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Content Management Systems (CMS)

Content Management Systems (CMS)

Are you looking to build a website with little technical knowledge? Have you heard about Content Management Systems? Well, you’re about to! This article will discuss an alternative to having a development team create your website. Further, we'll look into the CMS' types and features, advantages, and disadvantages. And, of course, we'll review some of the most popular CMS.

What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

A Content Management System (CMS) is a software application that manages digital content. Its functions include creation, edition, and publication. Further, it applies to content such as websites and blog posts. Users can develop a website with little technical knowledge. Thus, it’s an excellent choice for small businesses with a restricted dev budget. WordPress is a popular Content Management System example you probably have heard of.

Content Management System (CMS) Features

Here are some relevant CMS features to consider when choosing the right one for you.

1. Content Creation. A top priority when choosing a Content Management System is how easy it is to create, edit, and manage content. We're not talking only about written content here. Also, this includes images, video, and audio.

2.  Personalization. Another essential feature of any Content Management System is the level of personalization. This is relevant when it comes to targeting a specific audience. You should have access to high-quality analytics from your site. As a result, you can process relevant data to personalize your content.

3. User Roles. Another critical feature of a good CMS is the option to assign different user roles. You might not want everyone to have the same level of site access. Further, you may like to choose who has editing and management permissions. These role options help prevent mistakes and make it easier to pin down any issues that may arise.

4. Security. Your CMS must give you the tools to prevent any data breaches. You should ensure your Content Management System software has the relevant authentication mechanisms. Also, it needs to integrate with your chosen security provider.

5. Scalability. You might choose your Content Management System, thinking, “this will do for now.” But you should always consider your long-term goals. If you plan to expand in the future, you should choose a flexible and scalable CMS.

6. Capabilities. You should make sure the CMS you choose supports multilingual content. Especially if your audience is international or you aim to expand your business in the future

7.  eCommerce. For an eCommerce business, it's crucial to have CMS integrations. This will let you align your Marketing Strategy with your digital Commerce System.

8. Content Governance. Content Governance is a set of standard guidelines that dictate creating, editing, publishing, and managing content. This standardization ensures the consistency, efficiency, and quality of your content. Your CMS should allow you to assign ownership and specify content management workflows. As a result, Content Governance is easy to adhere to.

You should look at all the features the CMS of your choice includes or fails to include. By having this information, you'll ensure the right fit for your business.

Types of Content Management Systems

There are various types of CMS. From free for everyone to use and download to some created for a specific company’s use. Below, we’ll review different types and examples of Content Management Systems.

1. Open-Source CMS

This CMS is free to download, with no license or upgrade fees. Yet, you might have to pay for technical help to install it if you want to customize it. Other features include plugins and templates, training staff, and additional support. Joomla, Magento, and WordPress are some examples of open-source CMS. 

2. Proprietary CMS

Also known as commercial CMS, it's built and managed by only one organization or company. This type of CMS entails purchasing a license and regular payments for updates. Further, it requires investments for upgrades, customization, and technical training. A known example of proprietary CMS is Microsoft SharePoint.

3. SaaS CMS

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) CMS offers an all-in-one cloud solution. This includes web content management software, web hosting, and technical support. This type of CMS often has several payment plans. Within these, the price variations consist of data transfer, storage, and support. SaaS CMS’ benefits include low costs, supplier deals, regular updates in real-time, and ease of access and scalability. Some examples of SaaS CMS include Squarespace, Shopify, and BigCommerce.

4. Headless CMS

Also known as Headless Software or Headless System, this is a back-end CMS. Inhere, the content repository is separate from the presentation layer. This gives you the possibility to deploy content using any front-end you want. In headless CMS, hosting is in the cloud. There are continuous updates and limitless services. Further, it follows an Agile Methodology and is also product-focused. Contentful and Kontent are a couple of examples of this type of CMS. You might find other categories of CMS based on the type of product. For instance, there are Web Content Management Systems (WCMS), Component Content Management Systems (CCMS), and Document Management Systems (DMS).

Benefits of Content Management Systems (CMS) 

The truth is, you might not need a Content Management System. It all depends on your company—for instance, the website requirements and the available resources. But CMSs have a long list of advantages, so here are some reasons to consider using one.

1. No Coding Experience. CMS rose with uses with little technical experience in mind. As a consequence, they're highly user-friendly. Also, CMSs make it easy for anyone to create and manage a website. Further, adding functions and extensions is only a few clicks away.

2. Easy Collaboration. A CMS allows several team members to manage content and collaborate on projects. Moreover, as they are web-based, you can access them from anywhere. That’s what makes them perfect for a global team. You only need a computer, tablet, smartphone, and internet connection. Also, you can give people different roles within a Content Management System software. These permissions include editing, creating, or managing the whole site.

3. Advanced SEO Tools. CMSs often offer various SEO tools and plugins to help your search ranking. As a result, there is a wide range of available customizations. These tools encompass personalizing page titles, meta-descriptions, and adding alt texts. Further, there is optimizing load time and creating 301 redirects. 

4. Additional Security. CMSs often include built-in features and add-ons. These are designed to provide extra security to your site. Not to mention, these systems undergo stringent testing by developers and computer scientists. These might even have a dedicated security team.

5. Cost-Effectiveness. Content Management System software allows your site to be up and running fairly quickly. Any changes you want to make are also faster and cheaper, considering you won’t have to turn to a specialist. CMSs save you both time and money.

Is a CMS better than Coding?

The truth is, there is no “better” way to build a website. You can use CMS software or develop your site from scratch. It all depends on your resources and particular goals and needs. Let’s compare the two of them and see what each brings.

Hand coding takes more time, but it means you can completely customize your website. This is a great benefit if you have precise requirements. Further, you can add any features you want when you decide to update your site. Yet, all this coding means you will need to spend time debugging, which is not the case with a CMS.

About CMSs, no coding experience is needed. Moreover, since the code snippets are already written, there is no chance of making mistakes. But, the CMS software is customizable only to an extent. So even though they are pretty flexible, there might be changes you cannot install in the long run. Choosing between coding and using a CMS depends on your experience and resources. Other variables can be how fast you need the site up and running and your specific requirements.

Do Web Developers use a CMS?

Using a CMS means reducing the amount of effort you put into building a website. And the truth is that open-source CMSs can make the life of a web developer easier. They might not be the right choice for every project, but it's a great tool to consider.

Moreover, if clients want some control over content creation, CMSs make it possible. In the meanwhile, web devs are also able to customize the website correctly. In short, yes, web developers use CMSs when they are the right fit for the project they are working on.

What is the Best Content Management System?

We can’t choose just one CMS as it depends on each company’s requirements. So here are five of the most popular content management systems according to their market share.

WordPress CMS

WordPress is the leading Content Management System software worldwide. Currently, it has over 35 million live websites. The main selling point for this CMS is that it’s open-source (i.e., free to download and use). Further, WordPress offers countless themes and includes SEO and user-friendly features. Also, it has blogging and eCommerce functionalities. Yet, its CMS can be challenging to learn, particularly on the admin backend. Moreover, a WordPress site requires constant updates to prevent hacking.

Shopify CMS

Next up is Shopify, which is shy of 5 million live websites. Although technically a CMS, Shopify is better known as an e-commerce platform. This CMS is also paid from $29 to $299 per month. Shopify includes the standard features we’ve seen for all other CMS so far, with a strong focus on e-commerce. Shopify also offers customizable templates, analytics, and a fast loading speed.

Squarespace CMS

With just under 3 million websites, Squarespace is next on the list. This CMS ranges from $16 to $49/month. Squarespace is quite user-friendly but requires some training to use. But it offers many tutorials to make the process easier. This Content Management System provides SEO and mobile-friendly features, blogging, and e-commerce functionalities. Like Wix, its features might not be the best fit for more established companies.

Joomla CMS

Last on our list is Joomla, with just under 1.5 million live sites. This CMS is another open-source option, but it is more challenging to set up than WordPress. It includes the standard features we’ve seen for all other CMSs. But, it has the downside of being less user-friendly for less experienced web builders. Other features include unlimited design, multilingual support, and security-conscious development.


Content Management Systems are an excellent tool for small companies or businesses with a limited budget. They, of course, have pros and cons, and you should carefully consider all variables when choosing the right one. We hope this article has given you a comprehensive overview of CMSs and whether this tool is right for you!