FAQ – Content Management System (CMS)

What is a content management system (CMS)?

When you start to create a website for your business, portfolio, or event, you start to look for websites that allow you manage all the content you are building and uploading into the World Wide Web. During your research, the word “CMS” is bound to pop up. CMS, the shortened form of “content management system” is an important addition to your website and growth.

In basic terms, a content management system is an application or software that allows the user to create and manage digital content through uploading/downloading, editing, and deleting content that has been published to a website. Examples of CMS include WordPress, Joomla, Backdrop CMS by Drupal, and Oracle WebCenter.

What are some features of a content management system?

While the features between CMS vary, the core functions remain largely the same. All CMS do the following:
-Intuitive indexing
-Search and retrieval functions – use publication dates, author name, keywords to find information
-Update and edit content after publication
-Track changes made by individuals
-Use templates and other tools to create or edit content

Depending on the kind of CMS you use, you might also gain access to tools and features like SEO widgets, SEO-friendly URLs, discussion boards, multiple language support, integrated file management, and so on.

What are the pros and cons of using a CMS?

If you are trying to decide if you should or shouldn’t be using a CMS, then here is a look at some of the pros and cons behind them.

-Content editing and design editing are separated. This means that you can edit and reformat the look and feel of the content on the website without ever having to mess around with complicated things like HTML code or back-end web development.
-Access permissions can be changed for each person with access to the CMS. You can assign roles like administrator, editor, contributor, author, and so on. This helps increase security, too.
-SEO-friendly CMS are widely popular, such as WordPress. On these kinds of content management services, you can customize titles, headers, metadata, and adjust the urls to optimize your content. You can also use SEO widgets.
-CMS update seamlessly. You never have to worry about using a clunky, outdated service when using a CMS.

-Learning curves. Even with many CMS offering ways to drag and drop your content, edit and create templates, and so on, there is still a learning curve that comes with understanding all the functions and how they weave together.
-CMS are known to lag slightly. This is because pages are stored separate of one another. If you understand how to cache data effectively, this lagging can be mitigated, however.
-Though it isn’t common, content management systems can be hacked into if you aren’t careful. To keep your data and personal information safe, implement two factor authentication and other security options many CMS provide.

What are some of the most popular content management systems available?

The top 3 content management systems are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Joomla is used by Harvard University, MTV, and Citibank, since it is also for networking. Drupal is multi-faceted and is popular with STEM industries and websites.

For most people, the first mentioned CMS, WordPress, is the best, because you can choose a free or pro option, use your own domain name, update and recreate themes and templates, gain access to hundreds of widgets, and build websites with step-by-step tutorials.