CMS is a group of software applications that manage the digital content of your website.
Every website is built around content. Without a way of managing content your site would be just a loose collection of pages. Not very useful for visitors to a website site.
A CMS is the core of your website and provides all the features, facilities and tools needed to manage your content. Many CMS do not require experience of html or other programming languages to build a sophisticated and a stunning website.
Examples of content management systems are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. In fact there are many more and you could spend many happy hours researching them. if you are like me you just want to get a great site up and running. If that is the case the all you need to know is:
The vast majority of sites on the internet are built on WordPress, Joomla or Drupal
you need one of these!
I am a visual sort of person. Tell me what a Gorrilla is and I wouldn't have a clue, show me a picture then I know that I have to run!
Here at New Future we use the WordPress CMS. WordPress is the most widely used CMS on the internet, accounting for around 80% of all website builds.
A bit more detail that will help in understanding CMS
A CMS is a powerful suite of software available for easy install (a few clicks) on your host’s web server.
With the basic CMS installation you will be able to create a full featured website for your website or blog.
The minimum features included should be:
- Admin control panel
- Editor – to enter and edit your content
- Menu System – to create “one click” access to your content
- Media library - to store the images and other media for use on your posts and pages
- Support for templates and themes
- Layout tools – present your website in a pleasing manner
- Support for plugins and other extensions to enhance your basic installation
- User management – provide individual users with levels of access
- Support via CMS user forums
Understanding CMS: Which should I choose?
We will concentrate on the free ones. Free does not mean limited in any way, most of the widely used CMS are free and they account for the majority of the websites on the internet.
For us at at New Future there it is an easy choice to make. We are "Tech Light" which means we have some coding knowledge of HTML and CSS but we are by no means experts. That rules out many of the "Tech Heavy" CMS like .netnuke and Drupal despite the fact that they both can offer wonderful facilities. To be honest there is enough work to do on our normal business, we would always leave the clever stuff to the experts.
Rather than get into the pros and cons of many of the smaller and more technical CMS we suggest that for beginners it is a straight choice between two:
I will write a review of each in the near future. If you are itching to get started be aware that choosing one over the other is not written in stone forever. As long as you keep your content backed up you can restore it later to a different CMS.
Rackspace have written an excellent and more in depth comparison of the three major content management systems which you can read here.