Content Management System Benefits & Best Practices
What is a CMS?
A content management system (CMS) is a piece of software that allows users to edit, delete, and add new pages and posts.
In other words, a CMS is mainly used for posting content online. Over the years, these platforms have evolved to become the most sought-after software programs for bloggers and website owners.
The use of Content Management Systems has simplified web development and allows users to intuitively edit and manage web content without having any prior technical knowledge.
Here are the best content management systems available right now:
- WordPress - A powerful tool that has the widest range of features. It has a large community of designers and developers who can customize it to fit your needs. WordPress is also the most customized CMS with over 300,000 plugins, themes, and other tools available.
- Joomla - Joomla is the second most popular CMS system after WordPress. It offers many of the same features as WordPress but with some differences in style. Joomla also offers more control over how the site looks with its own template engine.
- Drupal - Drupal is similar to Joomla in that they both offer a lot of out-of-the-box features while also allowing customization through modules. Drupal however is one of the more complex CMS systems and requires some technical knowledge or a developer to get it up and running.
- Ghost - Ghost is a powerful CMS that allows creatives to publish, share, and grow a business around their content. It's open source which is always fun to support, and recently got updated with powerful features that help you monetize your audience, similar to how Substack and Medium would allow.
- Shopify - Shopify is wonderful because it was built for eCommerce from the ground up. Unlike platforms like WordPress or Joomla that require additional plugins such as Woocomcomerce, with Shopify, you get eCommerce fundamentals right out of the box. With no additional setup, the CMS comes fully loaded with features like payments and emailing customers. We wrote about why, in our opinion, Shopify is the best eCommerce platform.
Why use a CMS?
A major part of any website is how content is created and edited. This can be done through a blog or manually via FTP. However, if you have more than one person editing your site this can lead to some issues. And if you have multiple tasks then it could be time-consuming for each person to know where the other left off.
All these problems can go away if you start using a CMS. Here are 10 reasons to use a content management system.
You don’t need a degree in computer science to get started. Using a CMS is about the same as using a word processor or email program, and most people have had plenty of experience with those.
By far the easiest to use CMS is WordPress. Its dashboard is extremely straight forward and absolutely anyone can figure out how to use it by themselves.
Content management systems have advanced so much lately that it will take you a few minutes to set up a new website, publish it on the web and start writing content.
Take EasyWP for example, a service that will automatically create and publish your WordPress website in a matter of minutes.
Once you log in to your dashboard you can immediately start writing your first blog post and get it live on the internet.
No Coding Required
Once you have your CMS-powered website up and running you can customize every aspect of it using pre-built themes and plugins.
WordPress features a library of more than 50,000 plugins and thousands of themes you can choose from. Installing any of them is a matter of a few clicks, which means you don’t even need to know what HTML is.
Easy to Customize
Once you install and activate a theme you’ll be able to customize almost everything about your website.
Each theme has a central settings panel that allows you to edit your website’s details, like name, logo, and even the favicon icon (the small icon you see besides a website name in your browser’s tab).
A Content Management System (CMS) is a great way to ensure that your website is always up and running. If your site relies on a CMS, it is much easier to isolate and fix broken code than if it were a static site. This means that you can keep your site secure while making quick updates with ease.
Besides, depending on the platform of your choice you can always download extra security plugins. They make sure to keep your website free of attackers and bots using advanced functionalities.
Content management systems allow people to have access to your website and also collaborate on projects. Using individual accounts, multiple people can add, edit, or update content on the site right from their own computers or devices.
You can create accounts for all your team members and assign them different roles such as editors, writers, or administrators. By doing this you make sure each person can only do a specific set of tasks.
For example, a writer will not be able to publish content. On the other hand, an editor or administrator can.
A CMS like WordPress makes it easy for multiple people to schedule posts to be published on your site. In fact, WordPress has made this process even easier since they added the feature a couple of years ago.
The new version of WordPress allows you to schedule posts up to 12 months in advance. The scheduling function also works with categories and tags, as well as custom post types.
Easy Content Updates
A content management system can save you time by letting you update articles, images, and other content directly from your dashboard.
But that’s not all, if you decide to add a new page to your website you can easily update your main menu to include a link to it.
A CMS, or content management system, is a tool for publishing your content online. Most of the major CMSs, such as WordPress and Drupal, are built with SEO in mind. This means you can add SEO features to your site without having to hire an SEO team.
Here are some of the tools you’ll find in most CMS:
- RSS feeds. RSS feeds allow search engines to pull in parts of your website automatically.
- XML sitemap. An XML sitemap is a list of pages on your website that search engine bots can read and index. This helps them get a better idea of what’s on your site so they can provide better search results for users.
- Robots.txt and .htaccess files. These are files that tell search engines how to crawl and index your site — what pages to crawl and how often, for example. This helps you control how much traffic goes to each page on your site, which is helpful if you want to build up certain pages or hide others from the public eye.
- Titles and meta descriptions. When someone searches for something related to your business or industry, they’ll see the title and meta description you choose for each page on your website in the results
It’s up to you how far you want to go down the SEO route, but you can always be sure that a CMS has you covered.
It is cheaper and quicker to invest in a content management system. Calling a web designer or developer can be expensive, and depending on their workload, it will take several days before you see the result online.
If you are using a CMS you can take care of these updates yourself, no matter how big they are. At the same time, you will only have to pay a few dollars a month to run a website.
Is a CMS good for me?
If you are planning on creating a blog, website, or even an eCommerce store then the short answer is yes.
Regardless of the type of website you are going to create, I recommend giving WordPress a try. It’s the most used CMS on the internet and has the biggest community of developers out there, which makes it one of the fastest, easiest and safest platforms you can go with.
Learn more on how to start your own website with the ultimate WordPress guide.
If you're still debating about which CMS to go with, check out our comparison of the top website builders.