For beginners: what is a CMS?

SkyStra
Jun 28, 2019

The days of coding static HTML files by hand every time you want to upload and publish content to a website are long gone, thanks to the rise of the Content Management System (CMS).

These platforms enable you to create and publish your website content without hassle.

The best part? You don’t have to know a single line of code in order to publish content online.

Also, most Content Management Systems (CMS) are entirely free to use and based on open-source technology.

WordPress is a good example of a Content Management System (CMS). You can check out our guide on How to Install & Build a WordPress Site or sign up to our Managed WordPress on the Skystra Cloud, where we take care of everything for you.

CMS (Content Management System)

A Content Management System (CMS) is software designed to help users create, edit, organize, and publish digital content without much technical know-how.

In short, when you use a CMS to publish content on your website pages, you reduce reliance on frontend developers since you don’t need code and it’s quicker and easier to publish new content on your own.

WordPress allows users to have full control over their website files, and documents, as well as the design and appearance of their site’s content.

Also, the best part about WordPress, or any other CMS is their collaborative nature. Because the CMS is usually browser-based it can easily be accessed from anywhere by any number of users at a given time.

Multiple users can log in to contribute to the website’s content as well as edit any content scheduled to be published or that has already been published.

How Does A Content Management System Work?

A Content Management System (CMS) is made up of two core parts that make it easy to maintain your website: Content Management Application (CMA) and a Content Delivery Application (CDA).

We will use WordPress to explain the two core parts that make up a CMS.

Content Management Application (CMA)

These are the inbuilt backend applications that allow you to actually add and manage content on your website like putting in content and uploading images.

The text editor of a typical content management platform usually has an interface somewhat similar to Microsoft Word allowing users to enter text and upload the content without needing to know any HTML or CSS.

Similarly, to upload and manage media, like images or videos, there is an inbuilt media library which means you don’t need to use an FTP client or cPanel file manager to upload media directly to the servers.

Content Delivery Application (CDA)

This is the backend process that takes the content you put in and makes it show up for your visitors. It allows non-technical people who don’t know programming language to easily display their own web content exactly the way they want it to appear.

Features of Good Content Management Systems

Now that you have a solid idea of what a CMS is let’s talk about some of the specific features they might offer.

A solid CMS should provide these 5 core features:

• A good editor and plenty of options to make sure you can easily publish content

• Enable you to organize your content into categories & assign tags to your published content

• Aside from publishing content, a good CMS should have a page editing functionality since you’ll need to create various types of pages for your website

• Be highly customizable which in turn enables you to create more advanced websites with whatever features you want

• A strong active developer community so that you’ll always have access to updates & plugins that improve the CMS user experience

These are 5 core features you should expect to see in any CMS worth your time!

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