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CMS (content management system)– web content management systems that do not require knowledge of programming languages. It is software for creating a website, managing an online store, images, blog or links.
How does CMS work?
A Content Management System (CMS) works as an intermediary layer between the user and the server where the website is hosted. Here’s how it works in a typical case:
- User Interface: CMS provides a graphical user interface (GUI) that allows users to create, edit and organize content without writing code. Users can drag items, select options from menus, enter text, etc.
- Database: Most CMS systems store content in a database. This includes text, image links, user information and more. When a user makes changes, the CMS updates the relevant records in the database.
- Templates and plug-ins: The CMS often uses templates that define the overall look of the site. Plugins and extensions can be added to enhance the functionality of the site, such as adding contact forms, photo galleries, etc.
- Publishing: When the user is ready, he can publish his changes. The CMS then generates static HTML files that are accessible to site visitors via a web browser.
- Multi-user access: Many CMS systems allow multiple users, who may have different levels of access and permissions. For example, some may have permissions only to edit content, while others can manage the entire system.
- Security and updates: Good CMS systems also include security and update management tools, helping to protect against threats such as SQL Injection and XSS attacks.
Types of CMS systems
- By license:
- Open Source CMS: Their access to the source code is public and can be modified. Open source’s CMS systems include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal.
- Commercial CMS: Such a management system is sold under license, and their code is owned and not generally available. An example is Adobe Experience Manager.
- Author CMS: Such a content management system is custom created for a specific organization or project, tailored to individual needs and requirements. It can offer unique functionalities and integrations, but it is expensive to maintain and develop.
- By application:
- CMS for Website Content Management (WCM): These are systems used mainly for managing website content. Example: WordPress.
- CMS for Store Management (eCommerce): These systems are optimized for creating and managing online stores. Example: Magento, Shopify.
- CMS for Knowledge Management (KMS): Focused on managing and sharing knowledge and documentation within an organization. Example: Confluence.
- By platform:
- Self-contained CMS: These systems are hosted on your own server and require manual installation and configuration. Example: Drupal.
- Cloud CMS: These are systems hosted by a provider and available as a service. Example: Wix, Squarespace.
Most popular CMS systems
- WordPress: This is the most popular CMS in the world. It is an open source software that can be customized for many different types of websites, from blogs to business sites and online stores.
- Joomla: This is another popular open source CMS. It is a bit more complicated than WordPress, but offers many advanced features and options.
- Drupal: This is a very powerful and flexible open source CMS. It is ideal for large and complex sites, but requires a certain level of technical skill to use it.
- Magento: It is a CMS platform focused on e-commerce. Magento is relatively complex, but offers very powerful online store features.
- Shopify: Another CMS focused on e-commerce, but it is a paid service. Shopify is easy to use, yet offers a full set of tools for running an online store.
- Squarespace: This is a cloud-based CMS that is easy to use for people without much technical experience. It offers a range of templates and is ideal for small sites and blogs.
- Wix: Like Squarespace, Wix is a cloud-based CMS that is easy to use and offers a range of templates.
- PrestaShop: It is a free e-commerce platform that is easy to set up and use, offering many online store features.
- Typo3: It is an advanced open source CMS that is ideal for corporate and multilingual sites.
- Contentful: This is a popular headless CMS that allows you to manage and deliver content across platforms and devices.
Benefits of using a content management system
- Easy to use: Many CMS systems are designed with ease of use in mind, even for those without technical experience. Many offer a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface, making it easy to create and edit content without any HTML or PHP coding, programming or coding knowledge.
- Template availability: Most CMS systems offer a wide selection of ready-made templates that can be easily customized to suit your needs. This allows you to quickly and easily create an attractive and professional website.
- Extensibility: A CMS management system is very flexible and can be easily extended with plugins or add-ons. This means you can add new features or change the look of your site as needed. An example of a plugin for WordPress is WooCommerce, which allows from ordinary websites to advanced online stores.
- Multi-user management: The administration panel of CMS systems often allows multiple users to work on the same website. This allows you to assign different roles and permissions, which helps you manage your team and CMS effectively.
- SEO: Most CMS systems have built-in search engine optimization tools to help improve your site’s visibility in search results. An intuitive admin panel with guidelines for your website will definitely make SEO easier. Creating blogs with optimized articles or adding meta tags and ALT attributes to graphics is not so difficult anymore!
- Mobility: An important advantage of the CMS is that it offers responsive website templates that look good on all devices, from desktop computers to smartphones. Ease of use of the site on different devices is hugely important in terms of SEO as well as users.
- Security: Large, well-established CMS systems are updated regularly and have strong security mechanisms to help protect your website from cyber threats.