. It’s crucial to discern what the company requires in terms of supporting its clients and providing tailored solutions.
Thus, it’s imperative to analyze which CMS possesses these characteristics and which one comes closest to meeting your criteria.
But remember, not even the finest CMS can perform miracles if you’re not producing high-quality content. That’s where WriterAccess comes in.
Our content creation marketplace can assist you in finding top-notch professionals to craft content for your brand. I invite you to try it out for free for 14 days and witness the transformative power of exceptional content for your business.