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What is a CMS?
By Lois Ransome
On Sep 18, 2019
A Content Management System, or CMS, is a piece of online software that allows you to create and manage content on your website from a user-friendly platform with absolutely no specialist programming knowledge. In a nutshell, a CMS makes managing a website super easy for individuals of all technical levels - from IT gurus to total technophobes.
Benefits of a CMS
The biggest benefit of using a CMS is how easy it is to manage the content on your website, whether you’re creating new pages, adding news stories or updating existing text.
Generally a CMS will allow you to add multiple users, each of which can have a different level of access. This can be particularly helpful if you would like final sign off on any changes before they go live on your website. A team member can make the changes, before handing over to an administrator to review and publish.
A good CMS will also include a media library where you can upload photos and videos that can be automatically embedded into your content without too much editing.
Do I need a CMS?
Depending on the nature of your business you may or may not decide you need a CMS. It all depends on how often you’ll require changes to your website and if you’ll have the time or inclination to make the changes yourself.
If your website includes features that require regular updates, such as a news or blog page, then you’ll want to have access to a CMS, otherwise you’ll receive an invoice from your Web Developer every time you want to add new content or make a change.
If however you have a super simple website, with just a little bit of blurb about your organisation and your contact details, then there is probably little point in investing in a CMS.
Which CMS should I use?
There are hundreds of content management systems out there, with the biggest names being WordPress, Drupal and Joomla...but we don’t use any of them!
For each website we undertake we use a bespoke CMS that we customise and build upon to meet the exact requirements of the client.
Benefits of a custom-built CMS:
- Off the shelf systems can be limiting in terms of design and functionality. Our custom-build approach gives you complete freedom, so your whole system will be designed around the needs of your business. Our CMS is also future proofed as we can easily update and add to your website as your business grows.
- A custom built CMS can support sophisticated functionality and complex integrations without any restrictions, which most open-source systems can’t offer.
- We don’t use any third party plugins, instead building all functionality from scratch, meaning our websites are much faster. Not only does this improve user experience, but it can also help improve your search rankings, as Google loves fast websites.
- Open source content management systems are notorious for experiencing security issues. Whilst you may regularly update your WordPress software, there will be a host of plugins on your website that have not been updated. As recently as last month 60 million WordPress users were at risk of a critical backdoor attack when hackers targeted vulnerabilities in old plugins.