A CMS or Content Management System in typical terms is a software that someone with limited or no knowledge of coding can use to manage digital content.
Every website this days has two major parts when it comes to building and maintaining it:
• The front-end part, which is what a user that visits the sites sees
• The back-end part, which is what the administrator of the website uses to create, delete and update the content of the website.
Usually in the realm of web development, a CMS will be the software that handles the backend system for a website. It allows users with different permission levels to collaborate in the creation and the production of digital content such as web pages, blog posts etc.
There are 2 types of CMS’s currently on the market:
• Open source CMS: The name Open Source comes from a term used when a software is distributed online, it signifies that a software’s source code is open to the public. They are mostly created by an open community. This community involves volunteer developers from around the world that provide code and plug-ins to choose from. Some plug-ins are free while some you have to pay for. Support is as good as someone’s guess, since there is no trained stuff you will mostly rely on forums and online user communities for assistance.
• Commercial CMS: they are developed and owned by a single company as a software solution. Users usually need to buy a license to be able to use the CMS. This type of CMS is like anything else you buy, since you know the company that created the software u can make sure they are the once to fix any issues that come with it. Usually they include ongoing support and maintenance with each license a user buys, plus some initial training on how everything works.
Depending on the type of the application you are creating the cost of hiring a web developer to create it will probably be high, plus the time you will need to get it up and running, it’s not in favor for either the client or the programmer, so CMS’s came into the market as a solution to this type of problem.
At the time of writing this article, the most popular Open Source CMS’s on the market are WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, OpenCart, Magento and a lot more depending on the application you are creating. This type of Content Management Systems will help you setup a website with low cost and in a very short period of time.
Another aspect is that all of them have a Market Store, where developers all around the world have created plugins to customize every aspect of the website with just the click of a button. In most cases anything you will need that it’s not part of the CMS out of the box, you can find it there.
One of the biggest (if not the biggest) misconception is that a CMS will eliminate the need for someone to hire a programmer to do any kind of website setup.
Every business is different and such as the website has to be tailored to fit the need’s they will have, so if the cost to develop your website is a factor then you will have to consider using a CMS that does not required a lot of programming hours to setup and maintain.
Another misconception is that a CMS contributes to the success of the website. The factors for a successful website are completely different and the CMS you will use play’s no particular role in that. I am not going to go into the details about what can make your website successful because it out of the scope of this article.