What is a Content Management System (CMS) – and why should I care?

The evolution of website design has moved at a relatively fast pace, especially over the last few years or so. It used to be that you would employ a website designer to create your site, you’d launch it and then, well… that would be it. It would remain unchanged for months or even years, partly because in order to update it you had to contact your designer or learn how to write code yourself (which isn’t easy).

I’ll do that myself thanks!

Now though, there is no need to know even the first thing about HTML, PHP, CSS, Javascript or any other web development languages. Why? Because of ‘Content Management Systems’ (CMS). Just as now it would be unusual (probably impossible) to find a website developer who doesn’t create fully responsive websites, it would be equally unlikely that you’d find building sites without some form of CMS.

One of the most well known is WordPress, but it is far from the only one – there are lots of alternatives. Each one operates slightly differently, but the concept is the same: you log in and use a WYSIWYG Editor (What You See Is What You Get) – which is an intuitive interface that’ll be familiar to anyone who has used Word, Google Docs, or anything similar. This editor allows you to change the text however you wish, and all without a single line of code in site. Once you ‘publish’ the changes the site is instantly updated so you can check your handiwork. The same system (depending on how it is configured) will normally allow you to upload images, create and delete pages, change the menus, and edit the actual site structure by changing how the pages link together.

So if you don’t have a CMS-driven website may be it is time to consider one, because in doing so:

  1. You’ll have complete control of the site 24hrs a day
  2. There is no need to pay someone to make the changes for you
  3. Regular content updates are one of the factors Google uses to ‘rank’ sites in its listings
  4. Regular changes to content are likely to encourage more visitors and more repeat visitors to your site

If you’d like a no-obligation chat about your website needs then please give us a call – we’d be happy to discuss them with you. And to get more tips such as this sent straight to your inbox simply sign up to our emails and select ‘Design Tips’ from the subject options.

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