In order for businesses to remain competitive, they must create and maintain a user-friendly website for their customers. Unfortunately, many professionals feel less than tech-savvy and find this aspect of running a business challenging and even overwhelming. However, thanks to new technologies, developing a website is now easier than ever. Here’s how a content management system can assist you in creating a powerful online presence, even if you consider yourself to be technologically challenged.
What is a Content Management System?
A content management system (CMS) is a software application, or a set of tools and capabilities, that allows you to create, manage, and deliver content via digital channels. In fact, more than half of all websites are currently built using a CMS.
Karthik Muralidharan, a member of the product marketing team for Adobe Experience Manager Sites, the company’s content management system, explains, “A CMS lets you easily edit your digital experiences and then publish [those] experiences out to the web and [on] other digital channels. It's essentially the layer that sits between you as an organization and the digital experience your customer interacts with, and it's the mechanism through which you arrange the digital content [that is delivered] to site visitors.”
A CMS handles the infrastructure of your website so you can focus on creating exciting, delightful content that generates more traffic and leads to increased business.
Here are some basic features of a CMS:
- Content creation (allows users to easily create and format content)
- Content storage (allows users to store content in one place, in a consistent fashion)
- Workflow management (allows users to assign privileges and responsibilities based on roles such as author, editor, or administrator)
- Publishing (allows users to organize and push live content)
Some of the most common CMS brands used by businesses today include the following:
8 Reasons to Use a Content Management System
We have already alluded to some of the benefits of using a CMS, but let us look at specific ways it can impact your set-up process, your team’s productivity, and your visibility online. Here are eight reasons to consider using a CMS:
It is great for those who are not tech-savvy.
Content management systems, including the ones listed above, are designed to help individuals who have limited or no programming experience. Their templates allow users to design, modify, and launch a website. If changes need to be made once the site is up and running, they are simple and can be completed while the site remains functional.
Those with a little more experience can use a CMS as the basis for their website and then modify HTML code within the system. However, coding experience is not required.
- It provides quick deployment options.
Designing and launching a website can be timely and expensive. The time it takes to write and modify code to perfection can prolong the deployment of a website by days and sometimes even months. A CMS, on the other hand, offers users the ability to expedite this process. Templates allow companies to simply fill in text and photos and launch their website quickly. Modifications can always be made once the website is up and running. Code modification is not necessary.
- It improves site maintenance.
Most content management systems offer technical support, including general maintenance. Therefore, when a glitch in the system occurs, users can simply contact their tech support team to have the issue resolved. This not only reduces the time and money wasted on-site maintenance but also provides customers an improved experience by reducing lag time and site-down notifications.
- It can streamline scheduling.
For businesses that require web content to change regularly, a CMS can streamline this process. Users can plan content, add blog posts, create product pages, or develop other websites to maximize the efficiency of their business operations without a lot of hassle.
- It promotes collaboration through multi-user access.
A CMS permits multiple users to access the site, making changes according to their assigned roles, which are identified by their publishing permissions. For example, you might have several individuals who review blog posts, including the author, editor, and administrator, and a CMS can make that process easier for all involved.
- It includes SEO-friendly features.
Built-in search engine optimization (SEO) tools can help businesses maximize their content searchability, which, in turn, can improve their chances of ranking higher in internet searches. According to Hubspot, an effective CMS should use proper HTML markup, SEO-friendly permalinks, and responsive elements. Most systems also offer users advanced SEO features, such as recommendations.
For example, CMS Hub “offers SEO recommendations as you create content,” including “recommendations [for using] keyword phrases in the title, [adding] a meta description, and [including] two subtopics. These suggestions are all designed to help visitors and search engines better understand what the page is about, which, in turn, improves your ability to rank.”
- It offers maximum security.
Websites often fall victim to hackers and can be extremely vulnerable if they lack appropriate security features. Building your own website can often place you at the top of the target list in these types of situations. By contrast, CMS users can rely on the due diligence and development conducted by the CMS company to ensure their data’s security.
TheeDigital reports that “content management systems are consistently tested by an army of developers and computer scientists in an effort to protect users against any and all potential security threats. Additionally, there are countless plugins and tools available that are individually designed to increase [a] website’s security.” As a result, customers can be confident that their data is safe.
- It is cost-effective and affordable.
Building a website from scratch can be costly. Plus, once it is built, most businesses must hire a team to manage the site. When taking this route, companies find it difficult to make modifications and updates to the site, which often require coding. However, a CMS can streamline this process by reducing the costs associated with website management. For companies, especially those just starting out, affordable website development is one of the keys to early success
Indeed, most content management systems go beyond the basics. Users can expect the following features to be included in a system:
- Easy administration
- Powerful publishing tools
- Social media integration
- Detailed analytics
- Multi-platform capabilities
- Microdata support for voice search
- Comprehensive searching
- Versioning for quick rollback
- Business alignment
How To Pick a Content Management System
Identifying the platform that is best suited for your business needs can be tricky. To help navigate the decision, Optimizely outlines the following questions to ask during the evaluation process:
- What is your budget?
- What business operations does the CMS need to support?
- What technologies does the CMS need to support or integrate with?
- How easy is it to create and edit content?
- How many different groups of users do you have?
- Is the platform SEO-friendly?
- How large is the developer community?
Web content is one of the primary ways businesses interact with customers today. Gone are the days when companies could regard web content as “nice to have.” It is now a “must-have.” A CMS can help you build and manage an effective website that supports a comprehensive content marketing strategy with minimal time and effort.
Not only will a CMS store all of your web content in one place, but it will also support collaboration across teams, allow for quick and easy updates, and offer templates and extensions to customize your site. Your content developers will not have to know how to code or how to publish; they can make changes on the backend without disrupting content publication. A CMS may be a win-win solution for your web content needs.