A CMS, or content management system, is web application to that allows a user to easily publish, organise, delete and edit content on a website without having to learn to code, or requiring much technical know-how.
In the 21st century a website is central to most ventures yet not all companies require, or can afford, a fully functioning I.T. department. A CMS reduces the need for costly technical specialists and allows any member of your staff to maintain and publish to your website.
Benefits of CMS
Content management systems can provide many benefits to your business, this includes:
Reduced Reliance On Outside Parties
As a CMS can be controlled and managed by a layman it reduces the reliance on your tech team, whether they are in-house or outsourced. Not only does this benefit your financial and time costs it also means that your staff can easily understand the systems without having to learn technical jargon. This can help organize and streamline your online presence and allow your business to respond to unforeseen technical issues quickly.
Most content management systems only require a yearly license, making them an inexpensive and powerful tool for any business. The return of investment comes from three areas:
- Reduced spend on technical resources
- Little updating and maintenance on the CMS itself
- Speeds up publishing of content
The third point is perhaps the most important. Whether your business makes its money from a physical product or through online advertising or lead generation it is your pages that sell the product. The faster you can respond to your customers via the content you produce the more potential growth there is for your business.
Because a CMS is easy to use, changes can be made by those who are not technically minded allowing your staff have more control to create, edit and even design the pages. This puts creating web content in their hands, reduces frustration and eliminates the need to become technically versed which may demotivate staff
Flexible And Versatile Websites
A Website redesign is very expensive and may not always have the intended impact. Due to the versatile nature of most content management systems changes can be made incrementally by your staff, allowing measurable improvements to your website.
When compared to HTML based websites a CMS can offer far more for a fraction of the effort. Plug-ins and powerful tools can make creating layouts, adding videos or interactive graphics to your website incredibly easy allowing you to create the best website for your customer.
Not only does a CMS allow you to easily create and edit content they can also be linked to analytics platforms such as webmaster tools and google analytics. This means that you can produce accurate reports about the performance of your website, analyse where changes and improvements can be made and increase customer satisfaction and ROI.
Types of CMS
There are several choices of content management systems that offer a variety of functions for different needs. Which one is right for your business will depend on a number of factors, including your business’s size, scope and sector. The most well known are:
Open CMS was created in the late 90’s and has consequently become one of the best known types of CMS. It is fully browser based and open source, which means it is freely available and modified by everyone, although it is distributed by Alkacon Software. In the last 15 years it has developed into a powerful yet user-friendly CMS tool.
Another open source CMS platform, Drupal is a community based program that allows you to build anything from a personal blog to a business website. It contains thousands of add-ons and offers a huge selection of designs to be modified to your tastes and needs.
One of the most popular platforms for, WordPress is a free to use, although you can pay to use the more in depth upgrade features, with a huge selection of templates to choose from. WordPress tends to be used as a blog building tool rather than a website one.
Winner of many awards, Joomla is a very highly regarded CMS that is championed by many in the industry. As well as website building, Joomla offers the opportunity to build applications, allowing for greater creativity. Open sourced and free to use, it has become one of the most popular CMS systems.
With the backing of online giants Ebay, Magento open source CMS offers one of the most complete packages of all. There are two versions available, the community edition, which is designed for the most basic needs and Enterprise, for more complex website building. Unlike the community version, Enterprise is not available for free.
Overview of Main CMS Providers
|Open CMS||Free||Easily Modified|
|Drupal||Free||Huge Selection Of Add-Ons|
Variety Of Templates
|Magento||Free||Fee Paying Package: In Depth Capabilities|
Free Version: Simplicity
There are many CMS providers in the UK to choose from, so it may not be easy to differentiate and choose a suitable supplier for your company. Some of the most highly regarded CMS providers in the UK are:
A truly worldwide organisation with over 1.5m licences sold to over 100,000 businesses, Maximizer have a reputation that is second to none in the industry. At the heart of their success is a model of design that is easily customisable, which can be tailored to suit any need in any sector.
Edge Data Systems
Based in South Wales, Edge offer great integration and flexibility in their services, allowing a business to easily adjust to any technological changes that might be required.
Business Automation CRM
Business Automation is the brainchild of Adam Hempenstall, author of the popular book Automate Your Business. Presenting greater levels of creativity, CRM offers website designs that far exceed most of those on available from other providers.
From a software as a service (SaaS) background, Sales-I know a thing or two about customisation and online creativity. One of the fastest growing “Customer Intelligence Services” in both the UK and the US, Sales-I have a reputation that is second to none with industry insiders.