Every single day, the online world welcomes a growing number of individuals seeking their slice of digital paradise. But amidst this ever-expanding online population, we can identify two distinct categories, each united by something beyond the realm of the internet. Enter the world of producers and consumers – the yin and yang of the online universe.
Now, what sets these two groups apart? Well, it’s a simple yet powerful commonality: content. Yes, content is the magic thread that weaves them together in this vast digital tapestry. Whether it’s a captivating blog post, a stunning photograph, an enlightening video, or even a heartfelt tweet, content is the lifeblood of the online realm.
Think about it: every piece of content you come across, every bit of information that catches your eye, is the result of someone’s creative effort. These producers tirelessly craft, refine, and shape their work, pouring their heart and soul into every pixel, every word, every frame. And what do they gain? They get to share their passion, their knowledge, their art with the world.
On the flip side, we have the consumers, eagerly devouring the feast of content laid out before them. They are the appreciators, the seekers of knowledge, the ones who find inspiration and entertainment in the digital wonderland. They consume, digest, and engage with the content created by the producers, fueling the cycle of creation and consumption.
In today’s digital realm, crafting and perfecting content for the online world calls for an abundance of creativity. This artistry is especially reserved for a special breed of internet enthusiasts—content producers. These brilliant minds dedicate themselves to curating captivating material and sharing it with eager consumers across a multitude of platforms. From web pages to social media hubs and beyond, they pour their hearts and souls into their creations.
Yet, let’s face it, the journey of content creation and refinement can occasionally be a bit of a rollercoaster ride. It’s like wrestling with a wild beast at times! Thankfully, we have an arsenal of secret weapons in our toolkit, one of which is the mighty Content Management Systems (CMS). These ingenious tools act as our trusted sidekicks, making our lives as producers easier, smoother, and downright more enjoyable.
What is a Content Management System (CMS)?
Content Management Systems are resources/applications used in managing content by allowing multiple contributors (content providers) to create, edit, and publish content. This is possible because contents in a CMS are stored in a database and displayed in presentation layers using the available (specified) templates similar to the templates of a website.
Content Management Systems boast various functions, and these functions include the following:
- Creating content: Users and contributors can easily create content using the templates and formats available in a CMS database.
- Storing contents: The database in a CMS not only serves as storage for content format and templates; it allows users to store their contents consistently.
- Direct Workflow: In a CMS, the user or content provider can assign permissions for managing various contents based on various roles particular to the content. These roles could be author, particularly to written content, editor, particular to written content, and more.
- Publishing: This feature in CMS tells the software built on the CMS when and where contents in the software should go live.
- Optimization: This is the aspect of a CMS that helps content providers improve the digital experience offered by their content and learn from the content.
Benefits of a Content Management System
There are various positives particular to a CMS, but these are some of the most prominent positives:
- Allows different online users to become content contributors: Before CMSs, many of the people who created, managed, and organized content online were programmers, as they had the skill to do so. However, with the coming of CMSs, content contribution became more open, as people without any technical skill could create and manage content using the available formats and templates in the CMS.
- Facilitates collaboration: There is a reason CMS users can also be called contributors, and it is because the application allows multiple users to edit, schedule, or manage content before they are published. Most CMS are web-based, allowing multiple users from diverse places to access the application simultaneously.
- Reduces reliance on front-end developers: Front-end developers are programmers whose skill sets allow them to manage, edit, and organize content and make website changes. However, CMS reduces dependency on these professionals because, with zero knowledge, you can change your website and manage its contents.
- Reduces the degree of development needed when publishing content to various channels: A website is not the only channel where content can be published; there are other channels, like social media platforms. A CMS allows users conveniently publish their content to these various channels with little to no development needed using the formats and templates available in the database.
Frequently Asked Questions about Content Management Systems
These are some of the simple questions that are asked about Content Management Systems and their answers:
- Are Websites and Content Management Systems Similar?
A website is a collection of web pages containing contents in varying forms. A CMS, on the other hand, is an application used to build websites or facilitate websites.
With the CMS, website owners can create, edit, manage, and organize content for their web pages without technical knowledge or skill. CMS also allows website owners to store and publish content for their web pages.
What to Consider when Choosing a CMS
You must consider specific factors to ensure that your choice of CMS for your website is the ideal and realistic option. These factors include:
- Goals: This factor examines how your website’s content will be consumed. This helps you design realistic goals for your website and choose requirements that align with your goals. The requirements are what you will crosscheck against CMS features and choose.
- Budget: The nature of your budget determines the kind of Content Management System you choose. Larger budgets can opt for more complex CMS with features that simplify content creators’ and editors’ lives. Smaller budgets have limited options to choose from. Some of the components that the budget will cover in a CMS are:
- The website’s hosting
- The domain name
- The Content Management System
- Development work required by the website
- Maintenance fees
Some of these components are not available in some CMS, which is why they are suitable options for low budgets.
- The content: This considers what kinds of content and processes the CMS supports. Are the contents strictly blog articles? Will the content published daily be in large batches, or is the content meant to advertise for sales? You should carefully consider the kinds of content you will be publishing and choose a CMS that has an excellent performance with your kind of content.
- The technologies the CMS needs to support or integrate with: This considers other resources or applications that will be used to boost and track your website’s performance. These resources and applications range from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to Web analytics programs. Some integrations you should look for in a CMS include online marketing, solid API, and CMS plug-ins.
- Ease of use: This considers how easy it is to create and edit content on the CMS. A common feature in most CMS is the drag-and-drop feature, allowing users to edit and create content using the drag-and-drop action. However, this feature is more convenient for content published on simple pages. Still, if the contents are not published in simple pages, you have the time to evaluate how easy it would be to publish what you want to edit and create. You can even be on the lookout for specific features. Some of the features are:
- A What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) Editor
- Role and rights management
- Updates and upgrades
- Ready-made integrations and modules
- Digital asset manager
- Other factors to be considered include:
- How many people will work on the CMS you will be choosing? You will need a CMS that can function optimally with the number of people working on it.
- What indicator will you use to measure the website’s success and its conductor, as you will need a CMS providing such indicators?
- The SEO-friendliness of the CMS platform you choose
Content Management Systems have changed the narrative of content creation, as many (technical and non-technical individuals) have access to resources that make content editing and creation easy.