What are content management systems?

Content management systems (CMS) are simply a computer software system used to help facilitate the arranging, collation and publishing of web documents. The CMS software makes it possible for web developers to design powerful and modern looking websites faster and easier than the normal process

Content Management Systems work through your web browser and provide greater flexibility allowing you to maintain and update your website at any time. You can update text content, images, add new pages, incorporate flyers etc and then publish without necessarily having any previous coding experience. Alterations are done live and can be performed 24/7.

There are a variety of content management systems available, most of which are fairly simple to use and as such require very limited html or web design experience. Although, it would be rather useful if the user did have some basic understanding. Probably one of the most popular forms of CMS software available is Joomla. The Joomla CMS is an easy to use and extremely flexible and powerful package and best of all it is free.

Maintaining a content management system website provides the user with full control over the content as well as saving you from paying any ongoing maintenance costs. With that being said, you must understand that these types of websites can be easily corrupted if the user makes a mistake. One possible example could be that without realising it, the user could switch of certain menu functions and turn of key pages, making them no longer visible to the viewer.

Pros and cons of Content Management Systems - (CMS)

  • CMS Websites allows your website to be easily managed / updated
  • Add or Remove pages
  • Allows you to add pages, text, articles, images, navigation menus etc
  • Have a variety of plugins / components for galleries, sliders, Forums etc
  • They provide for better flexibility, allowing for greater capacity for growth
  • They can save you ongoing maintenance costs
  • Being open source ( Free ), means you need to be careful of the plugins you use s they can contain malicious code
  • CMS websites like WordPress, Joomla can be a a target for hackers
  • Do to the extra resources required to run they may cost more to host
  • Need to be hosted on a server that offers the correct software support ie Linux

How do I obtain the required Content Management systems - (CMS) Software?

More often than not your web designer should be able to assist you in this area as many of them will have their own preferred CMS program. There is also a growing list of designers that have their own content management software programs and will generally offer it as part of your website development package. Be careful tho, as quite often some of these websites will only run on their server and as such must be hosted by them.

The downside here is that they will charge you either a monthly or annual fee for having the CMS facility, also because they have designed your website to run on their software and server, if you have a falling out and wish to change companies, then your website is not transportable and will therefore not work on another hosting companies server. As a result you will need to outlay more money adapting your site to suit the new host and CMS software configuration.

Do I need to have a Content Managed Website?

It is important to understand that content management systems will not suit everyone and as such will depend on the structure, size and complexity and of course how often the content needs to be updated. In may cases having a Content Management Systems website may prove to be overkill and a waste on money. More often that not, using a simple Html editor will allow you to perform any and all website changes required and will cost a fraction of those websites with Content Management Systems.

Content Management System websites provide the ideal solution for those who although poses zero or very limited html knowledge, but still wish to take control and maintain their website.

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