If you’ve ever wanted to build a website and completely control it, but you have limited technical knowledge, there’s a simple solution: a CMS.What is CMS? It stands for content management system, a piece of software designed to let you build a website from scratch even if you have no coding experience.
A CMS system is a sophisticated work of technology. Content management systems have become so reliable for building professional-looking, responsive web pages that more than 68 million sites have now been built with one.This article aims to tell you all you need to know to start using a CMS: what is CMS? Why should you use one? How do you use one? Which one should you pick? With a bit of practice, you’ll be well on your way to creating a website that tells your story and converts leads into sales.
What is CMS, and How Does it Work?
A content management system (CMS) is a software application that you can use to build websites without needing to know how to code. It allows you to create, edit, organise and publish content and includes templates and additional features to make the site your own. It’s a way to build the right website for your brand with only the most basic tech knowledge required.
How to Use a CMS
A CMS comprises two main parts: a content management application (CMA) and a content delivery application (CDA). The CMA is the front end, where users create and edit site content and add templates. The CDA is the back section that takes the info you put into the CMA and stores it. Between them, the two sections handle all the code and other behind-the-scenes infrastructure so you can focus on the content.Instead of having to input all the code for formatting text, adding links and images, customising etc., yourself, you’ll be able to open a content editor and do it all by dropping and dragging or pressing some buttons.The CDA will store the data you entered into the CMA and present it to web users. You can publish a blog post or edit the content on an existing webpage simply by pushing a button.
Why Use a CMS?
There are many advantages to using a CMS system for professionals of all backgrounds and skill levels.
1. No coding knowledge required
You can set up a website and make changes without having a development background or knowing a word of a coding language. If you know a little code, even better, as many content management systems allow you to add custom code for even greater control.CMS platforms have user-friendly, intuitive interfaces that enable you to custom-create professional quality websites, no matter how time-limited you are.
2. Easy collaboration
A CMS system is set up so that multiple people can access and work on the same site simultaneously, regardless of their background or skills. A copywriter can upload text while a graphic designer adds images, and an IT specialist checks that security safeguards are fully functioning on the same webpage.This increased potential for collaboration means increased productivity, as the whole team works together to finish tasks in time.
3. User roles and permissions
CMS platforms prioritise security so that different users can edit the site’s pages without deleting or altering each other’s work. Customisable user roles and permissions mean that writers, designers, developers, security experts etc., can make changes to their own specific areas of the internal site without impacting anyone else’s.Many CMS systems have built-in user roles with varying privileges, from content editors and managers to administrators and custom roles for particular tasks.
4. SEO features and extensions
Content management systems provide many ways to modify your website’s look, feel and design. You can change the colours or menu display or even use a pre-set theme or template. CMS includes several customisable features built into the system or available to add on.Using the right tools, you’ll be able to create multi-language variations of your content for overseas customers, view and action SEO suggestions, add image alt text, create 301 redirects and XML sitemaps, and optimise your page’s loading time.
5. Security features and extensions
In a time when we all need to be wary of fraud, scams and cybercrime, what is CMS without strong security measures? Many CMS platforms include in-built features or add-ons that you can use to protect your site better. Some even offer 24/7 security support.Security for a CMS can take many forms. There’s access control, which requires multi-factor identification. DDoS protection monitors uptakes in traffic and ensure the good kind of traffic still gets to you while blocking the nasties.
6. Predesigned templates
Predesigned templates allow you to create a professional-looking, responsive website in minutes with no technical knowledge required. Predesigned templates make it easy for you, and they can save the day when you have limited time to meet a deadline. They come with many other benefits as well: they’re likely to be already formatted to meet specific standards and specifications, optimised for SEO, and usually free – or at least very affordable.
7. Blogging functionality
You’ve probably already heard that blogging is good for business. The stats bear this out: marketers who blog are 13x more likely to receive a positive return on investment. Blogging helps drive traffic and sales and can establish you as an industry authority.With its inbuilt blog functionality, CMS makes writing regular blog posts easy and enjoyable. You can edit, add images and post your blogs just by pushing a few buttons.
8. Content scheduling
Scheduling content means uploading posts for the system to publish later. There are several tools on the market to accomplish this, but when you’re building a site from scratch, it’s a lengthy endeavour involving some coding. A CMS makes the process easy with an efficient in-built scheduling tool that allows you to queue up blogs, e-mails and other online content.
Common CMS Platforms
Some of the more popular platforms on the market include
1. CMS Hub
Hubspot’s content management system is a popular all-in-one platform suitable for businesses of any size. Flexible and reasonably priced, it includes unique features such as SEO recommendations, drag-and-drop editors and adaptive testing.
An easy-to-use, self-hosted platform, WordPress is popular with small business owners and freelancers. The appeal is easy to understand. It’s simple and quick to make a site with but easy to make your own with the range of plugins and themes. With more than 50,000 plugins, opportunities for what you can do are pretty close to limitless.
Another open-source CMS, one of Joomla’s strengths is its functionality. Its flexible, simple-to-customise system includes in-built multi-lingual support and high-level content management options. Joomla’s Open Source software is permanently free, and they have an excellent track record with security.
If you use Drupal, you’re in good company: it’s favoured by larger companies and government agencies like NASA. Rather than simply being a CMS, Drupal is a Content Management Framework, providing the infrastructure for building your own CMS exactly the way you like it. However, that doesn’t mean you lose out on the benefits of a standard CMS. Drupal has over 47,000 modules, thousands of free themes and the opportunity to build any additional features you need.
A popular choice for e-commerce businesses, Magento is high-end, highly secure and highly functional. It was built for SEO efficiency, and everything about it is designed with your e-commerce success in mind. From the same dashboard, you can conduct transactions in different languages, countries and currencies – with a platform that accommodates up to 500,000 products.
Let us Build Your Website
What is CMS? It’s an ideal solution for professionals who need a high-quality website built quickly and may not have coding knowledge or the spare time to learn it. But sometimes, the best option is to have actual human developers work with you to create the website you want. Anchor Digital can be your partner in climb. Our web design and development specialists go beyond coding. We pay close attention to user experience to craft a website that achieves your business goals and exceeds your customer’s expectations. We’ll work closely with you to learn your objectives and how we can optimise your online presence, refining our approach through testing when necessary.Instead of lock-in contracts, we’ll offer you results that will make you glad you trusted us with your web development needs and are eager to do business with us again.Drop us a line for web development and design that optimises your website for users every step, from planning to Google results.