Our Digital Marketing Basics series explains common digital marketing concepts in plain English.
As part of our Digital Marketing Basics series, we’re going to delve into a digital marketing concept that can sound daunting at first: A CMS. It’s one of those acronyms that gets bandied around by web developers and agency folk that isn’t immediately obvious what it is. So, what is a CMS and why on earth do you need one?
What is a CMS?
CMS stands for Content Management System. Your Content Management System is there to help you edit content on a web-based platform (like your website). Comentum’s definition is a good starting point – but we’ll be sure to break it down into human-speak for you:
The definition of a CMS is an application (more likely web-based), that provides capabilities for multiple users with different permission levels to manage (all or a section of) content, data or information of a website project, or internet/intranet application.
What are some example CMSs?
There are lots of different CMSs to try, each with their own unique benefits. Some of the big hitters include:
- WordPress – A good all rounder and great starter CMS. Can fall down on more complex builds but for most website functionalities, WordPress is a good starting point.
- Drupal – Becoming increasingly popular, Drupal is a high functioning CMS that offers multiple capabilities, however, its user interface isn’t as intuitive as WordPress.
- Magento – Is often considered the best platform for eCommerce sites
- Umbraco – Another good all rounder
Drupal, Magento and WordPress offer free versions of their services, but Umbraco only offers a 14-day trial before it starts to charge its users. We’re WordPress fans at J&R. Not only is it inexpensive in it’s most advanced form, but it is super user-friendly, easy to install, and incredibly fun to work with. If you want to manage content in a simple and enjoyable way, then WordPress is a great place to get started.
Why are CMSs useful?
There are quite a few benefits to using a CMS to manage your content, particularly over raw code:
- Easily edit and manage content independent of a web developer or your agency
- Providing different permission levels to different users
- Updating plugins and software easily
- Create stunning looking websites with easy to download themes
WordPress, in particular, is a brilliant CMS to use, mainly because of the sheer volume of plugins that extend its default functionality. Side note: plugins are extra modules you can add to your basic WordPress site to increase its functionality. For example, you could download a calendar plugin to help manage room bookings for an events venue site.