In order to understand the importance of a content management system, we must first ask the question: “what is content management?”.
Content management (CM) is a collection of technologies and processes which involves taking various forms of information (content) and gathering, publishing and managing it.
Digital content comes in the form of text, multimedia files such as videos, images or audio files as well as any other type of file which requires management throughout its lifecycle.
Content Lifecycle Stages
Simply put, the lifecycle of content goes through the following stages:
- Introduction to public/publication
- Managing, re-evaluating, updating
- Deletion (when necessary)
Digital Content Management System
A content management system (CMS) is software that allows users to follow the content lifecycle stages on a website, thereby creating and managing online content with more ease.
This may sound particularly technical, but these systems are designed in such a way that they can be used by anyone with just the basic levels of techno-savviness.
The purpose of a good CMS is to allow its users to focus on what the visitors to the website will see and consume. Therefore, it seldom requires any coding in order to create or update content, adding to the user-friendliness of such a system.
Components of a Content Management System
Essentially, a CMS can be broken down into two main components:
Content Management Application (CMA)
The CMA is the front end of a CMS and is the part of the software that allows the users to create and manage online content.
Content Delivery Application (CDA)
The CDA is the backend of a CMS which is responsible for the retrieval of content from its server in order to deliver it to online users.
What are the Benefits of a Content Management System?
Quick Installation and Easy Upgrades
The process of installing a CMS is much quicker than coding a website from scratch. You will be up and running in no time due to the standard bundled features that come with a CMS.
Furthermore, most CMSs come with around the clock support teams that are constantly working on updates and new features, ensuring your website always stays up to date.
Lastly, any potential security risks or vulnerabilities are addressed quickly which means that your website will always be secure.
Depending on the kind of website you want, you may need to hire a web developer initially. However, using the developer to update content is unnecessary, costly and time consuming.
The user-friendliness of a CMS allows your staff to make changes to the website on the spot with minimal training required, which significantly improves ease of process.
CMS’s allow you to customise user roles and permissions based on their responsibilities within the team.
This allows users to only have access to what they need to work on without being overwhelmed or confused with other functions or options.
Furthermore, this helps avoid the risk of users accidentally altering something they shouldn’t.
Separate Design from Front-End
Building with the help of a CMS allows you to keep your website’s front-end design aspects separate from your sites content and functionality.
This allows you to easily make design changes without worrying about affecting the user experience.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Friendly
SEO is made easier with a CMS through the use of keywords, meta descriptions, title tags and search friendly URLs to name a few.
As we know, SEO is crucial for driving traffic and potential leads to your website, and using a CMS can be hugely advantageous in this process.
A CMS allows website content to be accessible from anywhere through most devices using a secure internet connection.
Remote accessibility means that you and your team are able to continuously meet the needs necessary to keep your website functioning smoothly.
Examples of Different CMSs
- DNN Software
What to Look for in a CMS
Simply choosing the most widely used CMS for your website is not necessarily the best approach. You will need to think carefully about what you would like your website to provide in terms of functionality.
The following are things to look for in a good CMS:
- User-friendliness – choose a CMS that is intuitive and doesn’t put ease of use before functionality
- Cost and availability of plugins – plugins allow you to add functionalities that don’t come standard with the CMS. However, plugins can often lead to issues with maintenance and website security
- Uniqueness – you want a CMS that will allow you to make your website unique, so choose one with a large number of themes, templates and customisation options
- Speed – this relates to how quickly you and your team can manage content, install software and configure the website as well as how fast your web page loads. A slow loading page is a one-way ticket to losing visitors
- Third party integration – whether it be with an automated marketing system or an e-commerce solution, your CMS platform should allow for easy integration with these applications. Application Programming Interfaces can assist with this integration, so make sure you investigate their availability
- Security and support – security features and support services vary with each CMS and some may require using a third-party application to fill these gaps
Website Design, Search Engine Optimisation, Digital Marketing
In order to ensure that you select the right CMS for your website, you will need to take a close look and your overall business goals as well as current and potential future requirements.
Our team of digital experts know everything there is to know about a content management system. For more information about our digital services, please contact us and speak to one of our web design specialists.