What Does That Mean? Content Management Systems (CMS)

Content Management Systems (CMS)

What are content management systems?The internet is a strange and wondrous place, but it is constantly changing. It’s hard to keep up. We are here to help by explaining “what does that mean?”

What Does This Thing Do?

It might be helpful to start with the first word: content. When working on websites for customers, we often toss that word about liberally, but not everyone understands it. Content is all of the words and images on your website. In much the same way you fill a Word document with tables and text and photos, a website is packed with them as well. That is the content.

Now that we have that out of the way, the idea of Content Management Systems (CMS for short) might make a little more sense. They literally help to manage the content on your website. The most simplistic way of doing so is through text editors. A text editor is like Word for a website. It’s a box where you can type words, add boldface, italics and other changes, and save that information for a web page.

But, the CMS goes well beyond that. They can be used to connect information and individual users of your website in complex and useful ways. To better illustrate this, consider the following example.

Your company has a list of your team of employees (all with bios), services you offer and news. Each is related. For example, CEO John is the main contact for your Safety Training service. Recently, your firm received an award for excellence in the field of safety training.

Without a CMS, each individual page of the website where this information would appear — John’s bio, the Safety Training service page, the News page — would have to be updated each time a change was made. But, with a CMS, those changes can be made in one single location. Not only does it speed up the process of publishing valuable content, it makes it easier for you to handle it without understanding code.

Why Would I Need It?

If you update your website often (a few times per week, for example), a Content Management Systems are invaluable. If you are unfamiliar with the basic coding principles of the internet, it is probably the only way for you to update your website yourself. Additionally, with commonly used CMSs, there are all sorts of third-party applications available for little or no money to create value-added benefits to your website you couldn’t otherwise afford.

Why Would I Not Want It?

Initially, installing and/or customizing/building a CMS can be expensive. They do require certain types of hosting and you’ll no doubt need the assistance of a website maintenance company (hint, hint) to make sure it continues to run efficiently. It is slightly less portable than a basic website as well.

WordPress is a CMS

The most widely used CMS is WordPress. It began as a blogging software (right here in Houston, Texas, as a matter of fact) and has grown to be the backbone for nearly one-third of all websites operating today. There are certainly many other softwares available, but there is no question WordPress is both the most popular and easiest to use. It also has millions of developers and third-party applications available as add-ons.

Making the decision to add a CMS or change your existing system can be complicated. Don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll help you figure it out. And our developers over at Little Tank can even help you customize it to your needs.