CMS 101 – What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

CMS 101 - What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

You may not know what a Content Management System (CMS) is or what it does. However, you’ve probably used at least one without even knowing it. In simple terms, a CMS is an app that lets you create, edit, and maintain content. If you use social networking sites like Facebook, you’ve gotten a tiny taste of what this is like. In our context today, we will be talking about content management systems that are used for web-based publishing or creating a website.

Why do I need a Content Management System?

Well, if you don’t understand why you’d want a CMS, do this little experiment. Right click your mouse on this page and select “View Page Source”. See all those lines of beautiful code? Unless you can read and write in those coding languages and want to stare at a notepad of code all day, you’ll want a CMS. It allows you to easily manage and maintain your blog or website without having to know any code or programming.

Isn’t that why I have a web designer – to write all my code for me?

Sure, we could write your entire website line by line, but is that what you really want? Every industry has its own set of tools that make work more efficient. Web design is no different. If you were paying a carpenter by the hour to build you an entire house, would you want him to use a hammer or a nail gun? Circular saw or hand saw? How would the carpenter feel about using hand tools instead of power tools? I think you get the point. Professional web designers don’t want to hand code your entire site and you don’t want to lose money by doing it the long way.

Content management systems are beneficial for many reasons. Here are a few examples:

  • Allows you to easily make changes to your website
  • Greatly reduces redundancy in programming
  • Cuts down on coding errors
  • Speeds up maintenance
  • Easily expandable with features
  • Control who has access to edit your site
  • Usually SEO friendly
  • Professional designs available out of the box

Stay tuned for our next posts in this series to learn more about the benefits of using a CMS and how to select a CMS.

Stephanie Rawson

Stephanie has 15 years of self-taught HTML and web design experience along with an associates degree in Information Technology from Colorado Tech. Her previous experience in eCommerce and customer service gives her a unique insight into what clients and their customers are looking for. Outside of work, Stephanie is active in Christian ministry and loves geeky hobbies.

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