A website in its simplest form can be described as HTML content interpreted and displayed as formatted text by the browser. Does that mean that knowing HTML is mandatory for anyone to create or manage a website? Yes and No. Although knowing HTML is the best way to go about website creation, it is not the only way! Content Management Systems are easy-to-use interfaces that facilitate website owners to easily create websites suitable to their needs. Using a CMS is especially useful to website managers for continuously updating content to their websites without any dependency on website developers.
Besides being useful directly to website managers, the automation provided by a CMS is also useful in managing huge company databases efficiently as it takes away the need for managing low level changes. Site developers can organize and control the content while guaranteeing consistency across the website.
Some widely-used Content Management Systems
When we talk of CMSs, WordPress is probably the first that comes to our minds, and why not! WordPress tops the list of popular CMSs today. With a super-fast, light weight installation wizard, innumerable themes and plugins available, WordPress is used across all kinds of websites.
Joomla is another popular CMS used by companies like eBay, Pizza Hut. Joomla is an open source, multilingual CMS platform supporting around 64 languages. It can be customized with innumerable extensions and does not compromise on security. Joomla appeals to users who want a CMS more powerful than WordPress but not as powerful as Drupal.
Drupal is older than WordPress and Joomla but has an elaborate setup due to its high flexibility in languages, security and modules. Used to build anything from personal blogs to enterprise level applications, Drupal offers an endless variety of add-on modules and designs.
TYPOlight offers unique bundled modules like a newsletter, calendars and built-in CSS generator and lots of resources for learning the CMS.
Expression Engine is a powerful and flexible CMS that is loved by all especially the designers. The freedom to create layouts minus restrictions makes it a very productive CMS.
We have an exhaustive list of CMSs with WebGUI, SilverStripe, Cushy CMS, TextPattern, Radiant CMS, Alfresco and many more.
To analyze why CMS could be the best approach for Website Development, we need to look into the usage of a static website.
It is a well-known and accepted fact that static websites are faster to load as they are not resource-heavy as a CMS website. But the time and expertise required to build and then manage a static website could be far too big a cost to pay! Nevertheless, if one does happen to have the time and expertise to build a static site, then one can surely go for it. Static websites are good for very simple websites that have less content, and moreover, for websites that expect to have non-changing content. But with the increase in content the challenge to manage the website also increases.
It may sound as if a CMS is only meant for creation of relatively small websites that could well have been created as static websites. But that’s not true. Today, most CMSs are extremely powerful and automate most of the requirements that are demanded out of any website. Be it a simple news publishing site, or an e-shop along with a payment gateway or a website based on social networking, it is all possible with the right selection of CMS and its plugins.
How CMS Can Help SEO
When it comes to Site Engine Optimization (SEO), a static website might require more time to make the site SEO friendly. On the other hand, most CMSs give SEO support inbuilt into the website building blocks.Tools for SEO, email marketing and social media marketing are readily available in most CMSs.
Another useful capability of CMSs comes in the form of frameworks for building Responsive websites. Today it is expected that all websites be responsive. If a website is unfriendly on the mobile device, then users would simply discard them. This adds another layer of complexity in the website building activity. But thankfully it is very well taken care of by the responsive frameworks supported by most CMSs of today, and Bootstrap is about the most widely used one.
Finally, one may argue about the possibility of help and support on these CMSs. Large active communities are involved with most CMSs. So help is always easy to find. Moreover, a lot of tutorials, forums, and documents are available around most CMSs. And above all, CMSs are very user-friendly as that’s their most significant premise!