DOTLOGICS BLOG

March 14, 2018

CMS 101 - What is It, and How Do You Pick One?

Written byChristian Abbatecola

A laptop with building blocks displaying “CMS” in front of it.
There’s a lot of work that goes into creating and running a website. While some sites may appear static and unchanging for long stretches of time, many update frequently with new promotions, products, blogs, or other content. Even websites for businesses that don’t have any direct need for regular updates will often add new content quite often
 as part of their SEO strategy.

Frequent content additions can boost a site’s ranking on search engines like Google, as well as inform visitors of important new information, which is why using the right CMS is important for any business.

A CMS, or Content Management System, is the platform used to add and modify information on a website. That information can be any number of things, including blog posts, articles, events calendars, videos, image galleries, product listings, or just about any kind of content that a website owner would want to have posted on his or her site.

The point of having a CMS is to make it simple for owners and workers to update their website, presenting an easy-to-use interface that requires little-to-no programming knowledge. Being able to customize one’s site without getting a programmer involved for every little change or update makes it much quicker and easier for brands to make the most of their sites, and even experienced programmers benefit from the streamlined process that using a CMS offers over having to individually code every new page.

There are many CMS options available, including:

  • WordPress
  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • CushyCMS
  • SilverStripe
  • Magento
  • Prestashop
  • Radiant

...And that’s just scratching the surface.

While every CMS exists to make managing websites easier, the sheer volume of choices can make picking right one can seem daunting. After all, if you’re not terribly familiar with them, how would you know whether you’re better off using WordPress over Joomla, or Joomla over Drupal?

The answer to that question will depend largely on your own capabilities, but you should probably ask yourself and your web developer a few key questions before settling on the one to use for your site.

  1. Will the CMS be easy for you to use?
  2. Will the CMS provide the features your site requires?
  3. Can you get help if you run into a problem?
  4. What, if anything, is the cost of the CMS?
  5. Will the CMS keep up with your future needs?

The CMS that’s right for you will depend on what type of website you’re having built, the type of content you’ll be posting, and the general proficiency level of yourself and your team. Perhaps WordPress is the right choice because of its ease of use; or, maybe Drupal’s capacity for customization is what you really need. There is no one size fits all solution to CMS, but you can still find the right one for you by asking the right questions.
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