Content management systems (CMSs) are truly the unsung heroes behind successful websites. Their benefits go above and beyond intuitiveness, fast deployment, and easy maintenance. There are suitable CMSs for all kinds of websites, regardless of whether their content is dynamic, static, or interactive.
Advantages of content management systems
Here are a few advantages of CMSs over static HTML websites:
- cost-efficiency, especially with open-source software
- SEO-friendly features
- extendable functionality through plugins
- developer and community support
Users can create functional pages or upload and change content even with limited technical knowledge. They don’t need to hire a web developer or understand PHP or any other programming language.
Importance of a CMS to your enterprise
You can achieve the following by carefully sourcing and implementing the most suitable CMS for your web project:
- update your website remotely
- streamline your authoring process
- ensure consistency in the site’s look and feel
- use untrained staff to make updates
- tweak your website to meet your specific business needs
- reduce website maintenance costs
- integrate your website with other business apps
- store archived content
- optimize your site for mobile and search engines
- use dynamic marketing to improve sales
To get the most out of these advantages, you will need to define your technical requirements as well as your workflows and other relevant operative processes. Part of this is deciding who should have access to the system and what type of access. You also need to establish the approval procedures for managing and publishing your digital content.
The main types of CMSs
You can choose between an open-source and a proprietary content management system. Here are the typical features of each one of these.
You can download open-source software for free, at least at first. While you won’t pay fees for licenses and upgrading and won’t be required to sign a contract, the following might come at a cost:
- technical help during installation
- compatible templates, premium plugins, add-ons
- customization to enhance the software beyond basics
- staff training
- support, including regular software updates
Most popular open-source CMS platforms
- Magento and PrestaShop (e-commerce)
An open-source CMS can be installed and managed on a web server. A large number of customizations are available for different needs, even though most solutions work out of the box. These include SEO tools, plugins for e-commerce websites, and tools to customize your layouts and design themes.
A single company develops and manages proprietary CMS platforms. Using such systems generally involves paying monthly or annual fees for support or updates and paying a license fee for the software. In addition, you might have to pay customization and upgrade costs and costs for training and ongoing support.
Most popular proprietary CMS solutions
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Pulse CMS
- IBM Enterprise Content Management
It’s usually possible to customize proprietary CMS with integrated features, but this might cost extra. Try to find a CMS solution that fulfills all of your requirements. Integrating a proprietary CMS with an existing backend system or site can come with prolonged development work.
Key CMS functions and features
Most content management systems (CMS) have the following functions and features to make creating and changing digital content, data, and documents possible:
- search and retrieval
- revision control
- format management
- access control
Most appealing CMS features
Some CMSs may also have the following highly appealing features:
- customizable templates to manage content
- SEO-friendly URLs
- permission-based access control
- user and group functionality
- content virtualization
- content organization structures
- versioning and workflow management
- delegation between user groups
- collaboration platform
- language or user support
- integrated audit logs
- integrated file managers
- install and upgrade wizards
- compliance with online accessibility standards
What is the right CMS for you?
The best CMSs are SEO-friendly and help users meet online accessibility standards. The best choice in your individual situation depends on your specific needs and priorities.