How to Choose a Content Management System

What is a CMS?

Before you can choose a content management system (CMS), you will need to understand what it is and why you would need one. That said, a CMS is a type of software program that you would use to publish and format your web content. A CMS allows you to manage your content online in a structure, organized, and consistent manner. Typically, a CMS will support different types of content managers and collaborative web content projects. Essentially, a CMS is used to simplify the process of placing your web content online and sharing it with the online community. Thus, you can deliver your information online to anyone, anywhere, and using any type of technological device. However, this is only the case when you are using the principles of "open content."

Do You Need a CMS?

Once you understand the various functions of a content management system, the next step is to gain an understanding of how to select a CMS and determine your need for one. In fact, the first step in selecting a CMS is deciding whether one is needed. In general, you will need a CMS if you are looking to save time and money when it comes to publishing web content on a consistent basis.

Why Should You Use a CMS?

Aside from allowing you to organize and structure your web content on a regular basis, there are several other benefits to using a content management system. The following will help you understand why you should consider using a CMS for organizing your digital information:

  • Using a CMS, you will be able to quickly publish your digital information and update it on a regular basis without the support of a technical staff.
  • A CMS will have a user-friendly interface that mimics that of a simple word-processing program. As a result, you will not need to know or learn how to use markup language of any kind when you wish to add, edit, or update your web content.
  • Design templates will be available in a CMS, and you can choose to maintain the same look and feel for your website until you feel inspired to change it.
  • Through a CMS, you can control the way in which you share and others share information with you. Thus, you can choose to either have full or partial control of the web content that is published on your website.

What Types of CMS are Available?

Although there are several different types of content management systems, there are two in particular that will appear more commonly in your search for a CMS. The first type is the open-source software, which is free in most cases or has minimal fees for licensing. This type of CMS is the most sought out because it allows you to customize your website to meet your specific needs. The commercial or proprietary CMS is the second option, and this is generally a popular choice for businesses that are looking to complete only the most basic content management tasks.

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