Let's start at the top. What is a content management system (often called a CMS)? A CMS is a software that allows users to publish, edit and manage content on a website without the knowledge of HTML, CSS or PHP programming. A CMS typically stores the content in a database instead of individual HTML or PHP files. Simply put - a content management system is a tool that enables you to manage a website without knowing how to code anything. Because of this, a content management system empowers you to 'own' your content. With a CMS you don't have to wait on your a web developer or your IT group to publish changes. Don't worry, a good CMS also allows you to publish changes without knowing how to write HTML or CSS. You simply select the page or entry you wish to edit, apply your changes and publish. A content management system gives you freedom and flexibility. Here are a few other reasons to consider building your website on a content management system.
If your website is controlled by a third-party developer, IT team or other outside entity, you know the frustration of not being able to edit your website or add content when you need too. Great content management systems are typically web-based. The software is installed on your server so there is no per-user license or software to install on your computer. This allows you to log in from anywhere and manage content on your terms. No need to wait for your developer or agency to make the changes - you can handle them right now, from wherever you are.
Furthermore, a great content management system allows for varying levels of user access and control. Want the sales team to only edit certain types of content while the marketing team can manage and edit all content? With a CMS like Craft CMS or ExpressionEngine this type of user management and publishing control is easy.
Content management systems like Craft CMS or ExpressionEngine also have preview and testing capabilities built-in. This allows you to see how your changes will look in real-time. No more guesswork.
Want to add a new feature, create a new tool or simply change things up a bit? No problem. With a good content management system, your content is separate from the look and feel, allowing new features to be added, or design refinement to happen with ease.
Building your website on a true content management system like Craft CMS or ExpressionEngine gives you native features and functionality that are powerful. These features allow professional developers to create a publishing workflow and content management experience that is right for your business. Native features also reduce your time-to-live allowing you to launch sooner. Because these features are part of the system, there is little or no need for plugins that can expose you to various vulnerabilities. Commercial content management systems are extremely secure, reducing your risk and giving you peace-of-mind.
One of the key indicators of a great content management system is its support. Is the system supported by a team of professional developers or is it 'open-source' or supported by the community at large? Does the CMS release regular updates and patches? Does the CMS have an excellent security track record? In the case of Craft CMS or ExpressionEngine, their team of dedicated developers release updates almost monthly. ExpressionEngine updates are free while Craft requires a minimal yearly fee to receive updates.
The web is constantly changing. No matter what your goals are, a content management system empowers you to own your content, pursue your marketing strategy, and grow your business. If you've read this far, you are asking the right questions and we can help. Give us a call or drop us a line to talk about your website's goals.
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