If you’ve recently come across the term CMS (short for ‘content management system‘) for the first time, you’ll likely have a few questions, such as: What exactly is a CMS, what can a CMS do, and why does everyone keep harping on about how great they are? Oh, and you’ll likely also want a few examples too!
To answer these questions — and more — we’ve just published a handy video explanation over on our new YouTube channel.
Take a look:
Hi! This is Topher from WinningWP! A question I’m often asked is ‘What is a CMS?’ Well, in the web world, a CMS is a content management system. Let me show you…
What Is a CMS
We’re looking at a page on a WordPress website, and we’re looking at content. There’s a navigation, a header, a post with a graphic and title, some text, and so on.
If we want to manage this content, be able to change it or add new, we simply log into an administration area: A website just for managing this content.
When we log in, we’ll see that same post, with a title, text, and, if we scroll down some, we can see the banner at the top. But this page doesn’t edit the header, or the navigation. That’s because we want it to be the same on every page, so that’s managed someplace else. This page is all about editing the content just for this particular post.
What Can a CMS Do?
If you go to ‘Appearance’, ‘Menus’, you’ll see a site navigation that matches what you see at the top. And if you want to reorder it, you can simply drag and drop, and click ‘Save Menu’. If you want to ‘add new’ to it, the content management system knows about the content on your site, so you can simply click, and then ‘Add to Menu’, and then ‘Save Menu’.
Now I don’t actually want to do that right now, but you can just as easily remove things from the menu — and this particular theme allows you to say where you want the menu to appear. I have ‘Header Bar Navigation’. But, with just the click of a button, I can instead move it next to the logo, or put it in the footer.
Why Use a CMS?
In the old days, we had to type the code by hand, but the wonderful thing about a content management system is that you don’t need to do any of that. All you have to do is know how to point at the right place, click at the right time, and type your content.
Which CMS Should You Choose?
Now I’ve talked about WordPress here, but there are many content management systems. There’s a Wikipedia page that lists by language, and then within languages, there are many, many options.
When looking at a content management system, you should look at the platform you have, and the knowledge available to you, and choose the right one for you. I like WordPress because it’s extremely easy to use, very well-supported, and extremely common (it currently runs over 27% of the web). There are plenty of educational tools, and it’s not going to go away anytime soon. So, if you’re looking for a great CMS, take a look at WordPress.
All clear on the various benefits of using a CMS? Thoughts?