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How a Content Management System works | & Its Benefits

Firstly, one major advantage of a Content Management System is its collaborative nature. Whereby, multiple users can log on and contribute, schedule, or edit content to be published. And because the interface is usually browser-based, it can be accessed from anywhere by any number of users.

Secondly, the other major advantage is that it allows non-technical people who don’t know programming languages to easily create and manage their own web content. Their WYSIWYG editors allow users to enter text and upload images without needing to know any HTML or CSS.

What is a Content Management System?

Basically, when a company uses a Content Management System to publish its pages, it reduces its reliance on front-end engineers to make changes to the website. Making it quicker and easier to publish new content.

Related Topic: WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Means What?

Beyond websites, you can also find Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Software for other functions too — like document management. And in this case, you can use Microsoft Content Management Systems as a good example. And while there are hundreds of CMS platforms, there are some which are the most popular ones.

Including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, EPiServer, ModX, etc. But, before even choosing a Content Management System for your site, it is beneficial to evaluate your company’s information management practices first.

As well as the overall business goals with respect to the publishing of content. You will need to begin by making a list of the business problems you are trying to solve. As well as any specific requirements you may have. This will help you choose the right content management system — the one that supports your business requirements. Rather than the most popular or well-liked.

What is a Content Management System?

By definition, a Content Management System (often abbreviated as CMS), is software that helps users create, manage, and modify content on a website. Without the need for specialized technical knowledge. So, in simpler language, a Content Management System is a tool that helps you build a website.

Without needing to write all the code from scratch (or even know how to code at all). Instead of building your own system for creating web pages, storing images, and other functions, the CMS handles all that basic infrastructure stuff for you. So that you can focus on more forward-facing parts of your website.

As I mentioned, if you’re looking to build and deploy an ASP.NET website, then you may want to consider a platform like Microsoft CMS Server (MCMS). This is Microsoft’s in-house enterprise web content management system.

Such MCMS allows its users to integrate with Microsoft Visual Studio. NET so easily. Allowing them to create a website and publish content through easy-to-use tools and features. MCMS also integrates with SharePoint Online, which is part of the new Office 365 suite.

Related Topic: How to Download Microsoft Visual Studio — Free!

In addition to the basic features of other CMS software systems, MCMS has many other additional social capabilities too. In order to help you maintain and restructure your content. As well as search for text, share documents, metadata, content, and sites with external users.

Or even at times, within a networked environment. MCMS integrates with Microsoft SQL Server to make those databases available via Windows PowerShell. For your information, Web Content Management (WCM) is more or less another name for CMS software. Obviously, because we are an industry that loves acronyms.

The different types of Content Management Systems you should know

As digital became a major facet of brands, new customer channels have popped up — where content needs to be accessible and consistent on new channels. Also, cross-departmental collaboration became more important — thus, providing individually relevant content to each customer became a focus.

Over time, many other forms of content management systems have emerged too, including:

1. Traditional CMS / Coupled CMS Software

The Traditional CMS (sometimes referred to as a “Coupled CMS”) is perhaps the simplest in terms of layout and general functionality. With a Traditional CMS, users create and edit their content using WYSIWYG or HTML editor, and then CMS displays the content according to the CSS used for layout.

Who is it for? If you’re looking to make a relatively simple marketing site, traditional CMS software is a good choice for its simplicity.

2. Decoupled CMS Software

The Decoupled CMS is in some respects more complex than the traditional (or coupled) CMS.

The advantages of a decoupled CMS is down to the architecture that separates the frontend and backend operations. That means content creators are free to simply plug information into the content manager on the backend and not worry about the layout which is manipulated by the frontend system.

Who is it for? For a powerful architecture that’s secure and versatile, a decoupled CMS is ideal for the many features it provides content marketers and developers.

3. Headless CMS Software

The architecture of Headless CMS and decoupled is quite similar — both feature separation between the content repository at the backend and the publishing tools at the frontend. Unlike other designs, this architecture is considered “headless” as it doesn’t have one designated frontend to serve for the presentation of content.

Information is delivered via an API down various channels, rather than linked to a singular frontend. Essentially, the API for a headless CMS is much more flexible for delivering information as it exists as a tool for any of the frontend portions to pull data from the backend.

Who is it for? For teams that are looking to produce a substantial amount of content and deliver information down multiple channels, this is the optimal choice.

How does a Content Management System work?

Now that you know what a Content Management System is, let’s look at how CMS software works in detail. So, in order to give you an idea of how it works, we’re going to take a whirlwind tour of the WordPress interface. As our greatest example of how good CMS software works. Keeping in mind, it’s one of the topmost site builder platforms.

Let’s start with creating a piece of content. And so, did you know that without a content management system, you’d need to write a whole static HTML File Extension for your WordPress site? Just like it used to be sometimes back? And then upload it to your server? That sounds a little bit complicated, right?

How does a Content Management System work?

But, all thanks to the different types of CMS software introduction. With a content management system like WordPress, you can just write your content as you wish.

Not only that but, in an interface that looks a good bit like Microsoft Word:— as you can see in the sample illustration above. Well, that’s a lot simpler, right? Similarly, to upload and manage media, like images, you’ll just browse through its huge media library. Instead of needing to actually interact with your web server directly.

What Makes up a Content Management System?

In reality, the Content Management System isn’t just about just a backend management interface, though. Since it also makes all of the content that you create show up for your visitors exactly as you want it to.

And on a more technical level, a majority of CMS software systems are made up of two core parts. The key components of CMS software include:

  • Content Management Application (CMA)
  • Content Delivery Application (CDA)

The Content Management Application (CMA) is the part that allows you to actually add and manage content on your site (like you saw above). While the Content Delivery Application (CDA) is the backend, behind-the-scenes process. That, eventually, takes the content you input in the CMA, stores it properly, and makes it visible to your visitors.

Together, the two systems make it easy to maintain your website. As well as manage and publish web content, allowing multiple users to contribute, create, edit, publish without having to beg a developer. But, what are examples of popular Content Management Systems that you should know?

Examples of Popular CMS Software

In the first lace, WordPress, which I showed you above, is the best example of a popular content management system. Of course, there are certainly other content management systems in existence. But of them all, the WordPress market share maintains over 39.5% on websites with a known content management system.

NB: Struggling with downtime and WordPress problems? Kinsta is the hosting solution designed to save you time! You can check out all features in detail.

Note that when I mention “WordPress”, I’m not talking about WordPress.com. Instead, I am focusing my attention on WordPress.org as the main CMS software for webmasters. After all, which is the website where the actual open-source WordPress content management system is stored.

Beyond the self-hosted WordPress software, other popular content management systems that you should know about too. As well as other less well-known content management systems that target themselves to large enterprises (with an expensive price point to match).

Best Self-Hosted Blogging Platforms:
  1. WordPress.org
  2. Joomla
  3. Drupal
  4. Ghost
  5. Magento (for eCommerce stores)
  6. Squarespace
  7. Wix
  8. TYPO3, etc.
Best Hosted Blogging Platforms:
  1. WordPress.com
  2. Blogger
  3. Medium
  4. HubSpot CMS
  5. Weebly
  6. Typepad
  7. LiveJournal
  8. Tumblr

Among those, as I listed above, which is your Best Blogging Platform for your site? Well, in my opinion, it highly depends on your intention with the blog. The best option who want to create a personal blog is probably a free hosted solution. Let’s say, like WordPressBlogger, or Medium.

What are the Advantages of a Content Management System?

We all know that content is becoming one of the main ways businesses interact with their lead customers online. And as such, gone are the days that companies could regard content as a ‘nice to have’ on the side. But, content doesn’t affect just marketing — it has become a core part of every online business.

And one thing for sure, it touches almost every department. Including sales, merchandising, and development. Yet, according to technology research conducted recently,  42% of companies indicated they don’t have the right technology to manage their content.

Related Topic: How to Bring Content and Commerce Together

But, with that aside, this’s where a Content Management System (CMS) comes in handy for every business — big or small. It’s important to realize, a CMS software helps you implement a good and comprehensive content marketing strategy. As you weave content into your commerce strategy.

At the same time, your developers won’t be involved in the process of publishing content and can easily make changes at the backend, without disrupting content publication. It also provides version management and authoring workflow to keep large, global sites consistent.

1. There are different types, shapes & sizes to choose from

CMSs come in all shapes and sizes, each with its own set of features and benefits. Some are ideally suited for blogging;— while others may be tailored to suit ecommerce sites. With features for pricing and accounting functionality. But, all specifics will vary based on your company’s needs and resources.

For many modern small to medium-sized businesses and corporations, an Enterprise Content Management System is the beating heart of their organization’s digital presence. Simply, because CMS software users are able to employ a range of document types and content on a website.

They are also able to modify and expand the information posted by themselves. Without the need of a web programmer to set up the site and do the updates. Best of all, since CMS makes use of templates, little to no HTML knowledge is required.

CMS software comes in handy for in-text editing or adding images. It also allows users to collaborate on content. When designing an operational, appealing website, companies can rely on CMS software to be able to store content online. And even allow direct communication with their intended audience.

2. It’s easy for the non-technically minded

Not all users have the same comfort level with technology, but the basic CMS functions of writing and publishing content and slightly more advanced ones of adding media are usually easy for everyone to grasp.

In fact, anyone who can use word-processing software can use a CMS for the basic functions — so you don’t even have to spend much time on training. Also, there’s more about the benefits of multiple users.

In a business, there are many people who can have input into your website. From those who add product pages to those who produce blog posts for your content marketing efforts. A CMS makes it easy to manage roles and publishing permissions for all these users.

So that only those you allow can publish blog articles and web content only goes live when you’re ready. In fact, with the right CMS software, it may keep itself up-to-date automatically.

3. It streamlines scheduling & improves site maintenance

Also, related to that, any decent CMS software will give you a glance view of the status of all content. Whether it’s live on, being reviewed, or a draft. But that doesn’t just apply to blog posts but to product pages and other website pages too.

A good CMS software allows you to assign tasks and check that they have been done. And it’s even very easy to integrate planned content with your marketing plan too. So that everyone knows what’s happening when.

At times, when it comes to your site maintenance, there’s always a need to change something now or then. Without a CMS software, that can mean having to trawl through hundreds of pages, making changes on each one.

Eventually, with CMS software, the underlying architecture is the same. And as such, you can always make any needful and meaningful maintenance changes. As well as update the CMS software and even add functionality without breaking the site.

4. You’re in control of any web design changes

As for this one, it all adds up to the biggest advantage of CMS software. Meaning, instead of being reliant on an external vendor, with CMS software, you’re in control of everything related to your web design. With the ability to assign tasks and roles and to check progress at any time.

So to speak, all that puts you in the driving seat when it comes to this important business tool. Therefore, even your minimal or maximum website design changes are simple. Speaking of making changes, let’s talk about the look of the site.

If you want to change the site design, CMS software makes the process easy. Mainly, because the content and design are in separate virtual boxes. And so, you can always make the desired design changes at any given time. While keeping the site functional.

Another advantage is the ability to make a change in your administrative dashboard — and have it automatically propagate to the entire site. This gives your site a consistent appearance and is great for branding. It also makes it easy to update the mobile interface for your site.

5. It’s a great tool to help you manage all your web content

Although this may seem obvious, for some businesses, a content management system is not just about publishing content — but about being able to remove it when it’s out of date. Let’s say, for instance, you’re running a Thanksgiving or Christmas Promotion.

Then even before the season ends, you will want to remove and change it. With great CMS software, this is as simple as unpublishing the content — with all menus and links updating automatically. So that your customers continue to have a good experience of the site.

Additionally, if you want to include customized content — such as countdown calendars and lists, the CMS software can, equally, be configured to allow this. Not forgetting, it also includes SEO too. Making sure your content ranks well in the search engines.

How to Build a Website with a Content Management System

So, do you want to build your own website with a content management system? If so, the general process looks something like this:

  • Purchase web hosting and a domain name
  • Install your content management system of choice on your web server
  • Configure the content management system to dictate how your site looks and functions
  • Start writing content using the content management system’s interface

It’s actually surprisingly simple. And hosts like Kinsta can even help install the content management system for you (WordPress, in this case). So that you can jump straight into building your site without any technical setup.

Takeaway,

As can be seen, using a Content Management System (CMS) to power your site could be one of the best investments you make in your digital presence — and your overall online business. But, you’ll need to make a sacrifice and invest in good CMS software first.

Not only that but it’s also good to know how CMSs works too. Bearing in mind,  your website is one of your main tools for communicating with your lead customers online. And you want to make sure they love it. But, that doesn’t mean you want to get bogged down in technical details.

Related Topic: Website Design from Scratch | A Simple Step-by-step Guide

The truth is that, in order for your company or business to grow big online, you can’t really do without a robust, secure, and agile Content Management System anymore. By reading this article you’ve already taken a huge step forward. In the meantime, have a look at these resources to read up on CMS

  1. How to select the right CMS for you and understanding what CMS features to be looking for.
  2. How to calculate ROI for a CMS project
  3. Understanding how CMS can help your content strategy
  4. How a hybrid, modular CMS can help you manage a complex content plan

You might decide to do a complete overhaul of your current system or change what you have now step by step, everything is possible!

Related Topic: Bandzoogle | Build a stunning band website and web store in minutes

Finally, I am so hopeful that the above guide will help you make more informed decisions. From what a CMS software is, how it works, benefits, examples to choose from, etc. In other words, a good CMS software marries power with simplicity. So, you still have time to concentrate on improving your business.

But, if you’ll think I missed out on something important, feel free to share it in our comments section. You can also Contact Us if you’ll need more support while implementing your own CMS software on your new site.

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