What’s a Content Management System and Why is it Important?
November 1, 2021
Is your website causing you pain and frustration? It could be because you’re not using a content management system (CMS).
As a small business owner or non-profit leader, you need a website that works the way it’s meant to and can easily be updated or changed when needed. However, some websites are built in such a way that you have to be an HTML expert to make even the smallest of updates. If this sounds familiar, let us introduce you to the benefits of a CMS.
In this post, we’ll share the basic details you need to know about a content management system, how this makes website management easier for people with little to no website building knowledge, and why we think WordPress is the best content management system.
5 Benefits of a Content Management System Website
Lean in close, we are going to tell you a secret…
You don’t have to be a web designer or developer to build a website.
That said, CMS websites are not all created equal, and depending on the CMS you choose, you may need help getting things exactly the way you want them. There are also other considerations including whether or not you need a self-hosted CMS or a managed service. (More on that in a future post!)
But first, let’s dig into the primary benefits that make content management systems so great.
1. Content management systems are easy to use.
One of the biggest benefits of using a CMS is that the way you upload and share content isn’t hard to learn. Very simply put, a CMS solution makes it easy for you to share everything from blogs posts and photos to videos and podcasts, usually with just a few clicks.
When you log into your website CMS, the interface follows a “fill in the blank” kind of process. You don’t need to do any coding or designing to post fresh content or update existing content. The CMS removes the complexities of this process in a user-friendly, “what you see is what you get” kind of way. And if you need even more help there are extensions you can use to make the content creation process even easier. (e.g WPBakery, Elementor, Beaver Builder).
Additionally, you can preview changes prior to making the changes live to be sure that everything looks the way you want. No need to worry about “breaking” anything or causing a major disruption. Make a content edit or update, preview the change to make sure everything is just the way you want it, then click publish. It really is that easy.
2. Content management systems use themes to simplify the design process.
If you are trying to build a website yourself, from scratch, a CMS removes the guesswork by using themes. Themes function as a template with customization options to help you apply your unique branding to the website.
There are literally thousands of themes to choose from online. WordPress (our favorite CMS) comes with eleven free themes, but you can buy themes developed outside of WordPress and install one to use as well. WordPress has its own theme marketplace within the system itself so you don’t have to go outside of the CMS to purchase premium themes. Other sites like Themeforest and StudioPress offer solid theme choices, as well as WooCommerce if you’re using a content management system for an eCommerce website.
Be careful if you’re new to building a website on a CMS like WordPress or Drupal because not all themes are well-built. Some themes could have security flaws that might jeopardize your site. We recommend using the themes that come within the CMS you choose or hiring WordPress website content management system experts to handle this for you.
3. Content management systems use plug-ins to do the heavy lifting.
In addition to the ease of use created by pre-built themes, the top CMS websites offer plug-ins that will enable you to add a wide variety of features and functionality to your website—no coding required. Similar to themes, these plug-ins are already coded and packaged by developers so that even a beginner can install and activate the plug-in within the CMS.
Plug-ins power things like email sign-ups, event calendars, and forms. Beyond this user-functionality, there are plug-ins focused on keeping your website secure from hackers and spam, there are plug-ins to help your site load faster, there are plug-ins to optimize your website for search (SEO), and more.
4. Content management systems are collaborative.
The “old” way of coding websites by hand often requires someone with similar expertise to make updates or changes. This causes bottlenecks and significantly slows down internal processes. A good CMS is necessary so that marketing and communications departments are not dependent on the IT department to make updates to the website.
If you have the need to collaborate with other people within your organization or are looking to delegate posting web content and updates to an admin, the CMS makes it super easy for you. When logged in as an admin, you can create multiple accounts with different permission levels, allowing other trusted team members to share the responsibility of website management and upkeep.
5. Content management systems have a large community of support.
WordPress is free to use and open-source, making it the most collaborative and widely used CMS in the world. The global community that supports this functionality is both helpful and robust. There are online support forums, user groups, and even in-person meetups where WordPress users gather to help each other out and make the product better.
Why We Love the WordPress CMS
When it comes to choosing a content management system, WordPress is by far the best one on the market today. WordPress is powering nearly half of the websites in the world. It is easy to customize, it’s secure, it’s SEO friendly, it’s easy to scale, it’s mobile-friendly, and the list goes on.
In fact, we wrote an entire blog post on why we use WordPress so be sure to click the link below to learn more.
Earlier we said you don’t have to be a website developer or designer to build a website—and that is true. CMS has made this possible. But we still believe that you have better things to do with your time than build a website.
As a small business owner or nonprofit leader, you have so many things on your plate—building websites shouldn’t be one of them. But updating your website probably should and content management systems make that process as easy as 1-2-3.
If you realize your website is out-of-date and are ready to upgrade to a better solution, please reach out to us today. It would be our honor to work with you to build a website that you love (and doesn’t give you headaches).
If you want to learn more be sure to check out these case studies that demonstrate how we’ve helped other people just like you build a successful website on WordPress.