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Published on Thursday, 23 Jun 2022

Content Management Systems 101

In this article we will discuss what a Content Management System (CMS) is, when they should be used and whether they can benefit your business.

What is a Content Management System?

A Content Management System or “CMS” is a piece of software (generally a website), which enables users to create, modify and delete content.

For example, a public facing website which publishes articles, such as BBC or The Guardian would be backed by a private facing CMS where writers would create articles and select where to display them on the website.

Or, a website which sells items, such as ASOS or ASDA would be backed by a CMS where users can add or remove items, modify their stock, price and description.

When Should You Use a CMS?

If your website has content that regularly needs to be manually changed, using a CMS is a no-brainer. It’s important here to emphasise manually - not all dynamic content on a website has to be (or should be) changed manually.

A significant amount of content can be generated automatically using third party data feeds and services. For example, weather forecasts, advertising and sporting fixtures could be dynamically created without the need for a CMS.

Use cases for a CMS would include content where you, or members of your workforce, want to tailor the content that is displayed on your website. For instance, items in an online shop, booking systems, articles, custom advertising & sponsored links.

The Pros and Cons of a CMS

Pros

  1. Content is controlled by you, any time.
  2. Cost saving by removing your dependency on the website developers.
  3. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Having regularly updated, relevant content on your website will result in higher rankings on search engines such as Google & Bing.
  4. Increased productivity when working in teams where multiple people need access to updating content.

Cons

  1. Upfront setup costs will be higher than that of a static website.
  2. To stay secure and fast, the software the CMS is running on will need to be kept up to date.
  3. Any users of the CMS will have to spend a few minutes/hours becoming familiar with the software.

In closing, when implemented correctly, a CMS can be a highly effective tool to enable a business to control the content which is shown on their website without depending on a third party software developer.