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Beginners Guide: CMS and Tips To Choose One

CMS Wordpress
June 16, 2020
Author: Hamster, www.hostens.com

What does a CMS mean?

CMS is an abbreviation that stands for Content Management System. For reference, content is the site’s content: pages, texts, pictures, banners, videos etc.

In its essence, a site is a set of various Internet pages available at specific Internet addresses (URLs). Imagine a regular advertising brochure, each page of which has its Internet address: that’s what a site is.

To create such a brochure on the Internet, you can layout each page separately and place it at the appropriate address. This can be done by designers, layout designers, and programmers. However, to make changes to a page or create a new one, you will need to contact experts again. It is very inconvenient, lengthy, and expensive. To solve this problem, CMS was invented.

When developing a site based on CMS, the page design is “pulled” to the selected system, and the site is further filled with content from its administrative panel.

Why do we need a CMS?

CMS allows you to manage site content, change, add and delete site pages, as well as adjust their content without asking experts (programmers and designers) for help. CMS is built so that an average computer user could make changes to the site, even without special training.

Imagine that you urgently need to post new information on the site, for example, a promotion or exciting news. If you contact your agency or programmers, this work may take several days and might cost you quite a lot. In contract, CMS allows you to place this information on the website by yourself – quickly, free of charge, and at any time of the day.

What does CMS mean in business?

The Internet is a very dynamic environment that is changing very quickly. As a result, six months after you have created the site, you will probably need to make important corrections to it, add new functions, or change something significantly.

It’s totally fine if you are sure that the site developer will support you for the rest of the site’s existence. However, very often, things turn out differently. A freelancer may disappear, a web design studio may go broke, an agency may terminate a contract with you.

In such a situation, you need to have the opportunity to find another developer who can take care of your online asset.

It may be particularly hard to find the new one if sites were implemented on a rare or unique CMS. It takes a lot of time for programmers to understand someone else’s code, and they usually do not like it if this code is implemented on an unfamiliar CMS. Is it any wonder that in such a case there will be very few people who want to help you? Most agencies or developers will offer you to create a brand new site, but this means additional costs and time lost.

Therefore, choosing a CMS is not only a technical solution; it is a way of investing in your business’s future. So, the main thing is to ensure continuity, technical aspects are secondary.

Free CMS

Let’s take a look at the most popular free CMS around the globe.

WordPress

  • Universal website engine, the most popular one in the world;
  • Supports installation of plugins to extend functionality;
  • You can scale the project from a business card website to a blog, online store, corporate portal;
  • There is a visual editor.

Magento

  • There is a free version with basic tools for managing the store;
  • Flexible and scalable engine;
  • The open-source e-commerce platform, powering business websites, from small local stores to huge international chains.

Opencart

  • Open source;
  • Free plugins to extend functionality;
  • In the basic configuration blocks of product recommendations are available;
  • Support for multi-language and multi-currency.

Prestashop

  • Powerful free e-commerce engine;
  • Suitable for creating international stores;
  • The broad base of extensions;
  • You have to pay for plugins and templates.

Joomla

  • Suitable for creating any site;
  • Suitability to launch decent social networks;
  • A powerful ecosystem of information and experienced developers in abundance;
  • There are a lot of templates, plus they have a huge range of functionality;
  • Full access to the code, a minimum set of editing skills are required.

Drupal

  • True versatility, flexibility in all directions;
  • An extensive community, many guides, documentation, and knowledgeable developers within the ecosystem;
  • A rich set of modules that extend the basic functionality;
  • The ability to use hooks – modifiers of processing procedures to simplify making large-scale changes to the engine algorithms;
  • High standardization – almost all code is written by developers in a single style; the community is comfortable working with it.

Besides these technical parameters, you need web hosting and domain as well. You can easily get it at Hostens: https://www.hostens.com/shared-hosting/

How to choose a CMS for your website?

Therefore, if you are not interested in the technical details, then there are three main factors to consider when choosing a CMS:

  • Popularity;
  • Cost;
  • Capabilities

One of the easiest and fastest ways to make a choice is to focus on CMS used by sites similar to the one you’d like to have. If you don’t want to try reinventing what’s already been invented and swim against the current, look at what CMS they use for projects similar to yours and, without hesitation, settle for the best solution for you.

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