A content management system allows you to update and change your website content when you want without having to wait for your Web Design Company or developer to do it for you.
A content management system (CMS) refers to a system that allows you to manage and update the content on their website. Content management systems are database driven websites with a built-in facility to update the web-page content. The need for static websites is fairly limited.
The web publishing needs of a company have changed significantly with time. Today businesses need the ability to update the website frequently. In addition to offering up to date information to your customers, updating your website is also vital for Google ranking.
If your website has been built by a web design company or a professional web designer then it most likely includes a content management system. If your website has been developed in the last 5 years then this is most likely to be the case. A professional web design company will design all its websites as a content management system.
Content management system – Top options
There are many options for providing a content management system on a website today. The main options are discussed below:
Open source content management system
There are many free open source software that are freely available. Most popular systems are rich with many powerful and advanced features. Leading CMS platforms offer standard features including ability to update the content and images on pages, ability to provide private areas on the website, user registration and login, blog and search feature on the website. Open source systems have special significance for a web design company or professional designer as it allows them to customise the system to meet specific needs of a business. Open source CMS can also be extended easily with a variety of add-on features if required.
Content management system is a widely used term that includes database driven websites in general. In addition to general web publishing needs, there are many specialist CMS platforms that focus on specific areas such as e-commerce. OS commerce and Magento are two popular open source shopping cart software.
If your needs are complex which cannot be met by available content management systems, then you can commission a web design company or professional designer to develop a fully bespoke software for your website. This option can be expensive and time consuming.
Combination of Open source and bespoke features
A combined approach of using an open source CMS platform together with custom features is cost effective approach to developing websites and is widely used by many small to medium sized businesses. A web design company with the right skills and experience is able to adapt and extend an existing open source system to meet the specific needs of your business. Popular open source platforms offer a powerful framework for developing web applications of any scale. Leading open source software offers a well defined methodology and a powerful API for expanding the system. Today it can be relatively easy to find a web design company that specialises in developing bespoke add-ons for leading open source software such as Joomla, WordPress or Drupal.
Hosted CMS/Blogging platforms
Hosted CMS platforms are online publishing systems that help you build a personal or business website. Most hosted CMS platforms offer a range of free website building tools that can allow you to create a website within minutes.
Online CMS/ Blog platforms also provide a viable option for smaller sites. Many portals allow users to create their own database driven micro-site or blog using their website. The hosted model has proved popular as it is quick, free and offers a collection of build-in tools to build your site quickly and without prior web design or software development experience. Blogger or Blogspot and the hosted version of wordpress (yorusite.wordpress.com) are two of the leading hosted CMS platforms and feature in ‘Technorati’s top 10 used CMS’ list. Some hosted platforms also allow you to create and host your own e-commerce store using one of the available templates. Hosted platforms offer a quick and cost effective method to build a CMS driven site for business or personal use. The functionality and design are however limited as you can only choose from the options available to you. In most cases, bespoke options are not available on the hosted versions.
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