What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

A CMS is basically a software system that facilitates administration, authoring and collaborative content creation for web users who are not experienced with web programming languages. The three most popular CMS WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are easy to use and are often favoured by small businesses, individual bloggers and not-for-profit organisations.

The benefits of a CMS

A robust CMS enables users to manage documents online, administer changes to web content with little or no training, and create multiple author outputs. Most platforms have a range of presentation templates, which will vary depending on whether you want to build an eCommerce site or start a personal blog. The CMS controls your collection of web materials including documents, images and other media, and stores your content and metadata on a database.

CMS: The Good

WordPress, Drupal and Joomla offer:

  • templates that allow the user to insert their own content for an individual look
  • easy to edit content – most platforms separate content from visual presentation in the administration panel. This makes manipulating content easy for non-technical users
  • traffic control – user groups allow administrators to control registered users’ interaction. Anonymous users can be restricted or denied access, thereby circumventing issues with Spammers
  • regular software updates and the ability to add plug-ins to extend functionality
  • multi-lingual tools to increase your audience share
  • content syndication through the generation of RSS feeds and email updates to users
  • low cost and low maintenance: WordPress, Drupal and Joomla can be used for free, and the ease of use often means it is often unnecessary to employ a full-time software developer to manage your site
  • CMS platforms are excellent for search engine optimisation (SEO). Social media plugins, fresh content and RSS feeds can increase the number of subscribers on your site

CMS: The Bad

  • implementation for larger scale projects can be costly and may require further hardware installations
  • URLs on CMS can be unstable which could see them blocked by search engines

CMS: The Downright Ugly!

Before we go any further, both of the items on this list are avoidable. It is worth talking to a software specialist and spending some of the money you’ve saved elsewhere to avoid these ugly ducks!


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