Are you using a Content Management System (CMS) for your website? If not, you should be!
Here is a breakdown of what a CMS is, three of the best CMS platforms available, and why not using a CMS can hurt your website’s functionality.
What is a Content Management System?
A content management system (CMS) is a computer program used to track and manage every piece of content on a website—much like a library keeps track of books and stores them. A CMS substitutes having to write lengthy versions of code and allows for storing, publishing, content modification, and search and retrieval functionality from a single back-end interface. A CMS can house and index video, audio, photographs, graphics and other data contained on your site, and provides plugin applications—plugins are tools that provide custom functions and features to tailor your web design to your specific needs.
There are many benefits that can be achieved by implementing a CMS for your website. These include:
- - Streamlined content creation and management
- - Improved site traffic and SEO
- - Improved site navigation/visitor experience
- - Improved conversions and sales
- - Reduced site maintenance costs (Webmaster fees, etc.)
A CMS provides publishing abilities that allow the appearance and page layout of your site to be applied automatically during publishing, and allows the same content to be published to multiple sites. A CMS is particularly handy because anyone can create, upload and modify content quickly and easily, even without a lot of technical skill or web design knowledge; i.e. authors who may not know HTML and can’t publish content without the intervention of a Webmaster.
A CMS’ publishing feature provides a preselected template or set of templates in which to upload content into HTML or PDF formats. Once published, management (or an acting editor) can use keywords to search and retrieve documents and make changes instantly—even if the content is live. And once the content is saved, the document is archived. No more having to track what articles/blogs were published last week, or last year.
That is the basics of what a CMS is and how it can be used to help your website. Now, here are three CMS platforms that are among the best available based on ease of installation, usability and extended functionality over time.
WordPress is probably the most popular CMS out there. PHP platformed, WordPress has carved out a niche for its ease of use and performance satisfaction from beginning bloggers to uber-tech web designers. This CMS comes with a lightning-fast installation wizard and provides auto update versions for plugins without having to download a thing. WordPress provides large support communities, both onsite and off, and has the widest selection of plugins and themes (template designs, etc.) to choose from.
Joomla is known for its great functionality, and installing/getting started with this CMS is a breeze due to common shared hosting packages and the compatibility of its software. Joomla is a complete CMS and comes with comprehensive drop-down menus and support for access control protocols like LDAP, OpenID and Gmail.com.
Joomla hosts more than 3,200 extensions—an extension is a file containing programming that extends the capabilities of data available to a basic program. Unlike WordPress, however, Joomla themes and extensions rely more on paid plugins and themes, so if you’re looking to customize with such additions, you’ll probably have to pay for them.
Like Joomla, Drupal is more of a complete CMS and doesn’t focus on blogging as a platform—like WordPress. Druple has a basic installation and offers features such as user forums and OpenID. One of Drupal’s most popular features is the Taxonomy module. Taxonomy allows you to connect and classify your website’s content through categories, tags, or metadata. This is handy for everything from view and display options to menu and navigation schemes. Like WordPress, Drupal has a large support community to help answer questions regarding plugins, multimedia formatting, etc.
Want to learn more about how a CMS can help your website? We’ve got answers! Get in touch with us for a free consultation to learn more about San Diego web design and lots of cool tricks of the trade: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call us at (619) 381-3825.