What is a Content Management System?
So you want to manage your own website? Totally an option, thanks to Content Management Systems.
What’s a Content Management System?!
Content Management Systems (CMS’) are computer applications that let you (the user) publish, edit & modify content on your own website. It’s kind of like using Microsoft Word, except your documents are on your own website.
You, personally, have control over what your pages say. You can publish new pages, delete old pages, edit existing pages, or even duplicate pages (so you don’t have to start from scratch) …. all from a push of a few buttons.
Content Management Systems were created with you (the user) in mind. You don’t have to have ANY technical background to use the systems. They actually have a few of the same features as Microsoft Word, which makes understanding how to write & edit content THAT much easier. You can bold a few words or italicize them, make fonts bigger or smaller, add tables and bullet points……basically, you can manipulate your writing however you want too.
If you want to start your own blog, content management systems are the way to go. They not only let you have control over what “pages” you have on your site, but also all the “posts” you have.
Pages? Posts? WTF?
Here……take a look at what I mean…..
If you open up The Rolling Stones Website (which uses a Content Management System, btw)….look at the top of their website, at their navigation bar. You can click around on onto all of their different “pages.” Their “Tour” page, gives you information about….tours (obviously) OR you can click on their “News” page, which shows a bunch of different “posts” to read, kind of like different articles. These “posts”….are what make up your blog.
So, in a nutshell….posts can be compared to articles in a newspaper. Pages can be compared to the sections of the newspaper. Both are different, but they both offer information/content, just in different ways.
Oh wait….CMS’ get better.
There’s a ton of different Content Management Systems out there, all built a little different from one another. Some are better for blogs, some are better for online shopping websites, and some have other purposes/preferences behind them.
One of the biggest CMS’ out there….is WordPress. If you know anything about blogging, I’m sure you’ve heard of WordPress, if not, it’s pretty fantastic.
Here’s 3 reasons why:
#1 – It’s free. (FREE?! Yes. Free) I love free. You love free. We all love free.
#2 – It’s popular, which means there is a ginormous community that supports it.
Why is this a big deal? Well if there is ever a problem with the software or application itself…..there’s so many supporters (like all over the world…..literally) who can provide solutions to the problem. Which is great for us users!
#3 – It’s very powerful. It started off as mainly only a blogging platform but quickly grew into a full-forced system because of it’s features & capabilities. Now it’s not only smart for bloggers…..but it’s smart for business. If you combine the two (blogging for business (insert link)) You get DOUBLE the benefits.
Did you know that over 70 million sites are created using WordPress?!
70. Million. Sites. THAT’S HUGE.
Some of the user’s include:
- The NY Times
- Best Buy
- Katy Perry
See the full list of WordPress’ Noteable User’s here.
Okay, Content Management Systems are pretty much the bees knees.
But lets take a closer look at the “you” (user) side of them (aka The Dashboard).
Back in the early days on the internet, if you wanted a website, you would have to pay big bucks to get it built and big bucks to keep it managed. You’d also have to fork over some serious cash if you wanted to change anything on it. Any. Little. Thing. You’d have to know someone who specializes in web sites, developing & coding. Talk about exhausting, and expensive, right?!
Now a days……you can do a lot of changes….ALL on your own. You can literally manage your website, sitting at home, behind your own computer, wearing a blue fuzzy robe & bunny slippers….if you really wanted too. ALLLLLLLLLL thanks to……*drumroll please…..*
You Guessed It…..Content Management Systems.
Most CMS’ give the user (you) a “Dashboard”.
The dashboard is where alllll the magic happens.
It’s like the control panel of your site.
It’s where all of your edit-able content & settings live.
Here are screenshots of two very popular Content Management Systems.
And Shopify (A CMS geared towards online shopping websites)
As you can see in both pictures of the two dashboards…….Content Management System’s let you control a lot. Everything from the comments your followers leave you…..to the sale price of the hot pink shirt you’re selling online, on your website.
These wonderful systems have made the internet accessible for even the not-so-techy people in the world. You have the opportunity to manage as much as you want, or as little as you want.
I’ve had clients that want the ability to manage everything about their website. I give them a quick run-over of the basics and they’re well on their way. (There’s also a milllllllion videos & tutorials on YouTube…if you were ever feeling spontaneous)
On the other hand, I’ve also had clients that want nothing to do with that part of their website. They come to me with all of their changes, big & small. That’s totally cool too. Either way, without Content Management Systems, managing your website would be nearly impossible without knowing coding…..and who wants to understand that stuff?! (That’s what I’m here for)
So, if you’ve ever wanted to have your own website/blog/online business/virtual masterpiece….the opportunity is there, thanks to Content Management Systems.