Content Management Systems Explained

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Content Management Systems Explained

In this article we will cover one of the more broad topics when it comes to website development - content management systems. We will talk about what they are exactly, what types of problems they can solve, and why we always use content management systems to build powerful and highly customoized websites for our clients here at Lucid Web Solutions. We will also explore some of the more popular CMS frameworks being used on the web today.

Content Management Systems Explained

A CMS is made up of two main components: a content management application (CMA) and content delivery application (CDA). Together, these applications handle all just about the code and heavy lifting, database calls, and back end structure so that users can focus on the front end of their websites. Rather than simply starting with a blank HTML page, content management systems allow users to open up the content editor and be able to do all the things they would expect such as bold text, add links and CTAs, and insert images or other media simply by dragging and dropping some items or clicking a few buttons rather than writing out all the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

What are the most popular content management systems?

When it comes to choosing a CMS, there are literally hundreds of options out there to choose from. Some require a paid license to use, but most are open-source and completely free to use. There are a lot of varying opinions when it comes to which CMS is the best - mainly becauae each CMS has it's own set of unique features and selling points. Some of the more popular content management systems used these days include:

  • Wordpress
  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • Wix
  • Shopify
  • Squarespace

Wordpress is the most popular CMS used today considering it is easy manage and also very developer friendly. But one disadvatnage to using Wordpress is because it is so widely used it has also become a prime target for malicous attacks from hackers. Other content management systems provide for more security, but may be lacking in some other areas. This is why it is so important to understand what is needed from a CMS prior to deciding which one to build a website with.

In the earlier days of the internet before content management systems became so widely used, most websites were coded from scratch. For that reason, making changes or content updates after the websites were live often meant having to seek out and pay a developer to make the required changes. This became costly and time consuming - especially if a site required lots of changes or modifications.

To get a better understanding of which CMS is best for your website, consider the business or organization's size. The site administrator should be aware of how many people will be accessing and managing the site, whether the CMS will require support for multiple languages, and what size of a team will be needed in order to maintain and upkeep the site. It is also crucial to take into consideration the level of control both administrators and end users will have when using the CMS.