Definition: "Website CMS (Content Management System) is a specific application incorporated into a website to make it easy to create, manage, and organize the content on the website."
Well, that's sort of dry, so what does it really mean for you? It means that instead of having an old-style website that was built using HTML (HyperText Markup Language) that required technical skill to build and maintain, CMS websites are designed to be used by all of us.
A CMS website is:
- Built so the website design is separate from the content so it's easy for anyone to use and maintain.
- An environment to create and manage content without having any technical know-how.
- Easy to add, edit or change content from anywhere there is an Internet connection.
- A method to keep content organized in a variety of ways so it can be easily found whether there are 6 pages or 6,000 pages of content.
Content helps your business grow. If you are using your website to increase your reach and find new customers, you must be able to draw people to your website. Your best chance of doing that, besides a massive advertising campaign, is through quality content. Without a CMS, this will quickly become an almost insurmountable task.
"High-quality web content that's useful, usable, and enjoyable is one of the greatest competitive advantages you can create for yourself online." - Kristina Halvorson, Content Strategy for the Web
Because content is so important for your website, it's critical to have an easy means of adding and organizing your content - which is what a CMS does for you. If you weren't convinced by the What of CMS above, here are some major benefits of having website CMS capabilities:
- It's a time-saver. Because it's easy to add content, you can spend the time you have on actually developing the content for your website instead of having to figure out how to get it on your website.
- It helps you stay organized. You only need to set up an organization structure for your content once then apply it to all new content with one click.
- It allows you to control your website. You don't have to rely on anyone else to make changes or add to your website.
- It's convenient. You don't have to publish your content until it's ready, so you can work on it at your convenience. For time-sensitive content, you can specify the date to automatically publish and unpublish so you don't have to remember.
If you have an online store, your product pages are a type of content. A website CMS will help you keep all your products organized so your customers can easily find what they're looking for. It can also help you provide relevant cross-selling suggestions for your customers.
Now that you know a little bit more about what a website CMS is and what it can do for you, if you have a website that includes CMS, take advantage of what it has to offer you. And if you're in the process of deciding on a website provider, be sure it includes CMS so you will have the competitive advantage that CMS makes possible.