Most small-business owners don’t have the time to learn HTML and web programming languages but they do want to make changes to their websites easily and without contacting their web designer for small changes or to add new web content. Website content management system software allows you to do this.
What Is A Content Management System (CMS)?
Content management systems give you the freedom to update your website whenever you want. You simply log into an administrative section, fill out a form, and the content shows up on your site immediately. Good content management software allows you to:
- Add, edit or delete pages.
- Update page content, such as fix typos, modify products and services, or update contact information.
- Upload and add images, audio and video.
- Add regular articles, news, event announcements, and blog posts.
Basically, you can add, edit or remove any web content you wish with the click of a button. If you can use Word processing software like Microsoft Word, you can use content management software to update your website. Most offer ways to format text such as bolding content, creating bulleted lists, underlining, and changing the font size or color just as you might with Microsoft Word.
How Content Management Systems Work
There are two key parts to a website running content management software.
- Your website design – This is what your website looks like. You can have your web designer create any design you wish or choose a professionally-designed web template. Your website design is what visitors see.
- The administrative back-end – This is where you manage your content. You can set permissions for which users can add, modify or delete content.
When you upload content through the admin section, it is stored in a database or occasionally, an XML file. You never have to touch or worry about these components once the website is set up. All modifications to your site are done directly through a web-based interface.
How To Choose a Content Management System
There are many different types of content management systems. Some are designed so visitors can register and add content to your site. Others allow you to create photo galleries, forums, or basic websites. Which CMS you choose will depend on what you want your website to do. Here’s how to choose your CMS.
- Define your criteria – What kinds of content do you need to manage? Who will add content – you, your staff members, or web visitors? What types of content do you need to manage (text, images, audio, video, PDF, spreadsheets, etc)? How much support do you need?
- Evaluate options – OpenSourceCMS.com allows you to try out different content management systems to see which you prefer. Many content management systems are free. Some common choices are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. If you are a small-business who needs a basic website or blog, WordPress is probably the fastest and easiest to set up. Test the WordPress demo.
- Choose your software – Once you try out a few options, choose one you feel comfortable with and offers features matching your criteria.
By using a content management system to manage your website’s content, you can make website changes whenever you choose without worrying about HTML code.