What Is a CMS and Why Should You Care?

There are quite a lot of acronyms within the enterprise world to maintain straight. website positioning, CRM, SERP, CDN, and CMS are just some vital ones.

CMS is especially vital, contemplating that more than half of all websites are constructed with one. So what’s it?

CMS stands for content material administration system. It additionally would be the answer you are on the lookout for to rapidly make an internet site with restricted technical information and assets.

Learn More About HubSpot's CMS Software

On this put up, we’ll outline what a CMS is and the way it works. Then we’ll take a look at how you need to use a CMS to deal with the infrastructure of your web site so you possibly can give attention to creating thrilling, pleasant content material that leads to extra conversions and leads.

We’ll wrap up by a number of the hottest CMS platforms in the marketplace. Let’s get began.

With a CMS, you possibly can create, handle, modify, and publish content material in a user-friendly interface. You possibly can customise the design and performance of your web site by downloading or buying templates and extensions, fairly than coding. You possibly can have a number of customers working within the back-end of the identical instrument — and rather more.

You could be questioning how one piece of software program does all of this. To reply that query, let’s take a better take a look at how a CMS works.

How a CMS Works

To grasp how a CMS works, you first have to know what it is prefer to construct a web site from scratch.

You’d begin with HTML to add text, images, navigation bars, and other building blocks of a site. Then you’d add CSS to style those elements to match the unique look and feel of your brand.

You’d finish up by writing some JavaScript to add more advanced functionality to your site, like slide-in CTAs. Then you’d have to upload this HTML file to your server to be filed away in your database.

Whenever you want to make changes — even simple ones like updating content — you have to download files from the server, open them, and change the HTML code by hand. Then you’ll have to make sure you didn’t break any links or something else before uploading the files back to the server.

Sounds complicated, yes? For developers and other advanced users with experience in website development, building a site from scratch might be ideal. But for those who don’t have the coding skills or time and resources to build a site from scratch and maintain it, they can use a CMS. Let’s talk about how.

How to Use a CMS

A CMS is made up of two core parts: a content management application (CMA) and content delivery application (CDA). Combined, these applications essentially handle all the code, database queries, and infrastructure in the back end so you can focus on the front end of your site.

Rather than start with a blank HTML page, for example, you’ll open up the content editor and be able bold text, add links and CTAs, and insert images and tables by dragging and dropping some modules or clicking a few buttons rather than writing out HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

Here’s a look at how easy it is to create a blog post using WordPress, for example.

Creating post in WordPress Gutenberg editor

To make other changes on your site, like changing the permalink structure or installing extensions, just navigate to the appropriate section in your admin panel. This is the CMA in action: all these changes are made in an intuitive interface that hides the code from you, the end user.

When you’re done making changes, the CDA will take the content you entered into the CMA, assemble the code, display it to your front-end visitors, and store it. That means when you want to publish a new blog post, for example, you just have to hit the Publish button instead of manually uploading a page to your server.

Now that we understand what a CMS is, how it works, and how to use it, let’s explore the benefits of using one over building a site from scratch or using another website building tool.

Why do you need a CMS?

We’ve already alluded to some benefits of using a CMS, but let’s look at some specific ways it can impact your set-up process, team’s productivity, and visibility online.

1. No Coding Knowledge Required

By enabling non-developers and other users to build websites without coding, CMS systems have helped revolutionize web design. Gone are the days of relying on web developers and designers to establish an online presence for your business.

You can create and manage content, customize the design of your site, and install extensions to add functionality to your site — all without coding. (It’s important to note that most platforms do allow you to add custom code for more granular control over your site, too.)

As a result, users with limited technical resources and time can still build a powerful website for their business.

2. Easy Collaboration

Multiple users can access and work in the back end of a CMS at the same time. That means on any given day, your marketers can be producing content, your IT professionals implementing security protocols, and your developers adding custom code to your theme. In fact, they could all be working on the same landing page.

In short, a CMS can help improve workflows and productivity across your team.

3. SEO Features and Extensions

CMS platforms offer built-in features as well as add-ons to help you optimize your site for search engines.

Using built-in or third party tools, you can:

Implementing these best practices will help improve your chances of ranking on Google and other major search engines.

4. Predesigned Templates

Most CMS platforms like CMS Hub include a number of predesigned templates you need to use to rapidly customise the looks of your web site. They’ll additionally have an effect on the conduct of your web site.

Selecting a responsive template, for instance, will guarantee your web site appears to be like good on any system, with out requiring you to write a bunch of code. Not solely do templates prevent design time earlier than launching your web site, they will additionally make an internet site redesign a lot quicker and less complicated down the street.

5. Easy Updates

As mentioned above, a CMS lets you make adjustments in your web site quicker and simpler — from main updates, like an internet site redesign, to minor updates, like altering the picture on your private home web page. Reasonably than hiring a contract developer or making an attempt to edit the code your self, you possibly can go into the dashboard of your CMS to replace and edit the content material of your web site. This lets you preserve your content material dynamic and related.

In case your web site is rising, you might have to improve to a CMS to satisfy your wants. You can begin your search by trying out a couple of of one of the best CMS techniques under.

Let’s unpack eight fashionable CMS platform examples to find which could be one of the best match on your web site wants.

1. CMS Hub

With CMS Hub, you possibly can construct web sites which might be safe, highly effective, and optimized for engines like google.

Utilizing this all-on-one linked platform, you possibly can create customized content material for guests primarily based on knowledge out of your HubSpot CRM, create customized templates and kinds, run A/B exams on multi-language content material, safely redesign and relaunch net pages, view efficiency analytics, and rather more.

By combining ease of use and suppleness, this proprietary CMS is right for companies with numerous groups of entrepreneurs, builders, and IT professionals that need to develop over time.

Learn more about CMS Hub’s customization options, multi-lingual support, reporting dashboards, and more.

CMS Hub user creating and editing web page without coding

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2. WordPress

WordPress is a self-hosted platform that powers thousands and thousands of web sites. You possibly can simply and rapidly construct a WordPress web site utilizing the Gutenberg editor after which customise it with any of the thousands of plugins and themes available within the official WordPress listing or different third-party websites.

Wish to add forms and live chat to your site? Need a theme that comes with a built-in visible builder and break up testing? Leveraging WordPress plugins and themes like these, you possibly can create a novel expertise particular to your model.

Adding and managing plugins in your WordPress CMS dashboard

3. Joomla

Web site house owners on the lookout for extra performance constructed proper into the platform could strive a WordPress alternative like Joomla.

Like WordPress, Joomla is an open-source CMS. What units Joomla aside is its built-in multilingual help and superior consumer and content material administration choices, which make it very best for membership, group, and social networking websites. UIDAI, for instance, is a multilingual web site powered by Joomla. 

Joomla CMS Showcase community site

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4. Drupal

Drupal is a extremely versatile CMS favored by massive companies and authorities companies like NASA. Whereas you will want net improvement expertise to completely leverage the facility of this platform, you will not have to begin from scratch.

Along with its out-of-the-box options, you possibly can select amongst 44,000 modules accessible in its listing and 1000’s of free themes in its theme repository to construct a fancy web site that handles massive volumes of knowledge and heavy visitors, like Rush College Medical Middle’s web site. 

Drupal showcase Rush University

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5. Magento

The self-hosted model of Magento, often known as Magento OpenSource, is just like the Drupal of the ecommerce world. It is extremely versatile and safe, however tough to be taught and benefit from all its built-in performance and extensions.

Magento CMS extensions marketplace

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With Magento, you possibly can handle a number of shops, use a number of worldwide delivery suppliers, and transact in several nations, languages, and currencies — all inside the identical dashboard.

So, when you’ve got the time and assets to put money into set-up and upkeep, you can construct an internet retailer with an enormous product stock and international attain.

6. Webflow

Webflow is a “visible” content material administration system designed to fill a market hole for net designers who wish to give attention to creating and customizing websites with out worrying about internet hosting, safety, or efficiency.

With Webflow, you can begin with one of many tons of of pre-built templates or begin from scratch utilizing the Webflow Designer proven under.

CMS user editing site in Webflow designer

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You may as well prolong the performance of your web site via third-party integrations or embedding HTML code. Because it requires at the least some information of HTML, CSS, and net design, Webflow is finest fitted to freelancer designers or companies.

7. Ghost

In case you’re on the lookout for a extra easy and light-weight CMS devoted to running a blog, Ghost is a superb choice. Ghost is a headless CMS, which signifies that its physique (the content material repository) is separated from its head (the presentation layer).

Mainly, this lets you create and handle content material after which ship that content material through their Node.js APIs (or one other front-end instrument you favor) to any platform and channel, from smartwatches to virtuality actuality headsets.

With an intuitive editor and built-in website positioning instruments, Ghost appeals to bloggers and newbie who need a fundamental web site that’s easy to create and handle.

ghost cms platform example with desktop and mobile  demos

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8. Sitecore

Sitecore is an enterprise-level headless CMS that lets you create and ship customized web sites, emails, social media posts, and cell experiences.

You should use its WYSIWYG editor with drag-and-drop performance, session- and device-based personalization guidelines, and multilingual instruments to scale your content material creation and ship content material that’s optimized to your customers’ pursuits, language, and system. And due to Sitecore’s headless structure, you possibly can present these related buyer experiences throughout a number of channels, together with net, social, voice, level of sale, and extra.

SiteCore Experience Manager illustration depicts the architecture of this headless CMS

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This CMS powers more than 130,000 websites in industries starting from sports activities to banking to journey and extra. A few of its largest manufacturers are American Specific, ASOS, L’Oréal, and Volvo Automobiles.

Use a CMS to Construct Your Web site 

Utilizing a content material administration system to construct and handle your web site will help you develop over time. Not solely will a CMS retailer your whole net content material in a single place, it’s going to additionally help collaboration throughout groups, permit for fast and simple updates, and supply templates and extensions to customise your web site.

Editor’s be aware: This put up was initially printed in December 2010 and has been up to date for comprehensiveness.

Discover videos, templates, tips, and other resources dedicated to helping you  launch an effective video marketing strategy. 

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