Skip to main content

Content Management Systems Explained

There are many benefits to adding a content management system to your website, not least being that it allows you to add and update content and images yourself without the need to use a web designer after it is initially set up and configured. Another major benefit is that it keeps your content fresh which helps not only with search engine positioning but also shows regular visitors that you are keeping the website updated with the latest products, services and information.

What is a Content Management System?

A content management system (often known as a CMS) is a piece of software that allows you to edit the content on your website without having any web design skills.

In the first instance, a web designer creates a series of CMS templates which form the basis of your web pages. You then use a simple interface to add, edit or delete the content on your pages. New pages can be added with ease simply by creating new entries and your website reflects the changes instantly.

What are the benefits of installing a CMS?

There are many benefits to installing a CMS. The most important is that it offers an easy way to refresh the content on your site which search engines find attractive. Regular updates can have a dramatic effect on your search engine rankings.

A CMS can be added to an existing website with the templates made to match your site's current style and layout or your existing pages can simply be recreated by adding the information to the CMS. You can then update it yourself as often as you like, without the need to call a web design company and pay for the changes each time.

Do I need one?

For anyone planning to update content more than a couple of times each month, creating your website using a CMS is highly recommended. If you already update your website on a regular basis, and do not currently use a CMS, you could save a lot of time and money by implementing one.

To stay competitive, websites need to be far more than a static brochure. A website that has interesting articles which may be of interest to your visitors will generate return visits, as well as offer greater search engine indexing opportunities. Search engines like content and by adding new content regularly you are increasing the opportunity for your site to be found by visitors searching to buy, or find information about your product, or area of expertise.

For example perhaps you offer life coaching services or a solution to garden pests and diseases. By adding a CMS to your site you could add client testimonials or case studies. A CMS also offers the facility for visitors to add comments or ask questions adding a degree of interactivity to your site. Beware though of adding content indiscriminately. Quality is still more important than quantity.

If you do not currently update your website at all, you should be asking yourself whether you ought to start. If your customers see something new which interests them each time they visit your website, they are more likely to return. A CMS will allow you to quickly and easily transform your website into an interesting, engaging and dynamic marketing tool.

What features do they offer?

A huge variety. Apart from the ability to update content, some other features that a CMS can offer are:
  • Blogs
  • Social network interaction such as Facebook feeds
  • Twitter posts
  • Google Maps with directions
  • Automatic archiving of content eg weekly or monthly archives
  • Dynamic site maps
  • e-commerce
  • Email alerts
  • Forms
  • Surveys
  • Newsletter management
  • Image uploads
  • Photo galleries
  • Automatic categorisation of topics
  • Keyword updates
  • Site search
  • Functionality
  • Restricted user areas
  • Community forums
  • Accessibility compliance and much more

What about pricing?

This will largely depend on the size of your website, whether it is to be added to an existing site, the degree of complexity and the amount of functionality you require.

As a pricing guide a CMS suitable for a small or medium site can range from as little as £300.