Content management systems (CMS), today, are part of everyday digital life. Websites have come along away since the 1990s the days of a white background with lots of text editable only by those who spent hours writing code and drinking coffee. Today we live in a world where websites are updated almost instantaneously, a world where websites can fire off products to multiple different websites via channel management systems, a world where websites are even developed and created inside web applications such as Wix or Moonfruit.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using a content management system as oppose to using the traditional HTML approach of updating your website
Let’s start by defining exactly what one of these systems is. A content management system is an online system that allows you to manage the content on its site amongst other settings. More often than not these systems have two parts, the front end which is seen by the website visitor and the admin panel also known as the back end and is seen by administrators, moderators and so forth.
A content management system essentially allows you to edit content via an attractive user interface rather than looking at not so attractive code.
Not everyone is a web developer or really wants to get their hands dirty within the raw code. A content management system allows you to easily add content to your website without the need for creating new files and folders via HTML and other coding sources.
When we say content we mean literally anything, from new pages, to blog posts, media files and even entire layouts can all be maintained from a content management system admin panel. The content will often be editable and will allow you to amend this as you see fit. As well as being able to check your work before putting it live.
You will find that a lot of content management systems will come with their very own set of plugins to customise the system to your liking. Often these plugins have been developed by a range of developers who do it because they love the system and want to add more functionality to the core and some will charge you a premium for support.
These plugins vary from contact forms and multiple images through to entire e-commerce solutions, booking systems and even website layout management. However we always advise that using plugins on your website will slow it down over time due to the number of requests the system has to make.
There is a lot of press around security within computer systems and digital websites and there doesn’t seem to be a day when there isn’t some company having records taken or websites knocked offline. A lot of content management systems have been produced by a community of developers who have often hacked, broke it, repaired it and hacked it again.
These hacks and bugs have then be shared with the rest of the community and a security patch has been applied. Often meaning that some open source CMS systems are secure, however it is important that you keep your website updated to the latest version to avoid any loop holes that might have appeared prior to the update.
Are there perks to SEO? We would say there are some, certainly with WordPress, we use the Yoast SEO plugin which allows us to optimise our pages for the search engines. It advises us on what it thinks is a good article and provides recommendations with regards to how we can improve the article so the search engines rank it better.
Other CMS systems will also have plugins which will allow you to tie your website in with the likes of Google and Yahoo.
Whilst the initial outlay might not be affordable for everyone, the price will certainly beat that of having to go back to your web developer and get them to create a page and add the content. A typical content manageable website from a reputable web agency can cost you anywhere from £850 to £5,000 depending on what you want the system to do.