A Content Management System (CMS), sometimes also referred to as a web management system can be defined as consisting of software applications and tools that allow a company to create, manage, edit and publish their online content. Many of these software applications are free and run on a web server so there is no need for downloading software on to your computer.
Content Management Systems generally consist of two elements: a content management application (CMA) and a content delivery application (CDA). The CMA element is the component that allows for the creation and editing of content while the CDA is responsible for publishing content to the company’s webpages.
How does it work?
A traditional website built in HTML or Flash can be time-consuming and problematic when uploading content. However, a good CMS should be flexible, unobtrusive and help you to make a great site. It should provide you with tools to help keep track of content, while letting more experienced users handle the look and feel of the website. This makes the process of content management much easier.
There are a variety of content management systems available and each has their own unique functions but the most common features include:
- Pre-set templates and tools
- Authorized access control provided on an individual basis
- Consistent layout throughout your site
- Data storage
- Management of site structure and maintenance
- Real time content editing
- Easy to use interface for non-technical individuals
- In-built features such as online surveys, polls and RSS feeds.
All of these features provide an easy and cost effective way for businesses to maintain their websites without needing extensive knowledge of HTML and coding.
Do I need a CMS?
Whether you need a content management system or not is all based on your company’s needs. If you are a company that has very little content on your site and is updated infrequently then a CMS may not be the right option for you. Here at evolve, we would generally advise companies that blog on a frequent basis or have an e-commerce functionality on their site to use a CMS.
Before you decide, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- How often will my website be updated?
- Do I have the resources to commit to a CMS? Do I have time or employee constrictions?
- Do I plan on including a blog feature on my website in the future?
- Do I need a website that is high on user functionality and interactivity?
- Do I have any in house employees who know html and coding?