The CMS or Content Management System has become a critical part of any website, yet when investing in a new website for your business, its never that clear what the CMS is, why it’s needed and which one you should use. It’s normally the case that the web developer will pick whichever CMS suits them. This articles is aimed at helping clarify some of the questions so you can pick the CMS that works best for you.
What is a CMS?
A CMS at its simplest is software that runs behind the scenes of your website and provides a lot of the features that most modern website demand. The most basic feature of a CMS is the ability to add or update your website via a control panel. This means that you can update the website instead of requiring a specialist.
Why do we need one?
Well you might not need a CMS if you have a very basic website with perhaps one page with some contact details. However if your site has more than one page, and those pages are likely to change frequently, then it would get expensive to hire a specialist to perform those changes.
For example, if you were running a restaurant and you changed the menu every month, with a CMS you would be able to login to the admin area and change the menu page with a simple interface as if you were editing a Word document. If you didn’t have a CMS you would have to contact your web developer to make the changes or try and edit the raw website files yourself.
What are the most common?
The biggest by far is WordPress and by far a favorite here at FreshApp. WordPress is great for those who are new to web editing and there are plenty of useful resources and plugins available to help you extend what WordPress can do.
An alternative to WordPress is Joomla which can offer a lot more complexity out of the box. However the complexity can also be its downfall making it rather confusing to tackle for new users (I certainly found it confusing).
There are many more available to use so don’t hesitate to have a search as you may find a CMS that is more targeted to your project. For example there might be a CMS that has been designed for use by restaurants.
Which one to pick?
The CMS is where you will be updating your website, so the best thing we recommend is to try each one out and see which one you find easiest to use. Most will have free demo sites for you to try. For example you can sign up for a free WordPress account.
You should also consider how much of a community has been built up around the CMS. If not many people are using the CMS then it will be harder to find plugins and support for when you might have an issue. Also without much community support, the CMS might get abandoned.
We hope that clears up the basics of Content Management Systems. If you have any questions just get in touch. we will be happy to help.