A content management system (CMS) is a software application that is used to create and manage digital content. CMS applications are made of two components. The first is the content management application, which allows the user to create, edit and remove content from a website without coding experience. The second component is the content delivery application. This provides the backend functionalities that support the management of content once it has been created.
Most CMS applications have the same core features such as indexing, content search, content retrieval, revision control, format management and publishing. Other features will vary depending on the provider, but popular functionality inclusions are SEO friendly URLs, permission and user access management, customisable templates, admin panels and easy install procedures.
DO I NEED A CMS?
This will depend on the purpose of your website. CMS platforms are commonly used on sites where content is frequently updated, such as a blog (standalone or integrated as a feature into a website), news or e-commerce websites. A CMS will also prove useful where:
- You wish to regularly update features or product information
- You have an editorial team and want to an approval workflow
- You want to provide search utility or API
- You require localisation and multiple languages
If you are not going to be regularly updating the content on your website, a CMS platform may not be needed. Instead, flat HTML files may be a better solution for you.
Choosing a CMS
Take time to test out several CMS options before starting your project. Review the features, test the usability and find the right fit for your company. Many platforms will offer free trial-periods that will allow you to ‘test the water’ and compare products. Most clients will choose a CMS platform based on how easy-to-use the editor interface is. If employees do not have development experience, an intuitive CMS application can still allow them to effectively make edits to a website without the cost of developer time and resource.
Another important factor to consider is cost. Whether you’re looking at open-source or enterprise tools, most CMS platforms do not come free – there will likely be an upfront cost.
Our team is experienced with CMS applications. Our work ranges from custom built CMS platforms to theme installation and optimisation for small start-ups. We can consult with your team and advise on the best CMS platform for your business based on your requirements. Below are some of our favourite CMS vendors.