What is a CMS?

22.08.21 | Tagged as: Beginners Guide

CMS stands for Content Management System.

Any content that you wish to add to your site will be published through your CMS.

If I had a website without a CMS, I would be downloading a file from a server, updating the content and then re-uploading it.

This would be a difficult, tedious and draining process.

My engagement with my website would stop and my businesses best marketing tool would become a white elephant.

CMS to the rescue.

What all websites need is a powerful, intuitive CMS.

As I write this post, I am logged into my CMS and have an easy and intuitive interface that makes it simple for me to manage this post and the rest of my website.

For instance, there might be 1000 lines of code making up some image gallery functionality on your website, but all you will see in the CMS is a button called ‘Add image to gallery’.

The beauty of a CMS is that it hides the complexity of everything that’s going on behind the scenes.

Well that’s the theory.

Ultimately, the person developing the website is in charge of how complicated the CMS will be, and boy can they be complicated.

However, when integrated with skill, care and consideration for the end user, anybody using the CMS will feel empowered to create content.

In fact, it will be an enjoyable experience.

Which CMS is best?

As the heading has indicated, there are many different choices out there.

I have worked with my fair share, but in my experience WordPress is the ultimate CMS.

The reasons for this are because it’s:

  • Simple for clients to use. No technical / coding knowledge is required.
  • Quick to develop with.
  • Versatile and powerful. It can be used to build one page portfolio sites to large scale ecommerce stores.
  • Has excellent community support.
  • Highly scalable. As your business grows, your website can easily do so too.
  • Extremely Google friendly. Generally considered the most Google friendly CMS.
  • Can be used on pretty much any device with an Internet connection.
  • Allows you to set up multiple users with different levels of access.
  • Can be extended via a vast library of plugins.

5 ways I ensure your website CMS will be your best friend.

1. Simple naming conventions.

Incredibly, using simple naming conventions in a CMS is a MASSIVE part of what makes it easy to use.

Let’s say for instance you’re going to add a block of text to your website.

In your CMS, you will find a button called ‘Add Text’.

It won’t say ‘Add Content’ for instance.

That’s ambiguous and will lead to confusion.

If you’re CMS is confusing, you’ll hate your website.

You won’t add new content and eventually you will either not bother with a website or have to fork out for a new website.

Both are completely unacceptable when you have invested your time and hard earned money.

Your input at this stage is invaluable and names within the CMS will ultimately be under your control.

2. Drag and drop functionality.

Reordering content is a very common task when adding pages or blog posts to your website.

Let’s imagine you create a block of text that sits in the middle of your page but at a later date you now want it to sit at the bottom of the page.

On some websites you might have to:

  • Get in contact with the developer OR
  • Delete the text and then add it in again in the desired position.

A much simpler solution, which my websites use, is to rearrange your content by simply dragging and dropping it into the new location.

It really couldn’t be quicker or simpler.

3. Cloning / Duplication.

Inevitably, you will have page layouts on your website that you have worked hard on and prefer the look of.

Let’s say for instance you’ve set up a case study and you like the way it’s set up.

You may be inclined to keep that  layout / style for all future case studies.

With the simple click of a button, you can duplicate that first case study and simply go in and replace the content for a new case study.

This is a huge time saver.

4. Google Rankings / SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) made easy.

A great looking website with a wealth of functionality is invaluable to your business.

You can put your web address on:

  • Business cards
  • Leaflets
  • Social media
  • Company vehicles
  • Directory listings

However, you’ll also want potential clients to find you on search engines such as Google.

You can generate organic / free traffic to your site by keeping SEO in mind whenever you create content.

And luckily, WordPress is an incredibly powerful CMS when it comes to SEO, in fact most people are in agreement that it’s the best.

WordPress makes it incredibly easy to update all the relevant SEO data.

Furthermore, it proactively scans all of your content and provides intelligent insights into your SEO efforts.

A simple traffic light system indicates what you’re doing well and what needs improving.

It goes even further by giving you detailed information to rectify those underperforming areas

This makes it incredibly easy to manage your SEO in-house if you wish to do so.

5. I keep your website DRY.

DRY stands for Don’t Repeat Yourself.

The idea is to not make you enter the same piece of data in more then one place.

This is good because consistency of data across your site is important.

Let’s take addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses as an example.

You don’t want to have reenter this information on every single page you create.

It would be repetitive, tedious and there’s a very strong chance it could be entered incorrectly at some point.

If that happens to be the page that a potential client grabs your phone number from, then you may lose out on some business.

You also have to consider the fact that your contact details may change at some point in the future.

Going through and updating that information in every single page would be very time consuming.

I take care of this by making sure you only add such information once in your CMS and then automatically output it throughout your entire website.

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