A content management system or CMS is pretty much what is sounds like – the system that you use to manage your content. You could be using a CMS system for managing any type of content but in the case of this article we are talking about your website.
Content management systems weren’t always around and in the past websites were often built using plain old html and manual coding. Then CSS came along (cascading style sheets) and allowed the design elements of a website to be separated from the text. This made things a bit easier and allowed designers and content writers to work on a website project without stepping on each other’s’ toes.
Websites were still a lot of work in these days though and to run a website you had to be very proficient in web programming technologies. This acted as a barrier for a lot of small businesses who wanted to run their own website.
Then along came the content management system – a way for the coding to be completely separated from the content of a website and along with this came themes and plugins and all sorts of systems that made it easy for practically anyone to create a website.
Today you can install a CMS platform, pick a theme, set up your site navigation and add in your content and you can do all of this without even knowing that websites are built using a programming language.
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of content management systems out there – some free, some paid and some community driven open-source projects. So, with all of these choices, how do you know which one to pick? We have done a round-up of the top 3 CMS platforms to give you a good idea where to start.
Blogger is often under-rated as a CMS platform but it’s actually very easy to use and pretty efficient when it comes to running a small website. The great thing about blogger is that you really don’t need any knowledge at all of web technologies. You don’t even need to own a domain, you can simply visit the blogger website, follow their registration process and you can be away in no time at all.
As the name suggests, blogger.com is ideal if you want to run your own blog and we recommend it for personal projects rather than business ventures because it doesn’t have as much support of some of the larger cms platforms.
Magento is a far more complex platform compared with Blogger. Even though it is grouped in with every other CMS system, and even though you can create and publish content without any coding knowledge, it is more complicated to set up than many other cms platforms so its definitely not the right choice of content management system for a complete beginner.
However, what Magento lacks in simplicity it certainly makes up for in functionality and this is especially true when it comes to ecommerce or selling online. Magento is jam-packed with ecomerce features and is considered the go-to cms for anyone starting up a web-shop or any type of commercial sales platform.
WordPress has its critics that’s for sure, and people often say it’s a risky platform to use because it is so often targeted by hackers but setting that aside it is still the most popular cms with a reported 58.8% of the market share.
The thing about WordPress is that it gives you the best of both worlds – it is one of the simplest cms platforms you will ever come across but at the same time it is packed full of features and support. And you can use it regardless of what level you are at when it comes to experience with the web – if you are a total beginner you can go for the free and hosted edition meaning you don’t even need your own domain name whereas if you are a seasoned webmaster you can purchase a domain and install your own copy of WordPress on your hosting account.
The great thing about WordPress is that it has loads of support – because its so popular everyone wants to develop tools for it and everyone wants to make their software compatible with WordPress.
You even get services that specialise in moving websites from other platforms over to WordPress. For example there is a Weebly to WordPress service that will convert your Weebly website into a fully functional WordPress equivalent. Try finding someone that will convert your site to a lesser known cms platform such as concrete5 and you might really struggle.