What is a CMS? CMS is short for Content Management System. When do you need it? When you do not have coding knowledge and you want to build and manage a website. Yes, that was a very short Content Management System definition. You want longer, read away.
Every company that has a website (so almost every company) probably uses a CMS. The Content Management System will actually enable you to create, update, modify, publish websites without any coding knowledge, mainly through templates. And because the people who create the Content Management System platforms are smart, they will add extensions to it, to make you able to modify not only the content but also the design and functionalities of your website, again without any coding knowledge. So you will be able to quickly create a fancy-looking website without coding one line.
Now you know roughly what a Content Management System is. If you have a few more minutes, read this article to also discover:
- The 7 key benefits of Content Management Systems,
- 10 things to look for in a content management system,
- Which content management system you should use (SaaS, hosted or on-premise),
- What are the top 5 content management systems,
- How do you localize content using a CMS
For many modern businesses of all sizes, an enterprise content management system is the beating heart of their organization’s digital presence. In short, the Content Management System merges power with simplicity and makes use of templates so you don’t need to suffocate in complicated technical details. Here are seven key benefits of using a CMS to conduct your business website: 1. Easy to use For starters, a CMS is a user-friendly program that enables any approved team member to upload text and images or edit files online — regardless of development experience. The CMS also makes it easy to distribute content, download updates, deletions and alterations of web content, as well as make content searchable, retrievable, and reusable.
2. For businesses from all sizes Content Management Systems offer simplicity, flexibility, scalability, and a cost-effective solution — not only for small and medium businesses (SMBs), but also for individuals. It allows any organization to easily place content on a website that helps draw-in more revenue and traffic to their site.
3. Instant content updates A CMS allows users to control, manage, and structure their content in real-time. There’s no need to wait for web administrators or developers to make changes; content is always fresh and up-to-date.
4. Improves collaboration and sharing Content management systems are useful for data automation, workflow, process management, and can improve communication by providing a collaborative environment for content sharing.
5. Accessible from anywhere A CMS allows website content to be accessible virtually from anywhere, using any computer device that’s connected to the Internet. This is a very convenient feature as the ability to work remotely and on-the-go is increasingly important nowadays.
6. Quick, easy integration A content management system offers content integration through your website quickly and easily. CMS sites integrated with dynamic web content — as opposed to static — which allows information to be updated or repurposed as needed. With a CMS, your information isn’t coded into web pages but rather extracted from databases that can be easily maintained by authorized users.
7. You are in control All of this adds up to the biggest advantage of a CMS. Instead of relying on an external vendor, with a CMS you are in control, with the ability to assign tasks and roles and to check progress at any time. That puts you in the driving seat when it comes to this important business tool.
How to choose the right content management system? Well, first of all, you need to define your list of requirements when selecting a CMS and it varies depending on your specific situation. Yet, there are a few aspects that should be considered important when selecting a CMS system. Here’s 10 important things to look for when choosing a CMS:
Core Functionality While choosing a CMS platform, make sure that the core functionality it provides is what you’re looking for. Do you need a CMS or blogging platform? If you are to add daily articles, practice inbound marketing, a traditional CMS, Magento for example, might be the right choice for you. If you are more leaning towards blogging, you might want to check out WordPress.
Editors The editor is one of the most important functions that you should do research on. You should create a list of your own requirements. The right editor should allow users the freedom to create content, but most of the time, it should not allow users to undermine the visual style and branding of your website.
Simplicity It is important to remember the end-user. The people who are asked to do work on the system should be able to do it easily, such as making changes to content. The simplicity of the back-end is important too. An average user should be able to perform the usual tasks like adding new pages, media, etc. without intensive training or instruction.
Customization The CMS you choose should let you separate design and content. You should be able to decide how to present the content, not the boundaries of the CMS.
Just as we already mention that ideally, the CMS should not limit you with technical boundaries while making decisions on the way you create and present your content. CMS flexibility allows you to do your work in unique and interesting ways. One thing to not miss here is that flexibility might come with the cost of complexity. Some CMS systems have the right amount of flexibility but have complicated back end systems. There should be the right balance.
Support You could find the system that you dreamt about but if the support team is not there, you might have a lot of trouble. Timely support is sure to save you time and money.
Maintenance The right CMS system helps you streamline and improve your process while optimizing production and reducing operational costs. A system that requires less maintenance, fewer updates, and is secure is very likely to run seamlessly. That means you would need fewer dedicated in-house staff and significant cost savings.
Clean code A clean code will help your website run faster. The success of a website is mostly measured by its ability to load fast and heavy codes will seriously damage your website’s health. But more importantly, clean codes allow the famous search engine spiders to quickly go through your content and index it, improving your SEO, getting more visitors for the beautiful website you just created with your Content Management System.
Security Basically, a CMS system is where you keep all the content that allows you to reach out to your audience. Needless to say, it is crucial to choose a CMS system that offers comprehensive security features that are easily manageable by non-technical users.
Multilingual Support Even if your product is currently a single language-specific, that might change in the future. Choosing a CMS platform with multilingual support doesn’t mean that you need to have the translated content right away. As your business progresses and when the time comes, you are most likely to expand your reach to other countries/languages. When you are ready to localize your content, it will be a must-have. There are integrations that allow you to translate your content with a couple of clicks right in your CMS. It is indeed important to prepare your content, your products, your strategy for internationalization. You may want to check this article once it is the case for you.
The requirements of your company’s Content Management System will be determined by various stakeholders, such as IT, marketing and sales, and of course, all of their wants and needs will be different. Your IT team will be interested in integration and security, whereas marketing and sales teams’ interests will go with the content and user-friendliness.
There are 3 solutions depending on how the system should be hosted.
On-Premise: The software is installed on your own servers or your hosting provider's servers. The CMS provider is only responsible for maintaining and updating the software; other things (installation, security, infrastructure updates, etc.) will be handled by you. Best examples of On-Premise solutions are WordPress and Drupal.
Hosted: This type of solution is often used by those who prefer simplicity. The CMS hosted externally and offers solutions that facilitate your design and development process. For example: pre-designed templates. The best examples of Hosted solutions are Shopify and Squarespace.
SaaS (Software as a Service): The CMS software exists in a hosted or ‘cloud’ environment. This type of solution works like any of the top SaaS tools - Salesforce and Google Docs. Nothing needs to be installed, updated and maintained. The CMS provider handles all technical issues so you can just focus on creating and managing content. The best examples of SaaS solutions are Concrete5 and CrownPeak.
You should of course assess your needs before choosing a CMS. Spend time on defining what your expectations are, what do you intend to get from it, who is going to use it in your company and how the system will be used. Defining these before looking for a Content Management System will make your choice easier and more efficient.
Because this tool is widely used, there are of course hundreds of Content Management Systems in the market. We will help you pick one of the top 5. How? By telling you quickly what they are about:
WordPress: is the most popular content management system in the world. It powers around 35% of all websites on the internet. For beginners and experienced users alike, WordPress has all of the tools you need to create, edit, manage, and publish content on the web.
Wix: is actually branded as a website builder. It’s not quite the same as a general CMS system, but it has components and applications that function for content management.
Drupal: is another free and open-source CMS. Although it does not have as much place in the market as WordPress and Joomla, its performance is very good. Drupal is a good option for developers, or for people able to hire a developer. It’s especially good if you're aiming to build a highly customized site that needs to handle a lot of data.
Joomla: is another popular free open source CMS platform that is a good choice for creating customizable content. Also, Joomla has excellent tools for managing users, which makes it a popular choice for membership-type sites.
Shopify: is the best CMS platform for e-commerce sites. It’s an all-in-one website builder and content management system with built-in payment processing for selling online.
This is one of the most important parts of your content management journey. Everyone knows today that localizing content draws more revenue, we do not need to demonstrate that (also because we already did demonstrate that: https://www.motaword.com/blog/localizations-impact-on-the-conversion-rate). So if you do not localize your content while willing to be global, we are sorry to tell you that you will most probably fail. You will find thousands of translation agencies claiming to be the right one to localize your content. But this number dramatically falls to a handful of Language Service Providers when you need your CMS plugged in to a professional translation solution available 24/7 and that provides human translations. MotaWord developed various plugins to connect to your Content Management System and make your life easier while ordering translations. If you need detailed information about website translation, check our latest article. WordPress is the CMS with 35% market share of all websites around the world, which means over 455 million websites, not offering a plugin or an integration to it while being a language service provider would be considered as suicidal. Well, MotaWord has a WordPress plugin that allows you to seamlessly submit your posts for translation to MotaWord from within your WordPress admin panel, and receive them back there. Wizards of the MotaWord also developed a module for Drupal. It works with the software’s Translation Management Tool (TMGMT) and allows users to access all MotaWord services directly through Drupal's administration interface. Also, MotaWord’s API makes it possible to connect to any other CMS in a very fast and seamless way.
Localization through your Content Management System was never easier.