What Is a CMS, And Why Do I Need One?

What Is a CMS, And Why Do I Need One?

green light on a cms It was a startling introduction to my LevelTen Interactive tenure. Walking in with very little knowledge about Content Management Systems was a bit intimidating for a newbie at a Drupal shop. Kayla quickly put LevelTen’s 2010 CMS Intelligence Report in my hands for a crash course on all things CMS-related. Many of you haven’t had that crash course yet, but if you want to achieve success on the modern day web, it’s time. This post will endeavor to simply answer two questions:
  • What is a CMS?
  • Why do I need one?

3 Definitions For a Content Management System :

  • 1. – “A software application used for the collaborative creation, storage, and management of content in many formats.” – Source
  • 2. – “An engine that brings your website to life by allowing you to create and edit content with interactive functionality.”
  • 3. – “A software tool that enables groups of (centralized) technical and (de-centralized) non technical staff to store, created, edit, manage and publish a variety of digital content types.” Source
There are dozens, if not hundreds of different CMS platforms available, so it can be tough to find the best solution for your site. Reviewing LevelTen’s previously mentioned Intelligence Report can help explain more in-depth, and there are numerous resources out there for researching CMS.

3 Reasons You Need a CMS

  • Unparalleled Mobility - CMS allows you to update your website through the back-end by logging in as an administrator and updating the site directly through the internet. This is very powerful as anyone can update the website from anywhere with an internet connection. Traditionally, updating website content required local changes on a computer, and uploading those changes through a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) program. It was a tedious, time-consuming process with an increased risk of overwriting or losing data. Source
  • Usability For All - I posed the following question to LevelTen Project Consultant Chris Sloan: “What is the No. 1 reason that someone needs a CMS?” His response: “People need CMS because it allows non-technical people to make technical changes on a website. CMS opens up the web to anyone and everyone.” Web 1 Marketing explains it as “simplified content creation and editing". Most common CMS allow users to create and edit content without knowledge of HTML and CSS.
  • CMS's Are Like A Green Light For Your Site - If you compare web development to a traffic light, traditional methods act like the yellow and red phases. Updating and styling HTML can take time–especially when many requests pile in. Even an in-house webmaster can get overwhelmed when making routine content updates for an entire company. CMS puts a green light on updating and editing content, which is a good thing because search engines crave websites that are frequently updated. They award higher ratings and better positioning within their rankings, which means more potential business conversions for your site. Source
For an in depth introduction to CMS performance, download LevelTen's 2010 CMS Intelligence Report. Photo Credit