There are a lot of acronyms you’ll come across in your business journey. If you’re building a website then you might have come across CMS in the process.
So what is a Content Management System and why is it important to your business? This article will answer some questions about content management, by looking at the following areas:
- What is a Content Management System?
- What are some examples of Content Management Systems?
- Why do you need a Content Management System?
What is a Content Management System?
CMS stands for Content Management System. A CMS is software that you access online that allows you to build and manage a website, without having to build it from scratch or have extensive technical knowledge of how to code.
A CMS allows you to create and maintain a website that is designed specifically for your business. The CMS can provide many functions for you to use on your website and is highly customisable.
By using a CMS you’ll be able to create and publish content such as a bio or ‘About’ page for your business, as well as useful blogs and articles for your customers for content marketing purposes. You’ll be able to list products or describe services and create forms for potential clients to get in touch with you. You can do this by downloading or purchasing templates and extensions for the software, instead of having to code it or pay a web developer to do it for you.
What are some examples of Content Management Systems?
Some examples of popular CMS platforms to host a website on are:
Each will have its own benefits for your business, which depend on what you want your website to be able to do.
Before picking a CMS, do your research about what will fit your budget, your digital abilities and knowledge level, so that you can manage it effectively. Also, take into consideration the future of your business – try to pick a platform that it can grow into, as well as something that suits for now, because switching from one CMS to another can be time consuming.
Why do you need a Content Management System?
Using a CMS can have many benefits for your business and your online presence, as well as your productivity.
No coding experience is necessary
CMS platforms have changed web design and enabled business owners who have no coding or developer experience to establish their business online. Beforehand you might have had to pay a developer and a designer to be able to first create the website, and then pay them for making any changes you wanted to make.
Now through your chosen CMS you can manage your website content easily, and install extensions to make your website do new things, without having to code it at all. It can still be worth learning a little bit of code, or researching custom code so that you can have a little more control over errors or create special features, but with a CMS platform, learning it is not a necessity. As a result of this kind of technology, users with limited resources or little technical knowledge can still build a robust and good quality website for their business.
Collaboration and management is simple
You may be a one-person team, and a CMS makes managing the content on your site (content can be text, imagery, forms or videos) simple – you can go in and make changes and updates whenever you like. When you log into the CMS you’re accessing what developers call the ‘back-end’ of the website, which is almost like using the back door to get into the site and make changes.
If you were to hire marketing support, or a developer to help create custom areas of the website, you could access the back-end of the website to work, at the same time as them. This ease of access ensures that if you are collaborating with other people on your website the process doesn’t involve any waiting or delays because you can both work at the same time. This also increases productivity because the CMS platform is a secure way to allow multiple users.
Built-in SEO features
Many CMS providers have SEO features that are built-in to the platform. These features can help you optimise your website so that your company appears on the search results for key words and phrases related to your business.
For example, you might be a baker who sells online, and your SEO keywords might be ‘order brownies online’ or ‘wedding cakes edinburgh’. Using SEO features so that chosen pages on your website rank on the Google results for these terms can help you bring in more business by capturing searchers.
If your chosen CMS doesn’t have built-in SEO features, or you find the features too advanced, you can choose add-ons or install an extension, such as Yoast, SEO Press or Redirection. Following some simple SEO best practices will help you improve your chances of bringing in more business directly via your website.
Templates that make design simple
Most CMS platforms will come with templates, so you don’t have to design something from scratch. You can simply select a template that you like the look of, and because it is predesigned you can start editing and adding in your text and imagery immediately. This allows you to customise the appearance of your website easily, without any prior digital design knowledge.
CMS templates make creating a professional and slick website easy and far less time consuming than having to pay for a service to do this for you.
Making updates is fast
As mentioned, you’re able to make updates and changes as soon as you want to, instead of having to pay someone and wait for them to work through it.
You can do bigger updates yourself, such as a redesign (by choosing a new template) as well as small changes, like editing the text on certain pages or adding in a contact form to promote customer enquiries.
Before a CMS you would have had to understand coding to be able to go in and make updates, and so the CMS allows you to keep your content up to date easily.
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