What Is a Content Management System and How Can I Get One?


If you’re asking yourself this question then you must either be in need of a website or newbie web designer that doesn’t yet know of all the different types of websites there are available in the market. The following information will explain what it is and why one would use it.

For an ordinary user, a website is just a site to view information or buy products and will have no idea of what type of website there looking at as well as the value it holds along with how complex the website may be in terms of programming architecture and design. In fact a normal user will falsely assume that a pretty looking website with lots of graphical images is more valuable than a non graphical website, however this is very untrue. The value of the website does not come from the look, as I can safely say you can easily create attractive websites by using a few pictures here and there as well as programming a bit of CSS style. The complexity of websites in actual fact comes from the functionality of the website.

So what do I mean by functionality? Well I mean what ‘STUFF’ the website can do. I’ll use gumtree.com as an example. This website might not be the best looking website in the world, but it is very sophisticated and complex. It allows the user to insert their own advertisement by adding descriptions in a text box. It then displays these advertisements when other users search for the advertisement using the search box.

This requires a database to store information of the advertisement, and a lot of server-side scripting to organise it correctly, which makes this website extremely valuable and complex. Mind you this website in particular is a lot more valuable now due to its branding.

So now that we know that websites aren’t just a page full of pictures, let’s answer the question at hand. So what is a CMS? Well like I said before, there are different types of websites and a CMS is a type which is commonly used. It stands for Content Management System, and is used to define websites that allow users the ability to maintain content by adding and removing existing and new content. The content of which can be anything, such as a new page, or text within an already existing page. Some CMS systems can even add pictures and change the placement of the navigation bar. The gum tree website is in fact a good example as it allows users the ability to add content to the website. Another good example is the article website you’re currently reading this article from! It allows writers like me the ability to add articles, which is stored in a database and rendered dynamically when a user chooses to view it.

So why should you use a CMS system? Well simple, you should use one if you don’t know how to program but require a constant update of your website content. This works out to be a big money saver in the long run as you will no longer need to hire a developer to insert text for you.

There are many well-known open source CMS systems out there, some good and some bad. WordPress and Joomla are just two of the most popular CMS systems out there at the moment, however there is only one problem with these, and that is the fact that they aren’t tailor-made to your needs. If you wish to have a website that looks exactly the way you want it then the open source products cannot help you as they are predefined in their style, although you may be able to modify it, the style will never be 100% to your specification. This is where you need your own custom-built CMS systems.

So where can you get a customised CMS? The answer to that question is simple. You can get a CMS customised for you from any web design and development company. I’ve listed a couple of companies that I would recommend bellow. Feel free to pay them a visit.

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by Saif Uddowlla