Confused about CMS, what does CMS stand for and why is it popular among people? Well I was too unaware about the term when I started using WordPress. Though using WordPress had nothing to do about me knowing CMS, but its a common saying that
“To run the long run, You need to Get the basics right”.
CMS – Content Management System
These days most of the websites are made using CMS. They come with ready to use administration panel which can be used by anyone. They are mostly used by the website owners who need to update their website regularly. So that they don’t have to depend on developers every time we change something in our website. This will also help in saving the money and time that they will spend on developer.
CMS is a simple Graphic User interface of a website that facilitates the following functionality –
- Adding new contents to the website.
- Editing and organizing contents of the website i.e. changing its appearance.
- Publishing, reporting and modifying the contents.
In simple it is used to manage the website and its contents for a particular set of users. It usually provides the way to make these tasks easily possible. So these are also called web management systems. It enables even a non- technical user to efficiently build and manage their website. You can easily change the design and content of website through admin panel just by changing theme or adding any plugin whenever you want. You don’t need to deal with complicated codes. Everything can be done by just clicking buttons, as simple as that.
CMS administrate every contents of the website throughout its life-cycle i.e. from its start to end.
If you want the below things to be implemented then you must go for any CMS for your website –
- If you want to update your website’s contents regularly
- If you want to restrict access to any page of your website.
- If you want give access to some non-technical user to manage and update your website.
- If you want to manage your contents of website remotely.
A good CMS is known by its user friendly interface and functionality that it provides for easy creating and managing of contents even by a non-technical user.
CMS provides access of contents to a particular group of users for editing and publishing. It is inherently collaborative process. How a user use CMS totally depends on his/her role.
Roles and Responsibilities
CMS generally provides following roles and responsibilities –
- Creator – They are responsible for creating and editing contents of website.
- Editor – They edit the contents created by creator. They are also responsible for tuning the content message and the style of delivery, including translation and localization.
- Publisher – They publish the contents for use.
- Administrator – They manage rights and permissions given to users and even files and folders. They also assist and support users in various ways.
- Consumer, viewer or guest – They are the people who read your contents after visiting your website.
CMS are of two main types:
Proprietary CMS and Open Source CMS
Proprietary CMS –
These CMS are not free. They are built and managed by any particular company and you have to pay for using it either on monthly basics or subscription plan.
Normally they don’t allow you to access source code rather they provide you API to make any changes or view existing data.
They are also hosted by the providing companies only. They will provide you login credentials which you can use to login into their CMS.
They require License for using if you are hosting it on your website.
Some example of proprietary CMS are –
Shopify, Zepo and many more
Open Source CMS –
They are free and are created by group of developers across the world and can be used by anyone.
They have a large base of developers who are working continuously on it to improve their functionality and are regularly updated.
They provide source code available to all and give total control of the files and documents to the user, it means you can modify and change it according to you.
They can be hosted anywhere as per your requirement and even don’t need license for using it.
They are portable and you can easily move your data from one platform to another.
Some example of open CMS are –
WordPress , Joomla , Drupal, DotNetNuke and many more
Which one to choose open source or Proprietary CMS ?
Choosing a CMS for your website is the most important decision you will make and it totally depends on the need of your business and resources for using it. There are many factors to taken in account.
But before choosing any CMS, you must look into it for a good interface, intelligent search capabilities, how many people will be using the application, whether the CMS will require multi language support, what will be size of support team needed to support operations etc.
The most important thing you should not forget is to go for a CMS which you can handle easily. This can selected by keeping in mind that are you a technical or non-technical person or are you be able to understand codes.
I recommend you to first choose open source CMS in most of the circumstances. They are more customisable and offer more freedom to clients. Their flexibility nature allows clients to achieve exactly what they are looking for and even at the free of cost.
Some of the proprietary CMS too offers these things, but taking everything in account open source offers the best values to clients.
- Easy to manage website – CMS makes it very easy to manage website by providing a simple administrative panel, which can be used by anybody.
- Built in SEO Tools – A great CMS will have built in SEO tools which help user to automatically create search engine friendly URLs. It also helps you to create keywords and tags.
- High Performance and scalability – CMS also offers great caching mechanism which improves website performance.
- Free modules help to add new features – Many CMS provides free easy to install and integrate modules and plugins which are very helpful in adding new feature and functionality in your website. You don’t have to write long codes for adding any specific desired functionality, you can easily do it with help of pre available modules.
- Flexibility – CMS are API friendly i.e. you can easily integrate it with other softwares to enhance its functionality. For example: Google analytics, Facebook Comments, Twitter tweets etc.
- Social media integration – It provides easy integration of social media sharing buttons on your website. Social media sharing buttons will help users to share your contents on social websites, which will help you to increase traffic on your website.
- User and group functionality – By this functionality of CMS you can create different groups of users and provides different access of data and files to them. You can give different editing rights to different group of users. Page access can also be restricted to specific group of users.
- Template support for changing designs – There are hundreds of free templates available which you can install and easily change your website design.
- User-friendly results – Simple built contact forms, discussion forums can help you to interact with users.
- Easy backup and restore – You can schedule your backup regularly which makes it easy to restore the website during any loss of data or damage.
- Security and data integrity – CMS helps you to prevent any intrusion from attackers and filter data to eliminate any kind of spamming activity.
- Easy Upgrade – Most of the CMS can be easily and free upgrade to its higher version just by clicking a button, as easy as it.
The type of CMS depends on nature of contents or digital records such e.g. video, text, graphics, blog etc . They are categorised as follows –
Web CMS –
They are especially for managing webpage contents. It helps in maintaining, controlling, changing and reassembling the content on a web page.
Enterprise CMS –
They are designed to manage any organisation’s documents. The driving force behind implementing it to do business better as it handles all the documents in a proper way. They remove dependence on paper and streamline business processes and drive better customer service and increase productivity.
Component CMS –
Component content management systems are a special type of system which manages content at a component level rather than at document level.
Mobile CMS –
Today due to increasing demand of mobile phone users, it is important to manage contents on mobile optimised websites too. This is what a Mobile Content Management system do for you. They manage contents on devices such as mobile phones, smart phones, and PDAs to make it look responsive.
Some of the Popular CMS used today are –
If you don’t need to spend money and yet want something very powerful then go for either WordPress , Joomla and Drupal . They have been around since 2003, 2005 and 2000 respectively. Don’t think since they are free, they are not good. They are the most popular open source CMS used today.
WordPress is the most popular CMS in use today and is getting more comprehensive, intuitive and popular with each new update release. It is an open source software which can be used to create beautiful websites or blogs. It is the easiest and most flexible CMS (Content Management system) for beginners and very popular for its easy to use interface and managing contents.
It is easy and free to install. It has thousands of available themes and plugins that you can install and use for tweaking your site and adding contents and functionality.
The dominance of WordPress in the CMS market is amazing. Today it powers almost 25% of the all websites across the web.
Read here why to choose WordPress for your CMS .
It can be downloaded at from its official website https://wordpress.org/ .
Joomla is one of the most popular free content management systems (CMS) that allows you to easily create and manage a dynamic website. It has an user friendly management system to control all the features and functionality they provide. Furthermore, there are hundreds of free extensions made for Joomla that make almost every task possible.
It is very advanced CMS in terms of functionality. Its first version was released in 2005 and is still improving. It is very popular, easy to use, stable and secure. It has thousands of free extensions and templates allowing users to customize their site easily according to themselves. It is built on a model–view–controller.
Joomla is supported by a large internet community who are always ready to help new users with their problems. Joomla had more than 30 million downloads in 2012 and is growing.
It can be downloaded at from its official website https://joomla.org/ .
Drupal is an open source content management system (CMS). When compared with WordPress and Joomla, most developers agree that Drupal is more difficult to master, but much more powerful and flexible.
Drupal is no ordinary CMS. By design, Drupal is the perfect content management solution for nontechnical users who require simplicity and flexibility. Through a modular approach to site building, Drupal offers its users both. For this reason, Drupal can be described as having the strengths of both a content management system and a content management framework. With Drupal, you can build almost anything. It’s just a matter of combining the right modules.
It can be downloaded at from its official website https://drupal.org/ .
Shopify is a premium, customizable, and easy to use e-commerce platform for business owners and online marketers.
You can access all the tools and applications to build and maintain your own online store. It has gorgeous themes and useful 3rd party apps, which can be customized, automated and increase revenue easily.
Its not a marketplace like Amazon or eBay. Anyone can build their own marketplace with it and there is no profit sharing with the platform.
Hope I covered everything related to CMS.
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