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What is a CMS?

Do you want to be able to manage the content of your website without learning to program? Then a CMS is what you need. Find out more throughout this article.

19 Apr, 21 by Antoniy Yushkevych 15 min Read

List of content you will read in this article:

When we started to shift from traditional printing to electronic publishing, it was clear that we were not going to use tear sheets or typesetting files anymore. However, it is safe to say that we faced many challenges in executing electronic-data conversion and reducing each update cycle's incremental cost on published content. That is when we were introduced to new software called Content Management System (CMS). The CMS framework involved some fascinating concepts that helped create multiple ways to increase output production and reduce input costs for publishing online. 

CMS also made it possible for non-technical users to create a user-friendly interface for their target audience. The software platform associated with this system allows individuals/businesses to establish a strong online presence. To build a reputable web presence, one must constantly put their brand identity out there for users to read and engage. For brands to showcase their expertise, they regularly update, edit, and store different content types. A manually coded website is not enough to manage this volume's workload, so many people tend to go for CMS software. This article will lay out various aspects of CMS and help you decide whether it can increase your online business growth. 

Content management systems are not ideal for every publication because some may not be ready to spend a large amount of capital when they are still in their initial stages. CMS is for those types of publications that are already in the CD-ROM business. It brings valuable tools for these companies who have had their fair share of interactive presentations and multi-volume libraries for b2b marketing. We have identified below some main reasons to consider a CMS, so make sure you have that type of requirement. 

  • Multiple Volumes: If the content you decide to publish has no numerous collections, it should not be considered for CMS. If you only have a single but large-volume collection of over 1000 pages, you can go ahead and incorporate CMS. 
  • Too Many Contributors: When you are running a publication, it is obvious that you will have multiple authors and editors, but when that number keeps increasing, you will start to have problems in managing content for a developing product. This means that you will need more hands-on-deck just for updating existing content. To avoid interference, CMS automates the entire process. 
  • Multiple Business Integrations: In some cases, businesses require multiple web experiences linked to one system. For example, if a commerce system and document management system needs to be connected to the same website, you will require a content management system. 
  • Database Orientation: CMS software allows us to align the content in any logical manner, so each component of the database has an independent value, and it can be retrieved at a faster rate. 

When you know something is easy to understand, it will be challenging to implement in real-life situations. The same can be said regarding a content management system. It may sound simple for many people, but it has a comprehensive framework that consists of independent functions to deliver an efficient solution. The components of CMS may have independent operations, but they collectively help increase the variety of output. Below are some of the main components included in any CMS software: 

Data Storeroom 

Databases are fundamental components of a content management system, and they mainly contribute to giving access to different types of content and help in the redistribution process. Databases have only one logical component that is the order of information. The order mainly depends on the organization and how they want to access the content. Most publications break down the order using the lowest logical level of granularity. As these databases come with both size and logic, they are treated as commercial relational databases. A common example is WordPress

User Interface 

Audiences are more attracted to the user interface than the content itself because it generates a higher degree of excitement within the reader. Media outlets are always more inclined to using custom templates and user interfaces for their websites. That's where CMS comes into play. The software attached to this system has all the necessary functions to integrate different interfaces to fit a specific purpose. The interfaces taken will be mostly from web browsers and other word processors. 

Editorial Tools 

Every CMS solution depends on some editorial tool because they largely facilitate engaging content. Content is never forced, so authors require editing software that they are comfortable with and can work on daily. A simple word processor or text editor will get the job done for some people, but others want to involve SGML tagging for editorial purposes. 

Delivery Application 

In a CMS framework, content delivery applications play an important role because it completely replaces a system administrator's job. By removing human interference, the delivery of content to the website is automated, and authors will need to click the 

"Publish" option. Some of this involves creating custom pages and taking care of minute changes to the content. 

We all know that online publishing of content is now standard in almost every industry. As each sector has different requirements, one has to understand what types of CMSs are available and which one is most suitable for their business model. We have mentioned some popular variations of CMS below: 

Cloud-Based CMS 

Cloud systems are now in more demand because of their flexibility to any online business. When it comes to cloud-based CMS, one has two options- Fully Cloud or Partial Cloud. If you wish to apply for a package and won't mind sticking to the same initial functionality, then Fully Cloud CMS is recommended. But if you fall into the other category who want more flexibility and control over the source code, you need to consider Partial Cloud CMS. Both systems offer great technical expertise and have the ability to serve small to medium-sized companies. 

Open Source CMS 

Open source is always more exciting than other options because it is free to download, and you also get a supportive user community. Open-source CMS is user-friendly, and one can quickly adapt to a changing environment. The functionality is improved occasionally by third-party developers. 

Proprietary CMS

Here comes the expensive content management system. If a CMS comes with a considerable price, then it means that you will have complete control and access to create personalized pages and interfaces. Proprietary CMS also comes with a license fee, so you must check all the things that come under the agreement. On top of the license fee, one is also charged for updates and user support. 

Web Content Management System

If you have no technical expertise in meaning web pages, you need a web content management system to add and edit content for different pages. The system uses a template to define the website's structure, and from there on, you can choose to edit the content in whichever way you like. 

Enterprise Content Management System 

The scale of operation varies largely from an ordinary CMS to an enterprise system. When organizations decide to deploy an enterprise content management system, they focus on increasing efficiency and reducing overall storage costs. It is a great way to save on additional expenses because ECM stores only necessary files and terminates the existence of other files. 

The ones to leverage the benefits of CMS would be marketers because it creates so many opportunities to promote content and brand presence cost-effectively. CMS may equip marketers with all the tools they'll ever need, but there is more to this less-expensive process. Here we will dive into some key benefits that your business should advantage of: 

  • When you have automated processes on deck, your update costs will drastically come down. The initial stages of any publication will not produce great returns, but cutting down on ongoing update costs, gives more improvement in other areas. 
  • Accessibility is huge for a CMS because users will always have the usable form of content. A CMS comes with machine-editable ASCII, so you never have to go back to the last update process. 
  • Content managers cannot know the status of every task, and it takes more time to deal with each contributor. All of this is no longer an issue with CMS because with one click on the screen, the software will show every information from editorial status to marketing. The communications channels will now be more efficient with CMS, and it also helps in tracking production aid. 
  • With a proper CMS, your content will become your greatest publication asset. In traditional methods, no one tried to maintain a proper format to repurpose and change different pieces of content, and that is why they could not get a proper return of investment. 
  • Custom website operation and content creation are cost-effective with CMS. When you dial back a couple of years, you will find people paying large amounts of money to build customized pages and web experiences. Now, the same task can be automated with independent functions present in the CMS framework. 

PS: Ever wondered how WordPress would be for your site? Here's why you should use WordPress to build your website (thank us in the comments below)!

If you are looking to integrate CMS software for your publication, you need to add relevant features and invest wisely in intelligent search capabilities. This changes for every organization, so it would be incorrect to pinpoint certain applications to add to your CMS. That is why we have listed a few main features needed to fulfil the basic functions of a CMS. 

Open APIs 

Open API is a term that tech specialists and developers often throw around, but you will not have heard of it if you are a marketer or author. In simple terms, an API can be defined as software that makes different programs share data. Now that we know what API means, we need to understand how it can create value for your business. 

If your CMS is integrated with Open APIs, then web and app developers have a huge advantage in creating a targeted application that can be refined using existing content. For example, suppose you are running a dropshipping business store, and you have some existing content surrounding that niche. In that case, you can create different programs on various platforms such as eBooks, mobile apps, and Facebook messenger. Open APIs deal with a lot of business integration, so make sure to have a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve. 

Permission Control 

Many organizations follow tiered publishing to optimize their layers of security and structure. A CMS needs to have this feature to distinguish people having different job roles. If an organization gives equal control to every employee, then it would create chaos for end users. Having a platform to adjust the powers of individuals or restricting them from gaining access to a particular piece of information is important for a company's reputation. Hence, permission control is a must-have feature for every CMS. 

Multilingual Support 

The Internet is almost everywhere nowadays. It will only reach more corners of the world, so having language barriers when users land on your website hinders the business's growth. Try to look for a CMS that comes with multilingual support to break all language barriers. These language facilities are usually provided through extensions or plugins, so there is a chance of malware sneaking into your system. That is why you also need to verify your CMS vendor and know the vulnerabilities lying behind these extensions. 

Customized Content 

In a recent survey conducted by Forbes, it was seen that marketers who were able to deliver personalized web experiences gained two hundred percent returns. The numbers don't lie, and neither does the marketing performance of customized content. When you are integrating a CMS capable of providing a personalized channel for content, you will observe increased customer engagement and a spike in overall analytics. That is the power of getting the right message to the right person, and it can now be automated to some extent using CMS software. 

 We have created a comprehensive comparison of what in our opinion are the best CMSes available nowadays.

That's a wrap, folks! Before you take off hunting, let us recap some of the main things we discussed in this article addressing content management systems. 

  • Every concept attached to CMS sounds simple, but it gets complicated during the time execution. With improvements in technology, you will see more processes being included with supporting features, but don't ever think they do not meet certain business and technical challenges. 
  • CMS's necessity comes when you have multiple volumes of content, and they need constant monitoring for editorial purposes. If you face storage problems with your content, CMS can fill that gap with its logic-based relational database. 
  • A CMS framework mainly consists of four components- Data Storeroom, User Interface, Editorial tools, and delivery application. They have independent functions, but each of them collectively works to deliver a cost-effective solution. 
  • Types of CMS to consider are ECM, WCMS, Cloud-based, and Open-source. Each of them helps achieve a different purpose, and it also depends on the organization's size. 
  • Understanding the advantages of using a CMS can help you reach your full potential. For your business to thrive long-term, you need to give your CMS some specific features. To meet the basic requirements, you need to consider the features mentioned above. 

At first, the implementation of CMS might seem like a dream. Still, if you concentrate on developing resources surrounding the system and create better support facilities, you will enjoy the rewards down the line. 

Antoniy Yushkevych

Master of word when it comes to technology, internet and privacy. I'm also your usual guy that always aims for the best result and takes a skateboard to work. If you need me, you will find me at the office's Counter-Strike championships on Fridays or at a.yushkevych@monovm.com